I’m an introvert. I had been an introvert before introvert is even cool. Although I’m probably nowhere near the extreme on the introversion scale, I’m introverted enough to be the typical kind who prefers quietness and needs alone time to recharge. That being said, I do take pleasure from being with people, going to parties and being loud now and then. However, when it comes to meeting new people in a romantic context, the struggle is real as the introverted side, without fail, decides to take over.
1. You always have to explain yourself.
I can’t remember how many times I had to tell the person I was on a date with that I’m being quiet doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying myself, it’s just my way of being (and probably my resting bitch face), and that their rambling is actually much appreciated. Indeed, I like to do the listening more than the talking and I’m not good at small talks. Actually, I hate small talks. All I could think of is to be like, let’s cut the bullshit. I mean, no one really cares about what I had for lunch today and our lives could never be as cool as we make it out to be when we’re sitting here with a random stranger from the internet, going on and on about basic bitch stuff like how horrible Brit weather is. So, maybe we should just be straightforward about what we really want from each other and how we expect this to be, then it would save both loads of saliva wasted. Oh, wait, I still need to tell the person opposite me that I’m actually having fun and nothing going on here on my face is personal.
2. Your first date impression is not reflective.
When an introvert meets a new person, we often close up and tend to be reserved. It’s not because we’re shy but we just don’t feel that comfortable to show our feelings and true thoughts too soon, too easily. We might be polite, friendly and kind of plain but it’s totally just the tip of the iceberg. Only when we’re with our close friends and family, or the people who know us well, will the true monster be released. Behind that typical impression of an introvert is a whole variety of the little things that make each of us unique. The quirks, the weird habits, the hidden dark humour. You name it. Therefore, if someone judges us based on the first date when we’re out at a noisy bar, an environment unfamiliar and uncomfortable to us that only lets us show our socially acceptable side while secretly inside we’re all cute and weird and adorable, there would probably be no second date.
3. You come across different in person compared to texts.
In texts, we don’t have to experience the same anxiety as we do when we meet someone in person. Plus, we have the space we need to be truly ourselves. We could reply to the texts whenever we feel comfortable and construct the answer that makes us sound cool and funny, not to mention putting those flirty winking emojis and big X’s at the end of our texts to let someone know we’re interested. Heck, we could even appear to be a full-on extrovert if we want to be. However, in person, at the beginning, we would probably seem more aloof than we would like to be. Thus, we would risk being misunderstood as uninterested while we are simply being our natural self — no hard feeling there — and will soon open up once we get used to someone’s presence.
4. Your ideal date is indoors.
I don’t like noisy places nor drinking. The place I feel most comfortable with is inside the home, or any place that I could cosy up with the other person and have a proper, quality conversation. Somehow when I’m indoors, I would feel more comfortable being honest and sharing my true feelings, or generally being more liberated. However, it’s definitely not a good idea to suggest meeting up at either my or their place on the first date as it would definitely be interpreted as an offer for a fuck-buddy or friends with benefits situation. So here we are, at a bar making small talks again.
5. Going on dates with new people again and again is a pain.
I have fun meeting new people but at the same time I don’t. The idea of repeating the same stories about myself every time I go on a first date starts to bore me indefinitely especially when I struggle with all of the above as an introvert. It gets to a point where I wish I could disappear just like that, in a middle of a date, no feeling weird being quiet, no finding an excuse to leave, or being awkward about the whole whether-we-want-to-see-each-other-again-or-not, or even saying any goodbye at all. Just be gone and go back to all the people who know how loveable I’m. Like mom, or my dogs.
To be honest, if a person could just appear out of nowhere, be interested in me and instantly know me well without all the going-on-date hard work so we could go straight to snuggling up, making fun of each other and having awesome sex, that would be great. Okay, I know, I know. There is no short cut. Going on dates is fun, hard work is necessary. Perhaps with the right person, I would appreciate the whole process and all these struggles wouldn’t feel like struggling any more. Till that day, I will find a way to have fun with dating, embracing my introversion while reminding myself that I’m doing just fine.