Let’s face it: the term “introvert” often comes along with a negative connotation. Many people might imagine an introvert to be hunched in the corner of a crowded room, shuddering with social anxiety and scribbling stanzas in their Moleskin. As a textbook introvert, I understand the anxiety that comes with social encounters but I, along with many others, are able to interact like the more acceptable, “normal” human being when someone who I feel comfortable with comes along. Most of the time, that someone is rare.
Being a single introvert in this world, my friends and family love to offer their words of relationship wisdom* to help me find this someone.
After being single for a while, (um… 4 years) the advice begins to sound redundant. So, here are 5 things that single introverts are tired of hearing.
1. “You’ll never meet your soul mate hiding in your room.”
Well… dating sites exist, but that’s a different article. You can call me a little old school, but I find comfort in the thought that I’m somehow meant to meet that person one day and my decision to stay in this Friday night and watch YouTube marathons of Jaclyn Hill or finish The Girl on The Train won’t change that. And if that does somehow destroy any chance I had with love, I think whatever power that is in charge of this miraculous meeting is willing to compromise with me.
2. “Let’s go to the club! We’ll find you a boyfriend/girlfriend!”
Right, okay, so you saying that I won’t find my soul mate in my own room – I get that. But you think I will meet that person in a sweaty club? A social setting that I like to avoid at all costs? You could pull that whole “opposites attract” thing, but this isn’t even an “opposites attract” situation. This is a “we’d never cross paths if my friend didn’t force me to come out” situation. I think I’d almost rather be single than pretend to know what the hell this guy is talking about for another night. (Zuccarello? Is that a type of pasta?)
3. “Don’t overthink it. Just go up and say hi.”
Don’t… overthink… it??? Wait – do you even know how my mind works? In theory, yes, everything would be beautiful and the wind would blow through the glistening strands of my hair as I approached Mr. Nice Shoes at the bar, and he’d grasp my waist and we’d escape the crowd to slow dance into the moonlit glow… but that’s not how it works. When I even just consider approaching someone, I think of every possibility of how the situation might go. I make bullet lists of topics in my head, then subtopics, then sub-subtopics. So, when – if – I even approach someone, I’ve already imagined the beginning and end of the conversation approximately five times. So yeah, I’d love to take your advice, but that’s not how I’m wired.
4. “Just be yourself.”
Um, thanks for the great advice? I know that you’re trying to be helpful, and I appreciate that, but I am “being myself.” I’m not some kind of alien just because I enjoy wandering around the mall alone or because I’d rather scroll through the Goodreads app on my lunch break than have a half-assed conversation with someone whose name I already forgot. I’m comfortable in my solitude, and I firmly believe that someone who understands me will come along when it’s right.
5. “You can’t complain if you don’t put yourself out there.”
Have you ever even considered the fact that I might enjoy being alone? I prefer my own uninterrupted thoughts because I can actually be pretty hilarious. (Also a great dancer when I’m home alone and 7/11 comes on shuffle.) Sure, I’d enjoy some nice eye candy and a free dinner once in a while, but I’m satisfied in my own company. I’m not looking for my “other half” because I’m already whole. (Also, who doesn’t complain from time to time, Cathy???)
*Much of this wisdom was obtained through two month long relationships.