I found out why I’m still single …
Apparently, you have to go outside and let people see you.
I read that line on a popular meme, and it spoke to the struggle of single introverts everywhere, including myself. I affectionately refer to myself as a social introvert. I do enjoy interacting with others. Over time I have developed the skills to do this well (so well that I have a hard time convincing people that I am not an extrovert).
Maybe you can relate.
However, nothing gives me more pleasure than curling up on my couch (alone) with my blanket and a good book or movie, especially after a long week of doing nothing but talking to people. I want to relax … at home … by myself. I pray no one calls or drops by and interrupts my blissful moment…
… unless, of course, Jesus is bringing my future husband to my front door. I don’t care what my friends say; it could happen!
Don’t get me wrong. I go out … every week, I go to the grocery store, the gas station, and the church. I am out here in these streets!
But alas, I rarely meet people. And if I am not meeting people, I am definitely not going out on dates. Why is it that meeting someone and dating can be so challenging for introverts like me (or maybe you)? Well, let’s look at a few of our characteristics:
- Socializing with others can feel draining.
- We love spending time alone, and it recharges us.
- Small talk can be difficult and unpleasant.
- We prefer interacting in small groups rather than large crowds …
- One-on-one interactions can also make us nervous.
- We may avoid answering the phone until we feel mentally prepared and have the energy for the conversation.
- On Friday nights we prefer to be at home reading a book or watching a movie rather than going out.
It’s no wonder dating can be such a challenge for us! It involves the very things that we prefer not to do, or that may not come naturally for us.
Now, let me be very clear. There is absolutely nothing wrong with us! I know extroverts seem to get all the shine, but us introverts are equally amazing in our own right. We don’t have to change or become more extroverted to meet someone. We just have to embrace our unique characteristics in ways that set us up for success.
Here are eight tips to help us introverts meet people and date more effectively:
1. Utilize your social circle to meet others. Often when we have our friends around it can make us feel more comfortable, and relieve the pressure of one-on-one interactions. Example: Host a game night at your place and have friends invite their single friends.
2. Go to places that are interesting and enjoyable to you.You may find it easier to interact with someone when you are in your comfort zone and can connect over a shared interest. Examples: Coffee shops, book stores, museums, aquariums, art galleries.
3. Volunteer. Finding an organization whose vision aligns with your values and beliefs allows you to live on purpose and connect with like-minded people.
4. Engage with the world as you move through it. Look up (from your book or phone), make eye contact with others, smile, wear something that is a conversation starter (I love wearing shirts with bold, biblical statements).
5. Choose a short activity. Short, casual activities can relieve the pressure of feeling overwhelmed by too much interaction. If the two of you hit it off, you can move on to another activity.
6. Pick an activity that you enjoy and are familiar with. Engaging in an activity you enjoy allows you to relax, be yourself, and connect over something that sparks your interest
7. Know your limits and have an (honoring and honest) exit strategy. Sometimes hanging out with someone sounds like a good idea when you first agree to it, but as soon as you get out, you immediately want to go back home. If you start to feel too drained or overwhelmed, politely call it a night.
8. Embrace who you are. Sure, we are often misunderstood and too often encouraged to go out more or talk to more people, but remember, God created us this way, and there are others who appreciate us just as we are. We, too, have a lot to offer … but it may take us a little more time to get comfortable and open up.
Although being an introvert may pose some challenges in the dating world, all hope is not lost. But if all else does fail, who knows … maybe your single, attractive neighbor will accidentally get your mail and knock on your door to give it to you.
Then you can say to all your friends, “Won’t He do it!”