Online Dating for Introverts: A Step-by-Step Guide

For Introverted personalities, online dating can seem like the better alternative. Rather than pushing our way through crowded parties or shouting over the music at a bar, we can browse potential matches from the comfort of our very own home.

However, that doesn’t necessarily make online dating fun or easy. It can be downright harrowing to put together a profile. And think about having to banter with a perfect stranger over chat or text messages. And all of that’s before you even meet in person!

The good news is that being an Introvert does not make you “really bad” at attracting partners, and it doesn’t mean that online dating has to be a difficult experience. With some useful tips, over time, you can find ways to make this work for you.

So, here’s a step-by step guide on how to bring your full, authentic, beautifully Introverted self to your online dating adventures – and maybe even have a good time doing it. 

Step 1: MAKE A PROFILE

Don’t rush this process as it’s an important step. Take your time to research other profiles and get a sense of what grabs your attention.

Tip #1: Meet Your Own Standards

When you’re scrolling through dozens of potential matches, what catches your eye? Maybe you find yourself stopping to get a better look at a clear, well-lit photo of someone with a big smile. Or maybe you find yourself nodding along with a profile description of someone’s hobbies and passions or how close they are to their friends and family.

And what turns you off? Blurry, moody photos where the person isn’t even facing the camera? Long-winded descriptions of a person’s likes and dislikes?

Once you’ve taken note of your personal standards, make sure you meet them in your own profile. This can help you see your profile the way a potential match might.

Many Introverts find it uncomfortable to share details of their lives or even pose for photos. But it’s very important to get off to a good start just by snapping a few fresh pictures and posting a clear, concise description.

Tip #2: It’s not just about the Profile

Your profile shouldn’t be generic, but that doesn’t mean you need to cram it with everything someone might ever want to know about you.

For guidance, take a closer look at those profiles that catch your interest. How long are the descriptions? Do they talk more about traits (“I am considerate and trustworthy”) or actions (“I love going for a run after a long, stressful day”)? Seeing what works in other profiles can help you find both a length and format that makes sense for your own.

Remember this: no matter how hard you try, there’s no way to create a profile that captures your full personality. It just isn’t possible. So, don’t think you have to wait until you have your profile “just right” before you can actually talk or meet with people.

Tip #3: Own Your Quirks

Maybe you’re learning to belly dance or writing a fantasy or taking acting classes. Whatever makes you tick – even if it’s not everyone’s cup of tea – don’t be afraid to highlight it. After all, wouldn’t you rather end up with someone who appreciates your quirks rather than someone who’s attracted to a bland, generic profile?

Step 2: CHAT WITH PEOPLE

This step can be tricky. On the one hand, exchanging written messages appeals to many Introverted personality types. Interacting with someone via a screen? Sure, we can do that. On the other hand, it’s really easy to get stuck in this step, exchanging witty messages all day but never actually meeting anyone in person.

Tip #1: Don’t Wait for Them to Make the First Move

If someone catches your eye, drop them a line right away. It might not feel super comfortable, and that’s OK. Just focus on establishing contact. You don’t need to come up with the perfect opening line. To be honest, there’s no such thing as a perfect opening.

One more thing: the point of chatting with someone on a dating site or app is to actually set up a date. If, after chatting for a little while, you want to meet someone, then let them know. Beyond this point, exchanging more messages may actually dampen your enthusiasm for each other. Remember that you’re both on this site for the same reason, hoping to be asked out on a date.

Tip #2: Show Off Your Best Skills …. Listening

When chatting with a potential match, use your listening skills to draw them out. If you’re sending the first message, always reference something specific from that person’s dating profile – for example, their recent trip to the Gold Coast or their interest in Greek food. That alone will help you stand out from all the messages that say, “Hey, how was your weekend?” It also gives the person a sense of what you’re like: a thoughtful, considerate listener who’s genuinely curious about other people.

Step 3: THE FIRST DATE

Making it to this step is a good thing. But it might not feel that way right before you’re scheduled to meet, when suddenly all you want is to crawl into bed with a good book.

It’s best that you spend any free time before a date doing something you enjoy – whether that’s reading a book, listening to a podcast, or cuddling with your pet. This can help you feel more relaxed and present during the date itself 

Tip #1: Don’t Fret about Being an Introvert

Being an Introvert doesn’t mean that you’re bad at dating. Introversion also doesn’t mean that you’re a bad conversationalist, that you don’t know how to have fun, or that other people don’t love spending time with you. In fact, your Introverted personality trait can give you the listening skills needed to become a genuinely great conversationalist who’s a joy to be around.

Remember, Introversion comes with its own gifts and is not a liability when it comes to dating. Once you’ve done that, you can improve your first-date mind-set even further by moving on to Tip #2.

Tip #2: Treat First Dates as Practice

You can go into a first date with the attitude that, “If this doesn’t work out, then I’m probably doomed to be alone forever,” OR you can decide to view any dates that don’t pan out as practice.

Once you start viewing dating as “practice,” you’ll probably find that you learn something from every first date, no matter how awkward or draining it may be. You might learn that you talk really fast when you’re nervous, or that you enjoy asking people about trips they’ve taken.

Step 4: THE AFTERMATH

The hours after a first date can be surprisingly stressful. You might mentally replay each moment in a conversation, wondering, about your conversation topics. Chances are, you’ll also check your phone more than usual, hoping for (or perhaps dreading?) a message about a second date. It’s tempting to wait for the other person to get in touch first, especially if they seem relatively outgoing. But even for Introverts, waiting on someone else can be really disempowering.

Being the first person to weigh in after a date can be surprisingly thrilling for introverted personalities. It can feel bold and brave and honest.

Aim to get brave enough to say, “Hey, I had a great time. How about we do that again sometime soon?” OR  “I really enjoyed meeting with you and chatting about chocolate hummus. I didn’t feel a spark, but I’m really glad we had the chance to meet. Take care.”

Tip #1: There Are No Rules, but That Doesn’t Mean Anything Goes

As you’re heading home from the date, use your Introverted introspective skills to notice how you feel. Are your hands buzzing with excitement, or do your cheeks hurt from forced smiling? Once you’ve checked in with these physical sensations, it might be easier for you to decide how you feel about the date – and whether you’d like to see that person again.

Once you’ve made this decision, be bold and brave and let the other person know, even if you don’t know how they feel. Don’t worry about the so-called rules of dating. (Is it too soon to send a message? Is there a “right” way to say this?) The truth is, there are no set rules when it comes to this stuff, and there’s no “right” way to say any of it.

That doesn’t mean that anything goes, though. Even if it isn’t super comfortable, you’re better off saying how you feel sooner rather than later.

Be bold and try being the one to suggest a follow-up date (or say, “Thanks, but no thanks,” if that’s how you feel). If it doesn’t work out, then you can chalk it up to practice (see Step 3, Tip #2) and move on.

Tip #2: Get Back on the Horse (or dating app)

Some dates won’t work out, just like some relationships won’t work out.

At times, this fact won’t bother you at all. But at other times, it might bother you a great deal. Rejection sucks, and one person’s rejection can feel like a giant stamp on your forehead that says “loser” or whatever your worst fear is.

But here’s the thing: you don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you. In this way, rejection is a gift. Sure, it’s a gift that nobody wants, but it isn’t the end of the world, I promise. And it doesn’t need to stop you from getting back on the horse – or the dating app – and trying again.