Dating can be incredibly intimidating. There are a plethora of rules that self-declared love experts have set in place. What not to say on the first date; how long to wait before following up; would it really be a bad idea to mention that restraining order? These can be tricky waters to navigate even if you don’t have a Ph.D. in dating. It can be increasingly so if you are dating someone who enjoys being alone, the classic introvert archetype. Being an introvert myself I can attest that us quiet peeps typically have a higher sensitivity level than others. While we don’t need to be treated with kid gloves, these 15 tips will help you to get the most out of your dating experience and to understand our psyche a little clearer.
1. They are more likely to choose solitude over socializing.
It is important to know that in dating someone who values her alone time, it is highly unlikely that Friday nights are going to be spent consuming cocktails with work buddies at happy hour. Some people might blow off steam at the end of the week by chatting it up over a beverage or two, but for those that don’t crave that kind of social interaction, solitude provides an equally fulfilling sense of stress relief. Introverts don’t want to be completely alone, but they need people differently.
2. They do enjoy company too.
Here is the misconception about people who like their own company: they do actually enjoy being a social butterfly, just in small doses. Much like Cinderella at the stroke of midnight, these butterflies need to turn back into a caterpillar after an evening of social activity and have some quiet time to themselves.
3. They can come across as stand-offish.
Loners by nature lean to the side of introversion, meaning that they are typically harder to get to know initially. Much to their frustration, this can be interpreted by others as snobbery or a sense of being better than others. It’s not; it’s just a byproduct of being an introvert.
4. They will open up as you get to know them.
It’s worthwhile to think of loners as a slow burn rather than a fast-acting fuse. While they might not regale you with interesting anecdotes about their lives upon first meeting, give it time and they will open up. Once they feel comfortable with you, those barriers come down fast and their true personality shines forth.
5. They will not be the life of the party.
If your potential mate has to leave a trail of dropped jaws behind him as he enters a room, dating a person who likes his own company might not be the best fit. You might not notice these people as they arrive at a party, but if you give them time and attention, your conversation might be the one that you remember long after the party is over.
6. But that doesn’t mean they don’t like to party
While they might not be the ones initiating a group dance-off, they will certainly participate if they feel comfortable. If your date is feeling secure with himself in the situation you might be surprised as his inner James Brown awakens and he “gets up offa that thing” and embraces his inner dance machine on the dance floor.
7. They can be highly sensitive.
By their very nature, people who enjoy their own company are typically deep thinkers. When they feel something, they tend to feel it with their mind, body and soul. So don’t be offended if they feel slighted at something you say. Sometimes even the most innocuous comment can send them spiraling back into themselves and it’s just harder to for them to brush it off their shoulders. They need time to process, so it is important to give them some breathing room.
8. But this can make them thoughtful partners.
Yes, you might have to think before you speak when dating someone on the sensitive side but it’s important to know that sensitive people are also typically highly attuned to the feelings of others. As a result they are less likely to trample all over you in conversation and more likely to actually listen to what you have to say.
9. They don’t do well with criticism.
Being so in tune with their feelings, criticism can often be a highly inflammatory source of tension. As a result, it’s important to know that these quieter types might employ certain tactics to avoid any criticism at all, which can manifest in the form of people-pleasing, being self-critical, or just avoiding the source of the criticism altogether.
10. But they do well with emotions.
Dating someone who needs her alone time means dating someone who is not afraid to get to know herself on a deeper emotional level. A byproduct of this is a sense of empathy which typically manifests itself in showing concern for you and any problems you might be experiencing. They are not afraid to sit down and go deep with you, figuring out the root cause of the issue. They are emotionally available, if not always physically available.
11. They rarely get a case of the FOMOs.
In a world where social media dominates, the level of exposure to each other’s social diaries is at an all-time high. This leads some to develop a real fear of missing out (FOMO) on any of the action. Not so for those that enjoy their own company. For the most part, they couldn’t care less if they have an open weekend ahead with no plans.
12. They march to the beat of their own drum.
They don’t need to be seen at every party because their sense of identity isn’t attributed to how socially active they are. They enjoy dipping in and out of the social scene as and when it benefits them, followed by time to decompress. While dating a person who likes his own company means that you may not be out and about every night, those events you do attend together will feel more special.
13. They are self-sufficient.
It may feel sometimes that your date doesn’t seem to want or need you around them every second of their lives. They need their space in a relationship and at times it might not seem like they even need you in their lives. But don’t misinterpret their behavior–having their own space is of huge importance to them and as a result they are usually highly protective of it.
14. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have room in their lives for you.
The good news is that there is plenty of breathing room for both of you in these types of relationships. There will be no Jerry Maguire declarations of how you complete them though; they simply aren’t interested in anyone completing them. They are interested in finding out who you are, what makes you tick and they will give you plenty of room to shine.
15. They are full of contradictions, but that makes dating them especially unique.
Sometimes it may seem that you are dating someone with a split personality. They enjoy being with you but also enjoy being with themselves. They enjoy being social but only on occasion. But in dating a human oxymoron, life can remain interesting and it is less likely you will feel that you are stuck in a dating rut.
While it is important to be mindful of the behaviors you might encounter with dating someone who enjoys being alone, the most important lesson of all is to accept them for who they are and not who you want them to be. In learning acceptance instead of expectance, there will be far fewer dating disappointments.