Dating can be painful, especially for introverts, who typically dislike small talk and consider themselves socially awkward. (Merriam-Webster defines an introvert as “a shy person” and, “a quiet person who does not find it easy to talk to other people.”)
Don’t fret, though. You can make attracting your perfect romantic relationship almost easy without falling into this sad trap. Here are some of my favorite dating tips:
Keep it short.
Meet a first date for coffee, not a meal. Lunch and dinner can take more than an hour, which may require more conversation than you can handle. Commit to drinking just one cup of coffee (or whatever you like to drink), and if things go well, drink another. If things keep going well, plan to meet for dinner next time. On the other hand, if you don’t hit it off with the guy, fear not. There are plenty of other pebbles on the beach. Keep making coffee dates until you meet the right pebble. It’s a numbers game.
Take the pressure off.
Most of the men you meet are not going to be love of your life, and that’s a good thing because if you were attracted to every man you meet, and every man you meet were attracted to you, life would get messy fast. View each first date as a chance to make a potential new friend, not a life partner. Treat the guy accordingly. See what happens.
If nervousness strikes at any point – you get red in the face, your heart starts racing, or your head fills up with cotton — by all means, excuse yourself and go to the restroom.
Close yourself in a stall and breathe slowly into your diaphragm until you regain confidence. You can also try EFT/Tapping, a DIY self-help technique that can calm the fight-or-flight response.
Everybody loves a sincere compliment. Notice something to like about your potential new friend and mention it. It’s safe to comment on shirts, ties, and shoes. Observations about body parts will likely backfire, so steer clear.
Ramp up your attractiveness by being a good listener.
People want to be truly heard, so make yourself irresistible by gently peppering your date with open-ended questions like: How do you spend your free time? What do you like about your job? Where did you grow up? What kind of music do you like? If you absorb the responses without worrying to say next, conversation will flow naturally. BONUS: You’ll also figure out quickly whether or not a guy warrants a second date.
If you keep these dating tips in mind, finding romance will cease being painful. Keep putting yourself out there, and you’ll magically find yourself in the right place at the right time when the right guy comes along.
He’s looking for you, too.