I am introvert. I don’t like small talk or talking to a lot of people at a party. I’d rather have a deep conversation with a few people. When I need to recharge, I hide from everyone. Ah … alone time.
But I also am very relational. I love people. I like helping people, having folks over for dinner, going to sporting events and concerts. I’m not shy, and I’m quite witty and joyful. Because of these characteristics, people think I’m an extrovert.
I’ve often wondered if introversion works against me in my singleness. I mean, if I were more outgoing, then maybe I’d go to more places to meet people. Maybe I’d engage a in shallow conversation long enough for it to grow into something more.
No two introverts are the same, but I’ve talked to quite a few of them. So if you like an introvert, here is what you need to know in order to catch one.
1. Earn their trust.
Introverts are slow to open up sometimes, but they are great listeners. They are taking in what you say and do before they respond. They will process their thoughts before speaking. Sometimes they will bring up something you talked about days before because they had time to process it. (If you do the same, you will impress them.)
They are more observant about the little things, so if you are exaggerating or say things that are contradictory, they see that as lying. Once you earn their trust, you have a friend for life. But break it, and it takes time and an obvious, consistent change in behavior to get it back.
Introverts want to feel as if they can be themselves and not worry about hurting your feelings because they are taking it slow or are more quiet at first. Be patient and confident in who you are, because an introvert wants someone strong enough to handle their moments of silence.
Keeping your word, being on time and treating others well speak volumes to an introvert. Remember, they notice everything.
In the Myers-Briggs assessment, If you are dating an INFJ (like me), then they are an external feeler and express their feelings in an external way — communicating them very well. But they need to feel you will keep their confidence. Remember they are opening up to you and not anyone else. You can build trust by listening and giving them time to communicate. This is key to getting another date.
2. Give them space.
It’s normal to be excited to see someone again after a great date (or two). But with an introvert, if you come on too strong too fast, they will be tempted to run and hide. They may very well like you, but when you want more than they are ready to give, you can ruin it. You don’t want to avoid them, because that breaks the trust you’ve built. But also don’t force them to go to big parties until they are comfortable with you. There is nothing worse to an introvert than trying to get to know someone they are interested in AND having to navigate a lot of new friends. Besides, you want them to be into you anyway. They aren’t antisocial, and they may even be the life of the party. They just have limited energy for it and will need to get away from people to recharge. If they aren’t up for a party one weekend, they are totally okay with you going out without them. They aren’t saying “go out” and meaning “stay with me.”
Introverts are good with text messages because it allows them time to think about a response, but they see a lot of small-talk texting like an interruption. Talking on the phone is fine, as long as it’s meaningful or clever conversation. But don’t expect long phone calls.
To an introvrt, spending time with you alone feels like they are getting alone time. So you’ll find they love spending time with you. They like their own space, so if they invite you into it … you are doing great! They will also value your space, so you’ll find dating an introvert freeing because they don’t tend to smother their partners.
Michele Kus, a Myers-Briggs professional, says this:
If you’re dating an introvert, keep in mind their energy level, especially if you are an extrovert. Your introvert date may enjoy attending that party, meeting all your friends or being social … up to a point. But when all their energy runs out, they will begin to feel depleted. At that point, they will need to be in a quiet space to recharge their batteries. That doesn’t mean they don’t like you or your friends. It just means they are a normal introvert.
3. Plan ahead of time.
Introverts like to plan their week or month. Some of them can be spontaneous, but that’s usually because they’ve learned how to say no and make margins in their lives so they can do last-minute things. If something comes up the same day or night, they may go along with it because they tend to be very agreeable, but just know … they aren’t thrilled. Remember they plan their downtime, so the more you plan ahead, the more they can schedule their recharge time. And then when they are with you, they are super fun!
You may need to plan and communicate the exit plan of a party. Introverts like to know they have an out when they are maxed out from people. If you take care of them, they may even stay longer for you. If you plan this right, they will honor the host by saying goodbye and thanking them for the gathering.
- Introverts won’t embarrass you by being the loud-mouth partygoer.
- Introverts won’t yell or storm off. They will calmly discuss the misunderstanding (which can be great or frustrating).
- Introverts have a special bond with you that they don’t have with a lot of people.
- Introverts are thoughtful and think through the best way to show you they care, based on what you’ve said is meaningful to you.
- Introverts have a close-knit group of friends who will embrace you.
If you are an extrovert and find these three things outrageous, high-maintenance or ridiculous, you may not want to date an introvert. It’s totally OK for you to be you!
Remember, finding the right person isn’t about changing someone else, no matter how much you like them, have in common with them or are attracted to them. How you support the way they were made by God is a way you can honor God too.