Most people resist being labeled as introverts, and if they do admit it they usually confess it sheepishly as though they are coming clean about their sins.
Like it or not, we live in an extroverted world. While the label “extrovert” is usually associated with words like fun, outgoing, and expressive, the label “introvert” is sadly often associated with words like boring, reserved, and quiet.
Is it any wonder why introverts try to reject this part of themselves as long as possible? But here’s the thing, when it comes to relationships it’s never a good idea to pretend you are someone that you are not. If you do get someone to like you by acting more extroverted, you will either have to keep this lie going which will totally exhaust you or you will lose steam and the person will feel duped once you show them your true introverted side.
If you are introverted and would like to be in a relationship, it can be easy to see your personality type as a roadblock you need to overcome. I don’t think it needs to be like that. Introverts are different than extroverts, but we are not better or worse. We just have to learn how to use our strengths to our advantage.
So if you are an introvert and would like to get into a relationship, here are 3 tips that might help you.
Embrace the Good Labels and Reject the Bad
As I’ve said, “introvert” has become a dirty word to some people.
Being introvert myself, it freed me to embrace my God-given personality when I realized what I really am compared to what the false labels try to pigeonhole me to be. When you admit to others you are an introvert, they usually assume you mean you are shy, socially awkward, don’t like people, and would prefer books to human interaction.
If that’s true of you, those are qualities not synonymous with your introvertedness. The difference between introverts and extroverts primarily lies with how we receive energy. I am not a socially awkward person, I can preach a sermon in front of a large crowd, and I enjoy having great conversations. However, after I get done doing these type of activities I am exhausted and need to reenergize at home. An extrovert would be energized after these scenarios.
It’s important to distinguish the difference between what you “enjoy” and what “energizes” you. If you get tired after socializing, don’t feel guilty about this. Just know you need to energize again. When you learn how to take care of yourself, you won’t feel so threatened by social activities, which of course are an important opportunity to meet new people.
Look to Date a Friend
Introverts usually find it easier to have long and enjoyable social interactions with someone they already have a preexisting relationship with. All humans tend to gravitate towards those environments which fill us rather than drain us, so although some introverts might enjoy meeting new people, most of us find it more natural to stick with the friends we already have.
This can be a negative in dating because statistically you will be limiting your chances of meeting someone you want to date and who wants to date you back. The more people you meet, the more chances you will have to make a romantic connection.
While the above logic is true, it’s also true that friendship can be one of the best doorways into romance. As an introvert, you are probably more likely to build strong connections with a smaller amount of people rather than less strong relationships with more people. You can use this to your advantage.
Is there a friend of the opposite sex that you really enjoy hanging out with? If you enjoy him or her, they probably enjoy you too. I understand the hesitation in taking a friendship to the next level. Once you express interest in that way it really will change the relationship. If you start dating but it doesn’t work out, it’s unlikely the friendship will go back to the way it was.
So it really is a risk to start dating a friend. But here’s the thing, guy and girl friendships are not built to last anyway. Eventually one of you is going to start dating someone and will eventually get married and have kids. Do you really think your friendship will be the same then? I don’t think my wife and kids would like it if I said, “See you in a few hours, I’m going to the movies with my best friend April.”
I’m not saying you for sure should date your friend, but I think you should at least pray about it and consider it. My wife and I were great friends before we started dating. We are still great friends. While romance might change the relationship if it doesn’t work out, it won’t change your friendship if it does work out. You can still be awesome friends with your significant other. Who wouldn’t want that?
Start Serving with Other People
I’m not saying you should go on a mission’s trip to find a spouse, but I actually did meet my wife on a mission’s trip.
I know my experience is not what God will do for everyone, but I also know lots of people who have met their spouse while serving at church, while volunteering to help those in need, or by going on a mission’s trip. It makes sense because when you start serving with other people, you are naturally going to cultivate the ingredients that typically are present when a relationship starts.
When you begin helping a certain cause that you are passionate about, you will certainly meet other people who are passionate about that same cause. Additionally, as introverts it can be hard to engage in the small talk that is often necessary to get a friendship off the ground. It’s easier to have the necessary superficial conversations to start a friendship when you are doing something together. Trying to keep a conversation going with someone as you stare across the table while you both sip coffee isn’t nearly as easy as chatting while painting a house, organizing canned goods, or helping kids have some fun at a summer camp.
You don’t need to feel guilty about this tactic either. Serving other people and keeping your eyes open for someone you want to start a godly relationship with are both noble tasks. God loves service and he loves relationships. You can have a pure motive as you serve others because you are doing this for God. And if there are other people there who also love God and you enjoy being around – bonus.