Dating doesn't have to be agonizing.
So, you’re an introvert and you’re quite nervous about your first date. You’ve met this person online, and they seem to be someone who walked right out of your dreams and now you’re meeting him/her for the first time.
Are you ready to create a dramatic impression on your partner? Oh no! That’s so not your thing? At present, your introverted self is worried about how to get on with it without causing too much pain to yourself (or to your date).
“Why, are you so afraid of them?” people wonder. Well, no. Introverts are not shy or afraid; they’re just operate a little differently. And often they do not find small talk comfortable—the very reason they may a bit nervous about their first date.
The first date is the time you and your date will be out on your own; and you have to, just have to, TALK. No more shielding yourself behind the message inbox. You just have to face up to the challenge of chatting with your partner to make your date a memorable one.
In most cases, introverts are not afraid of talking; they feel uneasy about starting the conversation. They don’t know what to talk about. If your partner can initiate the conversation, well and good. But, what if, he/she too is an introvert? What will you do then? How can you survive this whole dating thing? And without offending anyone (not even you)?
The following tips may help you. While you are advised to use your own creative imagination and intuition to enhance your conversation for the evening, a few tips won’t be harmful at all. So, here we go:
1. Believe in Yourself
You can do it—that is the best thing you can say to yourself when you feel uncomfortable or lack confidence about hitting it off. Your date is just another person who happens to be a little more talkative than you. You are no less amazing or interesting or worthy.
Although it may be true that you are unskilled at talking about the weather or the people around you, there are things you can talk about (at length!) which are going to blow your partner’s mind.
For example, the news article you read last week on technological advancements, or God particles, or even the birth of the universe. You can talk about Stephen Hawking or Bob Marley or even Karl Marx and his sense of equity of all men—anything you wish.
The bottom line is, you CAN talk. So, if your date happens to be an intelligible person, have no fear, you will be appreciated for your knowledge.
2. Dress for the Occasion
Dressing in something you feel comfortable and good in is the easiest way to build up your confidence. It matters (and you know it does).
Choose a piece of clothing you feel particularly connected to; when we wear things that make us feel good, it shows in our mannerisms. Plus, if the item happens to be an interesting or unique piece (a vintage necklace, a designer suit, an amazing hat) you have a built-in conversation starter (if your date appreciates your tastes.
Example: Let’s assume Jeffrey is an introvert and is not good at starting conversations. Sandra is his extroverted date who loves to talk. Upon meeting Jeffrey, she notices his beautiful suit and exclaims, “Is that Tom Ford you are wearing? I did an internship with Tom Ford when I graduated from fashion school!” And poof! There vanishes the initial discomfort into the dust, opening the doors for a serendipitous (and stress-free) conversation.
3. Make Mental Notes of Potential Topics
When you are an introvert, preparing yourself for a date isn’t that tough if you know what you want to talk about. Ponder on the previous conversations you had with your date (if this is a second or third date) or conversations you felt confident and positive about on other dates. Try to think what ‘clicked’ instantly between you and your date.
Pursuing these same kind of conversations will get dispel your uneasiness quickly; giving you the confidence to branch out into other areas of conversation.
4. Neither Expect, nor Anticipate
Sometimes expectations ruin excitement; other times, it leaves you totally disappointed and heartbroken. Being an introvert, you need to be cautious about what you expect from your partner—because if anything goes wrong, it will, quite possibly, remain with you for days, thus affecting your mental health.
Hopes for how a date will turn out are fun, but only if you can remain unattached to the outcome—and that can be a bit difficult for an introvert. So, it is best to keep your expectations in check if you wish to have a good first date. Why not discover the mysteries instead of making preconceptions about everything?
5. Talk Freely & Without Over-Thinking
C’mon, now! If you partner is an intelligent person, he/she will want you to talk freely. If you are constantly worried about what you are going to say and what that will tell about you, try to keep one thing in mind: You have come to spend quality time with a person you like and who likes you too; that is the reason he/she is here in the first place.
Don’t think so much before talking. They already know enough about you to have their interest piqued, so allow the conversation to help you open up a little more. Keep exploring subjects of interest, reading your date for their level of interest.
If you fear you’re losing their attention, turn the conversation to them. Showing an interest in your date by asking questions about their life is a sure-fire way to keep the dialogue rolling in a positive direction.
6. Be Tender & Be Considerate
No matter if you are male or female—introvert or not—bring your manners along with you. Common courtesy goes a long way.
Gentlemen, pull out chairs if it feels appropriate. Be polite to the waitstaff (or any other employee you may encounter while on your date). Make eye contact, allowing kindness to radiate from your gaze. Say “thank you for a wonderful evening” when the night draws to a close. It’s the little things that tend to accumulate on a date—a culmination of small gestures and kind words—that leave you (and your partner) with the impression of a date being a positive one.
An introvert is not shy, just a little different than their extroverted counterparts. The good news? Introverts can be incredible lovers, passionate artists, and a great human beings if touched by the right magic wand at the right time. And, you—out of everyone else—should know that about yourself.
So, go for it. You might find unyielding love and adventure if you are confident enough to face the world.
This article was originally published at MeetMindful. Reprinted with permission from the author.