You’ve been pretty productive lately. You finally found a gym that doesn’t prosecute members for failing to wipe down the machines. Your team of 20 crack lawyers figured out the best data plan for you. And after a lifetime of wondering if you suffer from Square Peg in Round Hole syndrome, you discovered you’re simply an introvert.
Now it’s time to find someone with whom to share your wonderful, solitary life.
Chances are your dating status falls under one of the following categories:
- You’ve never been in a long-term relationship — excluding your life-long affair with “The X-Files.”
- You’ve had one date in your life from which you’re still recuperating.
- You’ve never been on a date, although you’ve convinced your parents you have a husband and five kids.
Relationships can be overwhelming under normal circumstances. They’re even more daunting when the most intimate relationship you’ve had is with the sultry voice in your head who always whispers, “The hell with karaoke, let’s go home and read a book.”
You probably won’t meet Mr./Ms. Right on your first encounter, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your eggplant parmesan while your blind date talks non-stop about her fallen arches. Then it’s on to the next candidate.
Before posting on Tinder a photo of your trembling face feigning confidence, take a deep breath, relax and read the following tips:
- Don’t panic. You are embarking on a new phase of your life that will bring happiness and fulfillment with, hopefully, not too many noticeable perspiration stains. It’s not unusual to be nervous when you start dating. It may take some time, but eventually nervousness will be the last thing you’ll be thinking about as you head out to meet your 250th “sure thing.”
- Think about the kind of person you’d like to meet. Aside from someone who “gets you” and won’t mind your month-long silent periods, what else appeals to you? Given that you may be anxious to meet anyone at the moment, it’s important to have some minimum requirements. Should he be tall and brooding? If so, must he be able to dunk a basketball? Should she have a pleasant resting bitch face? If so, is a complete set of teeth mandatory?
- Don’t worry about rejection. Most people you’ll meet are dealing with the same fears and insecurities. However, unlike most extroverts who, after a bad date, must go home to a lonely, empty apartment, you get to go home to a GREAT, empty apartment.
- Don’t think, “No one will want to meet a weirdo like me.” Dating will introduce you to some of the most unusual creatures ever to walk on two legs. You’ll leave many encounters thinking, “At least I know the difference between a fork and knife.”
- Be yourself. You are a wonderful person with much to offer, including the ability to quietly listen to your date talk endlessly without changing your facial expression or losing consciousness (most of the time). Aside from perhaps a few personal hygiene issues and some outstanding felony warrants, you are perfect the way you are.
- Don’t wait for people to come to you. Introverts tend to let others to make the first move. This greatly decreases your dating pool. You don’t have to become overly or even normally social, but at the very least it doesn’t hurt to hit on your mail carrier or that nice woman next door with all the cats.
- Be up-front about your introversion. Ideally, you’d like to meet another introvert or an extrovert who enjoys and appreciates introverts – unless, of course, you’re seeking someone who is turned on by passive aggressive phone sex. Why date a person who, after meeting you, calls 911 to report an unresponsive body when you can meet someone who is turned on by an unresponsive body?
- It will get easier. You’re using dating muscles that have rarely or never been exercised. It takes most seasoned daters at least 10 times to comfortably say, “You don’t look anything like the photo in your personal ad.” It may take you a little longer. but in eventually you’ll be asking your latest encounter, “Aren’t we related?” without batting eye.