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Relationships

Online Dating Guide for Introverts!

Online dating for introverts. It can’t be so bad can it? Well..

The dating struggle for introverts is as real as anything can get— to go out and drain their energy socializing thousands of strangers just to find a potential partner seems too demanding and exhausting. It’s not a surprise that ‘online dating’ serves a platter of beautifully tucked flowers and a fresh breeze for us. 

To every introvert out there, “Yes, you absolutely can find the love of your life via online dating, and it does work!”

girl swiping right on a guy in a dating app

Take a guess,

  • What’s better, you squeezing your way through crowded parties that are mentally scarring (literally) and probably ending up with a doodle duck dumbo for a drink?
  • Or, you have the golden freedom to sit in the comfort of your home with a tea at hand and a thousand books backing you up.

Probably, the latter, right? I know, it’s still scary. The mere thought of texting someone online willingly and initiating a conversation all by yourself is spine-chilling, but some things are worth the risk. Risks are fun, they add adrenaline into your system, and honestly, you deserve that kick! 

“There are no risks, only adventures; introvert or otherwise.”

While it may seem intimidating, online dating has its own charm. Huddle up in your pajamas, get cozy in your blankets, and scroll through beyond the limits.

Why Online Dating May Seem Daunting To Introverts?

It’s a common perception and highly misconceived one that introverts are bad at dating. The unwillingness to not communicate and socialize all the time doesn’t equate to being bad at loving someone— it’s a choice they make for themselves and not a forced protocol. 

Over time, the altered definition of introverted people has instilled introverts into believing that they may not be the best choice in the crowd. However, I would say introverts are enclosed mysteries— they withhold secrets and escapades. They cherish boundaries and only allow a few to touch what lies beneath. 

Constantly plagued with “how to initiate the conversation?” Or, “What to say in your profile bio?” The dilemma doesn’t end there! It never does; instead, we continue to create issues after issues.

  • What profile picture should I upload on my social media? 
  • Will it be weird to add my “introverted hobbies” in the bio? 
  • Is proper grammar still a thing? Or should I opt for a layman’s language? 
  • How to sound cool on online dating apps?
  • Should I text first, or should I wait for them to do so? 
  • How to know if they are interested?
  • How to hide my weird introverted ass through conversation? 
  • Is it alright to talk about anything while dating, or does it need to be strictly flirtatious? 
  • What do people talk about on dates anyway? 
  • Will they like me?
  • Will I be able to impress them at all?
  • How to make a first good impression?
  • What will I do when I first meet them? 

How to cope with online dating horrors? 

The need to create and behave like a generic “know it all” and “a perfect date” will ruin your actual persona. The truth is, you don’t need to pretend to be something you are not. 

“If you are an introvert, own it.” Trust me, it is nerve-racking for us, too, as extroverts! Extroverts are not immune to nervousness and anxiety either. They stumble, stutter, get confused, lose depth over time, and find it hard to keep the conversation going. The least you know is that you are not alone. 

If you are nervous, so will the person you meet on the first date, somewhere deep within. Nervousness adds charm, weirdness, and mishaps in the event— something to mesmerize later. 

couple reading books together

So, before you pull yourself into the misery of “I’m not good at it” or “not made for it”— Here’s a little hello! 

  • It isn’t rocket science to select your first message— A simple “hi” would do. For me, I want to be as weird as the conversation starts and see if the person can take it. So, I throw the most bizarre questions at them. For instance, “what if Aliens do come to earth and invade— would you start an illicit romance with them?” I believe a fun person would simply play along! You should go for the fun one. 
  • Perhaps, they will sense how awkward/nervous you are in the initial text. Honestly, people who don’t judge would find awkward dates cute or even relish the nerve-racking similarities you both share. 
  • A conversation starter doesn’t need to be “perfect.” It needs to be honest. You don’t need to search for 1000 conversation starters before texting. I mean, it’s not bad when you are new in tha game, but never overdo it and cause havoc in your brain. 
  • Be yourself— There’s no other rule, language, or tactic behind online dating or initiating conversations, in general. Of course, add suggestive flirting, sexuality, sensuality, and intelligence in conversation— that sort of thing sparks colorful and seductive romance. 
  • So, go ahead and be as introverted in your bio as you’d like. Add your weirdness, interests, and introvert charms in your bio. 
  • Don’t play games. If you like them, text them. It can be as simple as ‘Hi’ or ‘I’m not good at being an extrovert, would a ‘hi’ do?

1. Download the app and create your profile. 

“Why be someone else, when you can very well be your own self?”

Choose the profile picture that you love the most:

If you’d sulk on choosing the perfect profile that everyone would fall in love with, you will never meet an end, and the mere thought will exhaust you down. 

The truth is, not everybody would like your profile, but it’s also true that not everybody has to like it. So, instead, choose a profile picture that you appreciate the most and are comfortable in. 

girl traveling being happy as she can be

I highly suggest choosing a picture of yourself rather than your cat/dog/books, etc. Your potential partners would very much like to know what you look like— physical attraction plays a significant role in the whole concept of dating, and in fact— it starts 80% of connections. 

If you don’t have a good photo— you can always click one for yourself. I personally love photos with retro aesthetics, film appearance, and poses that show off what you are wearing. Fashion is something I always stand by! 

Profile Biography

“Paint your story.”

The catch is that you don’t actually have to write an essay in your profile bio— the more the mystery, the more the fun! It leaves one to wonder what an enigma you are and what lies beneath. So, be subtle, but be yourself. 

“The truth is, words, or even essays cannot summarize us— we are complex creatures and cannot be defined by simple words.” However, what you can do is— define what drives you, inspires you, makes you happy, and loads of stutters like that. 

You can choose it to be fun, direct, sarcastic, simple, a quote, pick up lines— it can be anything, literally. I’m more likely to swipe someone up with a bio that says, “I’ll steal your dogs; sue me.” Or, “Bite me, Brittany! No literally, bite me— I’m into that kink.” 

Quirky Introvert online dating bios

  • “I’m an introvert— I may not dance with you at parties; but my gaze will linger on you all night long— my eyes will dance with you. What can I say, I’m awkwardly smoldering and poetic.”
  • “Can’t offer you booze at loud parties, but, books on a rainy day? Yes, definitely, yes!”
  • “I must warn you, I’ll be awkward initially— Give me some time, I’m sensitive.”
  • “Talking about Philosophy, psychology, and poetry. What can I say, I’m an intelligent human.”
  • “I’d love to cook for our home dates, but the question is, would you do the dishes at the end?” If so, I love you! 
  • “Chandler says, ‘I’m not great at giving advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?’ Honestly, Touche.”
  • “Sometimes, I fret being a nerd than I remember, I’m more intelligent than all you peasants.”
  • “I’m not a talker. I’ll probably try to win you over with my broad smile and evil gaze. That smile is flawless, baby. It may look creepy, but hey, if you squint— you will find the charm behind.” 
  • “No, I’m not good at small talk. Let’s talk about ‘How to start a cult.’ I’m good at that shit.”
  • “Offering you awkward silence, smiles, little skinship, loads of books, and introversion. I’m a giving person.”

Quirky, brainy, stupid— everything sells as long as it best defines you. 

Surf and see what tempts you.

Sometimes, we fail to get it all together despite the endless directory. No photo of yours appeals to you, and no description may interest you enough. 

At times like these, chant— “Fuck it all” or “It is what it is” and ship the sail.

On the brighter side, look at what others tell about themselves in their bio and see what appeals to you. Is it grammar, sarcasm, unconventional description, or generic information? Depending upon what you like— create something similar. 

reading a book by the widow while its raining

As for photos, I know it can get tricky for introverts to pose for pictures. If you are uncomfortable with others clicking it for you— click for yourself. 

Choose the location, set the timer, and let it roll. Props help us a great deal— have a mug/book/clutch/hat in your hands to get comfortable. 

I often get uncomfortable when others photograph me. So, I prefer the solitude of my room and plan a solo shoot just for fun. This fun photo shoot can frankly offer you some excellent clicks. 

The second thing to remember while clicking photos is not to judge them for hours. When you look at it long enough, you will start to despise it. So, don’t ponder a lot. If you like it— upload it instantly. 

2. Don’t stop hunting

Don’t stop at a single text or a single person. NO, text and communicate with everyone who grabs your attention. That’s how dating apps work. Things may or may not work out— the first person may not be the love of your life, and that’s normal. 

So, go ahead and meet new people, see who’s personality interests you the most. 

Communicate enthusiastically

If you don’t like someone, politely reject them. However, if you are attracted to an individual— show your interest and vocalize it. They may be dying to hear it from you to make a move. Don’t play mind games that will confuse someone who may genuinely like you! Be direct about your feelings; hiding them won’t bring you any good! 

I always preach it to people “speak, tell, listen, communicate” because it’s necessary. Nobody would know if you don’t tell them. So, be honest— If they like you, they would love to meet you.

Keep your options open.

“They don’t have to be introverts.” People often try to find someone similar to their own personality and will completely disregard people with different personality traits. 

As an introvert, you’d try to find an introvert as well. While it’s not wrong, it stops you from finding a good person— it constricts your radar. For all you know, your soulmate might be an extrovert with the craziest and loudest life. Believe in the theory— opposites do attract!

“They don’t have to be your split copy.” Relationships with independent and indifferent partners survive beautifully through acceptance, understanding, and exploration! 

Don’t hold back if you think, ‘this is the person I’d like to meet.’ Ask them out! 

3. Initiate conversation

Initiating a brand new conversation will make your introvert sweat inside out, to an extent where you’d love to throw your phone in the corner and choose to remain single forever. 

I’d urge you to simply start— what’s there to lose? On the brighter side, there are limitless options for you to text! You may not believe this, but people on ‘online dating’ apps are there to meet new people, and they will be more than willing to reply to you. 

Again, it can be a simple ‘hi’ or something along the line— of “Wow, you smile brightly in that picture.” Complimenting is a language of love— it can brighten someone’s day and bring a smile to their face. So, why stop? 

Once the ice breaks and conversation hits a success— you are set to building a connection. Introverts are good at keeping the conversation alive! 

girl laying down on the coach smiling while she's texting

I have been there myself; it’s quite literally a beautiful pause. Nights come by, but those conversations continue to brighten your days— There’s mischief, witty interaction, teasing, flirting, laughing, smiling, and goofing around. 

The subtle dopamine surge every time you receive a message from your connection is wrecking. Of course, in a good way. 

There are butterflies and smiles lingering all day long. Please note that not every person you connect with will give you butterflies— some would seem too bland or repulsive for your personality, and that’s fine.

That’s why we have online dating apps— to see if we really like this individual before meeting them in person. 

Don’t get stuck

Now, as beautiful as this pause is, it can lock you down in the same cycle of texting and texting back. You must not forget the objective of talking over online dating apps is to meet your interest in-person and build a connection. It’s necessary to set a date enthusiastically if you want to continue this new flourishing situationship. 

Please don’t wait for them to make a move; take the rein

If you think it’s time, go for it. It’s simple— 

  • I’d love to meet you; let’s get coffee.
  • Meet me at the bookstore, 
  • Let’s have dinner, 
  • Let’s go to the beach, 
  • Let’s go to the play zone or whatever interests you and your date. 

If they say yes:

Decide what you’d like on your first date, if not a boring dinner— try something unconventional. It doesn’t always have to be coffee. 

If they say no:

Please respect their decision and truthfulness, but don’t be disheartened. There will be several rejections; it’s normal. Trust me, we all face turndowns, introverts or not. 

Continue exploring

If they say no, move on to finding someone else— someone who’d love to date you. Don’t just go on a single date with a single person. Instead, meet as many people who interest you and are willing to know you. 

Don’t keep them hanging.

If you are not interested in someone, be clear and very direct. Reject them and don’t waste their time. 

Don’t judge

We are readily judging and readily scared of being judged. Judging wouldn’t allow you to reach out to the person in depth. Introverts are prone to judging people, especially if the person is an extrovert. So, stop yourself. Be open and understanding. 

4. Follow healthy communication

  • Don’t overread the situation.  

The hyperventilation is quite honest. Waiting for a single reply back will have you throwing your phone away in the air and rechecking it every second. Late responses will worsen the situation even more. Don’t wait and continue your life as it is. 

They will reply as soon as they have the time to— there’s no reason to think otherwise. Their late replies aren’t an indication of their ‘lack of interest,’ they simply might be busy! So, allow them the time to come back to you. 

Remind yourself that there’s nothing wrong with sending a second or third text, and you don’t sound clingy when you text first.

  • Show Interest in their life, listen and share

If you are interested in that person, make sure they are aware. Show interest in knowing them, talk about things that matter to you, and talk about things that matter to them. 

Communication cannot go a single route— it cannot only be speaking or only listening; it should be a mix of both. They shouldn’t be the only person to initiate conversation. 

You should talk as much as you’d like and listen carefully to what they have to say in return— Not as a gesture but as an honest curiosity. 

5. Go on the date

Add some drum rolls to your already nerve-wracking situation. You want to go because you genuinely like this person, but you also don’t want to go outside because you are an introvert. 

couple laying down while watching the iPad

As an introvert, you’d have countless thoughts of canceling that very date or worse— ghosting your date without any messages ahead.

Resist the urge and step out of that comfort zone. Decide a less crowded and airy venue— perhaps a beach or a less popular/underrated restaurant to calm your nerves. 

Embrace your introverted personality

Remind yourself that being an introvert is not a negative trait. It doesn’t make you bad at dating or at being fun!

Don’t self-sabotage your personality— you never know how much your current date will enjoy with you! They might be waiting for someone just like you, for all we know. Also, remember, the definition of fun is not always thrashing yourself into parties. Fun also comes with traveling, hiking, playing games, reading books, and being mischievous in your own silent world. 

guy reading in nature

I live with an introvert, and he makes my life 100% more vibrant, fun, and lively! 

Introverts are often misunderstood— considered timid, less confident, and awkward. Their personality, however, is an entirely different truth. Introversion is a personality type where,

  • Individuals prefer deep communication with their significant human/pets rather than small talk with random strangers. 
  • They believe in analyzing the situation before concluding an impulsive decision.
  • They embrace solitude and enjoy spending time with themselves—shoutout to self-love. 
  • They enjoy books, coffee, and the comfort of their duvet. 
  • They enjoy brainstorming and are very creative with their interests. 
  • They source their journey within them and not from the outside world. 
  • Introverts equally enjoy dancing, watching people dance, singing, traveling, running, and screaming. 
  • Their vivid imagination will chill and excite you at the same time. 
  • Like any other human, introverts are beautiful, complex, and a great company! 

So, don’t sabotage your own personality. Instead, embrace it. Open to your date, and if they like you— they would love you after knowing the real you! 

Don’t hyperventilate about your dress, makeup, and the first date. 

  • Throwing clothes out of the closet to have the perfect dress and then disgusting over it? CHECK!
  • Constantly practicing the lines you have decided to say to your date and beating yourself miserably over it? CHECK! 
  • Rechecking for their cancellation? CHECK!
  • Practicing how to look less intimidating? CHECK!

Trust me, extroverts do it, too. In fact, I think they do it more than you’d ever know! So, breath— you look beautiful in that hairdo, dress, and makeup! Your date would love to have you as an acquaintance.

  • Wear something that you are comfortable with and something that makes you feel beautiful. Uncomfortable clothes will distract you from the communication and throw you into a pit of anxiety. Be comfortable in your skin! 
  • Wear light or heavy makeup— whatever makes you feel pretty. There’s no rule for that, just your own comfort. 

To calm your nerves— take time off the mobile phone and stop checking your date’s text every now and then. To avoid overthinking, go out in a park or a quaint location and feel nature around you. 

When it’s time, chant— ‘fuck it all’ and ‘whatever happens, happens.’

6. What to do on dates

There’s not a single generic or universal formula for it— different people, different ideas. I believe that being true to yourself and being your authentic self sails the boat— authenticity attracts people closer. 

  • Smile
  • Compliment
  • Listen
  • Try to make eye contact but don’t forget the art behind averting the gaze. 
  • Be flirtatious. 
  • Be open
  • Don’t hesitate to ask and speak.
  • Raise genuine questions and curiosity. 
  • Breathe. 
  • Walk together.
  • Be passionate about what you speak and don’t make them feel dull. 
  • Be enthusiastic. 
  • Make them feel special if you find the connection to be honest. 

7. A BIGGER question— the second date

You are probably stuffing your face into a pillow and screaming at yourself for every misstep, awkward stutter, and hourless banter. You’d also probably judge yourself for talking too much or too little. 

girl contemplating her life with a chocker necklace

Mistakes are good, and so is chaos. If you caused a mess during your date— I would date you! I love chaos. Similarly, some people find messy and awkward situations endearing and cute. To me, as long as you are authentic, you are perfect! 

However, our overthinking may make us believe that we are awful; believe me, the truth is far from what you are currently perceiving! Your date might have actually liked spending time with you, for all we know! 

Are you waiting for them to text you for a second date? The unavailability of their text will make you paranoid. It literally will— 

  • you will check the chat box constantly, 
  • throw your phone, 
  • consider yourself to be a lousy dating person, 
  • You may as well believe that the date didn’t go as well as you wished for it to go. 
  • The lack of text will make you think they don’t like you back or that you are not good enough. 

We always forget that our date might be going through the same set of emotions. They might be waiting for us to text back; to validate the second date. Our insecurities blur common sense and make us lose touch with reality. We are ready to sabotage because it feeds our insecurities. 

Even if they are the most outgoing people you know— they go through the same set of fears; they are not immune to it either. 

If you liked the date— be the bigger person and ask them out for the second date! 

As said, not every date is going to be a success. If they reject you, respect their decision but don’t devalue yourself. Their opinion doesn’t decide your value; nobody decides your value but yourself. So, be worthy in your own eyes, and the world will adjust. 

8. A failed date doesn’t mean it’s the end.

It’s the only start! Not every date will succeed, and it is a good thing. You don’t want to end up with someone who isn’t the right choice for you! 

Their rejection doesn’t define you either. It’s nothing to do with you and everything to do with themselves: different people, different opinions.

Trust me; you are not alone. People date several times (probably a hundred or more) before they stumble on the perfect one. If your date didn’t work out— it’s probably preparing you for something bigger and better. 

Learn from your dates

Failed dates are a great way to learn ‘how to date’ and what things you can change for the better. It can help you improve your dating qualities as well. So, take rejection as a positive redirect. 

Don’t stress too much about the mess you made

It’s alright if you embarrass yourself and your date throughout the night— you can always learn and get better. So, don’t stress about it! Laugh it out! We are flawed, ready to make mistakes— that’s what makes us human. So, don’t beat yourself up over it. Learn and move on— that’s how life works! 

Go down the fun Road.

guy and girl talking next to each other while holding a beer

If your first, fifth, or 10th date didn’t work out, get ready for the next one. It takes time, and time ages like wine. So, be patient. While you are at it,

  • Constantly update your profile— change photos and add mischief.
  • Through time, you will gain confidence and boldness about online dating. 
  • Text and meet— may as well find great friends to be with. It’s a by-product, and we aren’t complaining. 

Wrapping it up

Dating and relationships are beautiful phases of life— the raw emotions you go through are precious and different. You will get butterflies but you may also get your heart broken— but it never ends there. It’s a beautiful cycle of laughter and tears— one that I would never want anyone to skip and share. 

So be open when you love, let there be dark rainy days, bright sunday mornings, and even darker nights— dating is beautiful with or without seasons, it’s poetic. Go for online dating if you detest crowds and upfront socialization; it’s worth the catch!

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by Genesis Gutierrez

Genesis is the founder of Harness Magazine, a digital media company that celebrates and elevates the voices of women around the world. A first-generation college graduate, Genesis holds a degree in from UCLA with hopes of going back for a Masters in Social Work.

Through her work as an editor-in-chief of Harness, Genesis has dedicated herself to amplifying the stories of women specifically marginalized communities. She is committed to creating space for those who are often left out of mainstream conversations, and believes that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for building community and sparking social change.


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