How Introverts Can Excel at Online Dating

An introvert on an online date

Believe it or not, you can actually enjoy the online dating process as an introvert, as long as you implement the right strategy.

I was never successful in dating. Ever. I was too shy to really talk to guys, let alone date them.  Or I would become friends first, and it would never turn into anything more. I tried online dating, but put in minimal effort because I didn’t think it could work for someone like me. So why am I writing an article about how introverts can be successful in online dating?

Because it can work! Once I started doing things differently, it made no difference that I originally thought this wasn’t something I could do. I actually enjoyed the online dating process (seriously!) — and even met my husband through it. Now that I’m happily married with two kids and a dog (my dream!), I truly believe anyone can do it. But there are a few things you need to keep in mind as an introvert navigating the online dating world.

5 Ways for Introverts to Excel at Online Dating 

1. Develop a strategy that works for you.

The world of online dating can be super overwhelming, especially for introverts. There is so much going on that it can bring on this weird kind of paralysis that prevents you from doing anything. This is where the strategy comes in, because you can think this all up in your head without having to speak with a single person!

When I first started online dating, I had a friend who was going through the same process. She had a strategy — to date as many guys as possible. The numbers game. It definitely worked, and she’s been happily married for a long time now.  

But when I thought about applying that same strategy, just thinking about it made me exhausted! (And introverts are already exhausted a lot from all our overthinking! Did I really want one more thing to (over)think about?!) 

I loved that she had a strategy, but that particular one didn’t work for me. So I had to come up with my own strategy that worked for me. My strategy was more chill, but definitely still worked. I took my friend’s basic idea of a numbers game, but tweaked it. I would contact a lot of guys via the dating app I chose, but I wouldn’t put in too much effort until I knew a little more about the guys. (By the way, you can use multiple apps, but I kept things simple and chose one.)

As an introvert, this was perfect! I could still talk to guys from behind my screen, but they had to be intriguing enough (and non-creepy enough) to be worth that time and energy for a date. (Plus, writing is often easier than speaking for us introverts, and dating apps are perfect for this!)

Whatever you choose as your strategy, the important thing is that it works for you.  Maybe it takes you out of your comfort zone a bit, but it should be doable. It shouldn’t have you feeling drained all the time. If dating feels like an insurmountable feat, you will lose motivation.

2. Dedicate some time to the process.

As much as I loved the online dating process (yes, even as an introvert!), it still wasn’t as simple as sitting around and waiting for guys to contact me, hoping that one would be the perfect Prince Charming. What I learned was that in order for anything to happen, I had to dedicate some time to it.   

I would put in at least a few minutes a day to poke around the app. Often, I would force myself to message “just a few more” interesting-seeming guys. The great part about it was that although it took a little bit of time, it really didn’t take much effort. Once I had my dating app routine down, it was just something I did without having to give it much thought.

Dates did not pour in immediately, so I should note that some patience is definitely required. As long as I knew I was making progress, though, I was fine with it. My goal was not to get married overnight — it was to go through the process and find the right person, not just any person.

3. Talk to, and date, multiple people at once.

I know, I know this sounds awful! Talking to, or dating, multiple people at once was advice that was initially given to me that I threw out the window. 

First of all, it just sounds wrong. I want to marry one guy, not several, so what was the point? Second, as an introvert, the idea made my head spin.

But, eventually, I tried it. And guess what? It worked. Why? Because it gives you confidence in yourself, and confidence is a huge component of online dating.  

Someone might seem awesome online… and then you meet them and they’re a dud. Totally not what you thought. If you had placed all your eggs in this one basket, you’d be crushed. On top of that, you’d be starting all over to find a new person to go out with. Exhausting. (And, as an introvert, I only have so much energy!) 

Now, instead, let’s say you have multiple people you’re talking to, and you run into the dud. Okay, it’s still a downer, but at least now you have someone else (or more than one someone else) as potential. You can look forward to what you will say to them as you simultaneously try to end the dud date as non-awkwardly as possible.  

And the beauty of online dating is that this is acceptable. You’re testing the waters, not moving in together after the first date.

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4. Keep an open mind — while you may have a checklist of everything you want in someone, make sure it’s not set in stone.

I’m not sure whether it was fear, perfectionism, or some combination of both, but when I first started online dating, I didn’t really have an open mind. I was too picky. I found that if someone didn’t check all my boxes, I didn’t even bother to message them. Big mistake. And I would not have met my husband if I’d kept that up! (More on that in a bit.)

But first, this is not to say I messaged every guy on the planet. You should definitely still have expectations for sure. My basic rule was that if he had some of what I wanted, I could let go of other attributes, and at least give him a try. For example, I wanted him to be taller than I am. But if he had an interesting job or was also a runner, I could forget about the desired height.

You may have wonderful dating expectations and a checklist — and, again, expectations are a must — but sometimes people surprise you. If you don’t leave yourself open for that, you could miss out. One of my absolute musts was that I wanted my soulmate to have a college education. When I first looked at my husband’s profile and it said “some college,” I’ll admit that I considered not contacting him.  Clearly, I did, and the rest is history, but you see my point.

5. Be confident in the process (not just in yourself).

This last thought is really the key to it all, but it may be the hardest one to achieve: You need to believe this process will work, and be confident that you are worth it. They go hand-in-hand.

When I first started online dating, I believed neither of these things. So, in hindsight, I’m not surprised that it didn’t work for me. However, as soon as I began to take online dating more seriously, put in more effort, developed a strategy, talked to multiple guys at once, and kept an open mind, the confidence showed up.

I actually liked the process of dating before I even found “the one.” It wasn’t because I loved going out on dates. I didn’t. And this didn’t make me more social. I enjoyed it because I became confident that it could work for me, and that I was on the right track. After that, the success followed! Take it from me: This is how introverts can be successful in online dating. You’ll see.

Are you an introvert who shuts down around the people you’re attracted to?

As an introvert, you actually have the amazing ability to be irresistible, without forcing yourself to talk more. It all starts with recognizing the most common myths about dating and learning a framework for fun, flirty conversations — no extroversion needed. To learn how to connect with your true sensuality, relax, and open up on dates, we recommend Michaela Chung’s online courses for introverted men and introverted women.

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