Back when I first started looking for love, I noticed that one of my extroverted friends had a very different style than I did when it came to dating. He enjoyed staying out late at bars and clubs, and he was not shy at all about broaching sexual topics with women he had just met.
That’s not me at all. I’m introverted, reserved, and gentle. I believe that it’s more respectful to wait at least a little while before becoming physically intimate with someone. However, after watching my friend have several successful romantic encounters, I started to worry that I had to be more like him if I wanted to find love. Was his extroverted personality more suitable for dating? Was my introverted personality a curse on my love life?
Turns out, being an introvert is not a curse at all. Introverts have their own unique advantages when it comes to love. Here are six reasons it can be better to date an introvert.
1. Introverts cultivate deep, meaningful relationships.
Introverts prefer to connect deeply with a chosen few people rather than maintain surface-level relationships with many acquaintances. We tend to be polite and sincere, and this helps us make meaningful connections. The extrovert I mentioned earlier has an address book filled with women’s phone numbers. He’s had a lot of hookups and short-term flings. On the other hand, I take my time when getting to know someone romantically. Even though he’s gone out with more women than me, ultimately, my relationships last longer.
2. We tend to listen well and be perceptive of others.
Our powerful ability to listen helps our significant other feel heard. We notice small things, such as what our partner likes, how they’re feeling, and which kinds of gestures mean the most to them. We understand what makes them tick, and we’re naturally good at stepping into their shoes and seeing things from their point of view. Because of this, it’s easy for us to make our partner feel loved in the ways that mean the most to them.
3. We build strong emotional connections.
We tend to stay away from shallow small talk and impersonal banter about the weather. Instead, many introverts enjoy discussing more meaningful topics such as what gets us out of bed in the morning, our thoughts on the latest Game of Thrones episode, or whether Team Iron Man or Team Captain America should have won. We share our hopes and dreams, and we’re good at getting our significant other to do the same. We’re naturally good at making the conversation more personal and creating emotional intimacy.
4. We tend to be calm during conflict.
Introverts generally know how to keep their cool, which can be an incredible gift in the midst of conflict. In Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain recalls her experience as a Wall Street lawyer representing a client who had trouble repaying a loan and was hoping to negotiate new terms against nine angry bankers and their lawyer. Describing herself in the third person, Cain writes, “She rarely spoke without thinking. Being mild-mannered, she could take strong, even aggressive, positions while coming across as perfectly reasonable.” Instead of trying to be louder or more dominant than her opposition, she remained calm in the meeting, which helped reduce the tension in the room and ultimately won her the day.
5. We’re often deliberate and reflective.
Because many of us were teased or bullied about our quiet ways growing up, we know just how hurtful words can be. We understand that they can leave deep, invisible cuts that may never heal completely. And, the wrong thing said in the heat of the moment can never be taken back. Introverts tend to be less impulsive in this regard.
As Cain explains in Quiet, Professor Kagan of the Laboratory for Child Development at Harvard observed that a group of five hundred infants could be divided into two groups, “high-reactive” and “low-reactive,” based on their reaction to stimuli such as recorded voices or balloons popping. The high-reactive children — that is, the ones who reacted more when surrounded by other people and loud noises — would turn out to be introverts. Kagan observed that these children tended to spend more time considering all the alternatives when presented with a choice and therefore made less impulsive decisions.
6. Introverts understand and accept people for who they are.
Introverts live in an extroverted world, so we know what it’s like to have to play a role. Often, we have to put on a mask and act more extroverted than we really are in order to fit in. We understand what it’s like to be misunderstood, so in turn, we often offer understanding and acceptance to the people in our lives.
For us, a Friday night spent watching Netflix in our pajamas is an awesome night. Small talk is a form of torture. A rainy afternoon spent indoors is just as beautiful as a sunny day spent outdoors. And our favorite thing about partying is being able to go home afterwards!
When we find someone who understands and appreciates us for who we are, we cherish those people, whether they are a peace-loving introvert or rowdy extrovert.
For all you introverted gentlemen out there, check out my blog, www.quietlyromantic.com, for more dating advice.
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Learn more: The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World, by Jenn Granneman