I don’t often share my dating experiences on my blog because I’ve been out of the game for a while now. But that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten all the dating mistakes I’ve made.
Like a true introvert, I’ve replayed those scenes in my head. Kind of like the “Expectations vs Reality” scenes in 500 Days of Summer–except my mind remembers them a lot more awkward and less aesthetically pleasing.
Hopefully, you can relate or at least relish in the fact that you’re not me (:
1. Hanging onto words and ignoring the actions of the person you’re dating
Introverts are lovers of words. They don’t enjoy speaking them as extroverts do, but they do love reading & understanding meanings.
Of course, this translated into me obsessing over texts and small things said by the person I was dating. I ignored all t
- Not introducing me to their friends
- Flirting with other people at school or on social media
- Constantly making excuses
- Avoiding commitment
Instead, I would value their words over actions. “But he told me he loves me” or “If he didn’t care about me, he wouldn’t have texted me this.”
The truth of the matter is–not everyone values words as much as introverts. We all know that words AND actions are needed to grow a relationship, but sometimes we forget this key fact in the midst of falling in love. Unfortunately, reading between the lines is just not sustainable when it comes to dating.
- Related post: How to Not Be A Pushover: A Guide for Introverts
2. Thinking an extrovert likes you just because they like talking to you
Do you know how many baristas I thought were interested in me? Too many–simply because they continued to talk to me after I ordered. Of course, that was when I was in the dating mindset and developing crushes left and right.
Then I got into a long-distance relationship and stopped caring about how I looked or acted in public, especially when getting coffee before an 8 AM exam.
Without my willingness to flirt, look half-decent, or even try to strike up a conversation, I noticed their attention & continuous small talk didn’t stop. I realized that some people just really like talking. Trust me, I’m not “love at first sight” material when I’m up at 7 AM, studying for an exam–they just like talking.
3. Expressing feelings only over texts with the person you’re dating
It is so much easier to be bold while texting the person you’re dating. The problem was that I never followed through on the phone or in person. I’m not talking about texts saying “I miss you” or “I wish you were here”–that came easy for me to say on the phone, as an INFJ falling in love. I’m talking about texts addressing my needs, like, “I need you to put more effort into this relationship” or “When are we taking the next step?”
I would send those texts, get their attention, and they’d know what I wanted to hear. They’d text back, “I’ll change”, “Let me take you out with my friends this weekend”, or “Let’s talk about it in person”.
Then when I was with them, I’d be so focused on their needs and put mine on the back burner. I was scared I’d ruin the moment or push them away. Now I know that I just extended the inevitable. A person that’s easily spooked is obviously not ready for a relationship anyway.
- Related post: How to Build Lasting Friendships As An Introvert
4. Never knowing how to end the date
I never was the first to end a date just like I never knew how to leave a party. My strong desire to be a hermit was something I was ashamed of, so I let each date go on even when I wasn’t into it.
This became a real problem when my date was a nightmare–I didn’t have an escape plan, and I’m not the best at impromptu lying. So… I just waited it out and wasted both of our time (with a lot of awkward silences and weather talk).
Whether or not I was enjoying the date, I should’ve been confident enough to retreat to solitude when I wanted. No point in hiding such an integral part of your personality, especially with someone you’re considering having a relationship with.
5. Projecting fantasies onto present reality
Let’s face it. Introverts live inside their heads. It’s almost impossible not to fantasize about what we’d want from a relationship.
Often, we fantasize unintentionally. We do it while people-watching at the mall or daydreaming at work. Fantasizing can easily become a guilty pleasure for introverts, but we all know how dangerous it could be to hold onto unrealistic expectations while dating.
I have to constantly remind myself love shows up in different ways. Sometimes, what you think is love is actually another lesson. And often, love is unveiled in the most unexpected way.
Be open to redefining what you think is love instead of fixating on the love
- Related post: To All The Boys I Loved Before – 30 Reasons Lara Jean Covey is The Most Relatable Introvert
6. Valuing a few deep conversations over presence
The truth of the matter is–introverts love deep conversation. And often, they’re the only type of conversations we’re genuinely interested in. It’s not shocking that people like opening up to us.
Does that mean they have romantic feelings for us? Maybe. But a few deep conversations or a night of texting doesn’t always mean they’re up for more than that.
If they only hit you up for some soul searching and
Are they making an effort to see you? Do your friends and family see how much they care about you
If you’re not sure if it’s love or friendship, then there’s no harm in asking. What’s harmful is hanging onto the possibility of love without trying to see how they really feel.
- Related post: 10 Best New Year’s Resolutions for Introverts
7. Dropping hints to your crush and expecting them to stick
I was that person that quoted love songs on my AIM status. (If you’re too young to understand this, it’s the equivalent of tweeting a love song & expecting someone to know it’s about them.)
I also used to think that being in close proximity to my crush was enough to signal that I liked them. We all have done it. You go to that party with an elaborate plan to bump into them “naturally”.
Then after an hour of trying to catch their glance and awkwardly working your way around the room, you finally end up in the same area and say, “How awesome is this party, huh?” When in reality, you’d rather be home in your pj’s and you’re really only there to see them. But they’ll never know.
- Related post: Confessions of An Introvert in Denial
8. Ruminating over things you said or left unsaid
Do you remember that crazy embarrassing thing you did 5 years ago? I do. So it’s no surprise that I’d obsess over an awkward comment I made on a date or that I waved back at my crush just to realize they were waving at someone else…
The worst is when you ruminate over “what if’s”. Like, “What if I told her I liked her sooner?” or “If I didn’t leave for the summer, we’d probably still be together.”
I read something the other day about making choices. We ruminate over past decisions or future probabilities as if the world will reward or punish us for which choice we make. When in reality, the world just takes your decision and works around it
Ruminating simply does not change anything. Instead, take what you’ve learned from the past and focus your energy on the present. You’ll thank yourself later.
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