Dating an introvert, the sneak attack approach

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This is a guest post from Nick Laborde over at www.thethriveblog.com, where he writes about personal development in a fun and not so serious way.

Before I divulge my secret sneak attack approach, you have to promise not to tell anyone. Oh yeah, this secret doesn’t involve hiding behind any bushes or carrying any bats. The law tends to look down on that sort of thing. Now that we have the legal stuff out of the way, let’s get to it.

Dating an introvert may seem difficult, for an extrovert or an introvert. Maybe, just maybe…it’s getting them to go out on the date in the first place. Introverts, by definition, are not outgoing party people. So getting them out the door isn’t always easy, or is it? That all depends on your approach (this is where the big secret comes in).

For many people, it’s difficult to ask a person out, introvert or not. Knowing that your flame would rather stay home alone than socialize with you is quite a hurdle.

Are you ready, here it is…

The big super secret trick is to make your request for a date so unlike a date, that they don’t see it coming (hence, the sneak attack).

Many introverts spend their time alone perfecting something – a craft, a hobby, their mind, or their body. By asking them about what they do, you may inadvertently walk right into an invitation into their life. If your future date is an avid mountain biker, ask them to take you for a ride. If they enjoy running, ask them to take a look at your stride, or help you train for an event. As an added bonus… you won’t have any trouble getting them to talk, after all this is their passion.

Turning the introvert’s pastime into a shared event is a sure way to build a strong friendship, and eventually, a relationship. Plus it also helps to break the ice on the first date. Activities are always better than boring dinner dates anyways.

However, once the sparks start flying, you may find that your need for socialization is quite different. An introvert may be quite happy staying at home every night of the week, while you may want to see a movie, go to the mall, or hang out with friends. It is important that early on in your relationship, boundaries are identified, expectations are set, and compromises, however small, are established. You may be able to get an introvert out on the town once in awhile, but attempting to change that person will only bring you heartache. Remember the person you first met – that was the person you wanted to be with, right. Don’t change them or try to (it’s a lost cause).

There’s the big secret attack approach, easy right. I told you that there wouldn’t be any bushes or bats involved.

Do you have any secret attack ideas? Be sure to share them… let’s just keep it legal.

Share.

57 Comments

  1. Pingback: Dating an introvert, the sneak attack approach

  2. I totally agree with you – This is a good post. I have dated many introverts. You don’t have to ask them out straight away just befriend them and they open up in no time. Once you get to know people sometimes you can be in for a suprise!!

  3. Thanks for the great feedback. I touched on this briefly in this post, as we know introverts are not exactly into small town. Talk about their passion and you won’t have any awkward conversation. In fact you probably won’t be able to shut them up…I know that from experience. That person that you thought was shy, was in reality the total opposite. You just have to know how to get into their world.

  4. I never thought about this before, but that is the perfect way to get to know an introvert. As an introvert, I am always turning down invites to go somewhere, but if someone ask me to teach them how to throw a pot on the wheel, or give a demo or volunteer to teach kids crafts, I’m totally there.

  5. @Julie, You brought up something I didn’t think about, volunteering. That’s a great way to meet people with out the dreaded small talk. You already have something to talk about.

    Plus, you know that they are not totally selfish, they’re volunteering. Unless they’ve fractured some law and are doing community service.

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  7. Dear Nick,
    I dated an introvert and now we are friends as he cannot take things to the next level. Plus it is a long distance relationship. They are not a very talkative people on the phone nor via email.
    Any suggestions?

  8. Great article!!! I have always abhored dating and tended to avoid it, much to the dismay of friends and family. If I see it coming, I tend to panic and run or go along but still be all angsty and uncomfortable. Neither is effective. The sneak-attack describes *perfectly* my ideal situation. I’m so excited to have this vague unease put into words. Thank you!

    • I thought Nick did a wonderful job on this post too! The sneak attack approach is so much more comfortable and natural than the usual ways we approach dating – small talk, stilted phone conversations, and games with unknown rules.

  9. as an introvert i often find myself wanting to stay home by my self on the weekends, but I do enjoy going out. It is just hard to motivate myself to do it on my own. If I have some one pushing me like a friend of significant other, it becomes much easier and enjoyable.

    • True – as long as they understand us and realize that going out doesn’t have to mean a terrible marathon of one thing after another that goes on ‘way past the point of enjoyment 😉 a significant other or friend can really help to make sure we don’t get too isolated out of sheer inertia. 🙂

  10. This is great advice. I like how you’re almost tricking them (in a good way) to go on a date with you and before they now it, there might be some sparks flying.

    • Yes, I thought what a simple-sounding, yet ingenious way to really get to know someone and even start to date them when they hate small talk and may not enjoy the thought of what we usually think of as *dating*.

  11. Slowing down and getting to know someone by spending time with them (without the narrow focus) BEFORE you date them, when practical, seems obvious to me. I mean, how do you know that you really want to DATE someone if you don’t know them, anyway?? But then, Extroverts might find the idea of a date fun in itself. Introverts like me DO NOT. I don’t really feed off of the ??excitement?? of spending time with a stranger. (Strangers are NOT ‘exciting’ to me just by virtue of being new or attractive.) And I don’t like going through the energy drain of explaining my life, at point-blank, to someone who (I) may not want to be there the next day.
    So if you *think* you like an introvert, think of it not so much as the “sneak attack” of tricking THEM into spending time with YOU, as what I would normally think of as just plain prudent, investigative behavior on your part, regardless of whatever attraction you might feel. Also, this way, you probably spend (or waste, lol) a lot less money and energy than doing things the “normal” way.
    Cart—>Horse—>Market. Jus sayin.

    • I have to thank you Kayle, being an introvert myself, I was cruzing along your article, in total agreement and interally validating it, and came to the line with the
      ” ??excitment??” in quotes. I have to tell you that I literally burt into an outpouring of jovial laughter as I find that line soooo completely true!! I am off to wash the stinging mascara from my eyes, and continue with your article.

      Again thank you for the chuckle and the good read 🙂

  12. I’m dating a man who is slightly introverted, but more social than I am. Yesterday, on 4th of July, we went on a 30 mile organized bike ride. We had a great ride and then went back to my house, had lunch and I watched the Cubs game with him. Much to my dismay, he said he never watched a whole Cubs game on the tube before. I was trying to make him happy and feel comfortable…..only to find out that wasnt the case. We really didn’t know what to do next and I could tell he wanted to leave. He is a golf addict and I could tell he wanted to swing those clubs.

    Being with me wasn’t enough. I think he finds me a bit boring. I am more introverted than him……..

    Any suggestions?

  13. Is it ok to be the first person to call or text an introvert? I’m an combination of both but recently more of an extrovert. I don’t want to scare this guy off he made the first intial request to exchange numbers and had called a couple of times. I’d like to get to know him better but not sure I should be the first to contact him or not?

  14. Pingback: Dating an introvert, the sneak attack approach /  For the IntrovertiSHly inclined

  15. Hi Nick,
    Interesting name for your method -sneak attack. It does highlight how important it is sometimes to ask for a date in as natural a way as possible eg like as an extension of the current conversation, hobby or interest. This makes it easy for the girl to say yes. More importantly agree with your comments on not trying to change the other person. Unfortunately many go into a relationship after the courtship stage, hoping they can somehow change their partners’ habits or character traits eventually.
    Andy @ How to Court a Girl – First Impression´s last post ..How to Court a Girl updated Sun Apr 15 2012 2:17 am EDT

  16. Well from experience it’s a bit hard to date someone with no social skills to even talk to you. I dated for a long time an introvert and all I can say is that it was a hell. We never talked, we never discussed anything, he would just stand still… What kind of a relationship could we have? We ended up and still keep a solid friendship, but I still feel so sad about it. I really do believe things couyld have worked out with a bit of effort from both sides.
    Thanks for the article Nick, it was a great read anyway.
    Sarah @ desenhos animados´s last post ..Ursinhos Carinhosos e o Ouro Do Deserto

  17. Is it ok to be the first person to call or text an introvert? I’m an combination of both but recently more of an extrovert. I don’t want to scare this guy off he made the first intial request to exchange numbers and had called a couple of times. I’d like to get to know him better but not sure I should be the first to contact him or not?
    obd2´s last post ..AK500 Key Programmer Plus Benz 433MHZ Smart Key

  18. Nice dating story. I usually just behave normal and sometimes I show my interest and excitement to show what I want. Of course it depends on your personality but with me it’s just working fine 🙂

  19. Good morning everyone,
    I am a combination of both introvert and extrovert but my husband who was pure extrovert, he was funny witty and the life of the party, for some unexplainable reasons he had become an introvert. Now he is boring, I have to constntly firing questions at him. He is not a very handsome dude- I fell in love with him because he was fun to be with. I was dying to say this to someone who doesn’t know him:(
    Peace!

  20. So i am dating an introvert and this is usually how i initiate the dates, by planning an activity together.. the problem is, i am initiating pretty much EVERY date. He has initiated only one date the entire time it makes me wonder if he even likes me. When we do hang out, he is very affectionate but he basically disappears during our time apart, sometimes even not responding to my texts. I really want to make it work with this guy but he is impossible to read! I don’t know what to do, he is driving me crazy and making me feel like I should just give up.

    • Wow, that sort of sounds like a guy I was talking to. We never met though, because each time we had a date set up, he would flake out on me! I figured he wasn’t really interested, though one time he said “sorry I forgot,” I just told him that we should move on (he for some odd reason liked to disappear and not talk to me for weeks, even months). You may not have to do this though, this guy seems like he is actually interested in you, hence the fact that you guys have hung out before and he is affectionate. He might want time to himself when you aren’t together, so I would say just give it some time 🙂

    • Holy cow. I would love to talk to you! I could have written this! I have also been initiating a lot of “dates” with my introvert. He always comes and admits he only comes to see me. There is a lot of affection, however he also seems to disappear between these “dates”. He also tells me he is “not ready” to be in a relationship and has not for a couple years. He has this “list” of things to organize in his life before relationship. 🙁 Although I continue our friendship and he is always happy when I contact him.. he never initiates it! I am also going crazy!

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  22. Hey Nick. I’m an introvert myself so I can relate to the stuff that you brought up here. I’m glad you’re talking about them. At least some other people will know what we’re going through in our silence.

  23. Hi I really like this widower , he is an introvert, it’s been really hard to know what’s going on in his mind. He runs hot and cold , I know he finds me attractive as he is always looking me up and down. I have spent most of this year , hoping he will open up. But just when I think he has started to open up , he shuts down again. I am an extrovert , but I have been though a lot in my life so I do understand . Should I just give up? Will he ever let me in ? Don’t know what to do , he told me why he doesn’t reply to my texts and why he won’t answer the phone , because of his anxiety , how I suppose to get to know him , I have no idea.

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