How I Deal With Dating As An Introvert

By Anonymous

People tend to put labels on everything. From gender to sexuality to relationship statuses, there's basically a label for any and everything you could possibly think of. Even though there's been a strong push for the destruction of many of these (which is great for a lot of obvious reasons), there is still one label-filled distinction that always has me a bit wary. The terms "introvert" and "extrovert" act as ways to define a personality type, but are often used as unwarranted limitions or personal restrictions–basically an excuse used to avoid stepping out of your comfort zone. Before I read Amy Schumer's The Girl With The Lower Back TattooI had a hard time warming up to the idea of openly identifying as an introvert, especially when it came to dating or relationsips. It wasn't until I flipped through these pages that I learned accepting my identity as an introvert would change the way I dealt with the dating world. 

In her book, Schumer explains that, as a female introvert herself, she often feels obligated to give her energy away to other people. More explicitly, she writes, “If you’re a true introvert, other people are basically energy vampires. You don’t hate them; you just have to be strategic about when you expose yourself to them—like the sun.” This alone can make dating extremely challenging, especially in the infamous honeymoon phase. New couples tend to spend as much time as they possibly can with one another, often unintentionally neglecting friends, hobbies and sometimes even daylight. Before they know it, the pair have basically morphed into one person. It can be easy to start losing sight of personal goals and interests in this stage of the relationship, making any sense of individuality almost disappear completely. This Instagram-worthy phase is, of course, both blissful and glamorous, but it can also be completely exhausting and overwhelming.

If this is you, it’s a smart idea to set boundaries for yourself and to care for your own needs before you collapse into a cranky shell of the person you used to be.

As an introvert, alone-time is something that is essential to our happiness. Personally, I can say that I love being alone. It can be difficult to explain or defend this desire to be alone without offending your SO, especially since there's a lot of confusion regarding the difference between being alone and being lonely. Sometimes it can be even more difficult to rationalize this need to yourself without feeling selfish about it. What's important here is to remember that you need this time to recharge, to refuel and to become you again. In fact, Schumer says, “What's wrong with being alone anyway? Being alone is sometimes a great place to be, but people are always trying to correct this ‘problem’ for you, even if you yourself don't have any kind of problem with it.” I certainly have no problem with it.

No one’s calling for complete Bear Grylls isolation here, just a few extra hours to yourself every so often so you can sit on the beach, journal, craft, go for a bike ride or lay on the kitchen floor in your towel–basically just do whatever you want! The truth is, once you accept your personality type and recognize what makes you happy, you'll be able to be happy with somone else–or you'll even just be self-aware enough to know whether or not you're in the right retlationsip at all. Remember, you are not shy, standoffish, antisocial or uninteresting. You are you. Life gets better once you accept that.

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