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Not everyone you meet is going to be the life of the party. With the growing popularity of internet dating, it’s even more likely that you may connect with someone who is an introvert — extremely shy but great at expressing himself/herself through text. However, falling for and dating an introvert can be a little different than your other dates and relationships in the past. Here are 14 tips for dating an introvert.

Be accepting

One of the most important things you can do when dating an introvert is to be extremely accepting of who that person is. It’s important that you’re able to accept this person’s personality completely. It’s important to accept that this person will never be a social butterfly or a huge conversationalist, but to also accept that this person is probably extremely polite and a great listener.

Be willing to give space

As with any relationship, the people involved need to have their own space and time together. However, you may find than an introvert needs more time alone than most people. Introverts can easily become socially exhausted, and spending time alone remedies that. Just remember that me time is just as important for you.

Understand that some situations may be uncomfortable

An introvert isn’t going to be comfortable in certain situations. Big crowds and events that involve a lot of talking and participating can definitely make an introvert extremely uncomfortable. Be sure that when planning nights out and dates that you aren’t putting your partner into overwhelming and scary situations.

Be willing to carry the conversation

Introverts aren’t ones to spark up conversation randomly. Instead, you may find that you are the one starting and carrying most of the conversation. If you have a lot to talk about, don’t hesitate to let it out. However, as time goes on, you’ll find that your partner opens up to you a lot more.

Be flirtatious

Similarly to talking and conversing, at first you may find that you’re the one who has to call all of the moves. Don’t be afraid to flirt with your partner, even if he/she is shy. When you initiating the touching and flirting, your partner will eventually feel comfortable and will reciprocate more often.

Give conflict time to be resolved

Most introverts avoid any type of conflict at all costs, especially emotional conflict. You may find that your partner isn’t the quickest at responding to an emotional problem but this isn’t because your partner doesn’t care, it’s because your partner is trying to process things. Time is crucial here.

Know what to expect after an argument

Aside from giving your partner space after an argument, be prepared for him/her to feel and portray a sense of withdrawal. When an introvert feels threatened or corner, it’s very likely that he/she will become extremely withdrawn. Dealing with this will take a lot of compromise, communication, and adaptation.

Stay close

When you and your partner go out for a night or attend a friend’s party, be sure to remain at his/her side. Even in a room crowded full of people, introverts often feel alone and anxious when around a lot of people. Your partner will feel much more comfortable and safe with you near by.

Practice patience

When you’re dating an introvert, you’ll quickly learn that patience is a virtue. Dating someone who is shy has its perks, but those benefits only shine through when you’re able to be patient and understanding. When your partner needs time to process, understand, and speak about his/her feelings, be sure that you’re able to practice patience.

Ask questions

If you need an answer to something or if your mind is wandering, don’t hesitate to ask your partner questions to figure things out. If you want to know what your partner is feeling or thinking, asked. Introverts don’t blatantly speak their minds and feelings. When you ask, your partner will more than likely feel a sense of relief. So if you want to know, you’ll have to ask.

Don’t ever embarrass your partner publicly

Introverts rarely like to be the center of attention. When you two are out in public, don’t try to draw a lot of attention towards you. Don’t propose to your partner in front of dozens of people and don’t get a restaurant full of diners to sing Happy Birthday to your partner. Though you mean well, it ends up being extremely embarrassing.

Speak of important events and commitments

Maybe next week there is a social gathering with your coworkers and their families, and you’d love for your partner to come. Instead of mentioning this event the day-of, inform your partner in advance. Tell him/her that attending is optional, but you’d really love if he/she came and that it would make the occasion that much better.

Schedule important conversations

In most relationships, conversations happen naturally. However, when you’re dating an introvert, it is sometimes best to schedule a day and time when the two of you can talk. This is especially important if you need to talk about something important. Scheduling a day and time gives your partner enough time to process things and gather his/her thoughts.

Know how to read your partner

If you have an extremely outgoing and bubbly personality, you may find that at times your personality can be a bit overshadowing. Though you may be extremely expressive, your shy partner probably is not. Talk to your partner and learn how to read his/her body language. Silent communication is key to understanding an introvert, so try to get in touch with your emotionally-expressive self.

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