Picture this: you’ve spent the night out with your girls, getting turnt at the hottest club in town. As you file out into the street, walking gingerly in your heels, you blow kisses goodbye and hop into a cab… just as someone else climbs in through the other door! It’s awkward for a moment, but you agree to share the ride, and tell stories of your epic night along the way. By the time the ride is over, you’ve swapped phone numbers (maybe even a kiss), and the world is aglow with the potential of a new romance…
Sounds exhausting, right?
If you’re an introvert, a meet-cute like this is just not for you. In fact, you’d probably rather find someone online, sharing long, soul-spilling emails with potential partners like Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail. And guess what? That’s okay! In fact, it’s practically the norm: it is believed that one-third of modern marriages got their start on the Web. Online dating is a phenomenon, and for many introverts who are tired (or afraid) of the traditional dating scene, the Internet can be the perfect solution.
But with so many people looking for love online, how will you know who’s right for you? For all it’s good qualities, the Internet can feel scary. But by following just a few tips, you’ll be able to suss out your soulmate from the World Wide Web.
Get Personal With Your Profile
With online dating, even more so than in the world, you have to “put yourself out there.” In a real-world setting, prospective partners can learn about you from your body language, facial expressions, and behavior; here, there is only your profile. So make sure the profile screams “you!”
And we mean the REAL you. Everyone likes “spending time with friends,” “watching the sunset,” and “cuddling by the fire.” Be specific about your interests, and don’t hold anything back. Are you an avid hiker who spends your mornings meditating on mountaintops? Write it down. Do you spend your Saturdays writing fan-fiction about the best friend adventures of Gandalf, Magneto, and Dumbledore? Put it in the profile. Do you breed madagascar hissing roaches? Let the world know!
According to Christie Hartman, Ph.D., many people stick to the basics when building their online profile. They are afraid of “sounding too different or too odd, not realizing that it actually backfires.” But the people you’re looking to connect with are the people who share your interests (or at least think they are interesting). So let your true colors show!
Check For Personality Clues
You want the people you meet online to share your interests. But you also want to make they have what you’re looking for. Pay attention to clues in their profile that reveal the man (or woman) behind the screen.
Do you want a fellow introvert you can cuddle with quietly? Look for someone whose interests line up with the quiet life – reading, movies, etc. Do you want an extrovert to bring you into his active social life? Look for a profile filled with pictures from parties. These little clues will point you towards the person you want to be with!
Try A Specific Site
Remember all those interests we talked about before? The things that make you the unique and amazing person you are? Well, for those of us searching for some who truly understands our likes and dislikes, niche dating sites exist! Whether you are a cat lover or a Dr. Who fanatic, there is a site for you! Many introverts have tremendous passion when it comes to their hobbies, so sites like these can be a good way to meet someone with whom you’ll feel a connection. And besides, even if you don’t find a soulmate, you might end up with a whole bunch of new friends!
Go On A Date!
Yes, yes, this one may seem obvious, but it’s important! After all the time you spent building a profile, searching for matches, and getting past the (horribly awkward) initial small talk via text and email, you deserve a date. Get out of your comfort zone, get face-to-face with your online match, and have fun! Who knows, maybe you’ll be in the lucky one-third of folks who found their soulmate on the screen.