A loud, crowded bar. A party. A club. What do all these things have in common? They’re all traditionally places where people go to meet people–especially potential romantic partners. If you’re an extroverted person, that’s all well and good. For introverts, however, the type of environment offered by these kinds of spaces might not exactly be choice numero uno for where to meet someone…or even where to be at all.
The introvert-extrovert population ratio in the United States is around 50% each (Personality Max, N. D.) However, upon closer examination, it appears that older adults in the USA are more likely to be extroverted than their younger counterparts. They’re more likely to enjoy when a stranger starts a conversation with them (Moore, 2016) and more likely to prefer a phone call over a text message. Millennials and other younger generations, on the other hand, are more likely to describe themselves as introverts. Under-thirties are five times more likely than people over the age of 65 to say they dislike when a stranger tries to strike up a conversation (Moore, 2016). The US is quickly becoming a more introverted nation as its population ages, which means that the traditional ways of meeting people favored by older generations are less likely to work as well for younger generations. And while online dating is the obvious answer, many people still prefer to meet potential flames more naturally, in face-to-face situations. Read on for our recommendations on how introverts can meet people–on their own terms.
Thrive vs. Survive
Every location and environment exists on a spectrum of ‘thrive’ versus ‘survive’ for each person. A ‘thrive’ location is a place where you feel your best, especially socially: confident and relaxed, yet energized. A ‘survive’ location, on the other hand, is one where you really need to use a lot of energy to exist there, and socially you probably feel shy, hesitant, and unsure. One person’s ‘thrive’ is another person’s ‘survive’. For example, for one person, a rock climbing gym might be their ‘thrive’ location: they feel comfortable enough to strike up conversation with fellow climbers, they’re doing an activity they love, and they feel comfortable and at ease in that environment–all ideal kindling for a potential romance to arise. However, for another person, a climbing gym could be a ‘survive’ location. They might feel uncomfortable, quickly exhausted, and unsure of what to do with themselves between climbs or who to talk to. This person will probably spend a lot of time staring at the wall and not much time engaging in easy conversation with fellow climbers, decreasing the chances of meeting someone special.
Familiarity also goes a long way towards determining whether a particular location is ‘thrive’ or ‘survive’. That climber’s nearest gym is probably more of a ‘thrive’ location than one in a distant state (although that may also be ‘thrive’, just to a lesser degree) because they are highly familiar with the gym closest to their home.
Naturally, one is much more likely to meet potential partners in their thrive locations. Many people (and introverts may be especially able to relate to this) may put too much energy into trying to meet people in their ‘survive’ locations, believing these to be the only way because introverts’ ‘survive’ locations are often known for being places to go to meet people. Van Edwards (2017) suggests that instead of using herculean amounts of energy to try to meet people in ‘survive’ locations, introverts and extroverts alike should channel their efforts into identifying their personal ‘thrive’ locations and placing themselves in/trying to meet people in those locations, instead.
If you’re an introvert who doesn’t love trying to meet people in typical extrovert ‘thrive’ locations, you may be asking yourself ‘what are my thrive locations?’ Usually, your ‘thrive’ locations are places where you can do an activity that you really enjoy. For example, if you love to cook, a dinner party hosted by you for a small group of friends and perhaps a couple friends of friends may be a ‘thrive’ location. Here are a few more ideas to get you thinking:
- Your favorite yoga or muay thai class
- A board game meetup
- A language exchange
- A cooking class
- A small hiking group
- A cryptocurrencies meetup in a local cafe
- Your local coworking space
Utilizing volunteering as a way to also meet people can take some of the pressure off that introverts may feel in situations in which the main goal is to socialize and meet people. Choose a cause you care about and search for an organization offering volunteer opportunities in that area, and off you go (Faley, 2017). It’s important to choose a cause you care about, because a. If you meet someone there, you already share some common values, and b. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll meet anyone interesting, so you should also have another reason for being there.
Small groups of friends and friends of friends are often ideal settings for introverts to meet people, and in fact 39% of 18-34 year olds who participated in a survey reported that they met their partners through mutual friends (Faley, 2017). If you want to have a little bit of fun with it (ok, it might actually be more fun for your friends), ask a friend or two to introduce you to someone they feel might be suitable.
Choose a Cafe and Go There A Lot
If you choose a particular venue and spend time there regularly, you’re likely to get to know the other people who frequent that location. However, you’ll need to do your homework on this one–some cafes have more ‘regular’ customers and a stronger sense of community than others. We recommend choosing a cafe where people tend to set up shop and work on their computers. Even if you don’t have any working or studying to do on your computer, you can still go there regularly and read a book or listen to a podcast. Over time, you’ll naturally meet or be introduced to the other people who spend time there. If you chose a venue with a sense of community, you’ll become part of that. Even if you don’t click with any of them romantically, you’ll still be broadening your social circle and therefore increasing the likelihood of meeting someone through your new mutual friends.
If you’re a single introvert looking for love, we hope this list was enough to get you thinking about some new places you might look that match your personality. Good luck!
Introverts and Prenups
Introverts and extroverts alike can benefit from arranging prenuptial agreements prior to marriage, but introverts in particular might prefer HelloPrenup’s platform over drafting their prenup through an attorney. Introverts may be more likely to value their privacy than extroverts. (For more on how personality comes into play, check out personality and your prenup). Remember the study referenced above, in which introversion was linked to being less likely to appreciate strangers striking up conversation? Well, if introverts are less amenable to random conversation in informal settings, then divulging all kinds of personal details to an attorney also might not be high on their list of things to do for fun. HelloPrenup guides you through the whole process to create an easy, valid, and affordable prenup. Here’s how it works.
Faley, K. 2017. 6 Places to Meet Guys When You’re an Introvert. Retrieved from: https://verilymag.com/2017/05/meeting-men-if-you-are-an-introvert
Moore, P. 2016. The Introverted Future of America. Retrieved from: https://today.yougov.com/topics/lifestyle/articles-reports/2016/10/17/introverted-america
Van Edwards, V. 2017. Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People. London: Portfolio-Penguin Publishing Group.
Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected].