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Dating advice for shy gays and introverts on LGBTQ+ dating apps and IRL

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Sep 26, 2023

Dating advice for shy gays and introverts on LGBTQ+ dating apps and IRL

Let’s be honest, dating as an introvert can be exhausting. Sometimes dating can feel performative, and if there’s one thing introverts are not very good at… it’s faking it. While some extroverts might find it quite easy to go through the motions and connect with just about anyone, dating for introverts often isn’t as simple. 

On one hand, dating apps can make it easy for introverts to get to know people without the pressure of social performance. But all the swiping, get-to-know-you questions, and back-and-forth messaging also takes some serious stamina. 

And don’t even get me started on the bio. You’ve got to present yourself online in a way that feels authentic but alluring, mysterious but not standoffish (if you’re an introvert reading this right now, resist the urge to hand the creative control of your profile over to your extroverted friend!).

And then, once you’ve narrowed your dating pool down to a few potential matches, now you have to go on the actual dates! Sometimes, the whole online dating process from start to finish can take significant energy and leave you needing time to recharge. 

But if you want to meet new people, sometimes you’ve got to step outside of your comfort zone (and also your front door). While dating can be a little scary, we’ve got some of the best dating tips out there for LGBTQ+ introverts for how to get out of your bed and into someone else’s. But first things first, how do you know if you’re an introvert?

Signs you might be a (gay) introvert

  • You prefer one-on-one hangs than big social gatherings
  • Being around a lot of people drains your social battery (especially a lot of straight people)
  • You enjoy solitude and need lots of alone time 
  • You might take a while to warm up and get to know new people
  • You have a small close group of friends
  • You’re happy to take more of a backseat role in groups
  • You can get overstimulated easily 
  • You learn through observation and listening
  • You process things best when you’re alone with your thoughts 
  • Your teacher told you that you were a pleasure in class

Everything you need to know about dating when you’re shy

If the thought of putting yourself out there and meeting new dates or random strangers is already draining your social battery don’t worry. We got you. 

Dating as a very shy and very gay person can be challenging, but it’s not impossible! Here is some of the best dating advice out there for introverts to find your person. 

When in doubt, get on the dating apps

If you’re an introvert looking to date, you might find it hard to meet other queer people in real life. How do gay introverts find people to date? This is where the queer dating apps can be extremely useful. As long as you can find ways to avoid online dating burnout, dating apps can be a great place for introverts to meet people on their own terms.

One of the best pieces of advice I can give for queer dating on the apps is to keep the online correspondence to a minimum. As a writer, I am prone to writing text messages the length of full-blown novels. Many introverts also love written communication like text or email because it allows them to fully process their thoughts and feelings in a controlled environment. 

But one of the best ways to date people is to actually go on dates! The last thing you want to do is spend a big chunk of your life investing in a connection only to get ghosted or have things fizzle out by the time you meet up. Skip the texting and small talk, and just ask them out!

A diverse group of people against colorful backgrounds with the HER logo, and a tagline that says “HER world is yours.”

Come prepared with questions

You don’t have to be the loudest, most charismatic person in the room in order to have a successful date. But there is one thing every first date must have: chemistry. 

Sometimes a first date can feel like an interview with both people asking back and forth questions about work, life, family, etc. As an introvert, you might feel inclined to let someone else lead the question-asking or answering. 

A way to help make sure that the conversational flow is more balanced is to come prepared with a few deep or interesting questions to ask your date. You can ask them what it was like growing up in their hometown, which book they recommend to read, or what their favorite part of their day was. Bringing questions like this to a first date can help break the ice, fill those awkward silences, allow you to connect to someone authentically. 

An introverted queer woman writing down a list of thoughtful questions before a first date.

Pick a cozy date environment or somewhere you are familiar with

Choosing the perfect spot for a first or second date can make a world of difference when it comes to dating as an introvert. Make sure that you choose a place that isn’t going to be too overstimulating for a first date. Try to avoid loud, crowded spaces such as bars and restaurants where you are likely to get overwhelmed or shut down. 

Instead, suggest someplace cozy and quiet with ample comfortable seating or calm lighting like a tea house or small restaurant. This will allow you to stay present and focused with your date and help you gather your thoughts during any pauses in the conversation. You can also consider asking someone to meet at one of your favorite haunts. Choosing a relaxing date environment that you are familiar with makes it much less likely that you will get distracted or freeze up.

A cozy restaurant with a gorgeous mosaic lampshade hanging over a dimly lit table.

Activity dates are also great

If the idea of going somewhere and sitting across the table from a complete stranger sounds slightly stressful as an introvert, activity dates are also a great option. Consider going bowling, playing mini-golf, going to a drag bingo night, picking blackberries, or walking your rescue dogs around a beautiful lake. You can even go to a coffee shop or quiet bar and bring a board game (if you are a Catan nerd, like me). 

The point is that doing something with your hands or your body is a great way to get out of your head. Doing something together can help you both bond over a shared activity and take the pressure off a first or second date. If you decide to do an activity, make sure to choose something that you are genuinely interested in. You will be less self-conscious about how you are coming off if you’re actually enjoying yourself. 

A bowling bowl knocking in a set of bowling pins. Bowling can be a great activity-based first date for someone who is introverted.

Know your strengths

Dating as an introvert, you might feel a little nervous about how you are going to come across to a new crush. You don’t have to be extroverted in order to be interesting. If you find yourself not quite knowing what you have to contribute, try making a list of all your strengths. What do you like about yourself? Is there something that you feel you are particularly good at? Are there things that you find yourself doing in social interactions that you wish other people did more? If you can’t think of any answers to these questions, try asking a close friend or family member.

Try asking yourself some of these questions and journaling about what your strengths are. Most of the introverts I know are thoughtful, present, considerate, astute, observant, and incredible active listeners. Figuring out what your strengths are and owning them will help you bring the quiet confidence you need in yourself to nail your next date.

An older white butch lesbian introverted couple standing in front of a shelf with their foreheads pressed together.

Join a club or a group with people who share your interests

Online dating isn’t for everybody. Maybe you live in a small town with no queers in a 50-mile radius, or perhaps you’ve been on the apps for a while without any real luck. While it can be hard to find other LGBTQ+ in the wild, consider joining a group or club with other people who are interested in similar things. 

You could join a painting or poetry class, a cooking class, a softball team, or even a Dungeons and Dragons group—whatever floats your boat! Getting off your phone and finding a shared activity is a great way to meet new people you might have things in common with. This way of getting to know people over a period of time can also be better for introverts, especially if you’re more of a slow burn type of person.

A queer introverted woman in a paint-covered smock shaping a bowl on a ceramics wheel.

Be yourself

More than anything, the best piece of dating advice for introverts is to fully be yourself. While it can be easy to get in your head about all the ways you wish you were different, the truth is that introverts are loving and caring people who have so much to offer! Instead of trying to keep up with all the extroverts around you, do what works for you and feels most natural.

Date at your own pace and don’t be afraid to be selective! If you find yourself on a date with an extrovert who isn’t getting a word in edgewise, they are probably not the person for you. Embrace yourself and your strengths as an introvert and know what you bring to the table. 

An introverted woman lying in her bed with a duvet pulled over her head in front of a laptop.

FAQs for dating while introverted

Is dating harder for introverts?

Dating is hard for anyone, period. Online or offline, it can be challenging to find genuine connections with good-hearted people who you actually want to bone. And yes, dating can definitely feel more challenging for introverts than it does for extroverts mostly because of the energy it takes. But don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to other people! 

Just because someone looks like they are having a good time, doesn’t mean it’s always the case. Ultimately, dating as an introvert can be deeply rewarding when you prioritize quality over quantity and take things at your own speed. Part of being an introvert is working with your strengths and your temperament to find the types of connections that feel good for you.

Can two introverts make a good couple together?

The short answer is YES! While some introverts might find that they are attracted to more extroverted people, other introverts prefer to be with someone who is on their same wavelength. Dating another introvert has the potential for a deep and extremely fulfilling relationship. 

Introvert-introvert couples are pretty common and can work well together. You will likely find common ground easily by intuitively understanding each other’s personality traits. You might find that you don’t have to explain yourself as much to another introvert, as they probably won’t take your quietness the wrong way. Another perk of dating a fellow introvert is relishing those precious moments of silence together in complete and total peace. Cue: collective sigh of relief. 

Hopefully this advice helps you feel a little bit more confident to go out there in all your subdued, quietly powerful, deceptively sexy, introverted ways and find your next boo thing.

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Dusty Brandt Howard is a writer & a fighter. He is a trans masculine cultural narrator who builds worlds with words. You can follow his thirst traps on Instagram, his writing on Substack, or find him at your local queer bar in northeast LA.

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