Tuesday, March 28, 2017

10 Things You Should Know About Dating an Introvert

Alan, Lane, David, Yuri, Troy, Gabe, Dustin -- almost all of my friends and boyfriends have been extroverts: outgoing, aggressive, the life of the party, never wanting to stay home, always eager to get out there and meet new people.

But Zack, the assistant manager of the Hy-Vee who I've been dating for a couple of weeks, is an introvert.  Shy, quiet, doesn't like meeting new people, never wants to leave the house.

Not that I mind.

Dating an introvert has some intense pleasures, but it's very different from dating an extrovert. You have to be careful -- it's easy to misunderstand his intentions.

Here are 10 things you should know:

1. Cruising. Meeting new people is always intimidating for him, so even if you're a twink magnet, he won't make the first contact. He'll wait for you to approach him.

2. The Initial Interview.  Those small-talk exchanges of  "How are you? Fine -- how are you? Fine" make no sense to him.  He prefers to ask and answer real questions.

3. Getting Coffee. He doesn't understand why people hang out in coffee houses, gay-friendly or not. There's coffee at home. (Which is your excuse to get him home).

4. The Date.   Bright lights, noise, and crowds are not fun, they're exhausting.  They can deal with them for short periods, but they will need occasional breaks to go somewhere quiet and recharge.  Take him somewhere nice and quiet, like a play, or a museum.

5. Saturday Night.  Don't be surprised if he doesn't want to leave your apartment at all, even on Saturday night.  He thinks of staying in for an evening as a blessing, not a curse.  He looks forward to it.

6. The Kiss. Touching someone is always intimate, so he does it only if he has a strong emotional or erotic connection. He dislikes casual touching by strangers, like shaking hands.  Lay off the groping until the end of the date.

But once he's ok with touching, he won't stop.  You might never make it out of the bedroom.  Or the shower.

7. The Phone Call.  He won't initiate the after-date phone call or text.  It's not that he didn't have a good time, it's just that initiating contact with someone is very stressful, so he will constantly put it off.    You'll have to contact him.

8. The Duck Around. If he sees you on the street or in the hallway, he might duck around the corner to avoid contact.  He's not trying to be rude; it's just that seeing someone outside of a familiar context is very stressful.  What should I do?  What should I say?

9. The Introductions.  By the third or fourth date, you will want to introduce him to your friends.  Don't do it with a party -- he is uncomfortable in large groups.  He will stick to your side and not mingle (See #1.)  Introduce him to one friend at a time.

10. The Intensity.  Be prepared for nights of quiet intensity, where every statement is meaningful and every touch is passionate.  In the morning you will be physically and emotionally exhausted, but anxious to see him again.

The G-rated version of this list is on Boomer Beefcake and Bonding.

See also: 15 Simple Rules of Gay Dating.

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