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15 Expert-Backed Tips For Dating An Introvert + How Introverts Express Love

Neha Tandon
Author: Expert reviewer:
Updated on September 30, 2023
Neha Tandon
Commerce Writer
By Neha Tandon
Commerce Writer
Neha Tandon is an editor whose work has appeared in Harper's Bazaar, New York Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Women's Health, Brides, and more
Myisha Battle, M.S.
Expert review by
Myisha Battle, M.S.
Sexologist & Dating Coach
Myisha Battle, M.S., is a certified clinical sexologist and sex and dating coach, educator, and speaker. She has a master's in Psychology from The New School in New York City.
dating an introvert
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September 30, 2023
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Dating allows you to interact with many types of people, each with their own nuances. In particular, dating an introvert comes with certain factors to keep in mind.

You may think of an introvert as someone who is shy or more reserved, but there's more to it than that. Learning how to communicate with introverts and how introverts express love will help you build a successful relationship.

What is an introvert?

Rachel DeAlto, relationship and communication expert at The League, describes an introvert as someone who can feel overwhelmed and drained by highly social interactions.

The concept of introversion was developed by psychiatrist Carl Jung in the early 1900s—and one of the simplest ways to spot an introvert, according to Jung, is the way they recharge their social battery.

Dating coach Blaine Anderson emphasizes this, adding that introverts tend to feel most comfortable when they're recharging alone.

Introverts often withdraw from social activity and prefer to be in less stimulating environments, as opposed to extroverts, who feel recharged by interacting with others.

Types of introverts and how they express love

We as humans are all totally different from one another, so it makes sense that not all introverts are equal, too. Psychologists Jennifer Grimes, Jonathan Cheek, and Julie Norem researched the four main types of introverts: social introvert, thinking introvert, anxious introvert, and restrained introvert.

Below, Anderson defines the types of introverts and explains how each expresses love:

  • Social Introverts: You likely know this type of introvert because they will accept an invitation with no intention of actually showing up. They do like to be social but primarily in tiny, intimate gatherings. Social introverts enjoy a solo date or vacation, requiring time alone to recharge, even when in a relationship. They're generally comfortable communicating their feelings, too.
  • Thinking Introverts: As the name suggests, thinking introverts are highly introspective. They aren't very reactive and oftentimes pause to think through their words before responding. This type of introvert can be in their head so much that they don't openly express love often—but it's important not to take their silence as complacency. 
  • Anxious Introverts: This type of introvert most closely represents the archetype people think of when imagining an introvert. Anxious introverts typically appear mildly nervous in most situations. Some may interpret this behavior as avoidant or rude, but it really boils down to discomfort. While anxious introverts have a tendency to over-invest in relationships, they can also be hesitant to communicate their feelings.
  • Restrained Introverts: These people are measured, careful, and won't dive into anything before they're ready. They may have a guard up until they get to know you and feel comfortable around you. Restrained introverts move at a slow, methodical pace in dating. That said, they can be some of the most passionate, open people once they get comfortable—if you're patient enough.

Knowing what kind of introvert you're dating helps you to empathize with them and get to know them better, leading to stronger communication and connection.

What is it like to date an introvert?

Anderson says dating an introvert can be great—and she should know; her husband is one.

"Introverts tend to be intelligent, considerate, and respectful of boundaries," Anderson says. They may prefer cooking at home or watching a movie instead of going to a crowded bar because that's the type of setting they feel most comfortable in, allowing them to be their true selves. 

"Partners of introverts do need to understand that social activities drain them," adds DeAlto. 

15 tips for dating an introvert

  1. Introverts often take their time when opening up to people, so give them grace and be patient.
  2. While you may love to send a triple text, an introvert may become overwhelmed by lots of messages.
  3. Understand that when an introvert wants to be alone, do not take it personally. It has nothing to do with you. They just need to recharge.
  4. Don't be surprised if even though they want time alone, they're bad at asking for it because they feel guilty. Be conscious about giving them alone time even when they don't ask.
  5. Notice that if they're getting testy and irritable, you likely need to give them some space.
  6. Know that they may have a hard time making the first move, so you may have to do so yourself.
  7. Plan dates at home sometimes. For example, cook together or do a movie night.
  8. Since introverts tend to have their energy drained easily, know that if they're choosing to spend time with you repeatedly, they really like you. 
  9. While they may not always bring up bigger or deeper conversations out of nervousness, they're typically open to those conversations if you initiate them or bring things up.
  10. Don't be surprised if they want to schedule a phone call or video call before wanting to meet you in real life. Some introverts will want to test the waters before taking the time and energy to meet you in person.
  11. Introverts are highly curious people, so they're great people to open up to if you choose a quiet space to do so one-on-one. 
  12. Know that they oftentimes feel misunderstood as awkward or shy people, so they will appreciate you being curious and patient enough to peel back their layers.
  13. Figure out the type of introvert you are dating so you can learn a bit more about who they are and how they express love.
  14. While everyone appreciates loyalty and consistency, introverts value it even more.
  15. Dating an introvert is similar to dating anyone else—it's important to get to know each other on a deeper level and find a personality match, no matter who you are.

How do introverts show love?

DeAlto says introverts express love in different ways, depending on the type of introvert they are.

Social introverts show love through quality time. Thinkers tend to show love through acts of service and gifts.

Anxious introverts feel most comfortable showing love verbally and often seek reassurance. Lastly, restrained introverts express love through loyalty and consistency.

How to improve communication with an introvert

While everyone has different communication styles, there are some tips for approaching introverts in particular. Just remember to be patient—while this advice can of course help, everyone moves at their own pace. 

  • Know that an introvert will open up more easily when they are in a place in which they're comfortable. This will likely be a quieter place or in their own home, but you can also think about what their hobbies and interests are. Do they like hiking? Take them to the great outdoors to help put them at ease.
  • Anderson notes that introverts can find initiating conversation challenging. Don't be afraid to start a conversation with them and guide them through it because chances are that they're open to talking if someone else starts.
  • Some introverts seek reassurance and validation, says DeAlto. For that reason, it can be a good idea to start a conversation with your partner by reminding them that you are there to listen and that you value what they have to say.


Is dating an introvert hard?

Dating an introvert is no more difficult than dating an extrovert, says DeAlto. Everyone has different personalities. The key is finding someone who fits with yours. No matter who you are, that will require understanding, patience, and goal alignment. 

Are introverts good at dating?

While everyone has different things they're looking for, DeAlto says that introverts tend to focus on quality over quantity and prefer deeper conversations and connections. You may just have to be comfortable being the one to initiate those conversations.

Is it OK for an introvert to date an extrovert?

Anderson identifies as an extrovert and says she's happily married an introvert, so yes—of course it's OK. DeAlto adds that an extrovert can draw the introvert out, while an introvert can give the extrovert a stable foundation.

How do introverts express their love?

This depends on the type of introvert they are. While social introverts prefer quality time, thinkers like acts of service. Anxious introverts give words of affirmation, and restrained introverts show love through loyalty and consistency. 

The takeaway

No matter who you're dating, it's important to take the time to get to know their communication style and how they prefer to express and receive love. Dating an introvert comes with its own set of considerations, depending which type of introvert they are. If you identify with the traits above, check out our guide to the best dating apps for introverts.

Neha Tandon author page.
Neha Tandon
Commerce Writer

Neha Tandon is an editor in New York City with a passion for writing about beauty, style, dating, wellness, and travel. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University, and has written for Harper's Bazaar, New York Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Women's Health, Brides, and more. When she's not grilling dermatologists or testing out new trends, she's doing candlelit yoga, watching old black and white movies, or hosting vegan dinner parties.