Internet dating for shy people

It’s an unspoken truth that our society is geared more towards the outgoing among us; being able to mingle and hop from conversation to conversation or group to group like a social butterfly on crank is a valued skill when it comes to in-person social networking.

People who tend to make the most noise and attract the most visibility also tend to be the ones who get the most attention… But just because you’re more introverted doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to a life alone. Sometimes it just means having to change your dating strategy to play to your strengths.

An introvert is – very simply – someone who’s personal energy (physical as well as mental) tends to be drained by social interaction and recharged through more solitary pursuits.

"I guess I lump the promises of online love right along with the promises of a fortune coming from a deposed African prince…" says Chris, an introvert who met his wife long before online dating. We probably all know people who made a serious connection--perhaps even met their spouse--through the Internet, either on an online dating site, or on Facebook, or through other online communities.

There are dating sites devoted to particular religious groups, like Christian Mingle or JDate, for example, as well as sites that cater to gay and lesbian daters. This removes a lot of the ambiguity that you face when you meet an interesting person at a work event or a party. Because of the ease and relative anonymity of online dating sites, we may take more risk reaching out to people we would not approach in person.

And even though men generally contact women more than vice versa on these sites, research has shown that a sizable minority of women do reach out to men they find desirable online, suggesting that these sites allow some women to overcome traditional gender norms that cast them in a passive role of waiting to be approached (Scharlott & Christ, 1995). Shy or socially anxious individuals often have difficulty forming and maintaining close relationships (Alden & Taylor, 2004; Davila & Beck, 2002).

if you’re the sort of person who thrives on crowds.

But what if you’re the sort of person who’s drained by crowds or just doesn’t having to introduce themselves and have to make the same small-talk over and over again?

A recent survey of 19,000 people who married between 20 found that 35 percent of these new couples met online, with about half of those meeting through an online dating site (Cacioppo et al., 2013).

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