Both introverts and extroverts can impact the world for Christ. Our unique personalities equip us for our lives! But in a fallen world, our personalities are affected by sin nature. We are all in progress, our personalities being sanctified by God’s Spirit in us.
Sometimes our personalities blind us to areas that need work. This is especially true in dating, when we tend to put “best foot forward” to impress the people we go out with. Both introverts and extroverts do this! Today, let’s talk about how to date well as an extrovert.
I learned the following principles the hard way. As a committed extrovert, I’ve seen my relationships damaged when I didn’t follow this advice. I’ve also seen how implementing these simple changes made dating much more enjoyable—both for me and the guys I went out with (and ultimately, the man I married!).
Don’t underestimate the power of listening.
The stereotype portrays introverts as listeners and extroverts as talkers. While this generalization is not entirely true, many extroverts do find it more difficult to listen than to engage in a thriving discussion. If you’re like me, you get so excited by a topic that you tend to interrupt other people. While our motives are almost always good, it’s important to refrain from interrupting others, particularly on a date!
Listening is a lifetime habit. By intentionally setting aside your own opinions and thoughts to hear another’s, you are building character—and possibly the foundation of a lasting relationship. Listening is a selfless act and, as such, very appealing in a date.
Embrace the awkward silence.
Believe it or not, silence is part of a good conversation. It takes 17 seconds to formulate a thought (which you may have noticed if you’ve ever sat, mind racing, to come up with a new conversation topic). While silence might feel awkward, let it happen periodically. Don’t fill every open space with new words!
Giving space allows a guy the opportunity to ask you questions. If you never give him a chance—peppering him with questions because you’re nervous, or talking in circles because the silence is deadly—you may never get to really connect with your date.
Have realistic expectations.
Not every person is an extrovert like yourself. Since opposites often attract, there is a high likelihood you’ll go out with an introvert! Given this reality, it’s wise to set realistic expectations for your date (e.g., he might take you to a quiet dinner instead of a sporting event). Let him create the environment if he’s the one who initiated the outing. While you don’t have to continue going out with someone whose personality doesn’t jive with yours, do try to appreciate his individuality.
Finally, be gracious! Many extroverts are very comfortable in large groups and new situations. They adapt to their environments quickly and draw energy from others. If your date is not as extroverted as you, he might not be able to “keep up” at first. If he’s not accustomed to crowds, concerts or whatever your hobby might be, he’ll need grace for the growing season.
My husband is the direct opposite of my personality (according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I’m an ENTJ; he is an INTP). We don’t share many hobbies, and when we were dating, he didn’t care for the concerts and large, loud discussions I preferred for fun. We both had to compromise to make the relationship work—and we still do! Giving grace in your relationships is much easier when you recognize how much grace God has given you. Let the gospel guide your relationships and personality type will be secondary.