Once Upon a Time a Socially Awkward Introvert was Interested in Dating…

I’m just going to put this out there–I’m an incredibly socially awkward person.

Small talk is the bane of my existence.

There is absolutely nothing more awkward for me than sitting with someone I’ve just met and not knowing what to say to them. No, no, I take that back–what’s even worse is when I’m sitting with someone I have known for a little while from a particularly setting (say work or class). I can talk with them in that setting or about something related to that setting without a problem, but when it comes to making other conversation, I fail miserably.

Keeping up a conversation with someone whom I’m not 100% comfortable with is just plain rough. It’s not that I don’t try; it’s more that when I’m in the moment, my mind goes numb as I frantically think of something intelligent to say…and when I do think of something, it usually comes out as more idiotic than anything else. My go to conversation starter is, “How are you?” which really can only get you so far. Last night, I asked my friend this as I sat down to dinner and she responded with, “I hate that question!” “I’m sorry,” I replied. “I’m feeling exceptionally socially awkward today and don’t know what else to say.” (Yes, that really was my response…hey, at least I was being honest!)

This, my friends, is why I prefer writing over talking.

So, naturally, dating is something that I don’t really do. Quite frankly, I don’t even know how to go on a proper date. I’ve had one boyfriend in my life, and I’m still kind of puzzled about how I even managed that.  When my roommates in D.C. told me they were going to set up a Tinder profile for me I was like, “Um. No. hell no.” Tinder is basically the worst possible invention for socially awkward introverts. I honestly don’t even know how I would function on a date with someone I met on Tinder. Like, for real. I’d probably message them at the last minute and find some really stupid excuse to not meet up. For the record, the Tinder profile that my roommates were so eager to set up for me never happened, thankfully!

A few months ago I went bar hopping with one of my friends. At one bar, a few guys came up to us and asked, “What should we get? We’ll buy you two drinks of whatever you recommend.” My friend, who can be as socially awkward as I am and whom I love to pieces replied with, “Follow your dreams.” They gave her a weird look before walking away. She looked at me and quite frankly stated, “This is why I am single.”  Well, I probably would have come up with an equally as painful response, which is why I , too, am single.

There isn’t anything wrong with being single; I don’t mind it at all. It’s not my intention to mourn my single status here. I’ve been single for a little over a year now and I honestly think it’s been the most rewarding year of my life so far. I’ve learned so much about myself as a single lady and I’ve grown so much as a person.

That being said, being a socially awkward introvert who is also interested in dating people is really kind of painful. How in the world can I even get to a date if I don’t know how to talk to a person I am interested in going on a date with?

This, my friends, is the big question.

I’ll figure it out. Hopefully. This isn’t a main priority right now, after all (that would be finishing up this semester. and then the next. and then graduating from college). It’s just something I’ve been thinking about lately.

Hey, if socially awkward introverted me can fly out to Washington D.C. by myself and move into an apartment with four complete strangers (and eventually grow to love those strangers, mind you), I can surely find a way to navigate the dating world! Just not right now. Now, I should probably write that paper. And that other paper. Oh, and I’ll also be presenting my senior seminar a week from today so I might want to prepare that.

Why am I so worried about navigating the world of dating when I have so many more important things to do, then? I guess it’s true that college students will do anything to procrastinate…

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