Have you ever thought about what it might be like when an introvert falls in love? Our quietude is often mistaken for a lack of confidence and our softness labels us as the ‘good guy’. And let’s face it, what have stories and movies always taught us? It is that the good and shy guys never get the girl.
As a a straight, male introvert, it might take a little longer than usual for us to establish a comfortable space with a woman and open up completely. Not everyone has the patience to wait for us to get there, and thus going out and dating becomes extremely difficult. Nobody these days has the time to peel the layers of another person but rather, are looking for fleeting romances and quick connections.
My Introvert Love Story
I am a thin, frail 24-year-old guy who is struggling with insecurity and physical disability. A guy who had never had the privilege of dating a girl. Yes, it really is a privilege because I am an introvert in its most basic sense. With this personality type, one’s crush on a friend ends at being a crush because one is never able to take things forward due to self doubt. Let me tell you a true introvert love story, what it’s like when an introvert falls in love.
Disabilities have ailed me ever since I was a kid, still in my nappies. Almost 50% of my right leg is paralyzed. Not only did it curtail my physical movement, but also brought sympathy, helplessness, and agony. As a disabled person, I had a lot of negative chatter surrounding me. The people I met said I couldn’t do anything in life. It was my mother who kept me going. She believed in me and in my abilities.
It was she who kept on reiterating to me that it is not a physical disability but ‘self-doubt’ that is the biggest disability. It reinforced my belief that if you have a few loving and caring people beside you, it helps you foster a positive outlook towards things and situations.
I tried poetry, I tried cooking for her
For the most part of my life, I was an introvert, still am. When love finally happened, I tried all that I could to live up to the expectation. I met a girl while I was pursuing a course in mass media. I wanted to date her but couldn’t because just like me, she suffered from social anxiety too. And social anxiety very quickly results in new relationship anxiety when an introvert falls in love. So that’s the first hurdle right there, the introvert fear of intimacy.
Moreover, half the time she was busy writing blog posts and poetry. She hated talking to people and avoided eye contact. We tried reading the same poetry book, as both of us were students of English literature and loved reading poetry. But that didn’t go as per plan, as she was mostly busy on Instagram and WhatsApp, book tossed aside in a corner. That’s when I thought my introvert love story was going to end before it even began.
I tried cooking for her once. I made her an omelette. Cute, right? Cooking for a loved one is definitely a way for introverts to show love. But, she didn’t like it at all. I stopped cooking for her after that. We had been friends now for almost two years and I had fallen in love with her along the way. Her introverted nature, her softness and gentleness were part of her unique charm, a charm that made me fall in love with her.
One day she visited my home in the suburbs of Chicago. I was over the moon about it. I ordered us a pizza and helped her with assignments. Despite doing all that I was supposed to, perhaps a bit more than I had expected, I was scared. I feared that my physical disability would make me unlovable. I was anxious, worried that she was tolerating me out of obligation and that she did not actually care for me. It was just a gut feeling. It couldn’t be explained, but I knew it was there.
The problem with when an introvert falls in love is that we very quickly mistake small cues and perceive them as something being wrong with ourselves. Without a clear reason, I felt the need to distance myself from her because I knew I was going to get hurt soon. The introvert fear of intimacy is real and sadly, I am awful at dealing with it.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Tips On How To Ask A Girl To Be Your Girlfriend
So I drifted apart from my introvert love
So, I started hiding behind work and online shows to run from my fear. We drifted apart slowly. Both of us were introverts and every time we discussed personal problems with each other, it felt like an infringement of privacy. The ties we shared weren’t romantic (at her end). They had more to do with mutual understanding and friendship. Finally, we grew busy with our own lives and stopped talking to each other.
Shortly after parting ways, I realized our excessive involvement in each other’s lives and careers had led to emotional attachment and we did not want it to turn into a push pull relationship. What started out as a friendship had led to an intense attachment where were were far too concerned with each other’s affairs. We were discussing just everything, like our common fear of eating in front of too many people.
We connected a lot because we certainly did understand each other in a lot of ways. Our chemistry was good, but when an introvert falls in love, they don’t always know what to do next. Also, we were so involved with each other’s lives that it was becoming a distraction. All this talk meant that both of us could hardly concentrate on our respective careers. She wanted to make it big in the world of mass media, whereas I wanted to make a career in academics.
That’s as close to a love story that I got because of my introvert fear of intimacy, which ruined any shot I had at a happy relationship.
Related Reading: Why my first and perfect date was also my last
Some day I’d like to have a real date
I have a dream. I would love to go out on an adventure with a lovely girl if ever I get a chance. I’d love to go out on a dinner date, and eat sitting right in front of a lovely young woman if ever I get an opportunity. Why does an introvert’s romantic relationship have to feel like such a distant dream? When will I be able to create my own reality?
But somewhere at the back of my mind, I know that I am an emotionally fragile guy. Every single day, I have to deal with an enormous amount of regret and guilt for not being able to deal with people. Many of my friends might think I am pessimistic, but I often feel that I am a bumper package full of sadness and boredom. I don’t think my shyness has anything to do with how introverts show love. I think this is just the kind of person I am.
I have been in love and I know it is not tailor-made for a loner like me. In fact I feel it is one of the guaranteed signs I’ll never get married. To be honest, I think I have reached a stage where I wholeheartedly accepted my disability of being a good partner. I know that it’s there and I’d have to live with it (I cannot escape). I know I’d be consumed by my disability one day, but till that happens, I’ll happily live with it. There is nothing else for me to do.
Yes for sure. Like they say, opposites attract! An extrovert might find an introvert’s energy very calming and soothing and they might balance each other out.
They’re not into grand and unique romantic gestures but they will do small things to show they love you. Remembering what you like to order at the restaurant, knowing your favorite TV shows, etc, an introvert pays attention to the details.