How to Date a Loner

Your date may need space, even when you are together.Your date may need space, even when you are together.

Dating a loner needn't be difficult -- even if you are an extrovert -- if you understand the typical behaviors of this type of personality. Contrary to what you may believe, loners are not necessarily lonely, aloof or miserable. Introverts simply engage with the world in very different ways than extroverts do.

Step 1

Respect your date's need for alone time, and avoid jumping to conclusions about what that means. According to Sophia Dembling, in "Seven Things Extroverts Should Know About Introverts (and Vice Versa)," for Psychology Today, the need for alone time shouldn't be taken personally. Don't assume that your date doesn't like you. She needs time out now and again, to be alone or simply recharge her batteries. Likewise, don't worry that she's not enjoying herself when she's with you, just because she's not acting like the life and soul of the party. That's simply not part of her makeup. An introvert is more likely to stay away from the crowd, and value one-to-one conversations over large group discussions.

Step 2

Understand that your date may find social situations difficult. He may not want to attend certain events, and after a big party he may need to hibernate for a few days. Let him make his own decisions about how, when and how often he socializes, and don't pressure him into going out when he really doesn't want to. At a party, he may prefer to sit quietly in the corner, rather than mingling, dancing or entertaining others. This is completely normal behavior for a loner, and it doesn't mean he's not enjoying himself. He may get a lot of pleasure simply from observing what's going on at the party. Your date may have a low need for social contact, psychologist Jonathan Cheek tells Elizabeth Svoboda in Psychology Today. Socializing can be exhausting for introverts, whereas quiet, alone time can revitalize them.

Step 3

Master the art of compromise. If you love going out every night and meeting lots of people, but you're dating a loner, you will need to find some middle ground that both of you are happy with. For example, you might agree to go out together to a bar or club once per week — or whatever you both think is reasonable — and have quieter, more private dates on other nights. Have regular nights out with friends to satisfy the social side of your personality, and give your date the space she needs.

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  • Some people are simply loners by nature, while others may have been brought up by a family that values privacy, or grown accustomed to not having many friends as a child.


  • Look out for signs that your date is becoming too isolated, warns the article, "What's the Difference Between Being a Loner and Being Lonely," for BBC News Magazine. Even introverts need social interaction. The Mental Health Foundation Report, "The Lonely Society?" published in 2010, suggests being mindful of signs of depression, such as loss of appetite, an extreme change in sleep patterns, tearfulness, anxiety or extremely negative thoughts, or acting more withdrawn than normal. Ask him if anything is bothering him. Explain that you are worried that he is becoming too isolated, and that you want to help.

About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."

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