Too much of American dating culture revolves around activities dominated by extroverts: dinner & a movie, bowling, miniature golf, dancing, cocktail parties, sports events, concerts, bars, even shopping (according to LiveStrong.com Dating Ideas--no joke!). Most if not all of these require you to be talkative, funny, and on-your-toes socially. Not that the introvert doesn't enjoy these activities from time to time, but let's face it. There are more dating activities well-suited for the gregarious, outgoing extroverts than for the quieter, contemplative introverts.
I happen to be an introvert married to an introvert. We go to the occasional sports event. We've been to a couple concerts. We've been shopping together (although neither of us would call those times "dates," more like the "for better or for worse" times we vowed we'd love each other through). But when it comes to date night, time and time again we've faced these options, looked at one another, and said, let's just watch a movie. Now, introverts, let's get creative. We don't always want to watch Netflix for every date night, do we? As much as I love my movie nights...
I propose 10 fun activities to do with your favorite introvert. Or if you're the introvert, suggestions to show your friends or significant other. Here's the first 5.
1.) Listen to music. Share an artist, album, or song you've recently discovered, and let your friend or special someone share one with you. Spend time listening to the songs all the way through, then talk about what was unique or innovative. Talk about what you each enjoyed about the music. Don't be afraid to say what you didn't like, as long as you do so respectfully. Differences are what make relationships interesting (in a good way, usually...hopefully).
2.) Read to each other. There are a few ways to do this. My husband doesn't particularly like to be read to. But if neither of you mind, take turns reading chapters of a good book together. Or, like we do, you can find a second copy at the library, read them simultaneously, and discuss what's going on. If it's fiction, what characters do you like or not like? What kind of tension is going on? What do you think might be cooking up behind the scenes? If it's non-fiction, what are you learning? What kinds of information or anecdotes do you relate to? If it's poetry--way to go! Talk about the imagery that struck you as original. Talk about the feelings you felt as you read the poem. Did you hear sadness coming through? Anger? Loneliness? Did you hear joy? Pride? Humor? Since this is particularly my cup of tea, pick a novel to start with from the New York Times 1001-books-to-read-before-you-die list. (http://www.listology.com/list/1001-books-you-must-read-you-die) I suggest fiction because I think good fiction takes us somewhere in our understanding of the world that all the self-help books in the world can't get us to. Of course, I also strongly believe poetry and well-wrought essays can do the same thing. Enough from my soapbox.
3.) Go stargazing. On a clear night, take a blanket or two, find a patch of ground clear of the trees and the lights of civilization, and look at the stars. The American Meteor Society (http://www.amsmeteors.org/showers.html) has a whole page about upcoming showers, so you can plan a date around wishing on some shooting stars if you want. Even without nature's fireworks, it's quiet, contemplative, and very romantic. This is also fun for a group of friends to do together. Take some hot chocolate in thermoses, some quiet tunes, and enjoy.
4.) Watch Jeopardy. This great suggestion came courtesy of a friend who enjoys this date activity with her husband when their two little ones are finally put to bed. It's not just watching TV. Oh, no. It's interactive. You can even make a little competition out of it as long as you don't get too heated and end up sleeping in different rooms. I don't think this has ever happened to my friend. Just sayin.
5.) Take a hike. Together. Find a state park nearby and spend a day or afternoon enjoying some nature. Go at your own pace--it's not the destination, it's about the journey. If you're allowed to take food in the park (always check regulations), pack a couple pbj's and apples, take a thermos of wine, and have yourself a merry little picnic under the trees, or on the beach, or in a swamp. Whatever your local habitat affords you. Just make sure you pack your trash out and leave no trace of your visit. My husband and I recently took a whole day to hike at some beautiful state parks nearby. You can read about that here.
Check back later in the week for 5 more fun things to do with introverts. I hope this is getting some idea wheels turning! If you have any other introvert-oriented date ideas, add them in the comments section! There's way more than 10 good ideas. To be continued...