Whether you have set out to meet men the old way (bars) or the newfangled way (dating apps), putting yourself in the right place at the right time can be a serious drag.
The truth is, sometimes “getting out there” can feel too forced. I know I felt that way when I was dating. Hanging out at a bar with a couple of my girlfriends felt so fake, and when I went home without meeting anyone I was interested in, I felt like it was one big waste of time. “Why can’t I meet a guy doing something that I enjoy?” I would complain. Couldn’t I meet my future husband while gardening or going for a hike?
A lot of how we prefer to spend our time and, consequently, how we prefer to meet men depends on our personality type, and that shouldn’t be ignored when trying to meet Mr. Right.
If you evaluate yourself via the Myers–Briggs type indicator, there are sixteen distinctive personality types that you might identify with (and you are likely a blend of a couple). I encourage everyone to take the Myers–Briggs test. It can be very revealing as to why you feel, think, and behave in certain ways. And when it comes to dating, it can help you discover what kind of social situations you thrive in and in which ones you suffer.
To keep things simple, I will focus on the attitudes of either extroversion or introversion, as every personality type works in conjunction with either a predominantly extroverted or introverted way.
According to the Myers–Briggs foundation, extroversion and introversion are the psychological preferences used to describe where a person places their attention and gets their energy. A more extroverted person will tend to “spend time in the outer world of people and things,” while a more introverted person will prefer to spend time in their own “inner world of ideas and images.” The Myers–Briggs foundation warns us not to confuse introversion with shyness or reclusiveness nor should we confuse extroversion with the class clown. They are not related. Better questions to ask yourself are:
Extroverted: Am I seen as “outgoing” or as a “people person”? Do I feel comfortable in groups and enjoy “working the room”? Do I sometimes jump too quickly into an activity and not allow enough time to think it over?
Introverted: Do I feel comfortable being alone and like things I can do on my own? Do I prefer to know just a few people well? Do I sometimes spend too much time reflecting and not move into action quickly enough?
Everyone spends some time extroverting and some time introverting. The question is, what do you tend toward more?
I’m guessing you already have a hunch about what type you are, especially when it comes to how you prefer to “get out there.” That being said, here are some ideas for meeting men that might feel like a more natural fit for your personality type.
A Bit (or a Lot) More Extroverted?
Meetups: For introverts, the idea of attending an event or group activity with a bunch of complete strangers sounds like a nightmare, but for an extrovert, this is a situation in which you will shine.
Find a Meetup group that piques your interest, and go for it. You thrive on an ever-broadening social circle, and this is a boon for meeting new guys. At a Meetup group, you will be surrounded by people who share your interest—people you might never have met otherwise. Even if no one is boyfriend material, maybe you’ll make some new friends.
Host a “bring a friend” party: One defining characteristic of an extrovert is her tendency to move into action and make things happen. So who better than you to throw a party?
Maybe you are new to the area, or maybe you have been in town too long; in either case, the extrovert in you is eager for new faces and new friends—especially of the male variety. Tell your new and old friends to come; you will provide the drinks, and they can bring a friend (preferably a single one). Your male friends are probably the better ones to set on this task as they are most likely to have cute single friends they never talk about.
Join a book club: An odd choice, perhaps, for an extrovert? Not at all actually. This suggestion is operating under the assumption that opposites attract, and they do, frequently. So here is an opportunity to let your most complimentary extroverted qualities shine while also participating in an activity that is likely to draw introverts, too.
Book clubs are a chance to mingle and socialize (one of your specialties), as well as reflect and ponder the “inner world of ideas and images” in a more intimate setting. Introverts often appreciate an extrovert’s ability to draw them out of their “inner world,” and extroverts often admire the introvert’s gift of introspection and insights. Remember to stay open to the guys who might seem shy. When you all hunker down to discuss the themes from the evening’s book of choice, his personality will really come out.
A Bit (or a Lot) More Introverted?
Setups: There are few things more painful for an introvert than small talk, be it at a crowded bar or online. They would much rather sit down with a person and have a real conversation. So, introverts, be open to letting friends and family do the legwork for you. Ask your friends to set you up on dates.
The best people to hit up for dates are your married friends. They are all dying for you to meet someone, so tell them to get crackin’! One of my friends recently approached a single guy at church and asked him if he would be willing to be set up on a date with her friend. If you think the guy was weirded out, you are wrong. He said “Why not!” and promptly gave her friend a call. Don’t be ashamed to ask your friends and family (or even matchmaking-inclined Verily contributors) to set you up. It’s a perfectly normal phenomenon, and I know plenty of people who have met their spouses this way.
Join a rec league: Just because you are an introvert doesn’t mean that you prefer to spend your time with your nose in a book. Plenty of introverts enjoy playing sports and exercising. It just so happens that indoor sports is where millennial men like to congregate. According to marketing insights via Marketingcharts.com, “One in four millennial men like to use their free time to go to the gym, exercise, or engage in indoor sports. Seventeen percent of women concurred.”
The great thing for an introvert about being on a sports team is that it gives you the time to build rapport and intimacy. Isn’t it nice to know that you can do something you enjoy and put yourself out there at the same time?
Small group settings: Statistics show that the majority of people who marry meet their spouses through mutual friends or in social settings. This is a good thing for introverts and extroverts alike; it just means that introverts should tend toward smaller group social settings so that they won’t get burned out. Remember, just because you are introverted doesn’t mean that you can’t initiate a social gathering yourself; you may just want to get an extroverted friend to cohost so that you don’t get too bogged down with the details.
Host dinner parties and invite people from church, your new rec league, and friends of friends. Invite two single guy friends or one or two couples, and tell them to please bring along an unattached male friend. Dinner parties are the perfect opportunity to have more thoughtful and meaningful conversations while hopefully getting acquainted with someone new. Another small group activity, which is my personal favorite, is organizing a hike. Hikes are a great way to get a few people together. As you walk, people naturally mingle as their pace quickens or slacks, and the adventure is an easy icebreaker.
Don’t get down on dating by thinking that the hopeless prospect of bar hopping is your only chance for meeting “him.” There are plenty of other, more suitable options for socializing that will likely make putting yourself “out there” more fun. You just have to recognize your personality type and start making moves accordingly.
Photo Credit: Manchik Photography