Ask Amy: Anxious Introvert Needs Dating Practice

By Amy Dickinson | July 2nd, 2021

She simply might not be ready to go back into the real world of romance


Anxious introvert at laptop Image

Dear Amy: Even though the world is opening up again, I’m still more comfortable meeting people online before meeting them in person.

I’m an anxious introvert and pursue connections with people who make me feel something.

I recently connected with a guy who shares some of my values, and we had a date planned for tomorrow.

The problem? He’s TOO nice (I know most people would do anything for that, but some of his niceness rubs me the wrong way).

I’m not super-attracted to his photos, and I’m repulsed by the sound of his voice.

I gave him an out with a vague explanation, in order to be as kind as possible.

He does seem like someone who would make a good friend, but I don’t want to take advantage of him.

Was I wrong to make that choice before meeting in person?

Am I not “broadening my horizons,” as he suggested?

Or is it the kinder choice to quickly let someone go, when some aspects of their personality or appearance turn you off?

– Inexperienced Dater


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Dear Inexperienced: Online matching provides opportunities to basically practice your interpersonal skills – learning, growing, and modifying your behavior and adjusting your judgment as you go.

I agree with you that you would be wasting this other person’s time by agreeing to meet him if you already have a laundry list of complaints about him, especially if you have decided that being “too nice” is a turnoff.

I would also suggest, however, that your need to make this list in the first place might be a sign that you aren’t quite ready to get out there.

As a self-described “anxious introvert,” meeting someone in person might itself be a challenge, so remove the burden of finding your perfect partner.

If you pulled back a bit on your expectations and decided at the outset that for the next couple of months you would use online matching as a way to motivate you to get out in the world, the dynamic would shift, and your own views might open up a bit.

Make that first meeting a daytime coffee date.

You can draw up your list of ways he offends you on the way home.


In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

© 2021 by Amy Dickinson

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