In the little section where you’re asked, “How do you typically spend a Friday night? I say I’m usually at a yoga class, winding down after the week.” (you know the one—it’s where most people say, “Sometimes I like to go out, but then sometimes I like to stay in,” and you want to reply, “O RLLY? There’s a good chance that you’ll discover the subtle difference between the “just put yourself out there!

"If you had a couple of bad experiences with apps, you’re going to be even more nervous about it," says Dr. "If you don’t like an online app and you don’t want to go out, it’s going to make tough and put more pressure on you."So how do you meet people sans apps?

There's scoping out people at a party or joining a club, which also means pushing yourself out of your comfort zone (but hey, at least you'll better know if you mesh well with someone off the bat). "I think meeting people through mutual friends is an excellent strategy," says Dr. "They're already vetted, known entities, plus you have built-in commonalities to talk about." In any case, being a homebody doesn't mean apps are the most approachable way to date. Compromise on going out with your partner sometimes.

Ellen Hendriksen, author of How to Be Yourself, Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety.

"[It's] much better to expect an awkward silence or two and a couple of jokes that fall flat." Honestly, you'd have to be a narcissist or sociopath to not even be a little self-conscious or visibly uncomfortable on a first date. Know what type of date brings out your chatty side.

"Some anxious introverts swear by attending an event, like a reading or a comedy show, because it provides a built-in topic of discussion afterwards," says Dr. Whatever it is, just make sure it's something that'll make you feel comfortable.3. If your day-to-day look is a sweater and jeans, you'll probably want to forego statement lipstick and an open-back dress even if you think it comes off as more confident. "Think of the cardinal rule of comedy improv: 'yes, and.' Listen to whatever is being said, and then riff off of it." And if you're the only one doing the legwork (it'll be pretty obvious if they're giving you nothing to work with) – then your date just sucks and you can close out your tab in peace. "Anxiety is driven by uncertainty, so if you have a flexible exit plan, you'll feel more confident," says Dr. And if you're afraid of feeling the pressure to stay out really late (even if the date is good), you can plan something between events, or during the day.

If you're focusing on how abnormal you feel, it only ups the pressure."It’s the same as a job interview – you don’t want to wear a brand new outfit and not know if it’s too tight or too short," says Dr. "Wear something you had good experiences with before and feel good about – and is appropriate for the occasion."4. If you're extra worried about running out of things to talk about, Dr. "You can find out a little bit about the person ahead of time and have topics that won’t run into dead-ends."Be real: if you found this person on an app, you probably scoped out their Instagram anyway. "It’s good to have a definite time you need it to be over with," says Dr. "If you go on a Saturday afternoon date, there’s no commitment then to what happens next." 7. If you've gone on a handful of dates and they've all been stilted and painful to get through, it might be good to reevaluate your own behavior on dates. Figure out if you have actually have social anxiety, not just introversion.

I used to have a friend who’d say, “Dating is nothing but a numbers game.” She believed that going on more dates was equivalent to a higher likelihood of falling in love. However well-intentioned it may be, it flies in the face of a major factor essential to an introvert’s well-being—alone time. So yes, you will have times when sitting across from another human being, you’ll feel you’d rather pull out your molars without Novocaine than think of another word to say to this person. I feared if I declined, I would be passing up on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You will have days when unexpected issues arise at work, your cat gets sick, a family member calls with an emergency, or a friend emails with the last-minute favor to which you have to say yes because they helped you out last week.

It might sound pretty reasonable when you first hear it except for the fact that it’s utter bullshit. It took me years of dating before I finally started ignoring this type of “practical” advice. For introverts, first dates are minefields of small talk and mindless chatter. if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one to hear it, would this date be just as bad? As a result, I spent the following weekend on the couch, exhausted, spiraling down the rabbit hole of a bad television binge, barely able to peek around the door when the delivery guy dropped off my take-out. If you have a date scheduled that evening and you just can’t go, so be it.

Ok, so you found someone who's great but wants to go out a liiiiittle more often than you do. "Sometimes it's worth channeling your inner extrovert," says Dr. Plus, there's one key element that's different from you being stuck at a house party alone: "If you’re comfortable with your partner, they’ll be there with you," says Dr. "You might find it was more fun than you thought it would be." 11.