If the thought of dinner and a movie ties your throat in a knot, know that you’re not alone. Dating, for all its rewards, isn’t an easy feat to master. It can seem like everything can fall apart at any corner: say the wrong thing, eat to quickly, breathe too loudly and you run the risk of never see your match again. And if you’re working with a shy disposition, these molehill anxieties blow up into mountainous terrors. Thank God this is just our nerves talking and not reality! It might not be easy, but even the shyest of us can have a great time on a date should he or she keep a couple things in mind. Here’s some of the best advice around should you have some trouble finding your voice or are looking to get someone to open up on a date.
For Those Too Shy Date
Try taking your date to somewhere quiet and unconventional – If you have a notoriously hard time speaking up, why would you set up dinner in a noisy bar? There’s usually something instinctively well-natured about shy people – they know that every situation doesn’t require an opinion and have spent their times with mouths closed to refine their tastes and beliefs. Take your date somewhere through which he or she can really get to know your greater, quieter self. Buzzle agrees: “Chose a place where you can spend quality time with her like a park, library, or even a grocery store. In such places, you will be able to find topics which will help in starting conversations.” If something like the grocery store is a little to weird for you, take your date on a walk.
Be yourself – Yes, you’ve heard this before, maybe even from us. But it’s advice worth repeating, especially for shy guys and girls like you. This is not the time to reinvent yourself if you have a hard enough time expressing who you actually are in the first place. “Don’t try to pretend to be different just to get the other person to like you,” says The Last Honest Guy. “You won’t be able to pretend to be that way forever and things will go south after your true personality comes out.” Again, it’s tired advice, but like we said, you’ve probably got a great personality buried under all those layers of anxiety. Don’t bury it further under a fake persona.
Make it about your date – Too shy to talk about yourself? Then don’t! We’re not giving you the OK to ignore every question thrown your way, but show your date an extra dose of attention if you’re not yet comfortable opening up to him or her. Most people do like talking about themselves, and this will serve as a fresh breath of air compared to the self-obsessed dates they’ve probably been suffering through. “When you concentrate on them you will less likely be as nervous or self conscious,” says Date Supper Club. “When you feel less self-conscious you are less likely to be overcome with as much shyness either.” You will have to field some questions, but let your date do the talking for a while.
Understand that you’re not that much different from your date – You might have fallen victim to an especially heady dose, but everyone suffers from social anxiety to a degree. This is something you and your date will no doubt have in common, and while your nervousness is certainly not appropriate for a talking point, it’s healthy to keep in mind that you’re not alone in your shyness. “Let’s be real here. Most people tend to be shy at times,” says ink. “Some of the greatest comedians we know, the same ones who come to life on stage in front of thousands of people, are painfully shy.” If they can do it, so can you.
What’s the worst that can happen? – Barring some ridiculous tragedy, the worst thing that could come from a date is an early night and a little bit of embarrassment. If you’re a shy person, it’s a safe bet that this has happened to you before. So don’t worry so much! “What’s the worst that can happen?” asks She Knows. “If you go into the situation with a positive attitude, you’re much more likely to come across as laid-back and confident – attributes that are very likely to get you a date.”
For Those Looking to Land a Shy Guy (or Girl)
Make the first move – This should go without saying, but if you’re looking to court someone whose eyes point forever towards his or her feet, you’re going to have to take some initiative. Try not to seem invasive, but buy your potential match a drink and tell them a few things about yourself. “When you date a shy/reserved guy, you know that he will not talk much,” says Boldsky. “It is now your job to open him up and build comfort levels. You take an initiative by starting a topic of his interest. This makes him talk!”
Try to look good, not intimidating – “The root of shyness is insecurity, so it’s more than likely that he thinks you’re out of his league,” says College Candy. “So now isn’t the time to try out cutting edge fashion or over-the-top makeup. Try for “cute” rather than intimidating gorgeous (that’s a toughie, I know). “ This doesn’t mean to dress down, but it might not be the best time to dress like you’re part of an entourage. Make yourself approachable (this goes for guys, too – trade your best suit for jeans and a smile).
Try looking for a friend instead of a lover – Even the most shut-up among us have at least one person that they feel comfortable talking to. Approaching someone as a friend first is a great way to relieve him or her of the pressures of having to hold their own through a date. “There’s less pressure and if it doesn’t work out romantically,” says We Love Dates, “then there could still be a foundation for friendship there.” If things to do work out platonically, try to take things further. There’s a good chance he or she have wanted the same thing for a while.
Be patient – You can’t expect this relationship to progress at the same rate as one you may have held with someone with a little more confidence. Appreciate the times when he or she does open up, and understand that this is especially tough and new. “How you deal with shy guys is that you take the onus to be patient around them initially,” says What Do Men Really Think. “Just remember that he needs to get really comfortable in your company to open up. There is nothing abnormal about this as it’s just his inherent nature.” So kick your feet up and exercise patience.
Make your date feel special – “The guy [or girl] is generally shy because of low self-esteem,” says Mag for Women. “Make him feel important and confident in your presence. Get him to lead you.” This might be the most important piece of advice you can get in this field. If you can inspire confidence in your date, he or she will place you in the center of his or her life.