Dating is effortless for some people, but if you’re shy, it can be intimidating, awkward, and stressful. The anxiety of going on a date may mar the actual date or cause you to back out of it altogether. If your shyness prevents you from dating, you could miss some wonderful opportunities and experiences. The good news is that you can work around your shyness to have a satisfying dating life. Here’s how.
1. Be Prepared
You can start a conversation, or rescue yourself if you blank out in the middle of one, by having a reserve of topics you’ve thought of ahead of time. This could include the latest entertainment gossip, sports headlines, news stories (no politics, please), or a book or movie you’ve recently enjoyed.
2. Choose a Familiar Setting
If you’re shy, familiar surroundings can be quite comforting on a date. You’re more likely to relax and be yourself if you take your date to that quaint coffee shop you hang out at or your favorite sushi bar. You’ll also know from experience that the place is reputable, so you and your date won’t have any unpleasant surprises.
3. Ask Questions
When you ask questions, it not only keeps the conversation percolating along, but it shows you’re interested in your date and what they say. As you ask questions, they’ll open up more and feel a connection with you.
A simple yes/no question, though, is a conversation-killer:
“Do you like this cold weather we’ve been having?”
Be sure to ask them genuine, open-ended questions, such as, “Tell me about your hobbies,” or “What are some things you like about cold weather?” Build on their answers with more questions, or share a few of your own related stories to expand the conversation into a nice back-and-forth flow. Good communication will help you get to know each other and get more comfortable with each other. It will also reveal interests, activities, beliefs, goals, and values that you have in common. You may become so fully immersed in the conversation that your shyness melts away.
However, don’t make the conversation about yourself. Sometimes shy people want to impress the other person so badly that they keep trying to “sell” themselves to their date. If you babble on and on about your own interests and experiences, though, you may seem dull and egotistical.
4. Be Aware of Your Body Language
You may not be aware that your body language is shouting, “Unapproachable!” Crossing your arms, frowning, slouching, or looking at the ground can make you appear closed-off and unfriendly. It can completely misrepresent you and sabotage your chances of having another date or getting one in the first place. Instead, make a good impression by standing or sitting up straight, making eye contact, smiling, and uncrossing your arms.
5. Try Going on an Active Date
If sitting across a table from your date makes you feel about as comfortable as being at a job interview, an active date may be the solution. An active date gets you moving. This type of date can be any physical activity, such as golfing, walking, bicycling, or shooting baskets. You’ll stress less over gaps in the conversation when you’re both focused on what you’re doing, instead of what you’re saying.
Shyness doesn’t have to be a barrier to going on dates. You just have to approach dating in a way that suits your personality, without compromising it. These five dating tips can point you in the right direction.