How to Date If You’re Shy

If you’re shy, dating can be ominous. In fact, dating can be ominous to anyone, so throw in the fact that you’re shy and the whole thing can be downright scary.

The key is to not get overwhelmed by the big picture and everything you think you’re supposed to do. When it comes to dating, focus on the small picture. Take things one step at a time. Here’s how:

1. Set goals. By setting goals you’re comfortable with, you can minimize anxiety. For example, let’s say you find it painful to chit-chat with strangers. Then don’t set a goal to chat up three people. Instead, set a goal of making eye contact and smiling at a certain number of strangers. Once you feel comfortable doing that, raise your goal to smile and say, “Hi.” As you continue to stretch yourself, you feel more and more confident.

2. Celebrate little wins. When you make eye contact with someone and smile and they smile back, give yourself a pat on the back. Not only did you have the guts to do something that scares you, but you also got a positive result. That’s a win. Celebrate it!

3. Flirt. Flirting does not have to an overwhelming, scary thing. And it doesn’t mean throwing yourself at someone either. There are simple ways to get his attention. The goal is to drop a hint. Let the person know you’re interested. Make eye contact. Maybe even get caught looking. Let him know you’re interested. Do that by smiling. Your smile is your best curve. Show it off.

If you’re feeling daring, compliment him on something he’s wearing. Say, “That’s a great shirt,” or “Nice shoes,” or “I like your watch.” Stay away from compliments on his looks such as, “You’re gorgeous,” or “I love your eyes.” Even though those statements may be true, chances are, after they come out of your mouth, you may blush. Blushing leads to jitters and well, you know what comes next. So, compliment something he chose not something he is.

4. Remember, he’s probably nervous too. When you flirt with someone or go on a first date with someone, it helps to remember that person is nervous too. Dating can be intimidating no matter who you are. And we all want to be liked. So, if your heart feels like it’s about to flutter out of your chest, chances are your date feels the same way.

5. Say, “Yes.” When it comes to dating, it’s really important to be open to new experiences. So, when a friend invites you to a party or your brother asks you to join his hiking club or your co-worker tells you she wants to set you up, say, “Yes.” We know staying home and watching movies is a much safer, less intimidating alternative, but is the man of your dreams going to suddenly appear at your front door? No. You’re going to have to go out there and meet him.

6. Use your tools. There are so many awesome dating tools available. Do some research and decide which ones might help you find love. Would you be more comfortable meeting people online or would you be more comfortable with Fantasy Dating? Would a combination of both work best for you? What about a matchmaker? Or a dating coach? Or going on those blind dates your friends have mentioned? Decide what tools will help you date and then try them.

7. Don’t get discouraged. If you meet with a dating coach and aren’t thrilled, don’t get discouraged. Not all coaches are the same. Shop around until you connect with someone you like. The same thing goes for online dating. If you don’t get results on one site, try another. Every site has different qualities and audiences. Whatever you do just don’t give up.

The same goes for dating in person. If you go on a lousy date, remember, everyone has lousy dates. Understand that the universe is just making room for the right person to come to you. Then take a deep breath and try again.

Now, go get your game on! And let us know about your little wins. We’re cheering you on!

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