Ladies: How to Make a Connection

By eHarmony Advice Host Kate

Ladies: How to Make a Connection

Are you the quiet, shy type? Learn how to knock down those internal walls and initiate conversation with a potential love match!

This isn’t an article about who should pursue – the man vs. the woman – it is an article about how women are often stifled in making connections. I’d like to address three common “objections” that keep women from connecting, and suggest ways to gracefully get into the flow of communication with potential “candidates.” Guys, I hope you read this — they might apply to you, too, or help you understand what could hold back some worthwhile ladies.

OBJECTION #1: TRADITIONAL GENDER ROLES

Many seem to believe that traditional gender role protocol requires the man to make the first move. However, this is not the case! In fact, according to traditional gender roles and “courtly love,” the woman typically initiates. She drops a hanky, poses a question, smiles demurely, or casts a flirtatious glance. According to the protocol, the respectful gentleman won’t intrude without an invitation. It is the woman’s playful signals that give him permission to advance.

Therefore, if you’re on eHarmony, don’t be afraid to initiate communication; if you’re “IRL” (In real life) don’t be afraid to “initiate” creatively.

OBJECTION #2: I’M “SHY”

Do you have the “look-away” reflex? When you catch someone attractive making eye contact, do you instantly, almost involuntarily, turn your gaze elsewhere? Do you play it off like you’re not interested?

This self-protection instinct might even carry over into other ways of communicating defensiveness, like closed body language and cutting conversations short with excuses.

Chances are, if you’re shy, you’re pretty sensitive. And that sensitivity can benefit others. Try changing your goals from getting the guy’s interest to giving him something to make his day brighter. Smile, offer a helping hand, ask him a question, give him a compliment. By taking the focus off self-consciousness, you’ll discover that you have the ability and the power to positively affect someone – even someone you find attractive.

Once you become comfortable with the first step, try taking it further with more conversation. Soon enough, you’ll make a genuine connection with someone new.

Online, shyness can come across through unclear or distant photos that don’t fully reveal your facial features or “shiny” side. You might want to have someone you feel comfortable with take photos of you…when you’re not posing or expecting it!

Shy people may also have a tendency to keep their profile sparse and vague in self-protection. But if you want to get communication from your matches, hiding in your shell will only communicate that you want to be left alone.

If you err on the reserved side, being enthusiastic about your specific passions isn’t likely to turn into “over-disclosure.” Do an experiment: try answering the profile questions as if you were talking to the person with whom you feel most comfortable, and see how much more alive it becomes! Be comforted in knowing that on eHarmony, only your matches see this information, you can always close a match you don’t want on your page, and we’re here 24/7 to address concerns. We also have 4 tips to help you compat shyness.

OBJECTION #3: HE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE

Jenny was in awe of the songwriter/guitarist in the live rhythm-and-blues band she was watching with her friends. She thought, “Hot, talented guys like him would never give someone like me the time of day.” But when they took a break, she gathered up the courage to talk to him: “What inspires you and where did you learn to play?” With a blank look he answered, “Um…just everything and everywhere, I guess.” Jenny discovered the difference between his persona and his personality.

“League” is often an inaccurate measure – a person’s job or looks don’t always correlate with their “content” as a person or ability to be in a relationship. As the cliché goes, the book may not match the cover. Whether the cover is gilded or tattered, open it up and read. A book can’t reject you. You’re just exploring the story, not asking the story to love you and accept you.

Connecting with attractive people isn’t the same as pursuing them. Be open, go exploring, and discover the worlds around you. Don’t be afraid of “going the wrong way.” You can always turn back and take a different path.

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