How to Get a Boyfriend: Strategies for Shy Womenby Nadine Kalinauskas
Single and shy? Here are some strategies to help even the shyest of girls get boyfriends. (Hint: Use your friends. And always smile through the awkwardness.)
Let your closest friends and trusted family members know that you’re looking to date. Be open to setups — at least you’ll be going on a date with someone who comes with references. Your friends likely know people you don’t, and, in some cases, might have some great insight into who would be a great match for you. It doesn’t hurt to try, right?
Consider hosting a dinner party. Ask each of your guests to bring someone you don’t know. You’ll be expanding your social circle in the comfort of your own home. Even if the party doesn’t lead to a date, you’ll be honing your small-talk skills and charm.
Recruit a wing woman, someone who will attend singles’ events with you or give you pep talks when you’re feeling down about the dating game. If you know you’re going to need encouragement, line it up in advance. Let this person know what you’re looking for so she can hold you accountable as you process your dates together.
Fake it ’til you make it
Confidence is attractive. Shyness, unfortunately, can often disguise itself as disinterest, insecurity or haughtiness. Make a conscious effort to smile and make eye contact when you meet new people or spot a cute stranger at a coffee shop. Be aware of your body language and try to appear more approachable. As this will likely take practice, challenge yourself to engage with strangers on a regular basis: at the coffee shop, in the cafeteria, at a business meeting.
Instead of dressing to impress others, dress to give yourself a confidence boost. Wear what makes you feel great. (Consider calling on that wing woman mentioned above if you need some style help and/or affirmation)
Do what you love
“Getting out there” doesn’t have to mean singles clubs or a series of blind dates. Meet new people by taking up a hobby or signing up for class. You’re more likely to meet likeminded individuals if you’re doing what you love, plus the pressure’s off: even if you don’t meet Mr. Right there, you’re enjoying yourself and advancing a skill. (And if you do meet someone, you’ll immediately have something in common to chat about)
Online dating can be a shy girl’s dating lifeline. When you create your profile, explain that you’re often shy at first. Worthy potential suitors will read this and understand they’ll need to initiate first contact.
While you’re online, consider a little mild cyber-stalking. Look up a crush on Facebook — make sure he’s single first — like a post or two, or offer a cute comment. A short online chat might translate into in-person chit-chat the next time you run into each other.
Ponder and process
Spend a lot of time in your own head? Put that time to good use. Evaluate what you want, appreciate, need, and can’t stand in relationships. Reflect on past relationships and determine what you want to happen differently next time around. Observe healthy relationships around you and take mental notes. Make your introversion work for you.
Play up your strengths
You’ve been set up on a date by a good friend. If you’re not sure what to talk about — small talk might not be a strong suit — focus on the things you do and love. Your face will light up when you’re talking about the things you’re most passionate. Let him get to know the real you.
Be optimistic — and be yourself
Nervous about a first date? Remind yourself that you have nothing to lose. Not every date needs to lead to lasting love. It’s simply coffee and a chance to meet someone new and to hone your dating skills.
Be yourself. The old adage is true. Be honest with your dates. Shyness isn’t something to be ashamed of. Laugh at yourself. Talk about your interests. Give yourself permission to be quiet. You don’t have to suddenly be the life of the party. Listen to him. Give him your attention. And respond honestly and warmly. You’ll be fine.