Keep calm and flirt on!
By Dr. Seth Meyers.
Every personality comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. With dating, shy men and women come to the table with a minor disadvantage because dating is a social activity, and shy people have a hard time putting their best foot forward with people brand new to them.
The good news is that these behaviors, while they can thwart a successful dating life if left unchecked, can totally be changed if you make an effort. Check out the shy behaviors below and see if any of them apply to you.
1. Shy people give rejection too much power.
The key to dating is to avoid taking the whole thing too seriously. Because shy men and women tend to be more introverted and more observational thinkers in the first place, not taking things seriously goes against the grain of the shy personality makeup.
But trust me when I say this: As much as a first date seems to matter in the moment, you have to put it all in perspective. After all, it would be truly impossible to deeply care about anyone you've just met, so remember that the stranger in front of you on a date shouldn't have that much more power over your feelings or mood.
If you make sure to play a part setting up the date so you go to places you love – regardless of how the date goes – you will get better at feeling relaxed and avoid thinking about the possibility of rejection.
2. They take a passive approach to planning dates.
Sometimes shy men and women can be people pleasers. They will often scope others out for a while to figure out what makes everyone tick before letting their own guards down. When it comes to planning dates with someone new, shy people tend to be too passive.
Instead of waiting to hear what your date suggests, have a couple ideas in mind before you actually start planning with him or her.
Say, "I'm not sure if this is your thing, but if you want to eat, we could try this place I like; if you would prefer to do some sort of activity, we could do a movie or walk through a museum."
By taking an active approach in dating, you won't default to your shy ways as easily.
3. They wait for the other person to initiate conversation topics.
Shy men and women almost always have a lot to say – if only you ask them. But it can be hard for a shy individual to feel super cozy with someone new and to start the conversation as if these two individuals have known each other for years.
When dating, shy people should frame a dinner date in the following way: It's just 60 minutes of your whole, entire life!
While you can't change your personality on an ongoing basis, you can certainly push your shy personality to the limit for 60 minutes and initiate lots of good conversation topics.
4. They don't flirt.
Overt flirting can actually be a turnoff for some, but a little playful flirting can go a long way. Shy people often get too stuck in their heads to relax and let their flirting come out.
Try to remember to relax on a date, because it’s only when you can let yourself relax that you can also let yourself flirt.
5. They wait for the other person to make the first move.
Off the bat, I'm thinking of the Maroon 5 song, "Unkiss Me." The point of that song is that its singer, Adam Levine, wants to go back in time and avoid getting hurt.
But with shy men and women, the problem is often the opposite: They feel uncomfortable going out on a limb and kissing their date or making a move to begin with. They often get stuck thinking too much about how the other person will receive the advance instead of simply taking the plunge and going for it.
6. They sometimes don't seek out their guy or girl for a second date - even when they're still interested.
If you're an outgoing or very confident person, you probably can't imagine meeting someone you like but not following up soon after to set up the next date. For shy men and women, however, putting themselves in a risky or vulnerable position with others feels uncomfortable and provokes a lot of anxiety.
If you're shy and meet someone you really like, you need to do whatever it takes to summon the courage and contact that good date again. Don't wait for him or her to make it happen for you. You want it? Then go get it.
I believe shy people make the world a deeper and more interesting place. Shy people often have some of the best senses of humor.
The main themes of what shy people do in dating include waiting, being passive, and not letting their true personality show. Come on, ladies and gentlemen, carpe diem!
Now, go get yourself a charming date!
This article was originally published at eHarmony. Reprinted with permission from the author.