Dating Tips for Shy People


Laura Yates by Saskia Nelson

You don’t have to be outgoing to go out on dates. However, for many shy singles meeting someone new can feel like a big challenge. We asked relationship coach and writer Laura Yates to share some of her top tips for dating as a shy person.

If you’ve been out of the dating scene for a while, getting back out there can be a daunting prospect! And even more so if like me, you’re naturally shy. However, there’s certainly no need to feel pressure to pretend to be someone you’re not or think you need to change your personality to enjoy dating again. Here are a few of my tips that you might want to try if you’re heading to a date and feeling the pressure!

Be aware of perceptions

Sometimes being shy can be mistaken for being arrogant, aloof, dismissive, bored or even boring. So it’s a case of being aware of how you potentially can come across to other people and being conscious of what you can do to avoid this. So small things such as smiling, keeping eye contact, asking questions, using open body language, being interested in what the other person has to say and having opinions (without being overly opinionated of course!) that you can offer to the conversation are all things to keep in mind.

Be prepared

Shy people are just as interesting as everyone and have just as much to say but when placed in situations where we feel on the spot or uncomfortable, it can lead to us clamming up and making it seem like we have nothing to bring to the table! So have some conversation starters up your sleeve that you can turn to if you become a little overwhelmed. What’s been going on in the world that you might want to talk about, what memorable holiday experiences have you had that you could mention, what film have you seen recently that you loved? Hopefully you’ll already have an idea of what the other person is interested in too so think ahead about questions you could ask them. A useful tip is instead of asking all the standard questions that result in a bland answer e.g. ‘How long have you being working at…..’ instead, go for questions that encourages them to share more about themselves such as ‘So what was it about……….that made you want to get into doing that?’. The more you get a sense of what they’re about, the easier the conversation will flow!

Practice outside of dating

If you feel that your shyness holds you back socially or when meeting new people, push yourself out of your comfort zone in other areas of your life and ideally in ways that involve interacting with other people. A great way to get more used to speaking to people you don’t know is to go to networking groups, meet-ups or signing up to new classes. Or if you like the gym, try a new fitness class and strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know. Use everyday situations to your advantage too. So when you’re shopping start a small conversation with the person serving you. Set yourself challenges to interact with people on an everyday basis. It might be daunting but the more you do it the more confident you will become. You’ll be surprised at how much this will help you when it comes to dating!

Know that being shy is a good thing!

Don’t see being shy as a bad thing or a huge challenge to overcome! Many people actually prefer to date shy types because they have an array of very attractive personality traits. Shy people are typically great listeners, conscientious, deep thinkers, modest, reliable and high achievers without being overstated about it. So be confident in your shyness and use it to your advantage! And remember too that in dating, it’s just as much about finding someone that will suit you and compliment your personality.

Laura Yates is a relationship coach and writer who specialises in helping people through break-ups and heartbreak. Laura provides clients with bespoke tools, techniques and mindsets that enable them to deal with their emotional struggles whilst moving forward in their life with renewed energy and focus. Laura also helps people to build up their confidence, communication and interaction skills when getting back into dating.

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