Men are supposed to be the aggressors in the relationship, but you're fed up with all the arrogant guys hitting on you at the bar. No wonder you've fallen for that soft-spoken, sensitive fella. He's sweet, he's sensitive and he's adorable. He sneaks you bashful glances and smiles like a puppy. Behind his mysterious, impassive veneer, you bet there's a passionate Romeo waiting to emerge.
You like him and you give him signs that you enjoy his company, but he's still not making a move. What gives? Is he shy or just not that into you?
It's driving you crazy to sit back and wait for him to finally step up. You're afraid you might wait forever. So why not just ask him out? You can, but chances are you won't because you're reading this.
This article can help you decipher whether he is shy or not interested, and some actions you can take to find out.
Not all quiet guys are alike. There are different factors that contribute to why he's reserved, and you might even find his behaviour confusing and inconsistent. Some days he's more outgoing than other days. He could be affected by mood, energy level, environment and the people he is interacting with. Shyness is not a constant thing.
He Has Social Anxiety
Society anxiety is a catch-22 because he wishes he could just stop caring what other people think, but he can't. He's afraid of making a fool of himself, so he ends up worrying, overanalysing and judging himself to express himself properly. He might be prone to blushing, or even stuttering. He might reply on one-word answers because he's afraid of saying something stupid. Growing up, he might have not felt accepted just by being himself. After age 8, people tend to censor themselves in order to be accepted.
Buy Beware: Self-esteem issues. If you're the first real girlfriend he's ever had, he might be clingy, afraid that you'll leave him because he sees little worth in his own company.
He's an Introvert
Introverted people make up 30% of the population, but they comprise of the majority of creative types. Introverts are different from shy people because they might not have social anxiety issues. They are simply wired differently from extroverts. Extroverts get their energy from being around other people and talking a lot. Introverts can socialize too, but their energy will be drained from social interaction, and they often need time alone to recharge before they can go out again after a big social night, like a party or even going out for dinner in a restaurant with a few friends. If he doesn't recharge, he might get cranky. Note that Introverts will have different shades of extrovert qualities and vice versa.
Buyer Beware: If you're a social butterfly, or at least enjoy socializing with groups of friends on the weekend, you need to understand that an introverted guy might not want to go out as much as you would like to. If you force him to that dinner party or nightclub, he might get moody. Compromise by going out on one night and staying in on another. If you can't, you'll have to find someone more compatible with your lifestyle.
He's the strong and silent type. Or so it seems. There's numerous reasons why he can be passive. It might just be his personality. He might be good looking and have been spoiled by women initiating conversations and taking the lead in relationships. Maybe he's unsure of his gender role in modern society where females are now encouraged to be more aggressors, and just goes along with whatever women tell him to do. He might've even been a mama's boy who has been babied into adulthood. He's used to making little effort in relationships because it has worked for him so far.
Buyer Beware: If you want a guy to take the lead in relationships, this guy might be frustrating for the woman looking for equal partnership.
He Has More Feminine Energy
He's attracted to women, but he naturally has more feminine energy than the average guy. For that reason he needs a woman with more masculin energy. You attract your opposite, according to the masculin-feminine polarity. If you're an alpha female, you are probably not reading this article because you're fine with doing the chasing.
Buyer Beware: If you're a girly girl, run!
If you don't want continue to attract feminine guys, you might have too much masculine energy. That pushes away the masculine guys who would take initiative. I recommend the book The Tao of Dating. There's great advice on how to reconnect with your feminine side.
He's a Loner
He doesn't fit in a particular social group because he's "different". There are said to be two kinds of loners: ones who are too "dumb" and others who are too "smart". He might feel too inferior, or has not been socially accepted by the cool crowd, so he is comfortable alone. On the other hand, he might feel superior to others.
Buy Beware: If you want a boyfriend who can mingle with your friends and families with ease, he might not have the social skills or sensitivity to do so.
He's Been Rejected Too Many Times
Maybe he's not any of the above. He's sensitive, he's considerate, and he seems to genuinely like you. The real reason why he hasn't made a move might be because he was hurt in a previous relationship. Or several. He needs time to recuperate before he can consider dating someone new.
Buyer Beware: If he's been hurt, he might transfer some of the pain and trust issues to your relationship. He might suddenly snap at you and become suspicious for no reason. If you're okay with dealing with some with relationship baggage, proceed.
Remember that every guy is different. You might have a combination of these things.
It's important to understand why you like someone who is reluctant to show all his cards. Have you always been attracted to shy guys, or is he the first one who has peaked your interest? Do you like being the huntress and chase guys, displaying all your charms to win them over? Do you like a bit of mystery in a guy? Are you so used to being pursued by men that you're dumbfounded and intrigued by why he's not the same as the others? Are you shy too, and feel like you understand him? Are you simply attracted to him - his looks, his voice, the way he walks, his apparent innocence?
Think about what might happen after you get him. Right now, you might not know him as well as you think you do. Maybe you've projected your idea of your fantasy guy onto him because you don't know him well enough and he's a blank slate.
Once you've nabbed him, you might lose interest if you were only in it for the chase. Once he stroked your ego by confirming that you're worthy and attractive, you might realize that you don't like him after all. And you might even cause him pain by dropping him so quickly.
Don't fall into delusions about what you think he is like. The problem with quiet guys, more than the average guy, is that they're harder to open up so you have to fill in the blanks. He might not be displaying all the other signs of attraction as other guys will.
After you pinpoint the reasons why you think you like him, and you are still interested in pursuing this guy, then there's no stopping you. Read on.
Approach him in a friendly, non-threatening way. He might be more comfortable being the listener around people he's not close with, but get him talking. You can make him comfortable by asking him about his passions. Don't ask him personal questions right off the bat. Stick to neutral topics, like what he did on the weekend, or whether he listens to a certain band. Embrace small talk. It's harmless, and that's good.
Don't touch him right away and invade his personal space. Make him feel at ease with you. Keep things light and fun.
If you have questions related to his interests, ask him for help, but don't be a damsel in distress and pressure him to do you favors, like asking to fix your computer if he's a techie. Be your cool, intelligent self.
Men by nature are coded to share. In fact, almost everything they do is pared down to impressing and pleasing women if you really thinking about it. They want to feel like they are competent and worthy of your attention, so if they please you, let them know it. Just be careful of false flattery and overdoing it. A sensitive guy might be able to spot it and find it disingenuous.
The point is to get to know him, not to inflate his ego. If you find out that he's a dud and that you have nothing in common, it'll save you time and heartache if you've been obsessing over him from afar.
If he shifts away from you during the conversation, give him space. Watch his body language. Is he meeting your eyes? If he smiling back? Does he look bored? One of the advantages of listening instead of talking is so that you can observe him.
The L.I.P.S. Methods may sound simple, but most women don't do this enough for it to work.
Stand with your body directed toward him. Tilt your head slightly to the side. This is a posture to show your interest in a subtle way. Don't do this with a married or an attached guy, as it's quite powerful in showing your interest.
Hear what he is saying. Contribute, but make sure that he's doing at least 75% of the talking. Especially on the first few dates. The point is to get him talking about himself, so he can share and let you know what he is worth. Alpha females might find this hard. Don't get competitive and butting in with your accomplishments. Really listen and have interest in what he's saying. Have follow up questions. Don't be too intense or stare him down. Make eye contact (but blink!), nod. Smile, look away, make eye contact again. If you're the funny type, make a few jokes. You can tease him a bit, but don't insult him.
The shy guy needs more patience to be drawn out. They might not have had too much experience with women and find it difficult to read your signals. He may need some time to grasp that you are genuinely interested. Don't be pushy. You're not a car salesman. Remember that shy or not, he needs to make effort to earn the right to be with you.
Give him a big, genuine smile when you see him and before you leave. Look him in the eyes and give him a deep smile. If you're walking to him, don't look at him until you're close enough to see the colour of his eyes, than maintain friendly eye contact. This will make you seem warm and inviting. The eye contact will give him a jolt of electricity.
Do You Really Want Him?
Okay, so you've done all you could to convey that you're interested in a light, fun way. If he's still impassive and not initiating conversations when you see each other, he might not be the right guy for you. Do you really want a guy who doesn't make an effort to initiate dates, plan things, or even string together a decent sentence?
If the shy guy is starting to come out of his shell, then great! He still needs to make the move, but you've done all you can to be warm and accepting on your end.
For WOMEN only
For MEN only
William on March 05, 2019:
Trust me - if he's a guy living in 2019 and you are a woman, he's just not that into you. Women these days are steaming piles of shit.
Bill on February 08, 2019:
He's probably a smart guy and has done the cost/benefit analysis of approaching women, and determined that it's just not worth it. Women have created a poisonous dating environment and are surprised men have stopped pursuing them. It's really quite simple.
Sasha on April 04, 2017:
This really made sense now thank you
Maria on January 02, 2017:
Great article. It has been 1 year since I have been trying to go on a date with a shy guy who also really likes me but unfortunately when things start getting really serious, he pushes away because of trust issues due to a past relationship in his 20's. He is in his 30's now. So confused on what I should do. He is so amazing, yet so scared.
Vanessa on December 23, 2016:
This was by far the best article I read about this subject. Thank you.
John on October 09, 2016:
Notice how the most likely real reason - he doesn't like you - is not mentioned. Women cannot seem to comprehend that there are guys out there who aren't smitten by them. They imagine all sorts of scenarios to explain the guy's behavior (to make it his fault) but ignore the obvious. Ladies - we don't always like you. Sorry. Just deal with it, like guys do.
shanice bamboo on February 13, 2016:
this is great,it helps i just need confidence
Sonya on March 11, 2015:
I think online dating is a good way for shy people. My friend couldn't meet girls for a long time and I registered him on https://kovla.com/datings/us/harvard-heights So now he dating with the awesome girl)
Yves on March 08, 2015:
Just as Stargrrl said, I loved the Buyer Beware section. Personally, I think shy guys are alright for some women, but I'd rather my men be more open, consequently, I am attracted to men who are not afraid of women. With guys like that, there is no guessing. The downside, however, is that lots of other women like them too. Lol. However, if they're not into you, their inattention will tell you everything you need to know. Great article. Easy to read and beautifully presented!
Stargrrl on March 06, 2015:
Interesting hub with good polls. I liked the "Buy Beware" disclaimer for every type of guy issue. Thanks of sharing.
Eulalia on November 09, 2014:
Great article! I've read several over the past few weeks and this article really has substance.
Partha on October 21, 2014:
This was a wonderful article.
Made me rethink and re-analyse a bit.Thank you for this splendid job !
ria-majumdar from Manipal on May 30, 2014:
Thank you so much for writing this. I have this huge crush on this guy from my college and he appears to be the shy and silent type. Your article really cleared out a lot of doubts in my head. :D
Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on April 20, 2014:
This was a great read. Fantastic in every aspect of the word. Lay-out, text, presentation was excellent. I voted up and all the way for this wonderful story.
You have a wonderful writing style. I am going to read some of your work and I know that I will be a follower.
Would you consider doing the same for me?
I wish you only the best in your writing.