Getting to know someone who is shy can be a frustrating experience, especially if you don't know the reasons why that particular person is shy. In a dating situation you may read the signs wrong or not be able to judge if she is actually into you or interested.
I've always been a shy girl myself, so below is some very good advice that I would give to people who would want to date a shy girl, as well as what has worked (and what hasn't) when someone was dating me.
Why are People Shy?
Before you even consider to date a shy girl or befriend her, it's important to understand that people are shy for their own reasons. Some girls are shy because they have had a bad experience in the past, such as getting bullied for being the "know-it-all" in class while others learned from their parents to never talk unless spoken to. Some girls are also more shy around boys, especially if they've never had someone interested in them before.
Knowing that there are multiple reasons to why people are shy will allow you to understand and be patient with the girl you're wanting to get to know (and potentially date). Being too straightforward and pushing her to talk will only make her feel pressured and less likely to feel comfortable around you.
The most important thing to remember is that it takes time for a shy person to open up and feel comfortable around someone new.
How to Make Her Feel Comfortable
The key to dating a girl who is shy is simply to make her feel comfortable. If you can make a girl comfortable around you, you're well on your way to being able to ask her out (or have her ask you out!)
Things that Will Make her Self Conscious
- Saying that she is shy will only make he more uncomfortable.
- Pointing out that she doesn't talk much or trying too hard to make her talk will have the opposite effect. It actually makes the girl feel more pressured and nervous and will feel less comfortable around you.
- Kissing in public or showing affection in public (at first especially)
Tips on Making a Shy Girl Comfortable Around You
One of the easiest and most effective ways to get a shy girl to be comfortable around you is to make her laugh and be goofy around her. Let her know that you're the biggest goofball between the two of you. This will make her feel comfortable because she'll be able to forget how shy she is and let go of any pressure she feels in trying to make conversations or worrying if she's making a fool of herself.
If you're not a person who is naturally goofy or outgoing, it's also helpful to just take your time and not notice or care about her awkwardness or shy tendencies. Over time, she'll begin to feel better around you because her fears of not knowing what to say will go away. Being patient and not forcing her to talk will allow her to become confident and feel like what she has to say will be important.
Ask her questions. If you really like this girl, it's easy to just ask her questions about what she likes or what she thinks of things. This takes the pressure off of her so she's not worried about not knowing what to say. This will also give her a point in the conversation where she knows it's okay to talk and where she knows you want to know what she thinks about something.Just be sure to not pester her with too many questions, especially if she seems to become more shy and withdrawn.
If you know what she's into, that's an easy way to start talking to her, especially if you both share a common interest, such as art or music.
Avoid Pointing out that She's Shy or Doesn't Talk Much.
One of the sure fire ways to make a shy girl feel uncomfortable is to bring up how she's shy or mention how she's not talking. It might be frustrating at first, but by constantly pestering her and telling her how shy she is. Among shy people, being called shy is one of the most irritating observations you can point out because shy people already know they are shy. Pointing it out just draws more attention to the fact.
Understand that Shy People Need Time to be Alone
Chances are, if she's shy, she's an introvert and she may need time to herself every once in a while to feel better. If she doesn't feel up to going to a big party with you, don't make her feel bad about it (chance are she'll beat herself up about it more than you will). Getting over shyness and wanting to be a part of your life, in your social life and hanging out with friends is going to be a huge change. Be supportive. If you push her too far, she may end up withdrawing from you and feel like she's not good enough or can't talk to people anymore.
What is She Thinking?
When trying to know whether a girl is interested in you, a shy girl can be one of the trickiest to figure out. An easy way to know if she's into you is to see how she reacts over time to you.
If she starts to not be so shy around you, there's a good chance that she likes you. In order for her to consider dating you, she has to feel comfortable around you and want to spend time with you.
The first encounters will more or less be her thinking about how she doesn't know what to say. This can be really stressful as the more she feels like she can't talk or doesn't know how to keep you interested the more pressure she'll feel and more shy she will get. This is why being goofy and making her laugh will help her feel more comfortable as she will be able to not feel the pressure having to talk.
As you continue to become her friend or show interest in her, she may begin to start wondering what you still are interested in liking her. Depending on what kind of shy girl she is, she may have never considered someone like you would like her. There may come a time when she'll bring this up with you. It's important at this time to understand where she's coming from and not brush aside her feelings. Shy people often have a hard time dealing with and getting over being shy, so if she's willing to open up to you and share her feelings, be sure to listen and let her know that you don't care that she is shy.
How to Ask a Shy Girl Out
Depending on the girl, you may actually find that she is not as shy as you thought she was. In this case, you may be surprised when she asks you out herself or starts dropping hints about how she wants to spend more time with you.
If this doesn't happen with the particular girl you're interested in, or you become to not being able to stand not knowing if she would like to go out with you, you'll want to consider how best to ask her out.
Tips on Asking her Out
- Be sure to not have anyone around when you ask her. Having other people around when you ask will only pressure her and make her uncomfortable and shy.
- If she's still shy around you and you think that talking to her will make her shy. You could consider writing her a note.
- Keep it casual and don't stretch it out. Avoid any long awkward build ups to asking her.
- Invite her out for an ice cream and judging from how she reacts, ask is she would like to be your girlfriend.
- Wait for the right moment. There will usually come a time when it feels right to ask her out.
First Date(s) with a Shy Girl
Much like when you ask her out, it's a good idea to go somewhere where there's not a lot of people around, or people she knows. Showing any form of affection, at least at first, in a public setting will probably make her a little shy and awkward.
The ideal first date would be somewhere where you can spend time along, without the pressures of anyone around to make her feel more nervous. Going for a walk, a state park or a quiet diner are all good ideas.
Also, be sure that the first time you two hold hands or kiss (again this depends on how shy she still is) would probably be best if it happened with just the two of you around.
Do Not Move Too Fast
Moving too fast could cause her to become shy around you again, setting you both back in the relationship you were building. It's best to move slowly or ask if she's comfortable if you're unsure of whether or not she's ready for holding hands or to go to a movie. (This is usually helpful in young relationships in middle school or high school where everyone is getting a feel for dating).
Again, it really depends on how shy the girl is and her reasons for being shy. She may open up to you quickly or she may remain very shy with you for a long time. Be sure to keep in mind that this relationship will take a long time to develop. Communication is key.
If you move too fast, she may end up not knowing how to deal with the situation. This can lead to her avoiding you, not answering your phone calls or lying about stupid things in order to try to keep you away. These are signs that you're going to fast or that she's not into you.
Final Thoughts and Advice
Dating a shy girl is not much different than dating any other girl, except for that fact that you'll have to spend a lot more time making sure she is comfortable and that you're not moving too fast.
The first few months or weeks (depending on the girl) will be slow until the girl starts opening up to you. After she does this, you'll soon find out more things about her and will probably figure out why she was so shy in the first place.
Just be sure to relieve any of the pressure she'll be feeling of overcoming her shyness and show her your support and love. This is key in dating a shy girl and maintaining that relationship. Be open with her and honest and she'll do the same with you.
A quick note from personal experience: I've actually found that certain people just make you feel more comfortable than others. If holding someone's hand or being close to them causes either of you any discomfort or makes you nervous, you may want to consider if this is the right person for you. I've had one boyfriend who I never could feel comfortable around (thankfully it ended) and another boyfriend who I felt instantly comfortable around.
There's no point in forcing any relationship if you're not happy or comfortable with it. It may seem like a bad note to leave on, but there are "plenty of fish in the sea" and the one person who does make you feel comfortable and loved may just be out there waiting for you.
Josh on March 07, 2020:
Astilar on July 20, 2017:
Hope that you still have this site in your overview.
I'm a Dutch guy working in the Czech Republic and I met a girl just a week ago (who I saw a lot of times earlier at my work, office etc...) who seems to be very shy.
We had an office party the day later and we talked almost the whole evening. Being quite close and I felt that she actually felt quite comfortable around me. Looking into each others eyes, talking quite without issues, yet... When I gave her compliments on how she looked(looks very stunning) and on her beautiful eyes, this actually made her look away and it gave me the feeling that not many men told her this (which surprises me as she is a really sweet girl).
Now, I realised that she is a (very) shy girl and probably not used to a man liking her. We did talk a couple of times at work though and I also invited her for getting a cup of coffee in a cafe where they also have cats (she loves cats and I'm not allergic, so I thought, best place to make her feel comfy) .
Just yesterday I got to know from a common friend that I should be very slow and behave more in a friendly way as I otherwise could scare her off... Now, I certainly don't want to scare her off because I'm very interested in who she is and if there could be something between her and me (I was not looking for a new girlfriend, because my previous gf was not that sweet... and so I'm also just trying to find out).
I most probably will have the lunch with her tomorrow at this cat-cafe and I'm wondering what to do best. Trying to be goofy could make me shy :-D what I certainly want to achieve is that she feels absolutely at ease around me.
Thanks for the writing and advise and I hope that you can write me if there is something else that I could (or can't) do to get to know her better.
Noelle (author) from Denver on February 21, 2014:
Hmmm, that does pose a problem for sure. The only idea I can think of is try to apologize for being forward and that you hope you didn't come on too strongly or make a bad impression. Over time you could possibly give her a small gift. It'd be hard to find out what she likes, but you said she's a reader, so maybe a popular book? (Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, Hunger Games?) Write a short note about why you like her in a note inside of it and let her know there's no pressure and that if she'd like to talk about the book or see the movie to call/text you? Another idea is if you can ask one of her friends/collegues at work about her? Find out something about her.
It's a bit of a shot in the dark for either of them, but if you're serious about it, give it time. Good things could come from it.
Steve on February 20, 2014:
Yeah I had considered that but unfortunately they don't speak anymore. I think they were only really work colleagues and he's not even friends with her on FB anymore so I don't really have a way of striking up a conversation with her outside of her job. That in itself wouldn't be a big problem if it was somewhere I was likely to see her regularly but that isn't the case. She's rarely working when I go in and even when she is it's not really the type of environment where you can have a long conversation with someone, unlike say in a coffee shop.
At the moment I'm consigned to occasional 60 second exchanges roughly once a month, hardly an ideal framework on which to build any kind of comfortable precursor to asking her out. Then again I'm aware that simply asking her out again will probably just scare her away. I need to find some sort of middle ground but I'm not really sure what that is. :S
Noelle (author) from Denver on February 19, 2014:
It's definitely possible she just panicked. Of all the places that I would find an awkward place to get asked out on a date is the place where I work. Not only are there other people around, like co-workers, but there's also other customers around. If you haven't talked to her much before and she's shy, she may find it a little odd of some random stranger walking up while she's working and wanting to go on a date with her. Building a connection beforehand is an easier way to ease into seeing if she's interested in something more. She may have just easily brushed you off because she doesn't know you or because there isn't a reason as to why you would like her (as you both haven't talked much). Certain girls are more up for just going on a date, but as a shy girl myself, I would never consider going out with anyone I haven't talked to before (and knew a little bit about themselves).
The only advice I can think of is to find a way to get to know her a little more. If your friend is on friendly terms with her, maybe have him introduce you or have a group date where everyone has fun playing laser tag, a LAN party or a cinema that she doesn't work at.
Steve on February 16, 2014:
Hi there. This was a great read and I'm hoping you can give me some advice. I myself am quite a shy guy (I can easily get up in front of a room full of people to do stand-up but the thought of approaching a stranger makes me feel physically sick). Anyway, there's a girl at my local cinema who I've had a crush on for a while but never really spoken to. A friend of mine used to work with her and from what I can gather she is also quite shy - very geeky, film buff, big reader and doesn't seem to have had much dating experience.
NB: Bear in my mind this is going purely off her Facebook and what my friend has said.
The other day I approached her and asked her if she'd like to go for a coffee and she looked genuinely shocked, hesitated and then said she's seeing someone. In hindsight it probably wasn't the best time to ask her as it was very busy but I kind of wanted to get an answer instead of spending months and months waiting, something which I have a tendency for. The thing is I don't really believe she's seeing someone as she made a reference on Facebook the other day about being the only single person in her family. Then, when I got home she'd updated her status with: "Got asked out at work again (this one appeared sober) but I as usual flapped. :/"
So is it possible she just panicked? Is it worth asking her again or will that just pressure her further? Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Noelle (author) from Denver on July 24, 2013:
Those are some good suggestions, orink3. Thanks for the comment. It's definitely always better to have something prepared if you know ahead of time that you're going to be the one doing all the talking.
orink3 on July 21, 2013:
This is one of my favorite, early "Ice breakers", a 16 min YouTube link starring T.J. Thyne...
Short, appropriate poems and stories from one's own past can also be effective, and they also serve to make you feel you're "giving it your best shot". Which salves the soul if things still don't work out. As Ever, Orin
Noelle (author) from Denver on June 01, 2013:
It definitely is a different world that people are growing up in. I can't imagine what it's going to be like for people ten years from now, when technology advances even further and drives more barriers between people. I'm glad you found the hub a good source of information.
Carly Sullens from St. Louis, Missouri on May 27, 2013:
This hub has so much valuable information. I work with young adults and because of modern technology they have a hard time with basic social skills. I think this hub would be good for people who find it difficult to interface with other's as well. Voted up!
Noelle (author) from Denver on May 23, 2013:
Thanks for the comment, Chace! I'm happy you found it a good source of information. I get told all the time that I'm too quiet and never talk because I'm so shy. When I'm actually not really. If people just stop pestering me to talk and let me warm up to them, I'll actually feel like talking. xP
I've had a couple bad experiences with guys not knowing how to deal with my shyness which turned me off of dating for a while. Luckily I have a lovable goofball boyfriend right now that makes me feel so much better about my "shyness". I'm happy you found someone who understands you as well!
Chace from Charlotte, NC on May 23, 2013:
I LOVE this hub! So many people need to read this. I'm safe now since I'm happily married, but I used to get the "you're SO SHY" line all the time... like, yeah buddy I know, now leave me alone. xD Voted up/useful and AWESOME.
PS: the lady in the first picture is so stunning. I wish I looked like that when I'm shy and not that awkward girl balled up in the corner talking to herself...... :x