Dating can stir a feeling of anxiety in the pit of most people’s stomachs. After all, it is a pretty risky territory: venturing into the unknown, unsure of who you are going to meet and whether or not you will actually connect with the person who you go on a date with is a pretty daunting process, guaranteed to unnerve even the most confident of people. So how to overcome shyness when dating?
Even if you are a really shy, quiet person who lacks confidence and self esteem at the best of times, yet alone having to go on a date with someone new and, heck, be faced with the prospect of actually having to have a conversation with them, there are ways in which you can overcome shyness and pave the way for a bolder, braver you.
Look great, feel great
We all know that looks aren’t everything and that true beauty is found from within, however, there is nothing wrong with taking a bit of extra pride in your appearance for your first date. After all, you owe it to yourself a little bit of pampering to make you feel special. It is amazing what a decent hairstyle, nice makeup and clothes can do for one’s self esteem. So, when you have time, (and money, more to the point!) book a hair appointment, nothing too drastic as you want to be boosting your confidence not hindering it if you end up being unsure of your new hair, take a bit more time on your make up and treat yourself to a new outfit. Also, book in for a wax, not that anything will be seen as it’s only a first date (and if so, no judgement!) but you do have a tendency to feel much cleaner and more confident with smooth, hair free skin. Confidence comes from within, so even feeling good about the way you look can help immensely with settling your nerves.
Think about your good qualities
You may be so shy that you feel nobody would ever want to date you because you come across as boring and uninteresting. This is simply not true. You surely have many amazing, redeeming qualities, you just need to remind yourself of them whenever you are feeling down. As silly as it may sound, make a mental list of your best features. It could be that you are the person everyone turns to for advice or in times of need, you make people laugh, or everyone always complements you on your wonderful dress sense. The point is, you are fabulous and have lots going for you, so make sure to remember this when you are feeling unworthy of having a date with someone who even resembles a fun, decent, attractive person. Repeat to yourself that you have a lot to offer to someone and any individual would be lucky to date you.
Focus on your likes and interests
Many people feel at a loss of what to talk about whilst on a first date. This is only natural. After all, you don’t really know much about this other person, so how can you be sure whether or not you will have anything in common, or even know what to talk about?
If the thought of going on a date terrifies you that much, then there is no harm in “practising” a little beforehand. For instance, make a short list of potential topics for discussion, as well as conversation starters if you should feel at a loss of what to talk about next. That way, you can avoid awkward silences. We all know there is nothing worse than those, and they can infact contribute to you feeling shy.
Stick to safe territory to begin with. For example, talk about your hobbies and what you like to do in your free time, maybe even begin with discussing something that happened during your day, something along the lines of “Did you see what they are doing to that new development in the city centre?” (I am sure you can come up with something far more interesting though!) Pretty soon, conversation should flow naturally, until eventually you end up talking about your careers, friends or hobbies. As long as the conversation doesn’t branch out to discussing your ex’s you should be fine. Then even if you don’t get with the other person and know you won’t want to see them again as you feel that you have nothing in common, at least you will know that you stayed true to yourself.
Do not lie
You may be feeling so shy when faced with the daunting prospect of dating, that it may seem tempting to lie. Whether you exaggerate the truth a little, or even to the extent of fabricating complete fictional tales, it will not do anything to help you to overcome your shyness. Sure, you will feel that initially it will make you feel a lot more exciting, but you will have to remember the lies you have told to avoid getting caught out, which will only result in making you flustered and even worse, trip yourself up in front of your date. As you have guessed, this will only make you feel even more shy and more self conscious, as you will be thinking, “can he sense I’m lying?”
Occupy your hands
In certain stressful situations we do not seem to know what to do with our hands. It may be hard, but please try to keep them well away from your phone. There is no bigger turn off than being in the company of someone who is constantly fiddling around on their phone. Not only is it incredibly ignorant and rude, it makes you look uninterested, as though you have somewhere else that you would rather be. This would leave the other person unimpressed and not looking to pencil in a second date anytime soon. Instead, there is nothing wrong with talking with your hands, holding a drink or even a little bit of flirtatious hair twirling.
Be a good listener
Finally, this last point is exactly as it sounds. If you reach a point where you really are at a loss for what to say, then let your date do the talking and simply listen. That should then prompt you with further questions to ask and what to say next. If nothing else, you will come across as being considerate and a good listener, and that you can only be commended for.
Overall, all of these points have quite clearly summed up how to overcome any dating nerves, but, most importantly of all, remain true to yourself. Try to feel some inner confidence knowing that your date has asked you out because they want to get to know more about you, besides being attracted to you, they also feel that there is something about you: something that intrigues them, lures them in making them want to discover more. Remember that you have appeal and plenty of redeeming qualities and are fun to be around.