Hollywood makes it seem so effortless for people to find love. But, reality check: Dating isn’t always easy, especially for quiet women. Shy people can’t always walk up to someone and strike up a conversation. Oftentimes, our shyness gives off the vibe that we’re stuck up or full of ourselves. Many of us have to muddle our way through the ordeal of dates with overwhelming people that don’t give us time to open up, until we finally, *sigh*, just give up on love. But no longer! Shy women of the world, unite! Here are six dating tips that might just change the game.
1. Watch TV and movies together
A recent study showed that watching Netflix with bae is actually good for your relationship. The study concluded that when you watch TV and movies or read books, you think about what's going on in the story and form opinions, which allows you to have a great conversation (or maybe argument!) with whoever you’re with. These shared discussions help bring you closer. “When you like the same stories, shows and characters, you have a lot to talk about! It feels like an immediate connection,” says Nathalie, a senior at SUNY Old Westbury, “Plus if it's something both you and your crush love, the conversation could go on forever!” There’s no better way to show your crush the "real you" than by wearing sweats, getting heated about TV show conspiracy theories and ugly-crying during sappy romance movies.
2. Just be yourself and emphasize your strengths
It’s very hard for introverts to open up about themselves, but if you’re really into the person you’re going out with, then try to get out of your comfort zone a little bit. It’s easier said than done, but ultimately, if your crush is going to become your long-time SO, then both of you need to break out of your shells. “I’ve struggled a little bit with being open on dates, but I would say that it's helpful to just be yourself and play to your strengths,” says Rachel, a junior at Roosevelt University. “Shy girls are often great listeners and are good at empathizing, so it's easier to keep a conversation going.” People often see the weaknesses of women with quiet demeanors, but we encourage you to really play up your strengths, like your listening skills. Your date will see that and be grateful. Besides, if you both loved to talk, you would constantly be in competition to get a word in the conversation. Shy people are so necessary to society.
3. Pick a first date that involves an activity
Nothing is more nerve-wracking for shy women than a quiet dinner for two as a first date. Ditch the typical dates and suggest doing something that involves an activity. Fall is the perfect season for pumpkin and apple picking and going to haunted houses and other spooky things. Consider indoor rock climbing, cooking a meal together, volunteering together or visiting the local animal shelter. “Getting drinks or doing dinner and a movie prevent a lot of natural conversation,” says Jessica, a graduate of Rowan University. “If you go on more of an active date, there is a greater need for communication. Those activities require conversation to progress the date.” Once you start talking, you may begin to feel more comfortable around the other person. Plus, you’ll be able to see the kind of activities they enjoy doing, which can help find similarities and differences between the two of you.
4. Talk about the weather (...seriously)
Don’t knock small talk! Talking about trivial things in the beginning stages of a relationship is a building block in creating a strong foundation. “I would say that you can't go wrong with talking about the weather. It's weird, but it's true!” says Rachel. “Everyone likes talking about the weather because it's relatable.” Talk about your favorite part of the season or how frizzy rain makes your hair. Obviously small talk is not limited to the weather. Though it can be tedious, asking your crush things like where they go to school, what their major is, if they play/watch sports and what their favorite kind of music is, is actually important. Finding out that your date is obsessed with hardcore rock when you’re a devout indie girl is more of a factor than you might think.
5. Ask each other deep questions
This can be the hardest thing to do, but after you’ve been dating someone for a bit, getting into deep conversations will keep you much more interested in the relationship than just having small talk all the time. Shailagh, a junior at Gustavus Adolphus College says, “Find a list of deep, insightful questions meant for couples and try it out sometime. I've done this before for fun and, as crazy as it sounds, my crush and I actually did fall in love. Even if you don't fall in love afterward, you'll learn enough about that person to see if you're compatible.” Getting to know your partner on a deeper level creates trust, accountability and love. Knowing complicated and sometimes not-so-pretty parts of your SO is integral in a relationship, sooner or later.
6. Make observations about your surroundings
If you’re at a place that’s buzzing with activity, pay attention to everything!
Emily, a senior at Pace University says, “Start with what's around you, like things you can both comment on. For example, comment on the food you ordered if you’re at a restaurant, or maybe make a comment about a billboard you pass by for a movie.” Little comments like these create avenues for topics of conversation. Saying that your chicken is underdone may spark your date to talk about a time that he had a horrible food experience. Noticing a movie advertisement can start conversation about the kinds of movies you both like. Just remember that while being observant is important, you do still have to pay attention to your date.
Sometimes being shy is a struggle, but that’s who we are and we should embrace it. We’re not stuck-up, we’re just timid. And now, we can be ourselves and still make it in the dating world.