Sometimes a good dating service can help shy people to meet others in an environment which doesn't pose the same social difficulties which might be a problem in a bar or at a party. But once you've decided to meet up with one another, you might find it a bit tricky to encourage a very shy person to open up.
Dating a shy person can be challenging - you want to make them feel at ease and not under pressure, but at the same time you want to encourage them to open up to you. Relationships are built on trust and mutual understanding, so it really is important to gradually break down the barriers - without making them run for the hills! Here are some top tips on dating a shy person.
Reassure them on their social abilities
A lot of the time, shyness is based on insecurities, so reassuring your dating partner about their positive qualities related to social issues may help them to open up. For example, if you met through a dating service and found jokes made in their online messages or online profile very funny, make a point of this by telling them how funny they are. Or, if you notice them becoming animated about a particular topic of conversation, tell them that you admire their passion on the subject. The more positive comments you can make about their social interactions, the more confident they will become.
Listen to them and ask open questions
Listening - really listening - can be an excellent way to encourage a person to open up even more. Many of us think we are listening when in fact we are just deciding what our reply might be, or how what they are saying relates to us. Instead, try to reply to any comments your dating partner makes about themselves by asking further, open-ended questions and genuinely being interested in their answers. To start things off, you could ask them about an interest they have which you noticed from the dating service details. When they reply, ask them to tell you more about the interest, or ask what made them interested in the first place. Try to refer to what they have said in your response. This kind of attentiveness builds trust and will encourage them to open up even more.
Introduce them to people gradually
While meeting people on a dating service provides a reassuring barrier for shy people, meeting a number of new people in person can be a little overwhelming. To make it easier, try to introduce friends and family one at a time, or a few at a time as this will make the experience a lot less intimidating for them. If you do take them to a big party, try to ensure that they already know one or two of your friends as this will make it a lot easier for them. In group situations, it can be very helpful to suggest topics of conversation for them, for example if you know from their dating service profile that they enjoy Italian food or that they have been travelling in Africa. But if they don't want to talk in a group setting, never force them to do so. Gaining social confidence might be a long road for them and you want it to be a pleasant one.