BENGALURU: It’s so hard to get the shy guy to open up, isn’t it? Forget knowing if he’s interested in
you, there’s no way to tell if he even wants to talk to you! I just couldn’t figure it out. I was fun, I could hold a conversation with almost anyone and I don’t think I came across as over-the- top or pushy. But there was always the one guy who wouldn’t talk to me.
Shy and reserved, he would spend his time either with his head buried in a book or be more interested in the food and not look up from his plate. It didn’t seem like he was waiting for someone to make the first move, it was more like he was waiting for everyone to get away from him!
You’ve got to have been in that situation at least once, if not as often as I have had. And chances are, you’re interested in the shyest, most reserved one of the lot. A simple search for the term “reserved guys” brings up several links about how difficult (and annoying) it can be to deal with men like this.
So, while one might usually throw their hands in the air and accept defeat, I think - there’s probably a way to get through to them! Most shy men are actually quite sensitive and thoughtful; a trait we women look for but never give enough value to – till we are in a relationship.
I asked around. One girl who was just surfacing from a long term relationship, told me that there’s probably a reason she’s never dated shy men, but it’s not intentional. “I don’t think so... I think I’ve never really had the opportunity to figure out if a shy guy liked me!” But, if you’re not like her, and you’ve actually met someone you think has given you an interesting glance, what do you do? How do you get him to open up to you? Well, there’s no 10-step programme to follow, but there sure are a few learnings I gathered that will help.
Having broken through (if not romantically, at least as good friends) to the other side of the barrier for many a shy guy, this needs to be the first thing I tell you. Just because they’re sitting alone at the bar, seemingly avoiding your eye doesn’t mean that they’ve resigned themselves to a life alone. They want to talk to you, but are simply too nervous to make a move. So much so that if you were to give them a coy smile, the first thing they would do is look into the closest reflective surface to see if something about their appearance gave you a reason to laugh. But, don’t give up! Please go and say hi and take it from there.
“My boyfriend is and always has been shy. So it was pretty agonising to draw him out of his shell. But, I’ve discovered that making small talk – when you’re still at the get-to- know-each other stage – will ultimately make him open up,” says Radhika Tandon, an advertising professional. And, that’s really one of the best strategies. Being shy is not the same as being a loner. Sooner or later, a reserved guy is going to lower his guard. But, it is going to take time.
Sure, I just said the shy boy doesn’t want to be a loner. But he does like being alone. When it comes to shy guys, they’ve already spent so much time by themselves that they’re actually used to having a little more space than you are. For example, while they won’t say no when you ask them to accompany you on a group trek, don’t count on them to accompany you to every loud, buzzing party you want to go for. If you hadn’t already noticed, they’re not that comfortable in large social groups. It could serve you well to do what Archana did with her boyfriend – plan dates where you can spend quality time with each other. From my personal experiences, I can tell you that shy people are more likely to open up during a face-to- face conversation than hanging out in a big group.
Considering that a shy guy is probably never going to approach you, it would be a bit naive to wait for them to take the lead. Waiting for him to ask you out for the second date? Well, he’s probably given up on you ever calling back. Once a reserved guy gets comfortable in a relationship, he will come into his own, but during the initial stages, you’re going to have be the one who takes the lead to communicate and meet.
Do remember though, there really are no rules to dating the shy guyyou need to follow your gut too. The best tip that I can give you? Be patient and take initiative! I can think of at least two incidents that make me wonder, what would have happened if I had been more patient, or made the first move to ask them out?
Sure, we’ve got to give the shy guy his time of day - but if any of you shy guys out there are reading this - come say hello, or at least let us know when you’re into us, so we’re not second guessing all the time.
(The author is Founder of
www.floh.in, a network that connects singles in real life.)