How Does a Shy Girl Get a Boyfriend and Stay in a Relationship?

A shy girl will take longer to open up in a relationship.
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Being a shy girl can make it harder to meet people and find a boyfriend -- but many girls who are shy date successfully and manage to navigate all that is involved in being a partner in a relationship. According to research conducted by Indiana University Southeast psychology professor Bernardo J. Carducci, Ph.D. and reported in the article "Fighting Shy," about 40 percent of people identify themselves as suffering with shyness. Shyness can hinder the getting-to-know you process of dating as well as the intimacy of developing a deeper relationship. Learning to manage your shyness will make it easier to make a connection as well as make it last.

1 Meet People

The first step in finding a boyfriend as a shy girl is to put yourself in situations where you are likely to meet potential partners. You might already know boys from school, work or through family or friends. Meeting people through mutual acquaintances or at work or school, can be easier if you are shy -- since you already probably feel comfortable around these individuals. If there isn't anyone in your immediate social circle that is a potential romantic interest, Carducci suggests volunteering, taking a class or joining an online chat group with like-minded people. For example, if you are an artistic person, you might consider taking an art class to meet others who share your interest.

2 Practice Social Skills

It isn't enough to put yourself into situations where you can meet new guys -- you also need to be able to start conversations. As a shy girl you might feel anxious about talking to a guy that you like, but this can be overcome with an attitude adjustment and a bit of practice. In the Psychology Today article "How to Reduce Dating Anxiety," social and personality psychologist Jeremy Nicholson notes that being curious about others can help to quell dating anxiety. Develop a genuine interest in others and you may find your shyness falling away. Social skills such as making eye contact, smiling and asking open-ended questions are also important when meeting new people, according to the "Teens Health" article "5 Ways to Shake Shyness." Questions that begin with the words "what" or "how" are most likely to move a conversation forward. For example, you could ask that cute guy in the art studio how he likes the class so far.

3 Move to Dating

After you have met someone that you like and spent some time talking, you will want to show your interest in a romantic connection. Flirting can take many forms and doesn't have to be obvious -- a few seconds of eye contact, a genuine compliment or a brief touch on the arm can all be signals that you are interested in getting to know a guy better. A shy girl will probably hope a guy will make the first move, but she needs to be prepared to ask for a date if he doesn't. This can be done in an indirect way, such as making a comment like, "I'm really interested in seeing the new Tom Cruise movie. Have you seen it?" Ideally, the conversation will move toward making plans to see the movie together.

4 Build Rapport

Building rapport happens in the early stages of dating but also as a relationship progresses. In the Psychology Today article "How to Connect with a Date or Mate," Nicholson identifies three main qualities of those who build rapport easily -- sincerity, empathy and warmth. As a shy girl, you may be guarded in your interactions and slower to warm up, which can mean that the rapport-building process takes longer. Sincerity means sharing your feelings openly, while empathy and warmth require taking the perspective of the other person and being non-judgmental. Your relationship will flourish if you work at sharing your feelings, and focusing your attention outward beyond your own insecurities to understand how your partner feels and do things to make him feel loved and accepted.

Arlin Cuncic has been writing about mental health since 2007, specializing in social anxiety disorder and depression topics. She served as the managing editor of the "Journal of Attention Disorders" and has worked in a variety of research settings. Cuncic holds an M.A. in clinical psychology.