Dating for Introverts and Shy Guys: Finding Love Without Changing Who You Are

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If you are a shy person, introvert, or nerd, dating can be a daunting task. You may find it hard to ask people out or hold a conversation that flows. Maybe social settings are overwhelming, and you’re not sure where to take someone on a first date. 

Don’t give up! You too can have a great experience with dating if you follow a few important steps.  

Self-awareness Is Key

The better you know yourself and the more you accept yourself, the more likely it is you will find wonderful and compatible people to date. 

For example… Are you shy? Introverted? Nerdy? Let’s start with what each of these means and whether you fit into some or all of these categories.

Shy guy holding a book, wondering how to date

Dating a Shy Person is Sexier Than You Think

If you’re shy, it might mean that you are embarrassed easily. But – it can also be quite sexy (more about that soon!).

Sometimes people who are shy feel quite self-conscious or self-critical. To counter this, you need to practice being gentle on yourself and taking more of a curious approach. Take some time to notice what makes you feel shy or most comfortable. And don’t beat yourself up if you make some mistakes. After all – everyone does!

If your shyness feels very intense – to the point that you get fearful thinking about meeting people or going into social situations – you may have some type of social anxiety disorder. There are wonderful practices you can learn from embodiment coaching or certain therapy approaches, and even medications can help make you feel less anxious in social situations. 

Most importantly however – remember that many people find shyness quite sexy. So it’s also important to fully embrace it instead of trying to hide behind it. 

Here are some of the many sexy things about shyness:

  • Blushing when you like someone makes them feel desired.
  • When you seem nervous to be with someone, they feel like they are having an impact or effect on you, which can be very flattering.
  • There are certain looks shy people give that only they can sincerely pull off – and they can be very compelling
  • While you might not think it’s sexy to be cute, many people find cuteness very sexy.
  • Being shy means that you probably don’t open up to everyone. So a person might feel very special when they’re let in by someone who isn’t normally open or vulnerable towards others.
  • The list goes on and on…

Dating for Introverts Requires Self-Care

Being an introvert doesn’t mean you don’t like people. It simply implies that you recharge your batteries differently. 

You probably prefer one-on-one interaction to doing things with big groups. Smaller groups can be nice too because you aren’t responsible for all the conversations. Yet it’s also not as overwhelming as being with a big group. So it’s really good to know what you like best when it comes to hangouts and dating.

For an introvert, spending time with people is great – but it takes a lot out of you. You will need to be protective of your alone time. This might mean setting boundaries and planning dates that won’t be too exhausting. 

For example, dating ideas for introverts include a leisurely walk, or a coffee or drink for a first date (shorter than a dinner). 

Remember, dating for introverts requires additional self-care. You will be spending more time with strangers or new people, which can be far more exhausting than spending time with old friends or colleagues. 

Don’t beat yourself up if you need extra downtime when you are in dating mode – it’s the only way you will be able to stay motivated to keep going out.

Person on a coffee date with an introvert

… And Here’s How To Date an Introvert

If you’re attracted to an introvert, you probably find these qualities sexy:

  • They Go Deep: Many introverts have a small number of relationships – but they are all deep and profound. Introverts offer this wonderful quality to people they are dating and are in relationships with.
  • Empathy Around Space: They have a keen awareness of other people’s need for space. As their dating partner, you can appreciate that they won’t judge you if you need some space and time to yourself.
  • Thoughtfulness: Oftentimes, introverts spend a lot of time by themselves thinking about things – including the people they care about. This may make them incredibly thoughtful dating partners and considerate lovers. 

So how do introverts find love? In the end, it’s always because of their wonderful qualities. If you do start dating, and especially if you are an extravert, you may have to learn specifically how to date an introvert. 

It’s vital for you to understand that the differences between the two of you aren’t personal. Your introvert date just needs more downtime  – so don’t insist on dragging them to every party or event you want to go to. 

Dating Ideas for Shy Guys and Introverts

If you are looking for some introvert dating advice, here are some of our best recommendations: 

  • Embrace Your Strengths: when you are dating, you’ll want to play to your strengths. It’s time to make a list and really focus on what you have to offer.  
  • Find the Right Dating App: Find a dating app that fits your personality and desires. Perhaps you are kinky and want to check out a BDSM dating site. Or, maybe you are ENM and would feel good expressing your desire on a site like FEELD. These can be great apps for introverts because people are much more explicit about what they are looking for. If you want something with a bit of a slower pace than Tinder, check out Bumble or OkCupid, which are full of people looking for a wider variety of dating experiences and not just hook-ups. 
  • Plan Dates that Work for You: If you are shy, perhaps you want to plan a date where the attention isn’t completely on you. You could do a movie or a museum. As an introvert, you may want to do a short date. Find out what interests your date, and then look for overlap. 
  • Take Time to Get In Your Body: It might sound strange, but even taking a little while before a date to do some embodiment breathing, or get the nervousness under control with dancing can help you feel more grounded.  
  • Have Some Good Conversation Starters Ready: If you know that you get verbally a bit stuck sometimes, think of a few funny or adventuresome stories from your life that you want to share with your date. See if you can come up with ways to describe your experiences that include emotion – like being in awe, or nervous, or excited. Or maybe you even have a funny story about something awkward. It’s also great to talk about anything you are passionate about.
  • The Power of Listening: Even if you have some ideas lined up about what you want to say, be careful not to make your date a monologue. You want to ask questions, be curious about the other person’s feelings and experiences, and make sure you comment when they share something with you. It’s great to empathize – like, “wow, that must have been fascinating” or, “that sounds terrifying”. You can also think about questions you’d like to ask. Common first date topics include where you grew up, your siblings, where you went to school, where you’ve traveled, favorite activities, etc. 
  • Managing Anxiety: Remember – awkward silences can be your friend. You can take a moment, take a deep breath, and just connect with the other person with a smile or eye contact. If you need a minute to compose yourself, take a bathroom break. Remind yourself about your strengths and get back out there!
Nerds on a date night

Dating Strategies for Nerds

If you’re nerdy, you probably like to dive pretty deeply into your specific interests. And you may – or may not – wish to share them with other people. Also, you are probably very smart. 

You may be surprised to know there are tons of people who find intelligence very sexy. In fact, there is even a name for them: sapiosexuals. If you are a nerd, you may be a sapiosexual too. Or maybe intelligence is not that important to you. Either way – instead of sitting around wondering if anyone will like you, think about the kinds of people YOU are interested in dating.

What qualities do you hope they will have? Do you have special interests you’d like to involve them in? If yes, finding social ways to share those interests can be a great way to meet dating partners. 

Maybe you love games? Find yourself a group game night. Maybe you think there is nothing more compelling than anime? There are groups out there who organize and join watch parties.   

And if you didn’t already know it – here are some wonderful nerdy qualities that make you stand out as a dating partner:

  • Communication: Because you like to go deeply into subjects, you are a great listener and conversationalist. 
  • Curiosity: You bring your deep curiosity about another person to the dating table – which is incredibly flattering. And you always dive into learning about things that might make your dating life better, like reading books about how to be an amazing lover.
  • Intelligence: Find yourself a good sapiosexual who is totally into exactly what you have to offer! 

A Shy Guy Dating Success Story

Wanna hear a great dating success story? This one’s from a Somatica Coach. They were working with a self-proclaimed shy nerd and introvert. Let’s call him “Matthew”. 

Matthew was about 35 years old. He came into the coaching office with a spreadsheet of all of the dates he’d gone on – and how they went. Hardly any of them wound up on a 2nd date. (You may – or may not – be surprised to hear that many nerdy guys actually keep spreadsheets of their dating successes and failures.) 

When he went on his first practice date with the coach, Matthew was completely in his head. He was anxious, talked a mile a minute, and didn’t ask a single question. Frankly, he was barely breathing. 

On his coaching journey, he learned how to be more in his body and harness his erotic energy without being creepy. He learned how to make the first touch contact, and how to gauge consent and readiness for that first kiss. 

Maybe most importantly, with the help of his coach, he put together a witty dating profile with pictures that showed him engaging in interesting activities. He learned to converse better, and to really listen and empathize. 

Matthew never let go of his spreadsheet – but he wasn’t logging only first dates anymore. He ended up on second, third dates, and even sex dates. And he had some longer connections, though he took some time to really explore himself and his tastes before committing to a full relationship. 

Shy guy on a successful date

You Can Do It! Here’s How a Dating Coach Can Help

If you are a shy guy or an introvert, you can have a fulfilling dating life by embracing your strengths and using the targeted strategies we’ve described above.

If you’d like some more one-on-one help, Somatica dating coaches have helped so many shy guys, nerds, and introverts (like the one in the story above) find love. 

The best part of experiential coaching is that you can actually practice going on dates. Your coach gets you ready for the date, then you meet up with a partner coach you’ve never worked with before. This practice first date will have a much more realistic feeling, allowing you to experience how to talk with someone and be on a date for the first time. 

Your dating coach can also teach and practice with you touch, seduction, and how to be more embodied and flirtatious on your dating adventures. 

So – what are you waiting for? Find your perfect dating coach now. 

Find a professional sex coach near you or by expertise now.

Celeste Hirschman
Celeste Hirschman
Celeste Hirschman is the is the co-creator of the Somatica® Method and the co-founder of the Somatica® Institute. She received an MA in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University, and a BA in Women’s Students from UCSC.

In her teaching and coaching, Celeste routinely draws on her extensive training in attachment psychology, sociology, gender studies, and body-based modalities like Hakomi. She uses these embodied learning principles to help students and clients tap into their own somatic wisdom, deepen their experiences of pleasure, and realize their full personal and professional potential.

A prolific writer, Celeste researched and published a defining paper on adolescent sexuality development in 2006, during her tenure at SFSU’s Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality.

Since then, she has co-authored 3 books with Danielle Harel: Cockfidence, Making Love Real, and Coming Together. She writes frequently and is generally the first expert journalists turn to for quotes and information on sex, dating, and relationships.

No matter what she does – whether she is co-producing the sex-coaching-based TV series Here She Comes, or teaching at the legendary Esalen Institute – Celeste always brings her unconditional love, scintillating presence, erotic energy, and insight to every part of her work.

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