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Online Dating: A Guide for Shy People

Updated on June 30, 2014

Signals from the Universe

About one week after my 52nd birthday I was home alone in the evening drinking a glass of wine and watching a marathon of chick flicks. “Must Love Dogs” and “Under the Tuscan Sun”, the Diane Lane divorced woman’s film festival. In “Must Love Dogs” Diane Lane’s film sister signs her up on an online dating site. Hmmmmm. While the film was still playing, I turned on my laptop. The first site I pulled up was Facebook so I could read my horoscope because I wanted to see what was written in the stars for me. This is exactly what was written (I saved it): “February 21, 2013

If you have been waiting for romantic opportunities to come to you, Aquarius, you may need a little bit of a wake up call here. It is possible that you are living in fantasy land, and you are expecting the universe to turn everything up roses for you. It is possible that this could happen, but you need to start taking a more active role in your romantic affairs, as love is not going to surprise you while you are on the couch waiting for it. If you want it, you are going to have to make the effort to go out and find it. Not sure where to start? This is where you can pay attention to the signals from the universe as well as your instinct, and you may well just find yourself in the right place at the right time today. Tip 1, it won't be your living room sofa.”

Yes, the combination of this horoscope and “Must Love Dogs” was the impetus to finally get me to “google” online dating sites. All the pain and suffering shy people endure with archaic dating rituals had changed with the advent of online dating. We don’t have to leave the comfort and safety of our home to delve into the dating world. Those that find it difficult or impossible to speak in front of people don’t have to endure that torture. Isn’t this the shy person’s dream? Meet and get to know someone without having to face them (at least initially). Pass on the confidence coach and all the tips and guides that are supposed to help shy personalities. We can stay in our comfort zone and still participate in the dating world at our own speed.

No Man or Woman is an Island

No one suffers the pain of dating (or the absence of dating) more than the shy person. As a shy child growing up I was known as a “brain”, I did well in school, so what? There were still bouts of anxiety when the teacher scanned the room looking for someone to ask a question. It didn’t matter that I usually knew the answer, I just couldn’t stand the thought of having to speak in front of the whole class. By high school it grew worse as classmates ventured into the world of dating, and I spent my free time doing homework. My classmates went to prom and I was on the prom committee decorating for a prom that I would never attend. Late bloomers find it difficult to overcome past insecurities, but I did somehow manage to land a boyfriend. We married after too short a time dating and, of course, there was the divorce by age 39. So, how does a 40 year old woman who never really had much dating experience venture back into the world of dating? Very painfully and slowly. Growing up as a child of the 60’s computers were only on “Star Trek”. By the time of my divorce, a computer for me was only used at work. It seemed as if I withdrew back to the shy shell of my childhood. Thoughts went through mind, “I never liked dating”, “I don’t need to date”. Once it became known at my place of employment that I was available there were some men that started “hanging around” to my dismay. I had grown into a comfortable routine and had no desire to disrupt my life. To the shock of my coworker I turned down a very handsome and much sought after man at work. An exact quote from her would be unprintable here, but it went something like, “are you f------ crazy?”. No, it wasn’t craziness………I just wasn’t ready out of fear. The only men I dated after my divorce were all men that I knew from work. I was well aware of the hazards of dating a coworker, but I did it anyway. Coworkers were the only men I dated because they had access to me five days a week to wear down my resistance. When out in public I was the master of avoiding, ignoring, discouraging and driving away just about any potential suitor. If I drive them away then I won’t have to deal with the anxiety of going on a date with them. This was my life for several years……….date a coworker……….then spend long periods of time alone. I actually thought for a long time that I would just spend the rest of my life single. It seemed ok………I had a job, a house. I’ve built a life for myself and don’t need any disruptions. Or so I thought.


Introvert or Extrovert?

Introvert or extrovert…….one is not better than the other. They are simply different personality types. One is more outgoing and the other more reserved. The two combined can make for a great pairing in a relationship. Opposites can complement one another and bring balance to a relationship, but there are things to keep in mind:

  • Respect each other’s need for privacy and/or independence
  • Acceptance of each other’s way of thinking and behavior
  • Don’t try to push them into changing their ways just to please you, people never really change
  • If there is something you are unhappy with, offer them options, don’t expect someone to figure out what it is you want
  • Show signs of affection, whether verbal or physical, never leave the other thinking you don’t care, being frustrated with someone does not mean you should stop caring about them


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