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Can You Have a Successful Relationship With a Shy Girl?

by Arlin Cuncic

Remember that girl at the dinner party who said little but caught your eye? Perhaps you had an interest in her but couldn't tell whether it was mutual, or you wondered whether it would be difficult to date someone who was so quiet. Shy individuals date less often and may become tongue-tied when it comes to small talk. However, if you can get past these initial hurdles, a shy woman may have much to offer in a relationship.

Awkward First Dates

If a shy woman has caught your eye, it may be up to you to make the first move. In the chapter "Shyness" in the "Encyclopedia of Human Relationships," authors Jonathan Cheek, a professor of psychology, and Katherine Tyson, a professor of social work and a psychotherapist, indicate that shy women are more likely to have lower self-esteem when it comes to dating. They may also be more protective of themselves and less likely to disclose personal details. First dates might be awkward as you try to get the shy woman to open up. According to Cheek and Tyson, shy individuals are more likely to let their hair down when communicating online -- so you might consider setting up a chat date or two if you find conversations in person are going nowhere.

More Stable

Although a shy woman may be more difficult to get to know, once in a relationship, she is less likely to leave. In the University of Texas at Austin article "Shying Away," professor of communications John Daly argues that the shy individual is less likely to break up a relationship once a suitable partner is found. Given that the process of going on dates and meeting new individuals can be arduous for those who are shy, it makes sense that shy individuals may be more loyal once in a stable relationship. This stable quality of the shy woman may contribute to a more successful long-term relationship.

Overly Dependent

While the shy woman may be less likely to leave you, she also may be more likely to become overly dependent on your relationship. Cheek and Tyson lament that shy individuals may become focused on pleasing a partner to the exclusion of their own wants and desires. A shy woman may seek harmony over rocking the boat and choose conformity over standing her ground. Be sure to check in on how she is doing. You may need to push her to be more independent and self-assured in the relationship.

Just as Passionate

When the relationship is in full swing, you may even forget that the woman you are dating is shy. Shy individuals are not usually shy with people they know well. In the "Psychology Today" article "Should You Fall in Love With a Shy Person," professor of philosophy Aaron Ben-Zeév argues that shy individuals can be very passionate in romantic relationships because these circumstances are more personal than social. In other words, shyness is not likely to impede a close emotional and physical connection in your relationship.

About the Author

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.

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