You were attracted to his strong, quiet demeanor, but now you don't know how to get close to him. Chances are your boyfriend is what psychologists call an introvert. Introversion is a personality type characterized by the enjoyment of solitary activities or small groups, a reserved and cautious nature and introspection. The way to get close to your quiet, shy boyfriend is through understanding his inner world and giving him space.
Give your quiet, shy boyfriend time to think about things before he makes a decision. Although introversion, like extroversion -- the opposite end of the sociability scale-- varies in degrees from one individual to another, the quieter and more self-conscious your boyfriend, the more introverted he is likely to be. Being a thinker by nature, your quiet boyfriend is probably generally not spontaneous and likes to consider options and consequences before making a decision. Be prepared to wait. He will appreciate the lack of pressure and become more at ease with you.
Seek mutual interests. Although it is a common belief that opposites attract, it is actually personality similarities that lead to long-lasting relationships. The fact that you are attracted to your shy guy indicates that you have a quiet streak of your own. Let him know that you enjoy alone time and discuss some of your solitary interests. As he begins to open up, listen to learn more about him and his activities. While you might not be able to participate in the activities he enjoys, his interests can provide topics for discussion. Your interest in him will increase his sense of self-confidence when he is around you, which makes being close to you a pleasurable experience that he'll want to continue.
Initiate physical closeness without being overly aggressive. Your shy boyfriend might be afraid of rejection. If you want to hold hands or snuggle on the couch, be the first to make a move. On the other hand, avoid being too familiar as too much of a comfort level on your part can signal that you are more experienced than he is and cause him to lose his confidence.
Be yourself. Tension from trying to be what you think you are supposed to be can derail a relationship and is not the track to long-term happiness. He has already let you know he is interested in you. Relax and be yourself. Relationships take time to grow. Introverted personalities tend to form deep relationships with very few people, and such relationships take time to develop.
Respect his need to spend time alone. Shy guys -- or girls -- recharge when they are by themselves. Being around people requires effort for introverts. If you want to get closer, give him space.
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- Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted: Introversion: The Often Forgotten Factor Impacting the Gifted
- American Psychological Association: Do Opposities Attract or Do Birds of a Feather Flock Together?
- SucceedSocially.com: Inside the Mind of Guys Who Are Shy and Inexperienced with Women
- Live Science: For Better Relationships, Just Be Yourself
- Why Him? Why Her?; Helen Fisher
- Oprah: How to Get Closer to a Shy Guy
For Judy Kilpatrick, gardening is the best mental health therapy of all. Combining her interests in both of these fields, Kilpatrick is a professional flower grower and a practicing, licensed mental health therapist. A graduate of East Carolina University, Kilpatrick writes for national and regional publications.