A special night out with your boyfriend should be fun and romantic. But if you are extremely shy around him, feelings of nervousness and fear can take over and ruin the whole evening and also affect your relationship. Some people may even suffer from a form of social anxiety. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates 15 million Americans have this condition, as of this publication. Social anxiety in romantic relationships occurs when the fear of being judged negatively combines with low self-esteem. However, individuals may be able to find ways to overcome shyness and social anxiety and still have meaningful relationships.
Focus more on your boyfriend than yourself. Dwelling on your own thoughts and feelings while you are with him can increase your anxiety and self-consciousness. Pay attention to his words and actions while you are together. Be curious and try to learn more about him. Ask him questions about his job and his interests.
Stay positive and optimistic. Don't allow negative thinking to justify your nervousness. If you focus on your shyness and worry that it will affect your date, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Visualize yourself as confident and relaxed around your boyfriend.
Center your time with your boyfriend around an activity other than conversation. Watching a movie or going to a sporting event can relieve some of the pressure of trying to say the right thing when it's just the two of you. Social events also give you an easy topic to talk about when you do have some alone time.
Go easy on yourself and don't focus on awkward moments. Remember your boyfriend sees attractive qualities in you already, so you don't need to go overboard trying to impress him. Like yourself the way you are and don't try to be someone you're not. He may even find some of your shyness cute and endearing.
Be honest with your boyfriend and let him know about your shyness. Assure him that he is not the cause, and that you are trying to work through it. Let him know the situations that make you feel the most anxious and when you feel the most at ease. If he cares about you and wants the relationship to work, he will be understanding and supportive.
- Try communicating with your boyfriend by text, email, phone calls or social media when you are not together. You might be able to get to know him better and gain confidence without the pressure of face-to-face conversation.
- If your feelings of extreme shyness persist and negatively affect your relationship with your boyfriend and others, seek professional help.
Sharon O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. Her work has been published on various websites, including Walden University's Think+Up. She has worked in international business and is a licensed customs broker. She is currently a supervisor with a social service agency that works with families to prevent child abuse and neglect. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in business from Indiana University.