5 Date Ideas for Shy People

Mon, Jan 19, 2009

Date Ideas, Shy Dating

Coming up with date ideas for shy people is not as easy as it sounds, dating can be quite a painful experience if you are very shy.

Where you take a shy date will depend upon just how shy they are, the more shy they are the quieter the location should be.

Don’t plan long dates unless there is an activity involved which will take the focus off the date and put it on to the activity, then your date will hopefully feel less shy about the date itself.

Most of the usual rules for date ideas do not apply to shy people, here are 5 date ideas for shy people:

1. Coffee

It’s the easiest date in the world for shy people if you pick your location well and the best choice for a first date. Try to find an olde worlde coffee shop or tea room, somewhere with soft lighting and nooks and crannies you can hide in to sip your coffee. Keep the date short to avoid long shy silences.

Before your date find something in the local paper you would like to see or do. Take the paper to your date, if you would like to see them again show the event to your date, ask them if they fancy going along with you. If you don’t want to see them again then just leave the paper on the table when you leave.

2. A Concert, Theatre or Cinema

You can get the best tickets in town or the local church production of Oliver, it doesn’t matter. Your date has time to get comfortable around you without having to feel shy. After the concert, film or play you can go for a coffee somewhere quiet and hopefully chat about the event you just saw together.

3. Architecture

Strange title but this one is all about what you both enjoy. Could be a cathedral, castle, museum, modern art gallery, etc but somewhere you can go to look at that allows you both to talk if you feel able or just look at the surroundings if you are feeling too shy to talk. The more interested your date is in the location the more likely they are to start talking about your surroundings

4. The Zoo

It doesn’t have to be a zoo, a falconry centre, aquarium, animal sanctuary or city petting farm/zoo, in fact anything with animals. Shy people often feel less anxiety if they are around animals, particularly if they can touch the animals. Take a camera along but only take pictures of the animals, unless your date opens up a little and you ask permission.

5. A Long Drive

Shy people often like to drive or be a passanger in a car on a long drive, they can see the world pass by but don’t feel intimidated by it. The radio can mask any long silences and you can point out passing landmarks to give them the opportunity to talk if they feel able. It doesn’t matter if you drive 200 miles to buy an ice cream or roll of toilet paper, it’s the quality time you can spend together without making your date feel shy and uncomfortable.

One idea for driving is to geta tape or cd of a comedy show, laughter can often bring a shy person out of their shell a little but let them come out at their own pace and don’t force things.

My thanks go to Karen, my very shy friend, for her help with date ideas for shy people.

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Date Ideas

13 Responses to “5 Date Ideas for Shy People”

  1. Nicole (2 comments.) Says:

    What a great list! The one tip that I have for this is that guys don’t love the idea of the coffee date. I’ve tried this many times and they seem to think it’s a blow off. I don’t think it is, especially since I love coffee. Anyone else have this problem?

    Nicole’s last blog post..Are You Chemically Compatible?

  2. Sally Says:

    Love your blog Nicole, have bookmarked for future reading.

    I have always found guys prefer the coffee date, simply because it can take as long or short a time as they like .. if they aren’t that in to you it’s easy to leave qwickly, much harder over dinner in a restaurant.

  3. kent Says:

    Coming from a shy person, this list really isn’t that great.

    Try to understand the mind of someone who faces anxiety just from being around people. The Anxiety can spawn from many things; A shy person could be afraid that people will judge them for their expression, or they might feel pressure to be expressive when they actually have nothing on their mind. Either way these date ideas are only good once you’ve gotten to know a shy person.

    In my experience, coffee is actually the worst idea for a date. As mentioned before, I am very shy. Most of the anxiety I face comes from the pressure to be expressive on a date. I like silence, and my best friends are the ones that I feel comfortable being completely silent with. The best way to make a shy person comfortable is to get them in a place where they are comfortable with absolute silence. When they want to speak, they will, and when they don’t want to speak, they will remain silent. A coffee shop does not serve this purpose. In fact, if all you are doing at the coffee shop is drinking coffee, then any silence seems very awkward because it just isn’t natural for people to face each other and drink coffee and not speak to each other.

    Watching a movie can be equally uncomfortable. Most shy people are very self conscious. While watching a play/movie a shy person will be constantly thinking about their laugh, their smile, their body language, and most of wall whether their date is having a good time. It usually makes it hard to enjoy the movie, and usually ends in a pretty boring date.

    The long drive is also a very anti-introversion kind of date idea. It has the same problem as the coffee idea. In a car, you have nothing to do, and nothing interesting to think about. Playing music in the car makes it difficult to have conversation when someone wants to speak, and it’s generally very uncomfortable if you don’t know the people in the car.

    Having said all this, I’ll suggest my favorite kind of dates (as a shy person). When I want to get to know someone, I will often ask them to go with me to the library. I am a college student which means I always have things to do at the library, and by asking someone to go with me, I’m essentially asking them to be with me while I do things completely unrelated to them. The silence is not only comfortable, but expected, and if I find something intriguing to talk about, I don’t have to interject into an existing conversation to speak my mind. It allows for a shy person to be completely free in their expression.

    The next on my list of favorite dates is similar to the Architecture idea. There are just certain things that get me talking, Art is just one of them. Art fairs usually make great dates, because I’m really interested in the activity, and have much to say about the event. For people who are in to museums, or architecture, those ideas would be great alternatives.

    And my last favorite date ideas are those that are completely activity based. Rock Climbing, Snow Boarding, Go Carts, Laser Tag, Arcades, Bowling, etc. If there’s something that keeps me busy, and happy then it’s impossible to have a bad date, but this kind of date isn’t preferred since it only allows minimal time to actually get to know the person.

  4. Sally Says:

    Hi Kent

    Very interesting comments, thank you for your stopping by and letting us hear your opinion as a shy person. As I said at the end of the post the ideas came from a friend of mine who is painfully shy .. I’m afraid I have never had a shy moment in my life, so I needed help with suggestions.

    Your comments sound a little confusing though (maybe as I am not shy I simply don’t understand what you mean), you say “Most of the anxiety I face comes from the pressure to be expressive on a date” and then go on to say you don’t like the date ideas because you can’t talk over music in the car and activity dates don’t give you time to get to know the person.

    Perhaps you hit the nail on the head when you talked about art, as this is a setting you would be at ease in. Obviously Karen (my shy friend) is comfortable in the situations she suggested (she loves being in a car, uses a coffee shop which is also a book shop and likes watching movies because she doesn’t have to talk and it’s too dark to see her body language). You would be comfortable in an artistic setting or activity date and being interested in your surroundings would ease your shyness.

  5. Brian from Scrap Car Maidstone (1 comments.) Says:

    These are good ideas for dates, although I dont think I would go to the cinema again, just feels a bit awkward for me sitting there watching a film and not really talking.
    Brian @ Scrap Car Maidstone´s last blog ..The Car Scrappage Scheme My ComLuv Profile

  6. Sally Says:

    But are you shy Brian?

  7. Dave from Ninja Climbing Gear (1 comments.) Says:

    I agree with Kent’s activity based comments. Acitivity dating is a great way for shy people to get know each other. It gets them to relax, laugh and have fun which then makes it easier to communicate.
    Dave @ Ninja Climbing Gear´s last blog ..Privacy Policy My ComLuv Profile

  8. Gary from mature dating (2 comments.) Says:

    I remember when I went on my very first proper date that I was so shy and flustered that I got there late, she was looking like she just wanted to go home and I was a waste of time. Luckily the date was taking place at a theatre where they were putting on a dance company. This meant that we sat in the dark unable to talk :) I got my composure and she calmed down, when it finished I offered her a lift home and we ended up having the most amazing, and unexpected, time getting completly lost and going around in circles trying to get to her house :)

  9. Alfons (1 comments.) Says:


    Just came across your blog and find it quite interesting. Reading it, I immediately knew you’re not a shy person: the emotions that are ‘between the lines’ reflect those of an out-going person, perhaps quite perky.

    When it came to reading Kent’s comment, my heart sunk. Kent not only speaks the language of the shy, he knows (knows!) all the details and lets his pain show through his writing. And writing he did!

    Following was your response to Kent’s. And as I read your second paragraph and instantly knew that Kent would not write back. You know why?

    Shy men, and I guess women as well, have the innate feeling, sometimes even the conviction, that ‘people don’t understand me, even when I try to explain how I feel.’ Although you kindly mentioned to ‘maybe [...] not [...] understand what (he) means’, Kent’s mind at that point likely went: “Yeah, whatever…” and again he shut down.

    When he said: “Most of the anxiety I face comes from the pressure to be expressive on a date”, my gut was telling me that he was referring to what I call for lack of a better term, “performance anxiety” The perceived pressure to HAVE to talk.

    It is very painful to live with this awkward ‘condition’,even after having been married for 20 years (I’m now 51), because it creeps up at awkward moments, seemingly “taking control of the playful child within”.

    Oh, Sally, if only you knew…

    To be a shy person almost means to be a misfit. However…

    There is good news for the shy ones, though: Shyness can be overcome to a large extend.

    What did it for me is Martial Arts, where talking is not encouraged, but physical interaction is. No pressure to engage in conversation, and the only communication allowed is through physical movement and facial expressions. (Eye language means a lot to me and many other shy people I know. We are also very sensitive to emotional language and tend to take too much very personal. Ay-ay-ayyy! What are we doing to ourselves?!?)

    I have spent years practicing to verbally express myself and have broken through many of my barriers to overcome most of my shyness. As has my wife, by the way. She too was among the very shy. Through each other we’ve grown a lot.

    So, there you have it. Straight from the mouth of a recovering shy man.

    Hope this puts some more light on the subject, but more importantly, more compassion for the less-able-to-socially-express-themselves.

    Thanks for reading and ‘Congratulations!’ to Kent to express himself so emphatically.

    Much Love!


    P.S.: In their own way, shy people make for excellent leaders. That’s my observation anyway….
    Alfons´s last blog ..Attraction Marketing My ComLuv Profile

  10. Sally Says:

    Hi Alfons

    Thank you so much for your comments, as I said God didn’t give me a shy bone in my body so it is impossible for me to understand how it feels.

    I am so happy to hear you and your wife are finding ways to deal with your shyness and hope you will go from strength to strength.

    My sincere apologies to Kent, I was clearly not understanding what you were saying and answered in ignorance. I hope you will come back and continue what you were trying to get over to me in the hope it can help other shy people who want to embark on the dating schene.

    Perhaps as shy men you and Kent could let us know what your ideal date would be, what would make you feel most comfortable and relaxed?

    But guys trust me on this, very confident people often feel like misfits too, we are just more likely to bluff our way through.

    I agree Alfons shy people can make excellent leaders because they listen, over confident people tend to speak more than they listen … as I demonstrated in my reply to Kent.

    I am off to sit on the naughty step now.

  11. David Says:

    Hello Sally,
    I stumbled across this site after curiously typing in ‘dating agency for the shy’. Having read your blog and the replies, I do understand myself better. I am very good at putting impossible pressure on myself to talk and be charming, this creates an awkward atmosphere that we both want to end. I like to be an observer at the beginning until I feel comfortable, most of the time I do not get to that comfortable place though.
    I am extrovert in private!
    I am a Head of a department and find the professional communication easier, I’m acting a role basically and I do not feel the pressure to be funny. Although the management of my team is a constant battle against my natural traits.
    Going through a long separation from my long term partner, I can’t see how I’ll ever meet anyone again. The thought of going on a date with a stranger horrifies me. I’ve already pulled out of a bit of match-making by my sister. It is deliberately putting myself in to my worst nightmare.
    I agree that doing an activity on a date is the best way to meet someone for a shy person. As it instantly gives you something to talk about and an activity when the conversation faulters.
    Being shy, it goes without saying that I like the Smiths and Morrissey!
    To answer your questions; ‘what your ideal date would be, what would make you feel most comfortable and relaxed?’
    For me it is the woman on the date; being intelligent and being able to talk about normal things and not feel I have to be a stand-up comedian. Doing a physical activity where we would be together would be my preference, eg 10-pin bowling, tennis, sailing lesson, etc.

  12. Sally Says:

    Hi David

    So nice to hear your views, thank you.

    Try to remember that the initial shyness you felt with your last long term partner was only temporary and your next partner will be the same. Your shyness can work to your advantage if your body language says “I am listening to every word you say and finding it interesting, please don’t stop talking”.

    Rather than putting yourself out there on the dating scene why not consider ways you could meet someone through work (a business contact rather than a colleague), as you already have your professional facade to mask your shyness you may find it easier to chat to a business contact?

    Another alternative is to meet someone through a hobby or activity. If you can get away from the mental “oh cripes this is the dating world” fear and try to meet someone in an environment you already feel relatively relaxed in.

  13. Tim at ShyFAQ(new comment) Says:

    The best place to go for a date if you are shy is a place that does not require a lot of conversation, or a place where the venue itself suggests topics of conversation.

    Coffee is bad because you will be needing to make conversation the whole time you are there. Ditto with a long drive. That would be about the hardest thing for shy people.

    Concerts, theater or cinema, or an architecture tour or the zoo would be much better, because they would all suggest topics of conversation, and you wouldn’t need to be talking the whole time.