Dating After 50: Help If You’re Shy - dummies

Dating After 50: Help If You’re Shy

By Pepper Schwartz

Copyright © 2014 AARP. All rights reserved.

When you’re over 50 and dating again, the very thought of glancing at a stranger and smiling may fill you with dread if you’re shy and you don’t like to approach people. You may even have trouble being approached. Perhaps you get tongue-tied and awkward on first meetings. So you need support approaching someone or accepting someone else’s approach.

It’s helpful to have a friend with you when you’re out and about trying to meet people. Pick a friend who can take on some of the beginning approach or response for you. You can focus on someone together, walk over, and let your friend start the conversation and bring you in on it.

Or you can be there together and when someone approaches, your friend can rave about you and ask you questions to get you started until you feel comfortable talking on your own.

Don’t feel bad about yourself if you need this kind of help. Many people do; ever notice how few people go to a bar alone? Conversing with strangers is a daunting challenge to many people, and most people do better with a friend who helps grease the conversation and brings them out of their shell.

If you’re painfully shy, you may be tempted to drink a lot more in social situations in order to get braver. This is understandable, but in almost all situations, drinking for courage is a self-defeating coping mechanism.