Putting yourself out there: dating when you’re reserved

Does the thought of “putting yourself out there” make you run for the hills?

If so, you’re not alone. For introverted men, it’s especially hard to “get out of your comfort zone” and invest time and energy into your dating life, no matter how much you want to find the right person.

Not to worry, though! All hope is far from lost.

As an introverted guy, you can learn how to start putting yourself out there into the dating world in a way that feels genuinely fun and natural for you.

How, especially if you can relate to this Introverted Alpha reader?

“I’ve finally worked myself up to the point where I believe that I’m attractive and have accepted myself fully (my lack of experience included). 

“But I’ve pretty much avoided putting myself out there for as long as I can remember. 

“I’m not very confident in my current skillset, and I don’t feel like I have the ability to show the best version of myself to anyone that I’m attracted to.”

If you can relate to him about avoiding putting yourself out there, let’s solve this together.

The key is to approach it in the right way.

You don’t have to suddenly become the most charming guy in the room or go bar hopping every night.

Rather, you can employ a much gentler approach than some extrovert-geared dating advice would have you believe.

The best part of what I’m about to teach you is that you don’t have to become someone you’re not or engage in extreme self-promotion.

Instead, you’ll become more of your true self and have fun letting people experience you for real.

Let’s do this!

1. Be kind to yourself, and focus on progress.

First things first.

If you’ve been afraid of putting yourself out there, making the first move, and getting rejected, let’s start with being kinder to yourself.

That way, you’re not preventing progress from happening. How can you make progress when you’re feeling bad? You can’t.

One night years ago, I was visiting family, and we had an interesting conversation at the dinner table.

I was sharing how I had noticed that beating myself up about things was counter-productive. Awesomely, I had found another way that was actually inspiring and led directly to doing something better and different.

I summarized it as…

  • condemnation (a bad general feeling about yourself with no sense of direction), versus
  • conviction (a sharp, pointed insight about where you could have done better and a strong, invigorating sense of what to do differently next time).

It made so much sense how much more helpful conviction was, but it hadn’t occurred to me before that point.

Until then, I’d been thinking that shame would somehow motivate me to do better. (!)

You may have lived by the same philosophy. 

A lot of people do…

“Well, if I feel bad enough about myself and feel horrible for failing to put myself out there, maybe I’ll change.”

No! That’s all wrong. Otherwise, wouldn’t you have done it already?

But you couldn’t because shame is DRAINING.

Shame is absolutely the bottom of the barrel in terms of energy and motivation.

It is really not where you want to be if you’re looking to make a change.

A MUCH healthier and more effective approach is to say, “So, X is not going how I want. What do I want instead, and how can I get there?”

In this case, it’s, “Okay, it looks like I’ve not been putting myself out there as much as I want. So what do I want instead, and how can I get there?” 

A positive attitude helps you put yourself out there.

When asking yourself what you want, consider what you want, not what you think you should do. 

If what you want is to meet an amazing woman after a great time learning and dating other people, what does that look like for YOU specifically?

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Refreshingly, you can go out ONE or two nights a week to meet new people at parties, hobbies, or on dates.

Nothing crazy is needed to have fun making new friends and let the sparks fly wherever they will .

2. Meet women in the best places for you.

Where do you truly want to meet potential dates? Probably not bars and clubs. Probably someplace more your style, like these options:

A new hobby

An awesome way to make new friends and meet great women is to take up a hobby you’ve been curious about.

Here are some options the introverted men around here tend to gravitate to: 

  • Partner dancing lessons and social dances, like salsa and ballroom
  • Intramural sports, like flag football or soccer
  • Cooking, baking, or cocktail-making classes
  • Improv or public speaking clubs
  • Volunteering

All of these are great ways to add something into your schedule where you can put yourself out there and enjoy something interesting at the same time.

Blind dates via a close friend, family member, or coworker

One great way to meet more women is to let someone who knows you well make date plans for you!

Make sure the people closest to you know that you’re looking to meet more people, just in case they thought you were not ready.

Once they know you’re ready, you’ve got that going for you in the background. 

They can start putting their feelers out for you, and who knows what may come of it!

Dating sites / dating apps

The in-person version of this is singles events, because when you go to one of those, the single people are already curated for you! Everyone there is single.

Same thing with dating sites like OkCupid and dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and The League.

For more on online dating for introverted men, check out this large, helpful guide. 

Once you set things up correctly to showcase yourself at your best, online dating is such an easy way to start putting yourself out there without even leaving the comfort of your phone.

Saying little “yes’s”

You can also expand your horizons by saying “yes” to things you may have said “no” to before.

For example, you can take tiny steps forward in these ways: 

  • Taking up a hobby you’ve been wanting to try starts with googling that hobby in your city. Then you can set a date and time to go check out the place.
  • Meeting folks through friends can start with accepting an invitation to go out this weekend which you may have otherwise refused.

These are tiny steps in the right direction of putting yourself out there more in a gentle way.

3. Open up to the fact that women already like you!

Now let’s look at how to share the best version of yourself with people in general and with women you’re attracted to!

There are two parts to this:

  1. Seeing why and how you are already super likable, and
  2. Noticing when women notice you. 

Knowing why women would be attracted to you helps a lot with having the courage to put yourself out there.

This is because, as much self-doubt as you might have in taking a small risk, the pain of taking no risks is greater. 

Do you resonate with this guy?

“Looking back on a lot of my experiences, I have found that I have had a lot (a LOT more than I used to think) of interest from women. 

“I feel a lot more confident because of that, but I still find myself unable to approach or escalate, and that’s something I really want to work on.” 

As you can see from this guy’s experience, seeing that women like you is an awesome confidence boost, but it is not enough in and of itself.

It’s just part of the process that helps encourage you and help you intuitively know how to put yourself out there more.

In summary, here’s how you can start putting yourself out there:

Putting yourself out there requires…

  • that you are kind to yourself,
  • that you find low-hanging fruit to be more social,
  • and that you are open to women being attracted to you.

All these things are a prequel to the key steps of the dating process. Next comes meeting women, approaching, flirting, texting, and going on dates, which can be hard for quieter guys to do.

That’s why we invite you to check out our dating coaching program, Launch Your Dating Life, so you can set yourself up for success.

When you’re successful in all areas except for dating, there comes a time when you’re ready to address that. 

For example, here’s what one Introverted Alpha client said about why he enlisted our 1:1 support:

“I want to be able to live life on my terms, and I feel like I’ve managed to reach that level in other aspects of my life. Now I’m turning my attention to this.” 

If you want to live life on your own terms as well, check out our 1:1 dating coaching program for introverted men.

And if you’re not ready to dive in just yet, check out our ebook on developing your own uniquely attractive vibe. It has a lot of the core principles as the first module of our coaching program, so it will be quite helpful for you.

Sarah Jones
Sarah Jones
Sarah Jones is founder and CEO of Introverted Alpha; the premier dating coaching company for introverted men; featured by Forbes, Business Insider, Cosmo, and more. Pick up your free copy of Sarah's 22-page ebook inside the blue box just below.

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