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As a reformed painfully shy person, I offer with love some observations and suggestions for conquering the dating/social world.


First off, take dating and meeting a girlfriend off the pedestal. In fact, just subtract it from your life right now. If you are worried and stressing out over meeting someone, then it's time to focus the attention on yourself. Dive deeper and engage more fully in what it is that drives you in life. It could be a career, or a hobby. There has to be something that you identify with that is an ongoing project. For me, it's music. For you, I don't know... only you know the answer. When you feel such an exciting connection to something that doesn't depend on someone else, you feel wonderful. You realize that much of how we think of ourselves is purely mental. Happiness is a quality that belongs to you.


I bring that up because pretty much all of the social skills I've developed got started by me just being happy with who I was, loving myself. When you find the things that make you happy and provide meaning to your life, then you will naturally open up to people in general. When you are overflowing with positive emotions, you can't help but share. When you share, you are becoming less shy, one step at a time.


Another thing I suggest is that (if you haven't already) you get into some kind of regular social hang, be it at a bar or other public place, where you can be around your friends and just have a good time. Like a home away from home. I've been going to a bar/club almost every Thursday night for the past 2 1/2 years, not to meet people, but to play music with my friends. Out of that persistent presence has led to romance, several friendships, and endless social opportunities. You don't have to go to a million different places every week to develop your social skills. Just going to one place every week will do wonders if you just relax. Sure, at first it will be difficult to open up to new people, but the more you settle in to the vibe of where you're at, the easier it will become to chat with anyone who you feel like chatting with.


Also - develop your flirting/humor sense. Whether you end up getting a date or not, a lot of women/girls like guys with a sense of humor and can flirt. Flirting is what gives conversations lightness, and what helps spark attraction. You are not just conversing with someone like it's an interview, but poking fun at yourself and her, not taking yourself so seriously. The more you practice this and the more you observe others doing it, the more you will not only get good at it but also end up doing it naturally. To return to what I said above, it will be easier to do that if you are happy with yourself.


Take advantage of what the internet has to offer. YouTube, eNotAlone, and other websites can be a source of inspiration for you to practice and understand what some of these things are. Maybe you don't know what "flirting" means? How do you know when you are doing it? Just exploit these resources and you will learn something.


I didn't even mention the whole asking a girl/woman out, that's because it's just part of it all. It's rather difficult and nerve-wracking to get involved in dating if you lack social experience in general. The only way to gain social experience is by being out in the world, practicing, and giving it time.

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Very good list. I think that my putting dating on a pedestal (I HAVE to lose my virginity today, or else I'll be a 30 year old virgin!) is what's causing anxiety around women, not my natural biological urges. Not even social anxiety is stopping me anymore, because I've progressed past all of the stuff that was keeping me isolated before. It's just...fear of being inexperienced.


Also, I've said this before, but the shyness only happens around girls I'm attracted to. If I have no attraction, I can talk and flirt up a storm. If I find her cute, my natural self, including my sense of humor and my natural personality, dries up. That's why I think girls that I'm attracted to never see who I really am...they never see the real LightbulbSun. They just see a false image that's thrown up, because I'm too scared to show them who I really am.

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