I'm shy. Er, well, I'm sometimes shy. If you were to arrive with me to a restaurant to find out that our reservation had been screwed up, you would probably classify my reaction as... forward. I also write on the internet, which also does not suggest bashfulness. However, when it comes to real life crushes and dating, I get shy. Here's a super hot take: Men get nervous, too. The signs a shy guy likes you probably look a lot like me on a date. (Squirmy and weirdly trying to keep her mouth from opening too wide.)
About that mouth bit? The fear of having something in my teeth always upstages my ability to flirt like a human. (Yes, even if it's just a drinks date.) That said, if I like someone, there are probably other signs my body is making in his direction, whether I am conscious of it or not. There's the age-old "pointing your knees towards the other person," but that's sort of a given if you are sitting face-to-face, shy or not.
First off, what does being a "shy" person even mean? I spoke to relationship and etiquette expert April Masini about shyness and dating. "A shy person who is interested in you may not speak up," she explained. Ah, of course. The phenomenon of "shyness" is really about being hesitant to speak up, which we've all felt. (Well, maybe not our current President.)
It means you're nervous. It means you're careful with your words. It means you don't want to overstep boundaries, or impose on anyone. While these qualities can sometimes be hinderances, I find them very endearing. If you are crushing on a shy cutie, here are some signs they might be into you too:
1. They Want To Get Close To You
And not in the lightly imposing "yawn-and-put-my-hand-on-your-shoulder" way. As a shy person, I certainly have to work up a lot of courage before touching the body of a person I like. Arm, cheek, leg, or otherwise. That kind of touch can be normal to some, terrifying for others (hi!).
A shy person who is interested in you will want to "be near you," says Masini. "They’ll walk over to where you are, or sit near you." Seems about right. In the shyest phase of my life, middle school, I always tried to get, like, three feet as opposed to 10 feet away from my crush on school trips. (I also nicknamed him "blue" so that I could say "I love blue" and have my friends know what I meant. Oops.)
2. They Make Nonverbal Connections With You
In addition to walking your way (and possibly giving you a code name), a shy person who's crushing on you will have "You"-radar on at all times. I'm thinking especially of coworkers, or gym crushes.
"They will look for you, so watch for eye contact," says Masini. "They’ll smile at you and try to connect without speaking up." If they accidentally catch eyes with you and then grimace and look away instead, they could be super shy, or they could just have been thinking about french fries and not actually be that into you. See if it happens again?
3. They Make Small Talk With You
You know that type of person who says, "Cancel your plans this weekend, because I want to take you out"? Yeah, that is not a shy person. A shy person with a crush on you will absolutely try to make conversation with you, but it's probably going to be a lot of small talk and clunky jokes. (Speaking from my own experience trying to flirt.)
"They’ll skirt around the subject and take a lot longer than someone who is not shy to ask you out," says Masini. So don't stress if they've been Gchatting you for months, with daily walks by your desk, and STILL haven't asked you out. "It may take them a few more attempts at these conversations to even get the offer to date out." (IT'S SCARY TO OPEN YOURSELF UP TO REJECTION! Sweating just thinking about it.)
4. They Are A Little Bit Flirting With You
At the end of the day, shy or not, you'll know in your gut if someone is flirting with you. Masini says that humor, compliments, and flirting are bound to happen, even if someone is less inclined to be the alpha male or female in the courting process. If you are reading this article and thinking that the next person who makes small talk with you per number three has a crush on you, well, they might just be a friendly person.
If you like someone enough to research the little signs that they might like you too via the internet, you have an adorable and sweet heart. I want you to be un-shy for a moment and follow your gut. Here's something less time consuming than looking for hints of a crush: Ask whoever inspired you to read this article for coffee or a drink. As a shy person, I can confirm that pushing through the fear and asking someone out anyways is incredibly liberating. Even if it doesn't work out. (Multiple times.)
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