How to get a shy guy to make a move — 23 foolproof ways

Shy guys – they avoid being the center of attention, can be unnervingly quiet, and blush easily – they’re adorable but getting them to make a move isn’t always a quick process.

And the problem is, sometimes they take such a long time to make a move and let you know they like you that you can start to doubt whether they ever get round to it.

But to get a shy guy to make a move, you’ve got to first understand how he thinks and feels, and once you tap into that it’ll make him open up in ways you can never imagine.

So let’s get started:

Why are some guys so shy?

When it comes to being shy, we usually think of people who are uncomfortable during social events like parties, or who panic at the thought of giving a presentation.

And commonly, we mistake being shy for being introverted, but they’re far from being the same.

Shy people — avoid social situations because they don’t know how to connect with other people, or they’re dealing with anxiety or fear of judgment.

Introverted people — introverts crave alone time because it helps them feel re-energized and being in social, loud situations can overstimulate them.

So why are some guys so shy, to the point where they’ll hold back from making a move?

Shyness can come from:

So whilst you might mistake a shy guy for just being nervous around girls or lacking in confidence and bravado, there’s a lot more going on under the surface.

But that doesn’t mean that shy guys don’t make great partners; they can be the most supportive, caring, and loving – once they open up to you.

The bottom line is, they need a little understanding and patience to feel comfortable around you.

With that in mind, your shy guy may have already hinted that he’s interested in you, or you guys have even started hanging out together.

So, how do you know a shy guy is into you in the first place?

The chances are, you’ll have picked up on some signals that he’s into you, no matter how small or brief they were.

Even shy guys let on when they like someone, so look out for these signs:

  • He follows you on social media
  • He tries to make conversation even though you can tell he’s nervous
  • Somehow, he knows small details about your life
  • He listens to you
  • You catch him staring at you

The truth is, his shyness is holding him back from making his feelings clear, and you could end up getting mixed signals from him.

But until he knows how you feel, and he feels ready, he might struggle to be upfront with you.

So without further ado, let’s get straight into the ways you can get your shy guy to finally take the plunge and make his move:

23 ways to get a shy guy to make a move

1) Make eye contact … but not too much

Here’s the important thing with eye contact:

It’s the perfect signal to let him know that you’re interested in him, but you don’t want to freak him out at the same time.

A shy guy might already feel nervous about making eye contact with you, so avoid staring into his eyes for too long otherwise you could end up making him uncomfortable.

All you need to do is let the look linger for a few seconds, even send him a little smile and then carry on with what you were doing…he’ll get the message loud and clear.

2) Talk about things he’s interested in

Do you find it hard to make him open up to you? Maybe the conversation doesn’t flow as much as you’d hope it would?

The key here is to get him talking about his passions and hobbies.

Find out what gets his adrenaline going, what sports he plays, or if he’s a complete book worm – ask him what his favorite book is.

The more you focus the conversation on topics that he’s into and that he has a lot to say about, the more he’ll naturally open up to you.

Plus, it’s a great way to get to know him better, and in return, he’ll feel confident knowing that you’re interested in his likes/dislikes.

3) Be prepared to do more talking

But just as you want him to open up to you, you’ve got to be prepared for some awkward silences

You see, there’s only so much a shy person will divulge straight away, usually, they open up more and more as they get to know a person.

So it’s natural if he doesn’t always flood the conversation with his thoughts and ideas, and that’s where you’ve got to step in and keep the flow going.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t drop in a few questions now and then to keep the focus on him as well, it’s all about finding a happy balance.

4) Open-ended questions will keep the conversation going

And when you ask him personal questions, make sure they’re open-ended (so avoid questions that only end in “yes” or “no”).

For example:

Instead of saying, “Do you like traveling?”

You can ask, “What’s your favorite thing about traveling?”, and he’ll instantly have to expand on the topic which will get him talking even more.

5) Avoid interrogating him

But even though you want him to open up, make sure it doesn’t turn into a Q&A session – you don’t want him to feel like the spotlight is completely on him all the time.

Put simply – there are going to be times where you share silence, but that’s not always a bad thing.

So ask questions here or there, if it goes with the flow of the conversation, but if it doesn’t, don’t force it (and certainly don’t push questions about subjects he’s very reserved about).

And ultimately, if he is a very shy person, he’ll probably enjoy having someone to chill out with who doesn’t need to fill the space with noise all the time.

6) Don’t rush or pressure him

You want him to make a move, but he’s ignoring all the hints and taking his sweet, merry old time.

You’re starting to wonder whether it’s worth just having it all out with him and asking whether he likes you or not.

All the other signs are there, but he just won’t cross that invisible line – but when it comes to a shy guy, you need to let him do things in his own time.

By pressuring him into a conversation about it, you could end up undoing all the hard work you’ve put in already so it’s best to just let him know you like him, and he’ll make a move when he feels ready to.

7) Understand his shyness

Another simple way to get him to make a move is to understand him and to understand him you need to be conscious of his shyness.

So what does that mean?

It means that you shouldn’t force him into uncomfortable situations that you know he’ll hate, or bring up topics that make him sweat and become nervous.

By doing this, you’ll be letting him know that you understand him and respect him for who he is, and knowing this will make it much easier for him to make a move.

8) But don’t ever mention it

So you want to make him feel understood, but you don’t need to broadcast it for the whole world to know about.

The chances are, if you bring up his shyness, he’ll clam up even more around you and it’ll make him feel self-conscious about it.

On the other hand, if he ever mentions it, just be supportive and make him feel comfortable to talk to you – after all, he just wants to feel accepted as he is.

9) Communicate in the way he prefers

We’re all different when it comes to communicating.

Some people prefer texting, others want to jump on a video call straight away, but regardless of how you want to talk, it’s best to go with what makes him comfortable.

And most likely that’ll be texting since it takes away the pressure of having to talk on the phone or face to face.

If this is how he feels comfortable, go for it – the more he talks to you, the more relaxed he’ll become and potentially make a move.

10) Keep a balance between what you both like to do

And while we’re on the subject of compromising, the same applies to when you hang out together.

On one hand, you should make an effort to do things that he likes, as it’ll help him come out of his shell, and doing these activities together will strengthen his bond and attraction to you.

But on the other hand, you also want to show him some of your personality and what you enjoy, so try to keep a balance between what you do when you go on dates.

11) Make sure he’s comfortable before introducing him to friends

Now, it’s normal if your friends are dying to meet him and even though he hasn’t made a move yet, you want to find out what they think of him.

So, naturally, you plan to bump into them one day when the two of you are hanging out and make it seem like the perfect coincidence.

But the problem here is that you risk making your shy guy feel “on the spot” and he probably won’t leave feeling positive about the situation.

Instead, hint or work it into the conversation that you’d like to do something together with your friends, and plan a good time and place to do it – preferably doing something that he’s familiar and comfortable with.

12) Give him enough space

You might be thinking, “I want him to make a move, isn’t giving him space counterproductive?”.

And it makes sense, you want him to fall head over heels for you and declare his love romantically…or even just give you a simple sign back that he likes you too.

But being around him 24/7 won’t achieve that. Why?

Because your shy guy might also be an introvert, and in that case, he’ll appreciate his alone time to be calm, to think clearly, and to reset his emotions.

13) Be patient with him

But to give him space, it will take patience. And a lot of it.

But the bottom line is:

Guys like to feel in control, and they enjoy the chase no matter how shy or introverted they are – so let him make a move when he feels ready rather than suffocating him or putting him under pressure.

14) Compliment him and let him know you like him

Think of it this way:

The more you compliment him – and I mean genuine compliments – the more you’ll boost his confidence around you.

And compliments don’t have to be generic and appearance-based, you can also admire his qualities as a person or his morals and outlooks on life.

15) Use your body language

As well as using your body to send him signals that you like him, it’s good to be aware of how you come across when you approach him.

Try to avoid being too loud or domineering, as this might make him retreat and be unsure of how to act around you.

Instead, send over lots of positive vibes, be calm and collected around him and it’ll make him naturally relax too.

Plus you can also get a bit physical with your body language and casually put your hand on his arm during the conversation as another way to prompt him into making a move.

16) Keep the conversation light and fun

And when you are chatting together, try to keep the subject lighthearted with plenty of playful, flirty banter.

Humour is a great way to break the ice and instantly make him feel comfortable around you, and laughter is proven to make you look like more of a desirable partner, so don’t hold back on the jokes.

17) Don’t give up straight away

As I’ve already mentioned, your shy guy needs to do things in his own time, and in his way.

But I get it, you’re getting tired of waiting around or frustrated that he’s not making that first move.

Don’t give up on him just yet – sometimes the best things in life are worth waiting for and when he does make his move, you’ll be glad you stuck around.

18) Be his friend first

And whilst you’re waiting for him to make his move, it won’t hurt to be his friend in the meantime.

Be someone he can trust. Stand by him when he’s going through a rough patch. Treat him kindly and he’ll start to realize how good you’d be together as a couple.

Just don’t get “too” friendly and end up in the friendzone (that’s where flirting comes in handy while you wait for him to make his move).

19) Don’t be afraid to make the first move

Just because you don’t want to pressure him into making the first move – that doesn’t mean you can’t take control.

But, the key is in the timing.

If you’re both in the moment, and the perfect opportunity comes up to make a move but you feel him hesitate, go for it yourself and make his life a little easier.

But only if the moment calls for it and you’re certain that he wants it too (there’s nothing worse than initiating a kiss with someone and catching them off-guard, potentially causing them to choke on their food).

20) Build up trust

Another important aspect for all men, not just shy guys (but it’ll help a lot with them too) is to build up a solid, trusting connection.

So how can you get him to trust you?

Be there for him when he needs you, stick to your word, and be his confidant, especially if he opens up about personal issues that are sensitive to him.

Essentially, the more he trusts you, the more he’ll want to make his move.

21) Give him opportunities to ask you out

If you feel like your shy guy just isn’t getting the hint or he’s too nervous to make a move, make it easy for him.

Drop hints about a new movie you want to see or the fact that you’ve never been to his favorite restaurant.

Hopefully, he’ll take the opportunity to ask you out properly because there’s less pressure on him to start the conversation.

22) And make it clear that you’re into him too

Guys fear rejection just as much as women do – it’s even worse for them because traditionally they’re expected to make all the first moves, and now throw shyness into the mix.

So, be kind and make it obvious that if he was to make a move, it’d be met with positivity and excitement, not rejection.

And the best way to let him know that you’re into him?

Simply by following the previous steps, he’ll quickly get the message and work out that he stands a chance when he’s finally ready to take it.

23) Don’t play hard to get

And finally, avoid playing games or deliberately acting hard to get.


Because these games might work on a confident guy, but a shy guy is already dreading making a move because he feels nervous when he’s around you.

If you make it harder for him to work out how you feel, he’ll probably just back down or give up.

The truth is:

You’ve got to be open and honest about your feelings to help overcome his shyness when it comes to making a move on you — instead of making him jealous or chase you.

So now we’ve covered everything you need to do to help him make his move, let’s go into detail on what I mentioned earlier about the positives of dating a shy guy:

Why shy guys make great partners

So even if you’ve got your eye on a shy guy but he’s not quite picked up on your hints, don’t give up just yet.

I get it, sometimes you wonder if he’ll ever make a move or not, and it can be tempting to give up and move on.

The truth is, we’re used to seeing confident guys who know how to approach a girl and make her feel instantly wanted and desired.

So when it comes to a shy guy, who needs to take his time and make his move when he feels comfortable to do so, it can feel like you’re waiting for an eternity.

But, if you choose to give up, you’ll never know how wonderful it could be when he finally does ask you out or initiate that first kiss – and believe it or not, shy guys make great partners.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • They make great listeners and will pay attention to detail
  • Shy guys tend to be more reflective and they think deeply about things
  • They’re more understanding
  • They won’t hog the limelight
  • They’re not demanding or attention seekers

But above all, when a shy guy opens up and feels comfortable around you, you’ll get to see a whole different side of him.

Because he’s taken his time, he’ll already have invested a lot of time thinking about you and considering his feelings, so you can be sure that when he makes a move, he’s going all in.

And knowing that he’s chosen you to be relaxed and open around is such a special feeling, so hang in there and don’t give up on your shy guy yet.

The good news is there’s plenty of ways you can give him a boost in the right direction and get that love ball rolling – just follow the tips above and he’ll soon get the message.

By the entrepreneur Justin Brown

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