General Question

mary84's avatar

Can a guy be too shy to make a move?

Asked by mary84 (570points) February 18th, 2010

Some people say that if a guy doesn’t make a move such as ask you out he’s not that into you. Other people claim that guys CAN be too shy to ask a girl/woman/lady out.

What do you think?

I personally believe that if a guy IS interested he will always ask the girl out, but I am not so sure now, as I just met this guy who acts very hot and cold.

He gets really nervous when it’s just me and him, and I can tell by the way he looks at me that he likes me, but he hasn’t made a move yet and when we’re with other people he gets stiff and turns his back on me occasionally. (We’re both 27–28 so we’re no teenagers)

Whatcha think? Better to let him come to me or to ask him out myself?

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64 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

Yes, he can be.

Blackberry's avatar

A lot of guys are nervous, especially when we’re young, maybe because our self esteem rises as we age or things happen to us. But for some to say that guys can’t be extremely shy is ridiculous. This notion that the guy has to do everything is pretty dumb and just leaves more women wondering, why don’t you make a move for once lol? You won’t know unless you put it out there. Both male and female make sacrifices like these.

marinelife's avatar

I think a lot of guys are nervous about asking a woman out and might not if they don’t have the experience or they think she could not possibly like them.

I say ask him to go for coffee. You should get your answer.

Cruiser's avatar

Yes, I really liked a girl in college and although we chatted and hung out I never could get the courage to ask her out…I was just too shy and nervous. After 2 months I finally asked her out and she blurts out really loud in front of all these other people “I thought you’d never ask” even mentioned she thought I was gay! So girls might make a move and ask the guy but she told me she would never do that. So my advice is just ask or you may miss out.

Steve_A's avatar

I would just ask him out yourself. I think it would be nice to see women do it too. Its not illegal or something jeez.

The principal of doing so is the same with either person(men or women) your interested/like them, so you ask them out pretty simple….and you take it from there.

To answer the question yes, there are guys who can be too shy.

zebter's avatar

Yes guys can be to shy to ask. In fact some are so afraid of rejection that unless they know you like them back as well they will never make the first move.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I still kick myself in the butt for being shy when I was young. (teens to early 20’s). I passed on so many chances just because I was uncertain. Now I just say screw it and take all kinds of chances. Ask him out. The worst he can say is no.And then it’s still no skin off your butt.

wundayatta's avatar

The list of women I never asked out because I was afraid of rejection could probably fill a phonebook. [The school phone book, not the Philadelphia phone book!]

mary84's avatar

Ahhh before I get more answers I want to clarify reason for asking: Because some people claim that if you ask the guy out yourself you will never know if he really wanted to date you in the first place or if he just said yes because he was flattered.

And yeah, also I’ve heard chances might be if the girl ask the guy out and not vice versa, he will get used to her asking him out and never make a move himself.

wundayatta's avatar

What is the obsession that young people have with these traditional gender roles? I thought we fought that battle and won back in the 70s! This drives me crazy!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

People who claim that don’t know jacks**t. Life is a two way street. Although I’m seeing more and more that that may be my more idealistic approach. Grab life by the balls and live it to the fullest, and you wont regret it.

slick44's avatar

What the hell, ask him. What have you got to loose?

TheJoker's avatar

Deffinately, the bloke doesn’t even have to be shy in general, you women have a way of disarming us!

EdMayhew's avatar

Ask him out!

whatthefluther's avatar

We are capable of some of the most stupid and ridiculous actions and behavior in the presence of girls we very much like but are too damn insecure, shy or nervous to ask out. And don’t worry…..if you break the ice, that will not result in you having to continually do so in the future. Your asking him out will provide enough confidence to turn him around. Good luck and have fun. See ya…..Gary/wtf

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

Okay, so I may be saying this from a woman’s point of view, but I think we women don’t realize how tough it is for guys to ask girls out. Facing the possibility of outright (and often harsh) rejection is really scary! My boyfriend and I were friends for a long time and had about a 2-month period of shy flirtation as I realized he had developed romantic feelings for me. It ended up with me making the first move (something as simple as just reaching out and holding his hand) but he later told me he had been planning to ask me out in a few weeks anyway. However, he had been very nervous about the possibility of rejection – even though we were really good friends already.

So basically, if you know you both have feelings for each other, don’t feel that he has to make the first move. It’s the 21st century – gender roles are overrated!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

You may hear a response from some of the various members of the collective who have Asperger’s Syndrome, which makes them far more than “shy” about approaching women.

But even in my case, where I generally appear to be “normal” (whatever that is), if the time’s not right, then it’s a hard thing to make the first move. If the girl is always with others, seems “too popular” or “out of our league”, then we often hang back and wait… and wait… and wait.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Asperger’s makes people more shy? That’s interesting. I’ve known a few people with Asperger’s, and they seem very outgoing – a bit more than “appropriate” usually. Those guys (for they were all guys) seemed to have no trouble approaching anyone, male or female, and talking about anything.

But then again, every individual differs, right? Interesting to hear how it affects different people.

smokeweedeveryday's avatar

@Cruiser : omg that is soo ture i said that to my boyfriend when he finally asked me out! :D

@mary84 : Well yes guys can be too shy but eventually they come around well at least some do. You should ask him out.Before me and my bf got together he was like that too. he was very hot and cold. Like i knew that he liked me because it was obvious, but then there were days that i would think if he did like me he would’ve already asked me out. Eventually he did and after i said yes to him i also said “it was about time” and he said “its cuz i was too shy”. But yuo should make a move if you are certain that he wont

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Sometimes it is just shyness, but if a guy is holding back, there could be other reasons. He may be in a relationship already, one that he cannot or will not disentangle himself from. Or he could be coming off a bad relationship and does not want to get into another one just yet.

It’s OK for you to make a move as long as you’re prepared emotionally for a result you don’t like. Touch is very powerful. Just a hand on the forearm to get his attention. It’s also OK to just tell him “I like you.”

Janka's avatar

Of course guys can be shy! What sort of silly person thinks they can’t?

Val123's avatar

What’s with the “Turns his back on you occasionally” when you’re with other people? How could that be tied in with shyness?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I have Aspergers Syndrome. Sometimes we can appear to be very outgoing, but only in situations where we have confidence. As @ParaParaYukiko said, we can seem inappropriately outgoing. We generally have great difficulty “reading” nonverbal social cues and following informal social rules. Sometimes this manifests as being inappropriately affectionate, but more often (at least in my experience) a tendency to avoid rejection by disconnecting from informal social contact.

This can be especially true in dating. Total rejection had caused me to stop trying by the time I was in my mid-teens. For over twenty years, I just avoided any informal contact with women. Looking back on it now there were probably several women who were sending me all the “signals”, but I either couldn’t “read” them or ignored them for fear of getting it wrong and acting inappropriately. When I was in my twenties, the issue of sexual harassment became important. Since I couldn’t tell what was appropriate or not, fear of being accused of that was added to my fear of rejection.

I didn’t date until my late 30s. I met a lady under very unusual circumstances. She was very perceptive and understanding; realizing that I needed to be told exactly what she wanted me to do. We were married five years later. Meg later diagnosed my condition as AS while a psychology undergraduate. Her professor confirmed it, I had no idea what I had prior to that, I just thought of myself as a social loser.

It takes a very special kind of lady for a guy with AS to have a relationship. We tend to be good providers, fiercely loyal and, when shown exactly how, pretty decent lovers.

deepdivercwa55m's avatar

tell him to go out he is shy

Vincentt's avatar

I’m living proof they can be ;-) (That said, I’m just 20.)

jbfletcherfan's avatar


Val123's avatar

@jbfletcherfan LOL! You saw it?!

mollypop51797's avatar

I think that they won’t ask you out because of one of three reasons:
1) he’s not that into you
2) he is too shy to make a bold move (for fear of what you will think or how you’ll take it)
3) he’s afraid of what his friends will think of him (but I think that this should be a hint to let him go and move on if he falls into this option)

evandad's avatar

I still kick myself in the butt over the times I should have, but didn’t.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. There could be many reasons why he seem gin shy to pull the trigger on top of displaying all the “buy signs” that he is interested:
• Most of the girls before her flamed him like a Sopwith camel over the skies of Florence during WWI.
• She is a keeper in his eyes so he really does not want to mess it up.
• He thinks maybe she has someone already.
• She has a reputation of being picky.
• It is a bridge he may not know a way back from if it don’t work the way he wants.
• With the climate of “girl power” he don’t want to appear as another horn dog hitting on her.

There are a lot of reasons. Hopefully if he asks and she don’t go for it, she will be tactful about shooting him down.

mary84's avatar

I am pretty confident he is at least on some level interested.

First when I met him he didn’t notice me. But after some time he started talking to me and once when I was on my way home he saw me on the train, walked up to me, grabbed my arm and asked where I was going.
Another time we were among some friends in the elevator, and suddenly he says something, turns around and looks me straight in my eyes.

And just recently we were on the same train, just me and him, and I could tell he got really nervous as he began to fidget and almost stutter.

He has my phone number, which is why I wonder why he hasnt made a move.

And amongst other people he will sometimes ignore me and not even speak to me or say hello, although he is not a shy person otherwise – he’s very talkative and social.

Anyway, thanks for your replies, I still have no clue what to do though :)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@mary84 Go for it. Ask him straight out if he would like to be more than friends. Twenty years from now, you will not regret it.

thriftymaid's avatar

Sure. Shyness can be like an affliction keeping a person from realizing their potential.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

One point that bothers me is that he turns away from you when around other people. This doesn’t fit in with shyness or AS. He might be turning toward others rather than away from you; his shyness or AS causing him discomfort and he may be trying to break this by engaging in a different way with others.

If he really is turning away from you, that could be a warning sign the relationship is in trouble.

Have you tried communicating your feelings to him in writing? It sounds strange, but people with AS usually express themselves much better and more openly this way. You are going to have to decide if this relationship is worth persuing and probably do most of the initiating, at least in the beginning stages.

allison's avatar

can someone please help me, cause i am so confused!
i (18) just finished my internship at a company were just a few people work.(papercompany)
the son (26) of the boss started to notice me after a week or two : constantly staring at me, acting extremely nervous around me, and blushing etc. in a periode of 5 month we never spoke, just a few times i asked him something concerning work. after a while (4 month) i also got interested in him. so i wanted to give him a chance. i wanted to encourage him. so i stared a lot at him: when he was on the phone, when he was talking and even when he didnt say/do anything. It ws obvious that i liked him too. But after all this he didn;t do anything?i did notice he got more selfconfident by my attention, he wasnt that guiet antymore, he began to show off etc…but he stil did not make a move!! i thaugt it would make it easyer for a guy to make a move if the girl shows she is intersted? isn’t this true? what could be a reason for him not to make a move?

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@allison , he might not be mature enough to make a move, he may think you are too young for him, or he may not want to pursue something because his father is your boss. Same advice I gave the OP; you can make a move if you want to. So long as you’re prepared for some disappointment.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@allison He sounds like he’s shy, plus he has to keep the sexual harrassment in the workplace issues in mind regarding his actions toward you. Now that the internship is done approach him and see if he’s interested.

TheJoker's avatar

@allison He’s a little secret for you, men are terrified of hotties, especially the one’s we particularly like. In fact, the more we like a woman, the more scared we are of being rejected.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@allison and here’s another valuable secret that a lot of 18-year-olds don’t know (also 28-year-olds, 38-year-olds… and on and on).

If this young man is the son of the boss, then perhaps the boss has drilled into him the dictum: “Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.” Any smart boss knows that he’d better not mess with the help, and would have passed that on to his own son. If you want a relationship with the young man, then it’s best that one of you leave the company. It’s unlikely that he will.

If you haven’t already learned by now, failed workplace relationships are poison to an organization, as well as potential employment liability lawsuits just waiting to happen.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Don’t fish off the company pier, Don’t crap where you eat, Never mix pleasure with business, rules suck.

wundayatta's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Those aren’t rules; they’re advice. Anyone is free to break them. Anyone is free to suffer the consequences. Life’s a bitch, you know?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@allison : I think that @Adirondackwannabe @CyanoticWasp and @TheJoker have it exactly right. This young man may be very interested and even shy, but he has probably been told by his father to stay away from female employees. This could be to avoid sexual harassment issues or the orginizational poison of a failed relationship.

I’m not sure how this works in the civilian world. As an army officer, I was formally forbidden by regulation to “fraternize” with any female subordinate in my chain of command and all enlisted women regardless of chain-of-command. I suspect that some civilian organizations have similar policies.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@wundayatta Good point. I think I’ll go fish off the company crapper.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Our companies are beyond paranoid on this. They have training sessions, manuals, policies, and all kinds of unwritten rules.

allison's avatar

Yes i understand, but i dont work there anymore, i finished my internship. I gave him very obvious signs, and i know for sure he noticed. because he became more self-confident. he stil was a little bit nervous around me, but on the last day, just before i said goodbye to everyone, he made a funny comment, and i laughed. (first time we talked about something other than work,not that we have really talked ,but ok.) after that he got very self-confident. he got very enthusiastic and excited. so i thought maybe he’s going to make a move now, but he didn’t! if he never was planning to make a move, why did he stare at me all the time? i just dont get it!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@allison It may well be shyness then. Maybe you need to make the first move?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@allison He’s probably kicking himself for not asking. I don’t think ladies have any idea how stressful it is for an inexperinced shy guy to ask a girl on a date. I was at the same stage at one time and your heart is in your throat at the thought. The guy has to put himself out there and hope you will not reject him, which the first few times is pretty intimidating. (See just remembering makes my spelling go to heck) Give him another chance and see what happens.

wundayatta's avatar

Um. Since when did staring become an invitation to ask someone out?

What is obvious to women is often very opaque to men, especially young men. You think you’re giving us a great big green light, and we have no clue the light is even there.

I would never assume that just because you talked to me you would say yes if I asked you for a date. I would not think you laughing indicated such an interest. If you were looking at me a lot, I’d think I had something spilled on my shirt. It would never occur to me that you actually liked me. If you really liked me, you’d come out and say it. Anything else, and you’re just acting innocent and will sue me for harassment if I try to ask you out.

Sorry. It’s not just shyness. It’s caution, fear of being shown up, a desire to be respectful, and a healthy understanding of sexual harassment law. And it doesn’t matter if you are leaving the job tomorrow. You’re still on the job today. If you want me, you better say so. The hints are utterly lost on me. I could no more see your hints than I could see a ghost in a thick fog.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@wundayatta you’re right; that’s a good answer. He may have been appearing to be confident on that last day out of simple relief: “Thank god that funny girl who stares at me all the time is going away. I feel much better already… she sure is hot, though.”

mary84's avatar

If anyone is interested: I asked him out and he said yes :))

I told him to contact me if he wanted to hang out some day and he immediately responded by asking which days Im free and if I’d like to have a coffee & stuff.

So I’m thinking he probably was interested & shy as I thought.


So thank you so much for all of your encouraging replies!!

Thanx a lot!!!

@allison I’m starting to realize guys don’t get subtle hints, isn’t it?

You have to make it obvious, staring obviously doesn’t help cause I tried it as well and with no result. Guys don’t seem to get these hints, it seems you have to, like, touch them a lot and smile like crazy or just simply ask them out for them to understand that you are interested…

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@mary84 Great to hear. Ladies, I say this a lot.“We are dumb lugs. We do not speak subtle. If you’re trying to communicate with a guy, subtle is a smack in the head.”

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@mary84 Good for you!! As @Adirondackwannabe says, many of us guys can be pretty retarded in social settings, especially when it comes to dating and we haven’t much experience.

wundayatta's avatar

It works both ways. Guys who are after you will not get any subtle hints that you are not interested. A lot of us wonder why women can’t be clear in their communication? Why do they send so many mixed signals? Why don’t they just come out and say what them mean instead of wiggling eyebrows, hips, or fluttering their eyelashes. It’s weird. I should think it would be obvious that guys have no clue about subtle hints.

Vincentt's avatar

@mary84 Haha, great news! And yeah, I, too, cannot stress enough that subtle is lost on us. Even touching a lot and smiling like crazy doesn’t necessarily cut it (some girls of whom I know that they aren’t or shouldn’t be interested to that, and some girl I just got to know did it too but turned out to be lesbian… Thus, I really daren’t read anything out of that). Obviously, this case shows that asking a guy out in some cases really is about the only way to make your point clear ;-)

Keep us updated :)

allison's avatar

you could be right about sexual harassment, but staring is a very obvious sign that someone likes you! and i do not mean a couple of times, but almost all the time (not in a creepy/desperate way) (he started doing that,by the way) so when i did it he became MUCH more confident! wich means he noticed! guys arent that blind! wich confuses me even more, why he didn’t make a move on my last day. cause sexual harassment wont be an issue then, right?

Vincentt's avatar

@allison No, some (most?) guys really are that blind :). It might make them more confident about themselves but not about asking someone out.

schna's avatar

To like you doesn’t mean they are interested to be serious right? Man is visual creature and before they fall in love deeply you must pass through 2 steps (explain later).
The most important issue is, DON’T WASTE your time girl. You have done your best to gave him signal and yet he still never make a move. Yes, he may be shy, he may be doubtful, but in fact he is reluctant. Man is also logical creature, if they think you are really a pearl, they will try their best.
Advise for you: rather than make eye contact or any body language you better show your great personality to him, that will encourage him to move further as he will think that you are ‘worth’ for chasing.
Last but not least, just find your soul-mate out there rather than waiting for this unsecured fellow (or whatever we call it). We don’t want a guessing, just see the result and his action.

Jabe73's avatar

I said this in a previous post, asking someone on a date first and approaching/talking to someone first are completly 2 different things. My sister always waited to be approached and ended up with trash. My mom made the first move on my dad and they were happily married for 14 years before he passed away from cancer not too long ago.

Many single mothers with multiple kids from different guys, ironically are giving dating advice to women not to approach men even though these same women waited for the the guy to approach them to begin with! Men who like the chase like exactly that, the chase, the challenge, not any real relationship itself.

If you make an effort, you don’t need to even ask him out first, you can make small talk or tell someone close to you to tell them you like them if you don’t ask them ask them out first. However, if he’s too shy it probally won’t work or he’s just not into you enough, you need to move on then. Guys just like girls can be a tease as well. Like i said it needs to work BOTH ways, not 70% – 90% one way, even in the beginning. Welcome to a guys world.

meagan's avatar

There are a lot of shy guys. But at the same time, there are a lot of intimidatingly beautiful women ;)

mary84's avatar

@Jabe73 Great answer! Couldn’t have said it better myself.

So yeah, I asked him out and we’ve now been together for over 2 months, are very happy and are already (jokingly) talking about having children. Lol. :) Me approaching him even increased his interest in me, he told me later.

So yeah, I suppose there are both shy guys, players, assholes and teasers.
Gotta learn how to tell the difference I s’ppose :)

Jabe73's avatar

I’m not sure how to directly answer someone on this site so i will do it this way, i just got this computer so i’m still learning how to use it but my response to mary84 is i’m glad for you it worked, buts its still only 2 months into the relationship so don’t shoot me if it don’t work out LOL good luck to you.

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