How to Find a Girlfriend – The Definitive Guide to Finding the Right Girl

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Book Excerpt

This post is an excerpt from Stop Doubting, Start Dating: The Shy Guy’s Guide To Building Confidence, Meeting Women, and (Finally!) Getting the Girl. Pick up Stop Doubting, Start Dating today to learn more about how to build confidence, where to meet women, how to get a girlfriend and more.

When it comes to finding a girlfriend, those of us who fall on the more introverted or shy end of the spectrum often feel like we’re at a disadvantage.

Because we’re not naturally inclined to chat people up, make small talk with strangers, or “put ourselves out there,” we often feel uncomfortable in large groups or loud clubs.

As a result, we feel like our odds of finding a girlfriend are a lot lower than they are for our more outgoing or gregarious friends.

At least, I know I did. For years I worried that because I was a little shy (and a lot introverted), I was never going to meet someone. Or if I did, I would never be able to truly relax around her, show her my true self, and convince her to become my girlfriend.

But, years later, I’m happy to report that this assumption is completely false. Sure, shy guys are unlikely to walk up to a group of random women in a bar and start chatting them up.

But guess what? There are a lot of other ways to find a girlfriend—and a lot more effective ways, at that.

The problem, I eventually realized, was that I had spent so much time stressing over what I couldn’t do that I ignored my strengths.

But when I stopped stressing about my shyness and instead focused on the things that made me feel comfortable, I was finally able to stop doubting and start dating.

Eventually, I became a lot more confident in the romance department – and a lot more successful.

(Ed. Note: My wife Michelle wants you to know there’s a heavy emphasis on “a lot more successful”.)

And you can build the same kind of confidence. In this post I’ll show you how to find a girlfriend – even if you’re shy – by providing a proven framework for investing in yourself, meeting women, and making conversation when you do.

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're Shy

How to Find a Girlfriend (Even if You’re Shy)

A Proven Five-Part Plan

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're Shy

Part 1: Invest in Yourself

One of the Best Ways to Find a Girlfriend? Stop Looking for One, and Focus on You.

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyDo you ever listen to those mandatory safety talks they do on a plane before taking off?

Yeah, me neither.

But I forgot to bring my headphones on a recent trip and couldn’t help but overhear the soothing voice of the anonymous woman in the instructional video informing us all what to do in case of emergency.

While I have to admit I would probably have had no idea where to find my flotation device if I had needed it, I was struck by her instructions for what to do with the oxygen masks, should they have dropped down:

You secure yours first, before you assist others.

At first blush this might seem selfish. After all, most of us were raised to believe that putting others’ needs above our own is a man’s duty; selflessness is one of the primary ways a man expresses his nobility.

But while it certainly sounds noble and generous in theory, the problem is it doesn’t work too well in practice—if your plane is going down and you run out of oxygen, you’re not going to be much help to your fellow passengers.

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're Shy

At this point you could be forgiven for wondering what the hell this has to do with the question at hand, which is how to get a girlfriend.

The answer is simple: while it’s not a matter of life or death (though you could certainly be forgiven for sometimes feeling like it is), dating is a lot like the emergency plane situation outlined above.

Just as you can’t help others if you don’t secure yourself first, you simply can’t be a good, attentive, caring partner if you don’t take care of yourself.

That’s why, counterintuitive though it may seem, the first step to finding a girlfriend is to look inward and make sure you’ve got your own shit together first.

While this can take many shapes and forms depending on your individual situation, here are a few fundamental areas to focus on that will help improve the way you feel about yourself, and in turn make you a better – and more attractive – partner.

Strengthen Your Body

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyI’ve said it (many) times before, and I’ll say it (yet) again: build a better body, build a better you.

I know, I know: it’s cliché, and besides, you already know that women are attracted to guys with good bodies. (What else could possibly explain the appeal of Zac Effron?)

But in addition to helping you look better, a healthy diet and a good workout plan will give you more energy, make you carry yourself with more pride and contribute to a stronger, more confident mindset (more on that later), all of which will make you both a more desirable and more competent partner.

To be even more specific, here are a few things you can focus on to build a healthy body:

  • Exercise
  • How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyEat Clean
    • Develop clean, healthy eating habits to fuel your training, keep you energized and, oh yeah, help you live longer. You don’t have to overhaul your diet over night, either. You could start small by swapping out your sugary breakfast cereal with a whey protein shake.
  • Get Enough Sleep
    • I like to call sleep the secret weapon of health and fitness. It’s one of the easiest things to ignore, but one of the most impactful things you can do to improve your levels of energy, focus, concentration, retention and overall health.

Cultivate a Confident Mindset

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyThink of this project to invest in yourself like building a house.

(This might seem like another analogy that has nothing to do with how to get a gf, but trust me: this is important to understand.)

Your body is the foundation upon which everything else is built, which is why we started there.

But once the foundation is in place, the next thing you need to do is install the right wiring, which is where your mindset comes in.

The good news here is that your mind is much more malleable than you might think.

While we often find it tempting to think that our thoughts accurately reflect reality, the truth is that the lens through which we see the world colors our impression of it.

Fortunately, we have more power than you might expect to shape that lens into one that makes us feel empowered.

There are lots of reasons why we tend to think negatively, but if you’re worried that you’re better at doubting than dating, don’t worry.

Here are a few tactics you can use to develop a more optimistic, abundant and confident mindset.

Power Posing

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShySomewhat ironically, one of the first and most fundamental ways you can create a more powerful mind is by paying attention to how you use your body.

“Expanding your body language—through posture, movement, and speech—makes you feel more confident and powerful, less anxious and self-absorbed, and generally more positive,” writes Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy in her excellent book Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges.

Cuddy’s research has demonstrated that by holding your body in poses that take up space, you can flood your brain with powerful chemicals that lower stress and increase confidence.

She explains the research and shares her own crazily compelling story in her TED Talk, which has been viewed by 30 million people and ranks as one of the most popular talks of all time.


How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyDecades before Cuddy and her colleagues discovered the benefits of power posing, Maxwell Maltz, one of the founders of the modern self-improvement movement, published Pscyho-Cybernetics, and coined that phrase, which means “steering your mind to a productive, useful goal so you can reach the greatest port in the world: peace of mind.”

In the book, Maltz lays out the case for visualization and advocates creating a picture of what you want to achieve – in this case becoming a confident man and excellent boyfriend to a wonderful woman – that’s as detailed as possible.

When you create a vivid picture of your desired outcomes, Maltz argues, your actions tend to move in that direction.

“For imagination sets the goal picture which our automatic mechanism works on,” he says. “We act, or fail to act, not because of will, as is so commonly believed, but because of imagination.”

Sentence Stems

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyWhile visualization can be powerful, psychologist Nathaniel Branden has a technique for taking it one step further.

In The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem Branden, considered one of the pioneers in the psychology of self-esteem, suggests using sentence stems to help you make progress toward your goals.

The exercise is simple. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and on the first line write down: “If I devoted just five percent more energy to becoming more dateable, I would…”

On the ensuing lines write down six to 10 answers as quickly as you can, without pausing to think or consider what you’re writing. By jotting down the first things that come to mind you’ll avoid over-thinking and paint a clearer picture of your desired outcomes.

Pulling it All Together

After you use sentence stems to clarify your desired outcomes, you can use visualization to paint a vivid picture of these outcomes, and then power pose while you visualize the future you intend to create.

The combination of these three exercises can have a powerful impact on your mindset and help you cultivate the confidence you need to see yourself as an eligible man and a viable partner.

With your body and mindset in a more confident and attractive place, let’s finish our house analogy by adding one final touch: the right window dressing.

Stop Doubting, Start Dating
The Shy Guy’s Guide To Building Confidence, Meeting Women, and (Finally!) Getting the Girl

Build More Confidence. Meet More Women. Get More Dates.

Click Here to Get the Guide ➤

Dress for Success

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyIt would be nice to think that the way we dress is only tangentially related to the question of how to get a gf, but the truth is that as human beings, we can’t help but judge a book by its cover, and a person by the way they’re dressed.

A significant portion of this blog is dedicated to sharing men’s style advice that will help you look and feel your best, so I won’t spend too much time elaborating on style here.

But it’s worth noting that once you’re feeling more confident in both your mind and body, the right sense of style can help you project confidence to others.

Now, obviously a real relationship is going to be based on much more than just looks, but it’s undeniable that a strong sense of style helps you make a great first impression, which can open the door to getting to know someone.

I’ve written a lot about how guys can dress their best in the past and laid out plenty of ways you can put your best face forward.

Here are a few references that will help you look your best:

Part 2: Socialize with Strength and Warmth

Want to find a girlfriend? Here’s how to make talking to them (a lot) easier.

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyOne of my favorite movies of the past 10 years is Crazy, Stupid, Love, in which Ryan Gosling plays a young lothario who teaches Steve Carrell’s character how to regain his mojo and become more confident – especially with women – after he learns that his wife had an affair.

After a trip to the mall to get Carrell kitted out in an appropriately confidence-building wardrobe, what’s Gosling’s very next lesson for his pupil? A crash course in how to approach, converse with, listen to, and interact with – in short, to socialize with – women.

Now, I know what you might be thinking, so before we go any further, let me be clear: by no means am I suggesting that you go out and learn a bunch of pick up techniques from self-proclaimed “seduction experts.”

Even if your only goal was to get laid, the success of such tactics is dubious at best. And more to the point, your goal isn’t just to get laid — it’s to forge a bond, and build a relationship.

But while invented pick-up concepts like “negging” and “peacocking” won’t be much help in getting a girlfriend, understanding some basic facts about how human beings interact with each other definitely will be.

The Social Signals Women Look For

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyI’ve written a lot about the finer points of what to say and even how to stand in order to project confidence, so here I want to explore the two most fundamental elements women – and in fact, all people – look for when they meet a new person.

In their comprehensive book Compelling People, authors and Harvard University guest lecturers John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut explain that people instinctively make a character judgment about every new person they meet, and their impression of whether or not they like and respect that person is based on their perception of two factors: strength and warmth.

“People who project both strength and warmth impress us as knowing what they are doing and having our best interests at heart, so we trust them and find them persuasive,” they write.

Strength and warmth, they explain, have an inverse relationship. Think of them as two pistons in an engine: when one goes up, the other goes down. The trick is knowing when to sacrifice a bit of warmth in order to project strength, and vice versa.

Neffinger and Kohut point out that when it comes to establishing a romantic connection with a woman, you want to project a little more strength than warmth, at least initially.

“Assuming they are at about the same level of attractiveness and status, a big warm smile is a fine overture of friendship, but it is likely to squash any sense of possible romance between [a man and woman meeting for the first time]. In guys, warmth with no strength is not sexy.”

Projecting Strength

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyThe good news for those of us on the more introverted end of the spectrum is that projecting strength is possible even when we feel nervous, anxious or low-energy.

“While we cannot rewire our natural responses completely, we can still create change through brute force of will,” Neffinger and Kohut write.

They go on to explain that projecting social strength can be as simple as being conscious and deliberate in the way you use your body language.

“We project strength through nonverbal cues,” they write, including, “upright posture, controlled gestures, a levelled brow, a focused gaze, a low vocal pitch, minimal filler and no uptalk.”

And, as they go on to remind us: “These are all things we can practice and get better at.”

In addition to these physical cues, keep in mind that in this context strength doesn’t strictly refer to the physical. Confidence – and thus, strength – stems from competence: any time you demonstrate your aptitude at a specific task, you also demonstrate strength.

Therefore, it turns out the great dating sage Napoleon Dynamite was right: girls do indeed like guys with great skills.

Projecting Warmth

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyWhile women find strength attractive, it’s important to note that when it comes to getting a girlfriend, strength is only part of the equation.

Neffinger and Kohut cite research showing that when looking for a short-term relationship (read: a hook-up), women are attracted to the archetypical “bad boy” persona. But when it comes to looking for a long-term mate, a certain amount of warmth is also required.

Here Neffinger and Kohut draw a distinction between dominance and prestige. Dominance is the sort of bad-boy arrogance that’s all strength and no warmth: acting like a swaggering jerk who doesn’t care about anyone but himself. Prestige, on the other hand, is “strength with enough warmth to be seen as admirable.”

Anything that suggests that you’re liked, respected or admired by a community of people can help you project prestige. Introducing your potential love interest to friends, colleagues or even family members can help demonstrate that you have an inherent social value, which simultaneously projects both strength and warmth.

An (Aforementioned) Case Study

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyRyan Gosling’s character Jacob from the movie I mentioned earlier, Crazy, Stupid, Love, provides a great example of a guy who strikes the right balance between strength and warmth.

He’s fit, handsome, well dressed and successful, all of which naturally project strength.

But we discover that he’s also kind-hearted – as he demonstrates when he takes Steve Carrell under his wing – and in search of a father figure he can look up to and respect, which warms him to both the audience and Emma Stone.

So keep in mind that while getting a girlfriend will require you to project value, warmth is (almost) as important a component as strength when demonstrating this value.

Know What to Say

Knowing how to project strength and warmth is important, but you may be more concerned about that other key component of socializing and asking yourself:

“So, what the hell do I say once I meet her?”

It’s a fair question, and one that stumps a lot of us when we first start dating. The good news is that starting – and sustaining – good conversations with a new girlfriend or prospect is a lot easier than you might think.

The bad news is that explaining exactly how to do it could easily fill another two or three blog posts.

So instead of bombarding this post with even more information, I’ve broken some of my best relationship-building tips down into an email series.

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyOver the course of a few emails, you’ll learn:

  • How to start and sustain great small talk in any situation
  • 14 foolproof first date questions (and 37 follow-ups!) you can use to create a fun, flirtatious vibe with your potential gf
  • How to create a connection and avoid those dreaded awkward pauses
  • And more!

Just enter your email address in the form below and I’ll show you how to start conversations that lead to relationships.

Part 3: Where to Find a Girlfriend

A) How to Find a Girlfriend in Real Life

How to Find a GirlfriendI’m an introvert, a book lover and a movie/television junkie, so coming out of my cocoon to interact with other people – even girls who I could potentially date – has never been at the top of my to-do list.

Throughout my 20s I would suck it up most weekends and go to loud bars or packed clubs with my friends and frequently finding myself disappointed. As it turns out, women who share my interest in quiet nights on the couch and deep intellectual conversations aren’t generally tearing up the dance floor on a Friday night—and the ones who are aren’t necessarily looking for a boyfriend (at least, not at that particular moment).

As I got a little older, I realized how misguided this approach was. Bars and clubs are noisy, frenetic and chaotic. They can be a great place to have fun (and maybe even have a one-night stand, if that’s what you’re after) but don’t provide much opportunity for forging a connection with a potential long-term partner.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to meet women that don’t require you to sweat it out in some noisy meat market of a bar. Here’s a round up of a few places where you can engage with a potential partner, and maybe (dare I say it) even enjoy yourself while you’re at it.


How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyIf taking a night course to learn a skill like cooking, baking or sewing doesn’t seem like a very manly thing to do, you’re right—and that’s exactly the point.

In most cases, these classes are populated primarily by women, which not only make them a target-rich environment, but also one where experiences can be shared and conversation develops naturally.

And the best part is that many of the classes that are most likely to have a lot of female members are also the ones that teach skills most guys could stand to learn. Do some Googling and see if you can find a class near you that teaches:

  • Cooking
    • It’s the 21st century guys—we need to know how to cook.
  • Tailoring/Sewing
    • Seriously—you’ll be shocked at how useful this can be.
  • Painting/Sculpting
    • Less useful, but definitely fun and interesting to talk about at parties and other social settings.
  • Yoga
    • As someone on the elder side of 30, I sure as hell wish I had learned to stretch a decade ago.
  • Fitness Classes
    • The benefits should be obvious here—both physically and in the potential-romance department.

Intramural Sports Leagues

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyIf your hobbies lean more toward the athletic side, intramural sports leagues are an awesome way to keep active—and meet a girl who wants to do the same.

Most leagues have an option that lets you sign up as an individual and then assigns you to a team of other people who have done the same. This is your best bet if you want to meet new people, though I know it can also be a little intimidating.

If you don’t want to go it alone, ask around to see if you can get a small group of friends together. The idea here is to make sure your group is not enough for a full team, but enough so that you’ll always know one or two people at each game. Then ask the league to assign you a few random people to fill out the roster.


Most intramural leagues have rules requiring a minimum ratio of guys to girls. So if you gather up a few guy friends to form the base of your team, the league will be more likely to assign you some girls to play.

Since your goal here is to meet women, this strategy works best if you focus on sports that tend to have higher levels of female participation. This could include everything from volleyball and basketball to softball or soccer. If you’re not sure what to sign up for, ask some of your female friends what sports they’re most interested in and would be most likely to play.

Cultural Events

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyIt’s hard to pinpoint when, exactly, everyone started freaking out about farmer’s markets, but it’s definitely a thing. Which works out well, because cultural events that bring people in the community together provide a great way to meet women in an atmosphere that’s usually jovial, congenial and fun.

And much like with classes that teach you a skill you want to learn or sports leagues that revolve around a game you want to play, cultural events usually center around something interesting or artistic that will expand your mind, and possibly your dating horizons.

A few events where you can meet like-minded partners include:

  • Farmers Markets
    • As mentioned, these have become increasingly popular, and are likely to to attract women who want to eat fresh, healthier options than they can find in the frozen aisles of their grocery store. (Plus, they’re also a great place for you to stock up on the healthy food you need to fuel your workouts and healthy lifestyle—you’re still working on that, right?)
  • How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyMuseums and Art Galleries
    • Check their websites to see if they offer evening events. To try and drum up interest and attract a younger crowd, a lot of museums will host what’s essentially a cocktail party, offering plenty of opportunity to meet and mingle.
  • Concerts & Comedy Shows
    • Obviously it can be harder to strike up a conversation during a show, but pretty much all venues that bands or stand-ups play also include bars where people gather for a drink before (and sometimes during) the show.
  • Open Doors
    • In big cities, look for weekend events that allow the public to explore cool buildings and spaces they normally wouldn’t be able to access. These often attract groups of friends who want to do something fun on the weekend—and who might want to meet someone fun while they’re at it.

Coffee Shops

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyDon’t be deterred by the proliferation of headphone-clad women staring into their laptops—you can still strike up conversations in coffee shops.

Your best bet is to find one with a long, shared table where you can set up shop. Leave your headphones and your laptop at home, and instead bring a magazine or newspaper you can shift your attention in and out of easily.

Do a little people watching, and strike up conversations with anyone you think looks interesting—regardless of whether you’re attracted to them. Positioning yourself as an affable guy who’s happy to make small talk will signal to anyone who feels the same that you’re happy to engage with them, and make any potential romantic partner more likely to reciprocate.

Dog Parks

If you have a dog, you have an instant conversation starter. Venture outside of your neighbourhood to take your four-legged friend to a popular dog park and you’ll likely find that conversations start themselves. And if not, you’ll definitely find plenty of people (some of them very attractive) to start conversations with.

B) How to Find a Girlfriend Online

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyI’ve saved the best for last.

I’m going to make a claim about you that might at first sound absurd, given that I’ve (probably) never met you:

I strongly suspect that online dating sites are the best place for you – that’s right, you personally – to find a girlfriend.

What gives me the audacity to make such a claim, even though I know nothing about you? Simple. I actually do know something about you – one thing, in fact: you’re currently a couple thousand words deep into a post about how to find a girlfriend if you’re shy, which you’re reading on the internet.

This means that either you searched for a a related phrase and found this through Google, or you saw the article posted somewhere else online and chose to click through.

Either way, you’re clearly interested in using the internet to learn how to find a girlfriend, which means you’re probably a good candidate to use the internet to meet a girlfriend as well.

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're Shy
If online dating can help my introverted ass find a girlfriend, it can help you too

My Pro-Online Dating  Bias

Before we go any further, I should admit right now to having a considerable amount of bias: I met my beautiful, talented, wonderful (and very-likely-to-read-this) girlfriend Michelle through an online dating site.

And while I know that my experience is only anecdotal and can’t necessarily be extrapolated out to everyone, I think that the benefits of online dating far outweigh the negatives – particularly for guys who are contemplative, introverted or shy (all of which apply to me to one degree or another).

Benefits of Going Online

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're Shy
Online dating makes it MUCH easier to find someone who shares your interests

Let’s say you see an attractive girl at the bar. Even if you can muster up the courage to go and talk to her (which is no small feat), you really don’t know anything about her, other than what’s on the surface.

What are her values? Her interests? Her hobbies? Does she like the same movies as you? Does she even like movies? Wait, what? She doesn’t like movies?? What kind of monster is—sorry, I’m getting off track.

The point is that when you meet a person in public, or on one of the more superficial dating apps like Tinder or Bumble, you’re basically going in blind—you don’t know what you’re going to find.

But with online dating sites, each user creates a profile that gives you clues into their personality. They share some of their interests, answer questions that reveal more about them, and project an image of themselves onto your screen (along with some actual images of themselves).

Is there a foolproof way to know you’re going to like someone based solely on what you see on their dating profile? Of course not. You’ll need to message each other and eventually meet up to determine that.

But the profile can be a great indicator of the likelihood that you’ll like someone – not to mention the likelihood that she’ll like you, too.

So with that endorsement of the medium in mind, let’s look at how you can use online dating sites to find a girlfriend.

1. Select a Site

The Best Places to Find a Girlfriend Online

There are a ton of them out there, but here are the three I recommend most:


How to Find a Girlfriend if You're Shy

This is the only free site on this list, because of all the free dating sites out there, it’s one of the most comprehensive. You create a profile by filling out a brief questionnaire and adding your photos. Then you go through their list of thousands upon thousands of questions and answer them at your leisure.

In addition to answering the questions, you rate how important it is to you. Not fussy about political leanings? You’ll probably rank any political questions as unimportant. Big on movies and television? You’ll probably rate those questions highly, because of course you will, you’re a human being and not some robot who refuses to suspend your disbelief in order to—sorry! I’m doing it again.

Anyway, based on how you both answer and rank your questions, OkCupid’s algorithm automatically calculates how compatible it thinks you’ll be with every user whose profile you look at, giving your compatibility a percentage score (so if you’re very compatible with someone you might see a 95% score, for example).

You can then choose who to message based on what you see in their profile, and the compatibility score you’ve been assigned.


How to Find a Girlfriend if You're Shy

This one works a little differently, and is also a service you have to pay for. When you sign up you fill out the standard profile questionnaire, but unlike OkCupid, where the additional questions are optional, with eHarmony you’re required to answer them right up front.

So after you sign up, they’ll ask you dozens upon dozens of questions (I forget the exact number) that you have to answer before you can even get to your profile.

Every other user has to do the same, and then based on your answers, eHarmony’s algorithm pairs you with other users who it thinks you’ll be compatible with. But unlike OkCupid, where you can see every user and your compatibility score with each person, with eHarmony you can only see the users the site has selected for you.

In theory this means that each user you see is more likely to be a good match for you. But in practice, it often means that you see the same people over and over again, while the majority of users remain hidden because the algorithm doesn’t think you’ll like each other.

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're Shy

Another paid site, Match basically splits the difference between OkCupid and eHarmony. It allows you to see all users who have signed up, but it also makes a point of sending you users each day that it’s selected for you based on its algorithm.

The result is a pretty happy middle ground that gives you the best of both worlds: the flexibility to see everyone, with the potentially time-saving recommendations provided by the algorithm.

Deep Dive:
  • Because the latter two apps listed here are both paid sites, it’s worth doing a little research to determine which one is right for you before signing up. I put together a whole post outlining the differences between eHarmony and that will give you a detailed breakdown of each.

2. Using Online Dating Apps/Sites Effectively

How to Find a GirlfriendNo matter which site you choose, you want to make sure you maximize your chances of connecting with the women whose profiles catch your eye.

This means knowing how to present yourself well, message effectively, and strike up a digital rapport, so let’s look at a few strategies you can use to do all three.

Keep it Funny

It’s a scientifically proven fact: women like funny guys. There are all sorts of reasons for this, and a lot of research has been done establishing the connection between humor and attraction.

But suffice to say that being funny in your profile will help you stand out from the crowd.

The question of how to make your profile funny could fill a whole other post, and in fact, it already has—just not on this website. Here are a few places to turn if you’re not sure how to bring the funny: | How to Write a Funny Dating Profile | Funny Ideas for Dating Profiles

eDating Doc | Top 10 Online Dating Profiles and Why They’re Successful

Choose Your Photos Carefully

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyAccording to OkCupid, which in addition to being one of the world’s most popular online dating websites is also its largest repositories for online dating data, the photos you choose are the single most important factor in predicting your online dating success.

“No matter how much time you spend polishing your profile, honing your IM banter, and perfecting your message introductions, it’s your picture that matters most,” as they explain on their blog.

Make sure you put your best face forward by following the best practices for taking great profile pictures.

Message Broadly

One of the best parts about online dating is that it helps guys get over that first, terrifying hurdle: striking up a conversation (and eventually asking out) a stranger.

Online dating makes all of that much easier. Because most of us grew up using the internet to communicate with our friends and family, it can be a lot easier to message a girl you’re interested in then strike up small talk with her in public.

And since the fear of rejection is minimized – the worst thing that can happen is that she doesn’t reply – you’ll feel a lot more comfortable messaging a wide swath of people than you would bouncing around a bar and trying to strike up a chat with everyone who caught your eye.

But, Don’t Be a Dick
How to Find a Girlfriend if You're Shy
“Did he REALLY think that was ok to send…?”

I can’t stress this enough: just because you have more anonymity online doesn’t give you license to be rude, misogynistic or pervy.

While messaging online may free up a little courage you wouldn’t be able to summon in a face-to-face scenario, it’s important to remember that the same basic tenets of gentlemanliness and decorum that apply in real life apply online as well.

So sure, message anyone who catches your eye. But make sure your messages are unique, personalized and (above all) respectful of the person you’re messaging.

Don’t be Disappointed if You Don’t Hear Back
How to Find a Girlfriend if You're Shy
Don’t be deterred if you send a lot of messages and don’t hear back from many women! That’s just part of the dynamic online

One funny thing about online dating that guys don’t always consider is how different our experience is from the one women have online.

Because all the guys are feeling much more confident and courageous than they otherwise would, women’s inboxes get bombarded with messages. As a result, it can be difficult for them to process and respond to each one in a timely fashion, even if they are interested in the guy who sent it.

Don’t be deterred if you send a lot of messages and don’t hear back from many women. That’s just part of the dynamic online, and nothing to take personally.

The other thing to consider is that some people check their online dating account a lot, while some do it only intermittently.

So you might send a message, get no reply, and assume the girl you messaged wasn’t interested. But a week (or even a month!) later she might get back to you to say that she hasn’t been checking her inbox lately—and when she did, she had to delete a bunch of shitty messages before she came across yours.

Wrapping Up

Some Final Thoughts on How to Get a Girlfriend

How to Find a Girlfriend if You're ShyRemember that despite how it may sometimes feel, finding a girlfriend who’s right for you isn’t like finding the Holy Grail. I know it may seem like some kind of mythical conquest, but it’s actually much more earthly—and attainable.

In fact, finding a girlfriend – even if you’re shy – is just a goal, and like any other goal it can be accomplished if you educate yourself about the steps you need to take, and then, crucially, execute on those steps.

Reading Stop Doubting, Start Dating is a good start—you now know what steps you can take in order to improve your confidence and find potential prospects.

Now it’s time to execute on the second half of the equation and take action. Invest in yourself. Bolster your strength and warmth. Go where you know like-minded girls will be. Join an online dating site. And message broadly, with humor and heart.

And, as a reminder, if you want an exact script you can use to converse with confidence and create a connection, you can sign up for my free email series below.

Get the Book Today!
Stop Doubting, Start Dating

Build More Confidence. Meet More Women. Get More Dates.

Click Here to Get the Guide ➤

More Men’s Dating Advice from Irreverent Gent:
More Advice on How to Get a GF from Around the Web:

About Dave Bowden

Dave Bowden

Founder, Irreverent Gent
Author, Man in Command and Stop Doubting, Start Dating
Writer, Really Wordy Author Bios

Dave Bowden is a style blogger, menswear expert and best-selling author (in Canada—but still!) whose advice on how to look good and live well has been featured in New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Men's Health and more.

When not obsessing over style and self-improvement, he can usually be found spending time with his wonderful wife and two amazing sons, indulging in a hoppy craft beer, or sobbing over the woeful state of Toronto's sports teams.

Check out Dave's Style Story to find out how a chance encounter with his friend's step-dad taught him the value of looking good and living well (don't worry—it's less creepy than it sounds!), or email him at [email protected] if you want to get in touch.

6 thoughts on “How to Find a Girlfriend – The Definitive Guide to Finding the Right Girl”

    • Hey Paul. The short answer is: absolutely. The main advantage of the three sites I listed above is that they allow you to create a more robust profile and share more about yourself, which can be really powerful, particularly if you’re not as confident in your profile pictures to capture attention. But the long answer is: why not try Hinge, Bumble and the other apps too? It certainly can’t hurt, and the worse case scenario is that you learn something you can use to improve your odds on another platform.

    • Thanks Chester. I find some of the advice “pick up artists” give to be useful, but a lot of it to be misogynistic. I prefer to avoid that paradigm altogether when I share dating and romantic advice, and focus on how to make real connections with your fellow human beings.

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