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Single and wanting to mingle? Here's how to overcome shyness when online dating

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Nov 11, 2022 9:59 pm

So you're single and have been planning to go out and show the world how great of a boyfriend or girlfriend you can be—only that, you haven't mustered the courage to do so.

Let's be real, searching for a romantic partner can be more challenging than usual if you're someone who has a consistent tendency to be shy, especially when around the opposite sex. The same goes when online dating.

While online dating apps allow you to have several potential partners at your fingertips, there still has work to be done, first and foremost, in building a connection with your match. And you're not alone in thinking of it as a big challenge, bud.

In the study conducted by the global dating app Tinder last April, 56% of young Filipino adults are not keen on making the first step in striking a conversation, while 23% need help with icebreakers.

According to US-certified dating coach Vee Antonio, stigma and the fear of not being liked are the root cause of this problem. She explained more of it during Tinder's School of Swipe virtual launch attended by PhilSTAR L!fe on Nov. 11.

Aquino said, "There are two salient points for this. One is that the Philippines is a conservative country. So if you’re an assertive woman or you’re a man who’s very aggressive when it comes to dating, that’s really frowned upon here. [And] generally, there’s this fear for human beings to be rejected, so that’s why we really don’t make the first move."

In addition, this lack of confidence is caused by the trial-and-error nature of getting into a relationship. Tinder's APAC Communications Director Papri Dev elaborated, "Dating is not taught in universities. We learn it by observing, by listening, by asking... by trying it out ourselves. So it tends to become a collection of experiences to get over first."

If you're looking for ways to overcome your doubts about making the first move on online dating apps, Tinder's newest information platform, dubbed School of Swipe, will provide you with tips to get you started.

School of Swipe is Tinder's first online dating guide that offers essential information—from how to keep a convo going to staying safe when meeting IRL—to help singletons "landi responsibly." Dev said it was developed to make young adult singles "feel more confident in their dating journeys, date smart, and have a fun and safe dating experience.”

So are ready to impress your match? Here are some tips shared by Tinder's School of Swipe on its website to help you stay confident during your initial conversations with your potential bae.

Tip #1: Greet them with their name

By this time, you probably should have noticed how hearing someone call your name gives off a sweet sensation to your brain. Turns out, it actually does. Hearing your name creates a chemical reaction in your brain, which produces happy hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. It then creates the tendency for us to trust that person subconsciously.

While it won't be possible for you to utter your match's name in their presence just yet, a good workaround is to type it the first time you greet him or her. Tinder said that in this way, you'll be able to "let someone know you're paying attention to them and their profile."

"It's personal and people tend to appreciate that," the guide states.

Tip #2: Start with your common interests

One way to pique your match's interest immediately is to delve into their passions. "If they mentioned something they like on their profile, ask them a question about it! This is a great way to find some common ground and skip any initial awkwardness," Tinder wrote.

And having things in common will not only put you in the lead versus other matches, but it will also show your possible partner that you will have something to bond on should you decide to level up your status.

According to Psychology Today, couples that have similar interests are more likely to have healthier relationships. "These couples fight less because they generally agree on how to invest their energy and finances," the portal says.

Tip #3: Show curiosity

While talking about common interests is a surefire way to make a good impression on your match, you can sustain the attraction by asking questions about other aspects of their lives.

"Make sure the convo doesn't stick to current affairs or your latest binge-watch," Tinder said. "Focus on topics that allow you to understand more about your match to connect on a deeper level."

The key here is to keep the conversation lighthearted and fun yet at the same time, revealing who they are. Here are a few questions you might want to ask your dating prospects, as recommended by the online dating resource Millennial Ships Dating:

  • What's something you're really good at doing? This will show you his view of himself and what matters to him.
  • If you won a million dollars, how would you spend it? His answer will give you an idea of what he thinks about money and his financial priorities.
  • Do you like what you are doing now or do you wish you could do something else? This will let you know if he has plans of moving up or if he's happy where he is.
Tip #4: Play two truths and one lie

This is a prompt you'd often see on dating apps and turns out, there's more to it than just having something fun to do.

"Two Truths and A Lie" is an activity usually played with a small group, but can also be done by two people. It starts by telling your match "a lie and two facts about yourself and asking your match to guess which one is the true."

It's likely to catch your prospect date's interest because according to Tinder, "intrigue is bound to pull them in and knowing more about you would definitely make them more comfortable with sharing about themselves."

Tip #5: Compliment their style

A little compliment can go a long way, and that applies even to online dating. While praising someone comes naturally for many people, your match will see it as more authentic and well-thought-of when it's about the choices they have made.

"People always appreciate compliments on a choice—their haircut, fashion sense, or interest—over a compliment on their looks," Tinder said. "Love their 'fit? Drop them a text and let them know you like their style." 

One example the dating app gave is: "Loving the cool shades, where are they from?"

Keep in mind as well that learning about killer conversations—and using them—is only the first step to acing online dating, If you want to boost your confidence from the getting-to-know-you stage up until meeting with your match IRL, head on to for more tips and advice.