Most people, I imagine, learn how to date by just doing it and asking their friends for advice along the way. However, I'm a bit of research-nut. When I get into something, I read about it. Dating is no exception. So I headed to my favorite public library last week and picked up some books about dating. I threw the books in my basket and covered up the titles because I suddenly was embarassed to be taking out dating books. I hoped the person checking out my books didn't judge me and think "How lame is she that she needs to read 5 books on dating?" My inner, self-conscious 13-year-old emerged ("OMG, everyone is looking at me and judging me").
One of my favorite books of the bunch is The Shy Single: A Bold Guide to Dating for the Less-than-Bold Dater . Although I'm not quite as shy as the book's intended audience, I especially found her breakdown of the 3 stages of a "shyness attack" helpful and applicable to my over-analytical self: 1) Fear of initiation, 2) Circuit overload and 3) Payback. I especially related to the "payback" stage, where one continually runs through past experiences, focusing mainly on what she did wrong. The author gives tips and exercises to help the shy person survive and leave those 3 stages. She also gives reflective questions throughout, which helped me flesh out reasons why I'm single (more on that another day). It helped me solidify my strategy for successful dating.
I definitely plan on buying this book after I return it to my library, and I highly recommend it for any shy or introverted dater.