Your mouth goes dry. You start sweating. Your heart hammers. Your legs feel weak. The English language suddenly seems as foreign to you as ancient hieroglyphics. Are you at the dentist's office? Did you find out you owe money to the IRS? Are you going crazy? Maybe a bit. You're a shy person who's looking for love – and who's also terrified of finding it. So sit down, get out the smelling salts and consider some of these tips for wrestling shyness to the mat and getting on with your love life.

Narrow the playing field

This doesn't mean just settling for anyone. Desperation is a turn-off. It means using your shyness to your advantage. How can shyness possibly be an advantage? It's an advantage because it lets you observe without being found out. Don't worry – you won't be a stalker-in-training. The time you don't spend talking can be used to watch how the people you're interested in act and what they enjoy doing. This way, you can weed out people who don't kindle your interest.

Fine tune your strengths

Cultivate your own interests and you'll have a greater possibility of running into members of the opposite sex – members who like what you like. Then you'll have a common reference point that will simplify communication when you're approached, or when you do the approaching. Also, involve yourself in things at which you're proficient, so you can elicit positive attention without having to speak.

Bait the hook

Use what your mama gave you, and draw the guys or women to you. Don't let shyness keep your bod buried under frumpy clothes or heaps of dark colors. Choose outfits that highlight your physique, but that don't look like you're vying to be the next international porn star. You can dress enticingly, and with class, exuding the confidence that people appreciate – and that could draw a potential love interest to you.

Seeing eye to eye

Make eye contact. True, that's like asking you to sprout wings and fly to Jupiter. But sending the right signals – despite your shy awkwardness – is vital. Most of human communication is comprised of body language, so use it to your advantage. Uncross your arms, summon up all your courage and -- one, two, three – look the other person in the eyes or flash a quick smile. Or both. This gives them the green light to approach you, and shifts the pressure to make the first move onto the other person's shoulders.

Zone out

You're not exempt from stepping outside of your comfort zone just because you're shy. Remember, the foundation of a healthy relationship is communication. Leaving your comfort zone to talk to a potential boyfriend or girlfriend is a risk you're going to have to eventually take if you genuinely want to find love. And that risk may result in a happy ending – a relationship.

Internet – no threat

As a shy person, you can benefit tremendously from Internet dating sites. If you state that you're shy in your profile, there's a good chance the other person will make the first move. Then you can step in and follow their lead until you're more at ease. And since meeting via the computer is less intimidating than meeting for the first time in person, it may embolden you to make the first move yourself. Just take it slowly when you meet in person. Not all people on dating sites misrepresent themselves, but some do, so exercise a healthy bit of caution.

Be approachable

If someone who likes you is also shy, approaching you may be daunting for them, as well. Spend time sitting alone, without your friends, so you'll be regarded as less intimidating and more approachable.

The call of the mild

A shy man or woman may actually be alluring to a potential mate, especially one who likes a challenge. Bashful people present an interesting puzzle to piece together, since they don't reveal their secrets, dreams, hopes and aspirations all at once. They may be harder to get, which can make their revelations that much more intriguing. Someone who is shy is more mysterious, which can make the other person want to discover what's hiding inside.

Shyness doesn't have to be a life sentence of loneliness and celibacy. It can actually work in your favor, or be surmounted. Finding love may actually only be one smile, glance or "hello" away.

Author's Bio: 

I've always loved rock music -- its power, its passion, its energy. I love spirituality for the same reasons -- its profound energy, its tremendous power, its soul-stirring passion. Rock music can quietly move you with its soft ballads, or catapult you to the heights of euphoria with thunderous melodies. Spirituality possesses these same qualities, and all the nuances in between. I contribute to many metaphysical and self-realization websites, and I edited a renowned book by a distinguished transcendent teacher. I'm grateful that I can use my talent for writing to convey messages of spirituality. It's the music that courses through my body, mind and soul.