A bit about myself: I've always been naturally submissive, polite, conservative, strong work ethic, dressed well, took care of myself physically and valued my education (I'm East Asian so it's also ingrained in my culture). I never had problems being asked out by intelligent and attractive men but my troubles were found in forming an actual relationship. Reflecting back, I realized the problem was the lack of radiance, vulnerability and responsiveness.
I'm also an introvert and loquaciousness is difficult for me. On dates I was too submissive - I would only ask questions which showed interest in the man but I would barely have anything to say in return when he asked about me. I found that men would try to woo me the first few dates but after a certain point I had to give something back. Not in sex or homemade meals, but in personality. I had no opinion on anything because I was so used to following. I was also very private, a perfectionist and embarrassed easily.
I've come a long way in learning how to become my own person and also combining it with being vulnerable to share it with a captain. Here are some tips that really helped me open up to forming strong LTRs and I hope it might help other ladies out there who might be in the same boat!
Being enthusiastic: Don't be afraid to express your passions in your life. It can be anything to a book you've read, an upcoming project at work or even something funny that happened earlier in the day. It not only shows a zest for living life but your general attitude towards being positive and grateful for what you have. The key to talking excitedly though? Know when to shut up. If he interjects to contribute, let him talk. It's his way of connecting with you and allow him to.
Being playful: When he teases you, any sort of giggle or even a light playful swat is the perfect and simple response. You don't have to be Tina Fey and think of a witty comeback. Give him random kisses (or blow him a kiss) then walk away. Again, the key is to grasp a sense of the situation. Is he on his computer in the living room taking business calls? Then go away and give him kisses when he comes to you in bed. In my culture we also do something called 撒嬌 which basically means to act coquettishly. I find my boyfriend enjoys it when I'm whining or begging slightly but be careful with this one because not every man is in agreement to this behavior and can be irritating if done too much. Part of being feminine is knowing when you can be playful and when you have to act mature!
Playful seducing: My personal favorite is when we're lounging in bed and I climb over him being excited about something trivial while unbuttoning one button every few minutes, giving small kisses and "accidentally" brushing against his nether region before begging him to let me go down on him...works every time, and he appreciates the affection especially after a long day of work. Another one? If you're chitchatting, go up to him and grab his hands. Look up at him with a coy smile, blow him a kiss. Pull on his hands and keep blowing kisses or nuzzle his neck. Purr a little bit. Tug on his belt loops. He might give you a strange look (if he's not in the right mood), beg for a kiss, get close to his lips, nuzzle his cheek, then let go and blow him a kiss when you walk away, and sway those hips. Don't be surprised if you hear footsteps behind you and feel a muscley arm throwing you onto the bed.
Power of a smile: Smiling before you respond to anything makes wonders in the difference of your demeanor. I don't mean a Cheshire Cat smile but just a slight upturn of the lips brightens up your eyes and face and makes you feel more radiant as well. Also make an effort to have a micro smile at all times. Why? It puts an emotion on your face. Women are radiant because they're emotional. It will remove that resting bitch face too!
Laughing off mistakes: Said something stupid? A simple "Oops, I thought it was...(blah blah blah) giggle" or "Oh no! gasp OK, there we go..." or even a small squeal (yes, you can learn to squeal in a demure manner instead of like a squawking pig). Easy, simple reactions.
Giving your opinion: Went to see a movie at the cinema? Tell him what you loved about the film (certain scene, graphics, certain character). Going to a new restaurant? Discuss the the decor or the quality of the menu. At a museum? Relate the displays to your own life or education.
Let loose: Find something funny? Giggle. Scary scene while watching a movie? Gasp, cover your eyes, bury your head in his shoulder. Sad? Pout, confide in him, whine a little bit. You might find he yearns to cheer you up because it's his protective instinct and allow him to. Again, the key here is to understand the situation and also react with the appropriate tone of voice. Any woman can laugh like a man, or laugh like a graceful woman.
Don't be afraid: It might feel strange to take on the world in such an "active" way instead of staying quiet and shy, but this coincides with the vulnerability aspect of femininity. Men will love you to be fearless with grace. Have two left feet? Dance anyway, laugh, turn red with embarrassment, have fun. Hopefully delicately!
It feels strange to write a post on how to "give" rather than follow/receive, but perhaps this might open some eyes to the opposite end of the spectrum of being too submissive and too much of "only housewife" and help any shy introverted women out there! Again, feel out the situation. Definitely don't game him in front of his mother, or whine if you're out with colleagues!
Edit: Added two more tips!