Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Love Shyness - Beauty and the love-shy

This is part of a series on Love Shyness. The index can be found here.

Gilmartin spends an entire chapter on beauty, as he believes its a crucial element in the creation and continuation of love-shyness.
Chronically love-shy men have an unusually strong penchant for physical beauty. To be sure, virtually everyone loves beauty. However, one of the most significant findings of the study upon which this book is based is that beauty is quite a bit more important to the love-shy than it is to the non-shy.

This need for beauty which the love-shy feel is very strong as well as highly generalized. And it extends to such things as dogs, automobiles, music, natural scenery, as well as to women. And it clearly suggests a major reason as to why most love-shy men could never be really well satisfied—particularly since their own level of physical attractiveness tends to be at least somewhat below average.

I had to laugh at the last sentence given that I've accepted for a long time that I am of below average attractiveness.

The Need for Beauty
As I have indicated, the love-shy men studied for this research very seldom or never dated. They were all far too shy to assert themselves with women, and particularly with women whom they found attractive. However, they desperately wanted to date and to spend all of their time with just one opposite sexed partner whom they could love.
This desperation leads to fantasising and day dreaming about the object of their desires. Day dreaming constitutes a vicarious form of wish-fulfilment and gives unrealistic expectations.
I asked each respondent: "Compared to other teenagers at the time you were a teenager, were fantasies and daydreams more OR less important to you?" And zero percent (nobody) of the non-shys indicated that daydreams and fantasies were more important, compared to fully 87 percent of the older love-shys and 61 percent of the younger love-shys.
Who knows how many years I have spent day dreaming, something I do even to this day.

What do these day dreams consist of?
The fantasies enjoyed by these men typically entailed being warmly loved by very feminine, nurturant, non-assertive but liberal-minded women with long hair, beautiful faces, and very little or no make-up. They tended to fantasize women with a rather delicate, ethereal beauty, and with a gentleness and vulnerability that is not realistically likely to be found in today's world.
Its kind of scary to realise that these private fantasises of mine are actually rather universal for love shy individuals.

How bad is the delusion?
But curiously, most of the younger love-shy men seemed to maintain a sense of optimism that they could or would somehow one day magically be able to win such a specimen without taking any positive steps on their own initiative.
I'm not sure I've ever been this delusional. Although it was always a dream for this to happen, I knew the odds of it happening were next to none. Having said that, without taking any positive steps of my own initiative, I was able to "win" much inferior specimens. (Keeping with the language employed). Therefore its not intrinsically impossible.
Their fantasies and daydreams revolved almost exclusively around the imagery of already having such a beautiful woman. Virtually none of the shy men ever spent any time visualizing themselves taking positive steps to introduce themselves or to otherwise allow themselves to become acquainted with available and accessible women.
This doesn't seem that surprising. Considering the former is something positive and locked-in, whereas the latter scenario is uncertain and potentially negative, its easy to understand why someone would rather think about something pleasant rather than something which could stress them out.
Clinical psychologists often recommend that shy people engage in mental rehersals in their mind's eye.
Looking back - I highly recommend this tactic!
A key theme of this chapter is to suggest that "real, live, accessible women" are not beautiful enough to meet the unrealistically stringent demands and needs of the love-shy. Simply put, the love-shy will not fantasize a female face that is not sufficiently beautiful to constitute a wish fulfillment.
I would say this conclusion is perhaps a little too harsh, however given the next piece of data - it's perhaps warranted.
A further illustration of this uncompromisingly romantic attitude of the love-shy can be seen in the pattern of response to this statement: "I would not want to date anyone to whom I could not visualize (fantasize) myself as being married." Fully 64 percent of the older love-shys together with 46 percent of the younger ones agreed. In contrast, only 4 percent of the self-confident non-shy men saw fit to agree.
I somewhat agree with this sentiment...
Again, most love-shy men would like to somehow magically bypass what many of them perceive as the cruel indignity of dating, and just somehow wake up one morning married to the esthetically lovely, beautiful girl of their dreams.
Well yeah...

What about the "average" woman?
The love-shy tend to feel more comfortable and they tend to converse more fluently when they are in the company of a less-than-beautiful girl than when they are with the type of girl who is so attractive that marriage to her is immediately visualized and envisioned. In essence, the closer a girl comes toward meeting a love-shy man's tastes and predilections in the physical (especially facial) attractiveness department, the more shy and inhibited he is likely to be in his efforts to converse with her.
To finish this section, I would like to highlight something rather curious that I never knew about.
Psychologists have known since the late 1960s that introverts tend to prefer small-breasted women, whereas extroverts tend to prefer those with large breasts. In fact, there appears to be a rather strong statistical relationship between how extroverted (outgoing) a man is, and how large he wants the breasts of his female partner to be.


Patrick said...

I am enamored with beautiful women, but I make the contrast between simply beautiful and sexy. I have never wanted to jack off to Pamela Anderson, I think Rihanna is overrated, and the women on Jersey Shore are disgusting at least because of their personalities. There is, I think, a difference between beauty in a woman as understood by a love shy, and beauty as understood in popular culture. One of the complaints I have in some of what I have been reading is that love shy people fall for only the most attractive women. I can say I do not often. Many of the most beautiful women to me would not be considered so by mainstream culture. Ironically, there are probably more guys that share notions of what makes a girl attractive with me than is typically acknowledged.
I am sexually aroused by a woman’s breasts, but it makes about as much difference to me what her breasts look like anymore than her vagina. Size is not an issue. I am physically attracted to her eyes, her hair (long, dark, and curly are the ideal for me), her butt, and her hips. Her thighs and sometimes her legs factor in there too. Often though, my idea of beauty in a woman can heavily be influenced by personality. A girl who always smiles or who has a certain demeanor, who speaks a certain way, or who gives off a certain vibe – those are extremely important. In other words, much of what is described for how women are attracted to men, I feel in reverse. Most of the girls I got crushes for actually had little of my ideal traits, but their personalities made them and their physical selves beautiful.
Nonetheless, the intensity, the sweetness, and the almost ecstasy-induced feeling of knowing a girl is beautiful, can be overwhelming. I too have the same problem of removing someone to my fantasy world because I would rather have a caricature of her than the real her. In my opinion, this is probably one of the most detrimental traits I have as a love shy. It might also explain the hostility other love shy people have. I remember in elementary school, I would get a crush. But, when I got to see more of the girl and know her better, she often turned out to be mean or had some of the other personality problems which turned me way off. I was mad because this girl dared to violate my fantasy of her with reality. I preferred my version of her. I still have this problem, but I am much more cognizant of it.

Anonymous said...

I recommend everyone to read Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend.
Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not.
Boundaries impact all areas of our lives:

Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances.

Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions.

Emotional boundaries help use to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others.

Spirtual boundaries help us to distinguish God’s will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator.

Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries they ask:

Can I set limits and still be a loving person?

What are legitimate boundaries?

What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries?

How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money?

Aren’t boundaries selfish?

Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries?

Anonymous said...

Wow I need to read that book. It describes they way I think down to a tee. I have always lived largely in a fantasy world inside my own head where I have a beautiful perfect lover. The real world is a huge let down. It is crazy though because a real girl is 1000x better than a fantasy.

I am also very attracted to women I perceive as beautiful. To be honest I find it difficult to feel attraction to most ordinary women but get absolutely blown away by a few women I am overwhelmingly attracted to. They are not usually women popularly thought of as stunners.

I also love small breasts!

Mix said...

If your man is pushing you away and acting distant

Or if the guy you’re after isn’t giving you the time of day...

Then it’s time to pull out all the stops.

Because 99% of the time, there is only 1 thing you can say to a standoffish guy that will grab him by the heartstrings-

And get his blood pumping at just the thought of you.

Insert subject line here and link it to: Your ex won’t be able to resist?

Once you say this to him, or even send this simple phrase in a text message...

It will flip his world upside down and you will suddenly find him chasing you-

And even begging to be with you.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

Insert subject line here and link it to: Is your man hiding something? He may need your help?

Thanks again.