Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Love Shyness - What to look for in others

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

Love Shyness is problematic both for the sufferers and for the friends and families of those affected. We all want our friends and family members to be happy and to do this we need to know what is wrong with them and what we can do for them. Without help and support, love shy males can live a long, lonely and depressed life without ever getting what it is they really want.

Love Shyness is, at least in my opinion, embarrassing. Admitting any abnormality comes with potential social cost, especially when confirming to certain norms is expected. It's also embarrassing because it can be seen as a personal failure, as if somehow the person who is Love Shy is weak or inferior, especially compared to their friends who can get their act together.

Love Shy males may do or be seen to do the following...
1) They do not date or rarely talk to members of the opposite sex
2) They do not participate in mixed-sex events
3) They spend a lot of time looking at pictures of attractive unobtainable women
4) They obsess about sex, but never make any advances towards satisfying their demand
5) They stare or stalk girls without ever intending to do anything about it

I would like to elaborate on number 5 because it is perhaps the most serious and can carry important legal ramifications.

It's important to remember that the Love Shy male is on average much less likely to engage in ANY crime (except stalking).

From Gilmartin:
As a case in point I asked each man to respond to this statement:

"There have been times when I have stared for long periods at a girl whom I have found very attractive; but as soon as she would look in my direction I would immediately look away."

Fully 97 percent of the older love-shy men together with 71 percent of the younger love-shys indicated that this had been "true" for them. In stark contrast, only 11 percent of the self-confident non-shy men indicated that this statement was true for themselves.
This obsessive behaviour can lead to stalking.
I asked each respondent to react to the statement:

"There have been times when I have followed a girl whom I have found attractive all over campus or town; but I have looked away whenever she looked in my direction, and I have not said anything to her because of my extreme shyness."

Zero percent (nobody) of the self-confident non-shys indicated "yes" to this statement. On the other hand, 44 percent of the older love-shys along with 35 percent of the younger love-shys indicated that the statement was "true" for themselves.

Moreover, fully 19 percent (almost one-fifth) of the older love-shys together with 13 percent of the younger love-shys agreed that they had "gotten into trouble" at one time or another as a result of an uncontrollable urge to follow a girl all over campus or all over town without ever saying anything to her.
Although I have never followed someone around, I must admit that I have found myself "planning" on being where "she" might be just so I could see her. Always in the back of my mind was the worry that I was stalking - yet there was always a certain hard-to-shake compulsion...
Needless to say, this sort of behavior had been very unnerving and upsetting to most of the women who had been victimized by it. Most people tend to fear that which they do not understand. And most of the victimized women found this staring (then looking or running away) behavior to be exceedingly strange. And they did not know how to respond to it.
It is my desire that people who may have been harassed or stalked by someone with love shyness to understand that these people are not dangerous and actually require help. This of course should not be confused with general warnings over the dangers caused by real stalkers and psychopaths who are out to hurt people.

If you suspect someone is love shy, then you should engage in positive measures, which may or may not be covert (depending on the sensitivity of the person) to help them become less love shy. Love shyness should be nipped in the bud in childhood (I will discuss this later) however there is still going to be a certain percentage who fall through the cracks. In future posts I will look at positive ways in which the love shy can turn their life around.

1 comment:

Roy Pryer said...

I am a loveshy mam aged 68.i have never had sex or a partner. It is obvious that is not going to change now & I was wondering if I was the oldest loveshy around today?