Love-shy male seeks help.

General

I'm a 40 year old male who has never been able to form a romantic relationship with a woman. I've recently learned that this is not uncommon and people like me are called 'love-shy.' I was wondering if anyone knows where I could get some dating-practice therapy in the UK.

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34 years old and in the "same boat"

I am 34 years old and I too have recently learned that there is a name for what I have, although I don't particularly care for labels, especially not "love shy". I think that you have gotten some pretty good advice here, but I would respectfully disagree with the drug suggestion. Yes, I do think that love shyness is an anxiety disorder, but I don't share the opinion that pills are the answer. I am absolutely convinced that the core problem that men like us have is an irrational fear. Much like someone with ocd who washes his hands fifty times a day. He knows that his hands are clean enough, yet he is compelled to wash them again and again. An irrational fear that his hands are still dirty drives him to this behavior. The love shy heterosexual male is fearful of women, even though he knows that nothing truly horrific will happen to him if he where to ask one out on a date, or something to that effect. It is essential for men like us to de-idealize and de-mystify the female. I read somewhere that middle eastern fathers take their sons to brothels for this very reason. In fact, they even consider this to be an intregral part of entering manhood, namely the "de-mystifation of the female". I'm certainly not suggesting that you go to a brothel tomorrow to test this theory out, my only intention is to give you some food for thought.

You see, all heterosexual boys build up anxiety toward the female sex. It happens because boys who bigin to notice girls start to think about all the firsts they will have. Their first date, their first kiss, their first sexual interlude, etc. But boys who don't have an "anxiety disorder", overcome their normal level of anxiety and fear and go on to have happy and healthy love lives. Guys like us go into our thirties and forties with an inordinate amount of fear and anxiety that gets to the point of ridiculousness. As a result, we idealize the female as something god-like and out of reach. This view of women needs to be broken down in some way. The female simply needs to be de-mystified. You don't need drugs to do this. A manipulation of brain chemistry is simply not needed to defeat this irrational fear that we suffer from.

Are you aware that the writer Jean Paul Sartre didn't have sex with a woman until he was in his mid thirties? Finally his students in Paris took him to a brothel one evening to, well treat him. I think that once he saw the object he was dysfunctionally fearful of being bought for X amount of dollars, the female was finally de-mystified. Once agian, I'm not suggesting that you go to a brothel. I'm just giving you something to think about, because ultimately we can learn from these stories.

I suppose you can see now where I am going with this argument. I have come to the hypothesis that we may be able to intellectualize our way out of this problem of "love shyness" we seem to suffer from. Yes, it might be possible to philosophically deconstruct the female. Truth be told, women are NOT infallable, perfect, beyond reproach, unattainable, unapproachable, smarter, better, etc. Furthermore, they are susceptible to all the same caprices and foibles that we are susceptible to. To conclude, women are not special. I don't mean this in a sexist way, but we must see that women are not special.

Now if you find it impossible to solve this intellectually, then perhaps a last resort would be visiting a brothel. I know this may sound outrageious at first, but isn't it more outrageous to put mind altering drugs into your body? Isn't it just as feasible to suggest that you consume alchohol to solve your anxiety? This compulsory useage of drugs to solve anxiety issues doesn't make sense to me. Besides, there are places where prostitution is safe and legal. I posit that it is always better to confront your fears and conquer them once and for all.

Keep in mind that I'm dealing with this too, and it wasn't until last year that I decided wallowing in loneliness and alienation is something that I didn't want to do anymore. I just became so weary of people telling me, "It'll happen, just wait. It'll happen. you'll meet a girl, and everything will be fine". I wanted to scream back at them, "I'm 34! It's not going to happen". Well, it still hasn't happened yet, but I'm working on it. Good luck to you, and I hope I have helped you out.

a few thoughts

-Love-shyness is an anxiety disorder, and like most psychological problems has it's roots in biology. Therefore it is essential that you seek out a psychiatrist who is willing to treat it as such - with drugs. Avoid any psychiatrist who only wants to do talk therapy and discuss your childhood - none of that is going to solve your problem until you get some relief from your overwhelming anxiety.

-Try to improve your confidence level and image. Improve your appearance, clothing, grooming, etc. Make yourself into something women actually want. Remember, dating is a game - a market system - supply and demand. You are the product and they are the customers.

-Observe the men in your age range who are successful with women and try to learn from them. Don't duplicate them - what works for them may not work for you. Instead, try to understand what is working for them that can work for you, and try to apply it.

-Don't set your sights on women who are out of your league. Be realistic about what type of woman you can really have a chance of getting.

-Don't listen to the people who will tell you that women just want a 'nice guy'. Women want a man with status, charm and confidence. A man who is gentle and respectful, but still a man.

-Do the practice dating. Practice makes perfect. Even men who get lots of women get rejected MOST of the time. Don't build your hopes up on one perfect woman. Practice dating with women who don't make you nervous. Then slowly build your confidence level until you feel comfortable approaching the perfect woman.

Love Shy

This often has its roots in problems around self esteem and communication. I dont know of any groups but your Local Authority may have something. It might be a good idea to see a counsellor or therapist for assessment of the background to this at some point.