A reader shares his story from the straight male perspective. Going slow with another shy person might also work for other people who can arrange dates.– Alana
I will use the term “Love Shy” to refer to what happened to me. I was a teenager in the 60’s (remember the Summer of Love) and things seemed to go wrong at puberty. Up until then I had had no real interest in girls, except perhaps to play female roles in some of the games we played in the playground. Then one day – quite out of the blue – girls seemed to glow as if they were goddesses! I immediately wanted to get a girlfriend, but talking to girls suddenly became too embarrassing and my thoughts seemed to scatter. Gradually I realised that this was a real problem – while other boys I knew were taking girls out, I couldn’t even start.
As the years went by, I felt really down about this, although I wasn’t really able to talk to anyone – my parents seemed quite pleased “I wasn’t interested in girls yet”, because I could spend more time on my schoolwork!
The problem didn’t improve while I was at university, and I had started post-graduate research when I decided something really drastic had to be done. I joined a dating agency – rather like a dating website, but before the internet, which worked through the post, and I decided to date any girl who would date me, rather than pick and choose. I ploughed my way through about 6 dates before anything exciting happened. Every meeting was excruciating, I had no idea how to behave, and probably made no eye contact at all. I know my performances were a mess – which is why I never fell into the pitfall of blaming the girls for my problem.
Then I met a girl – still using arranged dates – who was almost as shy as I was. This meant that my awkwardness was only matched by hers – when we parted after the first date, we shook hands very formally, and agreed to meet again soon! After about a month we were kissing, and after a year we were getting close to full sex! I think it was incredible luck that I met someone nice who was just as shy as I was, because by 22, I imagine most girls (even back then) have had a previous boyfriend and probably sex.
I suppose my advice to men with this problem now would be:
- If you can, discuss it with someone – you will feel better and you might get useful advice.
- Choose a time and make a blitz on the problem rather like I did. Getting dates at a rate of several a month may sound extreme, but every one will teach you something, and you are rolling the dice again – sooner or later you will have a break.
- When you do get a girl, DO NOT RUSH. You will look shy, but if you start getting bold, it will look out of character, and you may be considered creepy. Let everything develop at her pace. Besides, if you are new to romantic relationships, every step is enchanting. Deep kissing is amazing, the first time you do it. Rushing can put her off, or can mean you aren’t relaxed and ready when you reach the bedroom, and you know what that can do!
- Don’t do the opposite and wait till a girl attracts you and then try ineffectually to ask her out. You have already tried that many times no doubt, and it has lead nowhere. The good thing about using a dating website (or similar) is that you are pushed together with a girl for the evening, and forced to try a bit!