Required reading to understand this post better:
This is a second post of my series on love-shyness. In this post I will talk about various sources to understand what love-shyness is and various materials, blogs and sites which might help both with understanding it, coping with it and beating it.
I will go over some books and websites which deal with love-shyness.
Three books on love-shyness have been published so far.
Brian G. Gilmartin is is an American behavioral scientist, professor of psychology, and author of books and articles in the field of social psychology whose 1987 book whose 1987 book Shyness and Love: Causes, Consequences, and Treatment marked the invention of the term love-shyness (I’ve provided the link to download the book in its title).
In this book Gilmartin interviewed about 300 love-shy men all of whom exhibited similar traits like early interest in girls, childhood bullying and an immense phobia of romantic initiation starting in early teenage years. It is a must read for everybody who wants to understand love-shyness.
It describes love-shyness for what is is- a severe socioeconomic problems leading to decreased health and productivity of people affected by it. Upon reading it any sane, reasonable person will look at this problem with much more empathy.
Gilmartin describes disasters and tragedies. Almost every man interviewed in the book has had a traumatic, broken life and nothing but uncertainty and sadness to look forward to. This book is painful. It does not suggest many solutions nor does it consist of nothing but author’s views. It lets love-shy men speak. describes tragedy and death. It describes just how serious and debilitating this problem is. It destroys lives. It kills people. For example, on page 64, Gilmartin writes, “By the way, THIRTY-SIX PERCENT of the 300 love-shy men studied for this book had given serious consideration to taking their own lives. Zero percent (nobody) of the 200 non-shy men I interviewed had ever given any thought to suicide, and none had ever experienced frequent bouts of depression.”
There have been criticisms about the book, as it mentions astrology and Kirlian auras in its opening pages and presents certain radical ideas on how to stop childhood bullying in tender males, like dealing with “jock culture”.
However, these criticisms have nothing to do with the real value of his work- his interviews would be no different if Gilmartin didn’t include those passages.
Another criticism is that Gilmartin failed to include women in his research. My problem with this criticism is the following one – while love-shyness can undoubtedly affect women as well they are in a much more advantageous position due to the fact that men are required to make the first move, to be the suitors, initiators in romantic relationships. Comparing these two groups is just silly. Only extremely unattractive love-shy women and women with love-shyness severe enough to preclude any reciprocation are in serious trouble regarding romantic relationships. When comparing male and female love-shy people it is ridiculous to say that their problems are the same. They are not. To say anything else would be denying human nature and a nature of relationships between men and women. Incel is primarily a male problem and always will be. Anybody denying that is not worth talking to.
In 1989 Gilmartin published his second book on this issue, called The Shy Man Syndrome: Why Men Become Love-Shy and How They Can Overcome It. This book, unlike the previous one, isn’t available for free. It delves deeper into the issue.
In 2009 a third book was published, written by Talmer Shockley. The Love-Shy Survival Guide is described in the link with following words in the link I provided- Talmer Shockley, a Love-shy.com forum member, took it upon himself to write The Love-Shy Survival Guide in 2009 as a self-help book for love-shys. Shockley follows Dr. Gilmartin description and explanation of love-shyness, except to classify love-shyness as a phobia. The book suggests treating this serious phobia, not with drugs, but by slowly exposing the love-shy to what induces the anxiety. The book also suggests certain changes in one’s life to make one more conducive to dating. He devotes a chapter to female love-shys and also discusses the relationship between love-shyness and Aspergers Syndrome and other disabilities. The book offers no easy solution to love-shyness, but it is the only book in print to mention love-shyness and involuntary celibacy.
The book is in print and available at Amazon.com. Talmer also maintains a web site, The love-shy project, which provides information about the book and various Love-shyness related issues. (note: unfortunately, the love-shy project site is now gone- this is a real shame as Talmer some very good material- his site can still be viewed here).
I must admit that I haven’t read Talmer Shockley’s book. From what I’ve heard it’s not that good and emphasizes Aspergers Syndrome a bit too much (which is not surprising considering that Talmer himself has Aspergers).
What might be seen as a positive aspect is that Shockley talks about solutions more than theory itself.
Sadly, there is no real study on love-shyness. I found the following ones on a Wikipedia article devoted to love-shyness but I have never read them in all probability they probably don’t deal with love-shyness itself.
Crozier, W. Ray; Alden, Lynn E. (2001). International Handbook of Social Anxiety: Concepts, Research, and Interventions Relating to the Self and Shyness. New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-49129-2.
^ Fosse, G. K.; Holen, A. (2004). “Cohabitation, education, and occupation of psychiatric outpatients bullied as children”. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 92 (5): 385–388.
There aren’t many websites dealing with love-shyness available online.
Love-shy.com is currently the main site for discussing love-shyness. It hosts a forum discussing various incel issues not just connected to love-shyness itself. It is essentially The forum these days, with a largest number of posts and participants. However, one should be advised that what was once a forum dedicated to nothing but love-shyness is nowadays a forum for all incels and love-shyness is rarely discussed. It is also a strongly pro male and anti-feminist site.
A German version of the forum also exists.
Loveshyproject, now presentable only via archives, was a website run by Talmer Shockley. It contained various sources and articles on love-shyness and autism.
Love-shyness.ORG is a largely unknown and abandoned site. I didn’t know about it myself until doing some investigation for this article. It seems to contain some useful material for those interested in love-shyness.
WIKIPEDIA AND OTHER WIKIS
This channel has some videos on love-shyness and incel. Most of it centers around incel in general more than it does around love-shyness but there are some videos which are mostly about love-shyness.
In this video we can hear Dr. Gilmartin speak
This video is by Laura Carpenter
And here we can actually see Tamler Shockley (the video is mostly about incel in general, not love-shyness)
Love-shyness did receive some attention from the media.
I am looking forward to commentators presenting other sources and will he happy to include them in this post. I will also probably make a page on this.
This concludes the second part of my serial on love-shyness. The third part will be the conclusion- what I think should be done about love-shyness, why I think it is not recognized and how do I see the future of this problem.