Love-shyness is a specific type of sometimes severe chronic shyness that impairs or prevents intimate relationships. It implies a degree of inhibition and reticence with potential partners that may be sufficiently severe to preclude participation in courtship, marriage and family roles. According to this definition, love-shy people may find it difficult if not impossible to be assertive in informal situations involving potential romantic or sexual partners. For example, a heterosexual love-shy man may in some cases have trouble initiating conversations with women because of strong feelings of social anxiety.
I’d say that 100 percent love-shy people are unable to do three things:
1. Approach a member of the opposite sex with romantic intent, even in the case of knowing that the result will not be a rejection.
2. Make romantic/sexual initiative towards a person you know without that person doing anything like that first, even in the case of knowing that the result will not be a rejection.
3. Unable to reciprocate romantic/sexual interest of others, ie they are often afraid to reciprocate indicators of interest.
For these reasons I think that it is nonsense to say that love-shyness is a mere social phobia. It is a much more narrow phobia and should be treated as such.
What isn’t love-shyness(!)
1. Talk to members of the opposite sex when not taking romantic/sexual initiative without being horribly anxious
2. Make initiative to get to know better a member of the opposite sex they already met without romantic/sexual intention
3. Make a cold approach to a member of the opposite sex without romantic/sexual intention
are not signs of love-shyness but social phobia.
More to read about
A Wikipedia article on love-shyness had been deleted and I am currently looking for its archived version.
A Love-shy.com wiki article on love-shyness http://www.love-shy.com/lswiki/Love-shyness