"Love shyness" is a socially crippling phobia of sex and romance. It can generally be traced back to childhood and is often found in those who suffer from autism or Asperger's syndrome. Its symptoms include extreme nervousness and anxiety around members of the sufferer's preferred sex. Though love-shyness is present in women and homosexual men as well, heterosexual men experience it at its most deleterious. According to Dr. Brian G. Gilmartin, love-shyness affects 1.5% of heterosexual American males.
Accept personal responsibility for your condition. Do not blame your parents, your disability, the world or women. If necessary, forgive your parents. Tell yourself that your life -- romantic and otherwise -- from this point on is your responsibility alone.
Do research on love-shyness. Accept that it is a real condition, more similar to a cancer than a cut that will go away on its own if you concentrate on the other aspects of your life. Make a commitment to yourself to work on it.
Join an online support group. Listen to others' experiences and learn from them as much as possible.
Find a therapist who believes that love-shyness is a disorder in its own right and not just a quirky offshoot of social anxiety disorder. Seek out a therapist of the opposite sex, but make sure you feel comfortable in her presence.
If you haven't already, diagnose related conditions such as Asperger's or depression. Work on those with your therapist as well, and consider medication for severe conditions.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images