Conversation is not a trial

It happened a long time ago.

Me: “Hi”

Her: “Hi”

Me: “You saw me coming this time, didn’t you?”

Her: “Yep. I saw you. I knew you were there.”

Me: “Darn. I was gonna sneak up on you again.”

Her: “Uh-huh. I’m looking for you now.”

Me: “When I snuck up on you earlier, your face turned red – like you were blushing.”

Her: “Oh… Your face is red, too.”

Me: “It is? Really. Oh my.”

Her: “Yep.”

Me: “Oh wow. I guess I’ll have to work on that. Don’t want to let it show…. I was gonna talk to you again, a while ago, but you were over there… on the tray line… unloading the belt.”

Her: “Oh, yeah, I was over there.”

–(Pause for an awkward silence…) —

Me: “Ok. Well, have a nice weekend.”

Her: “You too, have a nice weekend.”

Painful. I’m a grown man and talked like a clueless little kid. I hated myself over this conversation (if you could call it that). I beat myself up like that easily-chagrined character that Chris Farley used to do.

Let’s throw some responses at it, and see what sticks…

(1) But we all have to start somewhere. By definition my lack of experience may not satisfy the first woman I’m with, and maybe a couple more than her, but in the process that’s how I gain experience too. If we had to wait till we had experience before hooking up, no one would ever get together. It’s not magic, and I too can have it.

(2) I once read a comment on a blog: “As far as artificiality, most human behavior is artificial. If you’re saying anything other than, ‘Hey, you want to fuck?’ you’re being phony. And it’s OK.”

(3) Social interactions don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to wait till I have just the right personality or in the ideal mood for social interaction to occur. If everyone thought that way, they would hardly ever do or say anything.

(4) (I screwed up) — Maybe. So what?  Was I doing so much better the way I have been? Not interacting can be a screw-up too. Maybe withdrawing from social contact messes things up, too. It’s not necessary to be alone just because I’m not perfect.

(5)  I’m not on stage, I’m in the audience. It’s okay to be like aw-shucks, a newbie, honestly curious, experiencing situations and people, as if I haven’t before.

(6)  Consider the possibility that, in the process of talking without trying to be funny, your sense of humor just might come out anyway.

(7) Failure is something you do, not who you are.

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Introduction to the “love-shy”

Painful:

The love-shy include fully grown men in their late 30s and 40s who are not only as “virginal” as it is possible for anyone to be, but who can also be accurately described as less experienced in ordinary dating, courting, and elementary kissing than the typical, contemporary 12-year old…  incapable of getting started with the opposite sex, quite in spite of their very strong desires for a close, loving hetero-sexual relationship…. men who would like nothing better than to be able to marry and to have children, but who are not moving towards these goals because of severe bashfulness, shyness and social timidity….

With very few exceptions, the love-shy do not take drugs. In fact, they do not allow themselves to become involved in anything or in any activity, wholesome or otherwise, for which there is any kind of existent social support group.

That is the whole trouble. The love-shy do not have anybody to relate to as a friend or to count on for emotional support…. In fact, they are about as severely cut off from these normal social gratifications as they would be if they were serving a life sentence in a federal or state prison….

As of now, there is no “Shys Anonymous.” I strongly hope that one of the fruits of this book will be the development of such a nationwide organization, and of other support organizations such as “Coed Scouts,” and “practice-dating” support groups.

From preface to “Shyness & Love”, by Brian G. Gilmartin (1987), pp. xxi-xxiii.

Shyness & Love

Several years ago, I managed to locate a pdf copy of Brian Gilmartin’s “Shyness & Love” book about love-shy men.

Cover of "Shyness & Love" book

 

Since I have noticed that many visitors to my blog are brought here by searching for the term “love shyness”, I am going to begin posting excerpts from the Gilmartin book when I have time.

Since I don’t consider myself to fit the entire description of a “love-shy man” — see my first post about it here — I must confess that my primary reason for posting this is to bring more traffic to my blog!

 

The Stairway To Alpha

Here are my 40 steps to becoming an Alpha Male – and transform myself from a shy bookish omega to a man that women want to be with. This a distillation of the advice, plans, and techniques that I have read and heard of, regarding what I have to accomplish in order to attract quality feminine companionship (usually defined as getting laid on a regular basis).

  1. Cure (not manage: cure) my mood disorders.
  2. Eliminate all my insecurities.
  3. Become able to interact with people on a basic level without a recurrence of #’s 1 or 2.
  4. Learn how to smile.
  5. Stop being an introvert and become an extravert.
  6. Join Toastmasters and pretend to like it.
  7. Become self-confident.
  8. Stop consuming porn.
  9. Lose virginity.
  10. Find just the right haircut for my hair and my head. Repeat.
  11. Invent a way to transplant the DNA of people who tan easily and smoothly into a naturally fair-skinned, freckly and mole-ly redhead like me.
  12. Save up $85,000 for height surgery.
  13. Purchase an alpha-male wardrobe (expensively faded jeans, designer print t-shirts, fuzzy hat, e.g.).
  14. Exchange my glasses for contacts or laser surgery.
  15. Stop being nice to attractive women, be a jerk.
  16. Memorize the basic principles of Game.
  17. Learn and practice the techniques of Game, until they are internalized.
  18. Watch Fight Club.
  19. Lose weight and develop big muscles.
  20. Develop alpha-male body language.
  21. Learn martial arts.
  22. Get tattoos.
  23. Watch The Matrix.
  24. Learn to play guitar.
  25. Stop being interested in astronomy, history books, obscure movies, Australian Rules Football, wargames, Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  26. Learn how to surf, snowboard, ride a motorcycle, bungee-jump, and skydive.
  27. Start several businesses.
  28. Consider moving to a major urban center (except Detroit or Portland).
  29. Purchase a smart phone and get used to it.
  30. Watch Fight Club and The Matrix.
  31. Purchase lots of condoms.
  32. Go to bars regularly.
  33. Go to parties regularly.
  34. Go to coffee shops regularly.
  35. Watch Fight Club.
  36. Take ballroom dance classes.
  37. Get on Facebook.
  38. Travel.
  39. Die.
  40. Watch Fight Club.

Or, Plan B: become gay. That’ll attract lots of female attention, just not the sexual kind.

P.S. – somewhere there’s a girl reading this and saying “Oh, you just need to be yourself!”
Continue reading

Love Shyness

I’m close, but not that bad, am I?

A few years ago I read “Shyness and Love” by Brian Gilmartin.

I also found this article from the Sunday Times (UK) in 2009:

Love shyness: the ‘condition’ crippling men
The Sunday Times
August 9, 2009
They dream of intimacy with a woman, but can’t even bring themselves to say hello. Are these men just very shy, or are they suffering from a rare psychological condition?
Amy Turner

The entire article is worth reading. Here are some excerpts, followed by my comments. (Sorry, I can’t seem to find a link to the article. It might be hiding behind the Times’ paid site; good thing I downloaded it for myself).

John is 24, and I am the first female he’s ever been to lunch with. He is cripplingly, tongue-parchingly nervous, and it’s distressing to watch. I reach across the table, intending a reassuring squeeze of his forearm. He recoils and begins a sort of shallow panting. I don’t wish to frighten him, I say, horrified. “I know, you can’t help it. I’ll be all right.” He takes a deep breath. Then, blinkingly, stutteringly, he tells me his story. By the end of our two-hour meeting, I hold the record for the longest conversation John has ever had with a female other than his mum. He has never kissed a girl nor even made friends with one. . . . [T]he men who claim to suffer from love shyness (LS) all have in common the complete inability to initiate or to engage in romantic interplay. This renders them terminally, heartbrokenly, virginally lonely. They hold down jobs, they have some friends — these men are not antisocial, unattractive losers. They are normal, unassuming men in whom the confidence to approach women is missing.

John is sobbing when Amy’s article begins. That’s not me: I hide my emotions behind a poker face, repress them, and people have a hard time deciphering what I’m feeling. No way would my Gatekeeper let me show such vulnerability in front of another person, male or female. (Maybe that’s your problem, heh.)

Here’s the touchier part: I too lack that intimate experience with girls. But I have made friends with them. I don’t think I have the inability” to engage in romantic interplay, I was just to shy and too pessimistic and too “Beta” to do so; I never thought the girl would reciprocate. I have been one of those “unassuming men in whom the confidence to approach women is missing.”

Gillian Butler, a clinical psychologist and the author of Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness, says: “There’s lots of advice for women about how to get over shyness, but shyness can be much harder for men to deal with because it’s seen as a feminine trait.” . . . The problem, says Gilmartin, is that, according to all social rules, men are supposed to approach women, so love-shy heterosexual men fare badly. In women, shyness is seen as an attractive quality, but if a man is too shy to initiate a conversation with a woman, his chances of a love life are slim.

True, very true. I think shyness is hard for men, not because it’s feminine (it isn’t), but rather because shyness deprives a man of the traits which make women all hot and wet for them: assertiveness, taking the initiative, self-confidence, and a devil-may-care attitude.

They [the men who visit Love-Shy.com, an online discussion forum] unanimously believed LS should be recognised as a psychological disorder.

I disagree with this. First of all, way too many human traits have been declared disorders, imho, and we don’t need another one. Secondly, as conditions go, this one isn’t as serious; love-shy men are no threat to themselves or others and are typically quite gentle and nothing like the serial killer type. It’s a painful condition, but only one person is suffering and we don’t take it out on others (like women with Borderline PD do).

John describes how last Halloween some workmates invited him to a party at a pub. He knew a young waitress to whom he felt attracted would be there. He grew more and more anxious until, on the night, he found himself rooted to the spot in his living room, unable to go.

I’ve been through situations like that. Someone wants me attend a social event. I act noncommittal. I either make up an excuse not to go, or even if I say I’ll go, I freeze up like John at the last minute. Once in high school, it backfired on me: A friend told me he’d pick me up to go to this party. I waited and waited and he never showed up. Later he told me that they decided not to take me because they thought I’d just sit in the corner not saying anything. That hurt. (And yes, he wasn’t much of a friend.)
Another time, I skipped out on the going away party of a coworker friend because there was someone attending that I felt too self-conscious and intimidated around. Man, I hated myself for skipping out like that.

John has been in love. “Probably just the once. When I was 10 there was this girl I really liked. She was younger than me, so when I went to secondary school I lost contact with her and never saw her again.” He has an enduring memory of playing outside with the girl, and of the sun slowly going down, and never feeling happier. In fantasy he often takes the memory further and, imagining himself as a child again, he kisses her.

Oh boy, been there done that. When I was younger I spent way too much time fantasizing about girls I liked and almost no time actually doing anything about it. Even today I sometimes find myself thinking about women I met years ago and having a brief daydream about them. Yeesh.

John says: “I cannot remember a time when to get a girlfriend was not my deepest ambition. There are other things I want, but if I can’t have that, it’s pointless.” Yet he feels unable to seek company. “That’s what I’m missing the most — the close friendship a relationship would offer.”

There’s quite a bit in this brief statement. He has one-itis without the “one” (since he has no contact with women). Thankfully I’m not that bad. One thing I’ve learned from reading about Game and what attracts women is that a man must not seem like his life is incomplete without a girlfriend. He must go out and have a life first, then invite a woman into it. Also, I’ve read Gilmartin and he recommends that love-shy men actually need more male friends in their lives — something that Game supporters advise as well. John and others like him fail to recognize that one can have close friendships with anyone, not just a Significant Other. His aim is too narrow, believing that only a romantic opposite sex relationship will provide that companionship he so desperately desires.

Many talk about “PUA” techniques, a reference to online “seduction communities” where “pick-up artists” who consider themselves successful with women sell their advice.

Think Game isn’t important? Even some of the guys on the love shy forum have heard of it.

He has a gentle manner and is not unattractive, yet he feels that he has no qualities that appeal to a woman. “I’ve got absolutely nothing to offer.”

Yes, I’ve had self-defeating thoughts like that too; though sometimes I think I intimidate some people by not showing emotion.

An unhappy childhood is also characteristic. Some describe beatings and put-downs. Some describe smothering parents.

Yes, unhappy, but I’ve always been unhappy. My parents never beat me, never put me down, and never smothered. Yet I was still unhappy. It’s as if I’ve no one to blame but myself.

A regular refrain is: “I’d feel embarrassed to tell my parents if I had a girlfriend.”

For me it’s the opposite. The few times it looked like I was close to having a girlfriend (or even be dating), I would automatically fantasize that I was telling my parents. It’s as if for me the embarrassment is in not having a girlfriend. I also sometimes feel bad about my folks not having any grandchildren.

The article mentions dysthymia (“a chronic, free-floating but shallow depression, and lack of energy and enthusiasm for life”) which I have suffered from. It also mentions Asperger’s (which isn’t me, but some of you maybe). And Incel — involuntary celibacy in men who are continually rejected (again, not me — my celibacy is from not having the guts to even try much in the first place — ugh. Incels apparently are more like

Seb, an out-of-work accountant from Sydney, Australia, is a regular Incel poster. At 40, he has never had a girlfriend despite having asked many women out. He says that repeated, “often cruel” rejections have made him suicidal at times.

It’s funny. I recognized a few traits in the condition that I had, but still I wouldn’t describe myself as Love Shy. When I was younger, particularly during my childhood and adolescence, I could’ve been described that way. But I believe it got replaced by my developing an Avoidant Personality instead, which is not necessarily confined to relations with the opposite sex. I tend to be shy all-around, as well as regarding the opposite sex. The article mentions that some love-shy men are only shy in that one area.

However, the Sunday Times article mentions something I’d forgotten — Brian Gilmartin’s belief in Paranormal Activity, which I think he ought to have kept quiet about in order to maintain his credibility.

Oh well, we all have our quirks.

Dud to Stud with Chemistry and Kino

~1~
As I wrote last time, I happened across the video “How to Attract Women for Shy Guys” on YouTube by dating coach DeAnna Lorraine. In that post, I made fun of DeAnna’s; I took umbrage at her overuse of the perjorative term “dud” to describe what a typical attention seeking outgoing woman thinks of “shy and quiet guys”; and I noted that she actually did have several good dating tips in the video.

As promised, I’ll make a couple more points then let it go.

~2~

Chemistry

DeAnna Lorraine uses the word “chemistry” ten times in the ten-minute video. I guess it must be important to women or something.

They’re on a date. Her emotions are in the beaker.

Here’s all 10 “chemistry” quotes from the video:

  1. Women tend to have more chemistry with them [outgoing men] and desire them more.
  2. She’s having a good time, and having fun. And that there’s chemistry.
  3. If she’s trying to tease you or make jokes, she’s trying to create chemistry with you.
  4. When you tease and when you banter back and forth, that is a key to creating attraction and chemistry and spark.
  5. If you just say ha-ha and let it go flat, she’s gonna keep feeling like “oh my god this guy’s so boring, there’s no chemistry.”
  6. The double date will bring out more of your personality… so you guys can have a greater chance of having chemistry.
  7. That [activity dates] will also help the conversations from… going stale, and can actually create more chemistry when there’s something going on.
  8. She doesn’t like the silence, and she’s trying to create more chemistry with you.
  9. If there’s… no playfulness and stimulating conversations, she’s gonna go home thinking “that guy was such a nice guy, but…” And the but is – there was just no spark, just no chemistry, and you’re gonna fall into the friend zone like every other time.
  10. When she’s touching you, she’s trying to see if there’s any sexual chemistry going on.

So, I couldn’t help but start thinking about chemistry. (And thinking about things is what we omega males do instead of, you know, taking action).

What exactly does chemistry mean, in the context of dating?

“Chemistry” is code for the woman’s emotional state. Chemistry means feelings – her feelings, that is, because nobody gives a crap how the man feels about the situation. (PUAs might call it her “hamster”)

And it all hangs on you and me, fellas – and not just the shy guys but all men. Her feelings are our responsibility. If she feels good, it’s chemistry. If she’s bored, you’re a dud. Whether or not she is boring to you doesn’t matter.

That’s it: Boredom is emotional b.o. to women.

~3~

Kino

That last line on the chemistry list is a nice segue into the other point, which was that DeAnna understands the importance of kino. That is, touching, physical contact.

…a lot of guys who are shy and quiet tend to be not very comfortable with touchy-feely stuff, and they tend to be kind of stiff and awkward. And guess what? Women can sense that, and it makes us stiff and awkward and uncomfortable. We don’t want to do that, so most women will try to break that as soon as possible. They’re wanting to escalate it, and they’re wanting to see if something’s there, and they only way they can do that, they feel, is by getting closer to you physically and establishing that touching between the two of you guys. If you find a woman touching you, that’s usually her way of saying ‘Hey, I’m trying to escalate this, I’m trying to get closer to you, so touch me and let’s get over this awkwardness, let’s bond, let’s be uncomfortable with each other, ok?’ So touch her right back. do not be stiff and awkward. Don’t be all against the touchy-feely. Touch playfully, touch subtly – but find ways to touch her, so that she feels more comfortable with you, because the more you touch her and the more comfortable you are with both touch and with her, the more comfortable she is going to feel around you.

Though DeAnna Lorraine tends to beat her points to death, it’s actually good advice.

And yes, “a lot of guys who are shy and quiet tend to be not very comfortable with touchy-feely stuff, and they tend to be kind of stiff and awkward.”

I resemble that remark.

It’s like the time that Adrian Monk visited the martial arts master:
Master Zee: A great sadness has entered the room.
Monk: That would be me.

~4~

OK, the question is: how do I get used to touching and being touched? The obvious answer is: by doing it.

Sure, but how do I get started doing it?

One possibility would be to get a massage. Another possibility would be a visit to a professional escort.

I’ve sort of done both. And that my friends is another story for another day.