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Love-shyness is a form of chronic, severe shyness of heterosexual, single, never married men (or women) who have never voluntarily chosen to remain single and never married, but who have been constrained to remain that way because of severe shyness in informal social situations involving the other sex.

Love-shyness can be found among people of all ages and of both sexes. However, research evidence indicates that the problem impacts far more severely upon males than it does upon females. Shy women are just/as likely as non-shy women to date, to get married, and to have children.

Love-shyness is a life-crippling condition. Victims of love-shyness are unable to marry, cannot have children, and do not participate in the normal adolescent and young adult activities of dating and courtship. Moreover, the heterosexual love-shy are often misperceived as homosexual. The never-married, heterosexually inactive man has long been known to be vulnerable to all manner of quite serious and often bizarre pathologies. In most cases, these men 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. The love-shy do not have any body to relate to as a friend or to count on for emotional support.

Love-shyness afflicts approximately 1.5 percent of all American males. More succinctly, love-shyness will effectively prevent about 1.7 million males currently residing in the United States from ever marrying and from ever experiencing any form of intimate sexual contact with a woman.


  • Brian G. Gilmartin, Shyness & Love: Causes, Consequences, and Treatment (1987).
  • Brian G. Gilmartin (1987), "Peer group antecedents of severe love-shyness in males." Journal of Personality, 55, 467-89.

See also Shyness

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