Viewing Someone to Love as a Cure-all
Love-shy males are often accursed of thinking that if they only
had a girl to love all of their problems would be solved. I believe
that this sort of viewpoint deserves comment early on in this book.
Clinical psychologists and counselors often feel that the love-shy have
not taken the time to properly assess the nature of their situation. My
own work with the love-shy has convinced me that most shy people are, if
anything, far too introspective. They are constantly thinking and
worrying about all conceivable facets of their situation. And this
represents a significant aspect of their difficulties. In essence, shy
people think too much about the wrong things, and always with negative
mental imagery and negative affirmations. Since they lack informal
support(friendship) groups and since they are almost constantly alone,
there is nothing in their social field to provide positive feedback and
to distract their negative thought and imagery towards positive
On the basis of the evidence thus far cited, it should be clear
that meaningful female companionship and love IS ITSELF A POWERFUL
CAUSAL AGENT. It is, in a word, a kind of medicine even for healthy
men, much less for disordered ones! The conclusion seems inescapable
that many of the personal problems from which love-shy men suffer are
due at least in part to the leading of isolated, loveless lives.
Moralists perceive female companionship for men strictly in terms
of its being AN EFFECT or reward for "taking the bull by the horns" and
thus expurgating whatever problems that might have been suffered. In
essence, moralistic psychotherapists do not recognize love as a CAUSE--
as a prime mover. And in another less obvious sense this moralistic
viewpoint is ridiculous: Everybody has at least some problems to contend
with every day of their lives. When a person stops having problems
he/she is dead!
At the outset I would insist that it is inconceivable that
involvement in a meaningful love relationship with a woman would not
benefit a love-shy man, even to the point of ridding him of a
significant portion of his many problems. As the data presented in this
book will make clear, almost all of a love-shy man's problems are a
direct result of love-shyness. LOVE IS A CAUSE AS WELL AS A
CONSEQUENCE. Down through human history there has nearly always been a
woman behind virtually every successful man. Indeed, this is so true
that it has become a popular cliche.
As the reader wends his/her way through the chapters which follow
he/she will observe that in almost every instance the older love-shy men
are worse off in their many problems than the younger ones. Having been
without the meaningful love/compassion of a woman for a significantly
greater length of time, it logically follows that they would be worse
off. Heterosexual love is a great medicine and healing elixir. And this
is why I believe that it would greatly benefit society to pull out the
stops (1) in getting its love-shy members healed of their love-shyness,
and (2) in getting all people involved in meaningful social networks.
Love-shyness represents a horrendous waste of valuable human resources
Of course, anyone who would jump precipitously into marriage under
the assumption that marriage would solve all of his problems would
obviously be headed for trouble. However, as this book will make clear,
love-shy men have a considerably below average susceptibility towards
taking overly hasty actions. Indeed, if anything they are vulnerable
towards acting far too slowly for their own good!
For many years now family sociologists have been advising the
public that courtships of less than 24-months are much more likely to
eventuate in unsuccessful marriages than those which last for more than
24 months. Today neither the love-shy nor the non-shy need to actually
be married in order to enjoy intimate and thoroughgoing involvement in
all facets of their loved one's life. They can "go steady" and/or they
can premaritally cohabit as opposite sexed roommates and lovers.
Therapists who tell their love-shy clients that marriage won't solve all
their problems need to remain cognizant of the fact that courtship
precedes marriage and serves as a screening device for same.
In sum, the "going steady" and the premarital cohabitation can
and should serve as a testing ground that is preliminary to marriage.
It should assure (1) that when lovers do make the final leap into
marriage they are taking the right step. Finally (2), such courtship
processes should clearly indicate to a person just exactly what problems
are likely to be healed or alleviated by active involvement in a love
relationship, and just exactly what personal problems may not be healed
or affected by participation in a meaningful love relationship.
Is having someone to love a cure-all? Obviously not! Indeed,
nothing can ever be viewed as a panacea for all life's problems.
However, for the love-shy I would suggest that the obtaining of someone
to love comes closer than anything else ever could to representing a
Remember that the law of the Lord is love--and compassion! This is
the single most important message of the Christian Bible. And it is the
one idea promulgated by organized religion to which we would all do well
to pay heed--even though religionists seem to be as likely as anyone to
forget this enormously important message. Love is the great healer.
Defined in terms of a deep and sincere caring and concern for the needs
and feelings of others, LOVE can heal almost any wound and it can solve
virtually any and all personal and social problems.
Accordingly, I would say that it is both insensitive and unloving
for a therapist to continually remind his/her love-shy client that "a
love relationship won't solve all of a person's problems", and that
"love is not a panacea". Such reminders constitute superfluous
tautologies; and they have the effect of placing the love-shy client on
the defensive. In other words, such reminders represent formidable
roadblocks to communication and to therapy.
The most sensible and viable programs for both remediating and
preventing love-shyness are those which are focused specifically upon
the goal of getting and assuring all people of the love that they need.
When this goal is ultimately achieved, we shall all enjoy the benefit of
living in a far better, safer, healthier and more secure world than the
one in which we currently have available to us.