The Older Love-Shy Group
The older love-shy group was composed of 100 virginal, single,
never married men in the 35 to 50 year old age category. My original
intention had been to obtain 200 men for the older love-shy group. But
the required data became available to me all too slowly. So I decided
that it would be far better to cut the sample off at 100 men than wait
the additional two to three years that would have been required for the
completion of 200 interviews from appropriate people.
Each of the 100 older love-shy men possessed all of the seven love-
shyness characteristics that are delineated on page 117 of this chapter.
Hence, they were all quite similar to the younger (university) love-shys.
Given their much older ages, however, the older love-shy men had all
lived with their conditions for much longer periods of time. And the
ambiance of dreamy-eyed optimism that characterized a significant
minority of the younger love-shys did not appear to exist at all for these
older men. In fact, most of them appeared quite pessimistic about their
love-shyness problems and cynical about the world and about women
The cooperation of the older love-shy men was obtained in two
different ways: (1) 78 of the men were obtained via the posting of public
bulletin board announcements, and (2) the cooperation of 22 of the men
was obtained through the help of the owner-manager of a New York
area commercial dating service.
Announcements were placed on the bulletin boards of a large num-
ber of laundermats throughout the greater Los Angeles and New York
metropolitan areas. Each announcement indicated that respondents were
needed for a study of severe shyness in informal man/woman situations.
The announcements indicated that the study was to be concerned with
men in the 35 to 50 year age range who were still "single, never married"
not out of choice but because of chronic and severe shyness vis-a-vis
appealing women in informal social situations.
As had been the case with the younger love-shys, the announce-
ments made clear the fact that only heterosexual men were needed for
the study. Interested respondents were asked to contact the researcher
by mail with an indication of the times and places that would be con-
venient for the interview. The announcements advised that a mutually
convenient time would be confirmed by return mail, and that $10 would
be paid for each respondent's-cooperation.
Finally, the announcements that were used to attract the attention
of the older love-shys pointed out that a key goal of the study was to
help remedy and prevent all forms of shyness which impede comfortable
and relaxed heterosexual interaction. I wanted to present myself as
someone who had a compassionate interest in the plight of the love-
shy, and who did not subscribe to the traditional view that shyness is
entirely the victim's responsibility. As with the bulletin board announce-
ments used to attract the younger love-shys, I pointed out that I was a
licensed therapeutic counselor, and that I was deeply and sincerely inter-
ested in the development of techniques that might be used to engineer
the painless remission of love-shyness symptoms.