I have now experienced that which I once believed was so elusive. I have passed the point of no return and yet I survived intact, gaining positive experience despite being old enough for a virgin to seem creepy. I have not posted my entire history before, but my posts over the past two years would reveal most of it. For clarification's sake and to put my first kiss into perspective for the noobs, I shall put everything here up till this point in my life.My early life
I was the first child of an average family. No special connections, not particularly well off. Neither parents seemed to suffer from any form of mental disorder and were perfectly normal and kind people. They brought me up to be kind and respectful and also to open my mind to possibilities and beliefs other than those that surrounded me. My mother was always there when I was younger while my dad spent long hours working to bring money into the house. For a few years, he was unemployed before starting up a painting and decorating business with his friend that they keep to this day. I consider myself lucky to have had such parents. My first brother came along while I was two and my second came when I was six. It is from this point on that my memory starts.
I haven't researched it yet (though I really should do), but a few remarks by Dr. Gilmartin about Anxiety Disease ('Shyness And Love
' P.67) seems to describe a few feelings I had when a child. This condition causes the victim to experience extreme anxiety for no apparent reason. It has a biochemical cause rather than a mental one and can be cured through medical treatment. According to Gilmartin, the condition can wear off as the victim gets older which could explain why I no longer have these feelings.
I can remember lying on my sofa when I was around five/six and suddenly feeling that the room was way too big. I have occasionally waken from a dreamless sleep in the middle of the night to feel the darkness strangling me. There are many more events that I can remember and probably many more that I don't. These events terrified me. I have told nobody about them because I didn't think anything of it.
These attacks could be either a cause or effect of my low anxiety threshold that I still experience today and, further, a cause of my social anxiety and Loveshyness.
As I grew up, I was terrified of doing things by myself. I was at school once when I was around nine/ten and the teacher asked me to pass a message along to another class. I actually asked if someone could accompany me. She asked someone else to go instead and said that at least he didn't need anyone else to go. I felt like a coward. This was not an isolated incident. Often I would find (and sometimes still do) some excuse not to do something. I wasn't scared of accomplishing the task, I was terrified of experiencing the anxiety.
Now, throughout my early life I was often around girls more than boys and I definitely enjoyed their company more. I got my first celebrity crush in the form of Ariel, the little mermaid, when I was around five/six. This probably contributed to my love of long red hair, but more importantly it explains that I have always liked girls and wanted a girlfriend ever since I knew that they were different from boys. I don't remember ever crushing on a real life girl until I was around nine. Before then, I had friends who were girls and occasionally my parents would notice that and gently tease me about having a girlfriend
. I eventually learned that having one was shameful and would contribute to more teasing. But I couldn't stop liking them.
My first crush came in the form of an eight year old girl while I was nine/ten. I liked her. A lot. She was, in my young eyes, very pretty, she was smart, she liked many of the things I did. And for ages I could see myself ending up with her, marrying her and spending the rest of my life with her. These feelings became cemented in my memory with an image that has probably been distorted over time. I was sitting with her on a pair of swings. It was at a barbeque with lots of people, but we were apart from them and it felt like there was no one else but us. The sun began to set and we talked. She spoke about what she wanted to do when she was grown up and I listened taking in everything about her. It was the most perfect moment I would have in my life with a girl for another sixteen years.My Teenage Years
I moved to secondary school. I lost contact with the girl and my anxiety attacks appeared less and less. I did not have a significant crush throughout school, but other things were on my mind at the time.
I began all eager to start 'big school'. I eventually learned that it wasn't too brilliant. I got a couple of friends throughout those years. They were never close, but I hung out with them. I would often be found in the library reading a book and sometimes they would accompany me. Sometimes not.
One of my friends from primary school was often in the same class as me and at the beginning, I didn't mind it. But over time, he became more hostile. He would often tease me, or even hit me. He wasn't the only one, either. Nor did I only meet him at school. He was at Scouts and Youth Club too. Scouts was particularly bad because of one of our patrol leaders who seemed to have a vendetta against me. Everyone else followed him and it became hell. It certainly didn't help that the adult leader was useless at controlling the kids. I would often end up in tears and told to leave as if I
was causing the problem. I have very vivid memories of sitting out in the entrance hall, crying and believing nobody cared about me. I eventually decided that I'm not going to put up with this shit and left. I was persuaded to come back by the group leader, who had spoken to the troop after having decided that it had become serious enough to do so. It didn't help. It carried on and when I was about to burst into tears, the others were all looking at me expectantly saying 'Look! he's about to go again.' It all eventually stopped when my mum became a leader. She could control kids and the main instigators of the bullying left because they knew they couldn't continue with her around.
But it didn't stop at school. I had told many people about it, but nobody seemed to do anything. At one point in English, we were told to write an autobiography and I wrote about my experiences with bullying and the teacher had commented on that by saying I should speak to someone about it. She didn't even call in a counsellor or anything. I thought it was my big break into getting people to know about it. In the end, I decided I had to take matters into my own hands. When ever this sort of thing occurs, grown ups tell you to ignore them, but the bullies laugh. They tell you to talk to someone about it. The bullies laugh. They tell you to keep calm and say that you don't like what they're doing to you. The bullies laugh. There is only ever ONE action a person can take that will stop them from laughing. Fight back!
Now, I am a pacifist. I do not condone violence, but there really wasn't any other way to get them off my back. I did have anger management issues back then, and could often fly off at anyone if they annoyed me enough. With this particular guy, I had made a conscious decision to fight. But I would not stoop to his level. I would let him make the first blow. I would then take my inner anger and let it all out. The first time this happened was at Youth Club, but we were broken up by the adults trying to stop it. A few months later, it happened again. But this time I was allowed to finish it. He ran. I rarely had trouble from him again and my GCSE years were fraught with troubles from a different gender.
I was in the 'unpopular' crowd. I didn't mind it so much because I didn't like the 'popular crowd'. One anecdote I have shared before includes a girl from the popular crowd asking me if I would like to go out with her. I was not so naive as to believe that she really wanted me so I answered with 'What if I said yes?' She dumped me.
Another girl whom I met in my last year made me her pet project. She would often sit next to me and say sexual things to me often caressed my leg or something similar. For ages I considered that she might like me, but it got worse and I understood that she was doing it because I was so obviously undesirable. It wasn't a pleasant experience to go through and could quite accurately be called sexual harassment. She left and I finished my GCSEs with moderate grades and feeling that if women come onto me they are doing it to be mean and have a laugh at my expense.The College Years
I moved to college. This was a huge leap for me. I knew nobody who also went there. Throughout the three years I lost contact with my old friends and briefly made a new one who dropped out and I haven't seen since. Catering college was good to me in the long run. I can admit now that I didn't really enjoy it and I would have dropped out but for the fact that I had a brand new set of knives, whites and other equipment given to me for free that my parents would have to pay for if I dropped out. I knew they couldn't afford it, so I kept on. In a professional kitchen, it is a very team oriented environment. I learned to work with others. I learned that my meek persona was unacceptable in that place. I had to adapt or be thrown in the mincer. I enjoyed my patisserie lessons more than the others and the only reason I continued onto my third year was to complete that course.
Around this time, I had my first proper job working at Argos. Again, it was another one where I had to adapt to survive. It was also there that my first ever attempt to make a move on a girl failed to occur. There was this girl that I liked. I talked with her and enjoyed it. We didn't really get that much time to talk though. For weeks, I kept trying to think of ways to ask her out, each idea worse than the last. And when I put it into practice, I couldn't even open my mouth, let alone get a few vowel sounds out. I was eighteen and, though it was an annoyance, I didn't consider it a problem.
Once college ended, I began my first full time job at my local pub. I stayed there for five years, my personality developed more and I fell for a few girls, getting clearly friendzoned by one. It was this friendzoning girl who actually motivated me to make a move. Or at least what I considered to be a move. She had left and I wanted to get in touch with her again, but didn't have her number. I considered it rude to ask one of her friends for her number, so I decided to give mine to one of them to give to her. Shit, it was one of the most difficult things I have ever made myself do, but I forced myself to do it and it worked. Suffice it to say, nothing came of it and I have rarely seen her since.The Love-Shy Forum
I moved onto a new job. Hardly made any contact with the people I met through my old one while I was there and made new acquaintances. After having worked there for almost a year, I researched Valentine's Day a few days before the event just to find out why it is what it is because it's always been a mystery for me. Through a few links on Wikipedia, I came across the loveshy article. I read it and thought that it could easily apply to me. I followed the link onto this site. and read 'Shyness and Love'
from cover to cover within a week. I joined the forum but did not post for ages, I merely lurked.
Then, one day, I noticed that someone was trying to do an article on the condition and was looking for interviewees. I signed up straight away and within the week I met up with Amy Turner. I was too damn terrified when I first saw her that I was fully convinced that if she didn't approach me, I would have walked straight passed her. Luckily she approached first and my mouth suddenly went very dry and I stuttered whenever I tried to talk. I felt physically sick whenever I ate anything and ended up having to take my burger home with me instead of eating at the pub we went to for the interview.
It was fairly liberating to talk with someone about my problems, though equally terrifying since I hadn't even posted on the forum at the time and therefore told nobody about my feelings.
A few days after the interview, I was told by my mum that my oldest brother was seen with a girl and that made both of my brothers have more experience than me. It was then that I made my first post.
Shortly after becoming a regular poster, I met a girl online and we began to email each other. It ended up being difficult, not because of shyness, but because she simply wasn't very forthcoming. I asked her things about herself and she would give vague one word answers. I eventually gave up on her and decided she could have actually been fake (her picture seemed too much of a professional photoshop thing. Her way of not really saying much seemed to scream somebody not bothered to put the work in. The theory has been pretty much solidified by the fact that she sent me an email only a few months ago with a single link in it and no message.)
Around this time, I became close to two women at work. The one has become my most famous object of affection on this board, known as Jedicrush due to her liking Star Wars. She was hot. She was nice. She liked many things that I did. It was a difficult thing, but I managed to invite four people from work to my birthday party, including her. It certainly wasn't as difficult as it would have been a few years before, but I managed to pluck up the courage to ask anyway. They all came and I managed to hang out with Jedicrush for some time. We hugged and she was in my arms quite a few times throughout the night. I ended up spontaneously kissing her on the cheek and putting my arm around her with no problem at all. It could have been because I was a little bit tipsy, but I chose to use that to build on what I could do while sober. When we went back to my place that night, I asked her if we could do this again and she said yes.
Later that week, I saw her at work and we talked about whether we could do something together. We had decided to go to the cinema. We chose a date and set a time. When the day came, I got showered and changed into smart casual clothes awaiting her text that would confirm her attendance. I waited with feelings of increasing anxiety I had not felt for ages. When she finally flaked on me, I felt relieved that I did not need to face that anxiety. I asked her again and she flaked again. And again. I got the message.
The other girl was unusual for my tastes. She was significantly taller than me, but I liked her, mainly because she showed interest in me. I believed that she may like me, but she had a boyfriend. I began to build on the interest she showed and we built a playfully flirtatious relationship. The help this gave to me was immense. For the first time in my life, I was able to, even jokingly, show interest in a girl.
Then came the beginning of 2010.Love Shys Anonymous
Me, Sof-313, Gatsu and black_like_me agreed to meet up in Bath. Unlike meeting Amy Turner, this was going to be in a place I had never visited before and with a bunch of guys whose identity I could not verify. Still, I agreed to go and when I saw them, I ended up trying to hide behind a pillar to put off approaching them. Luckily for me, they approached first. We had a great time. I loosened up with a bit of Guinness and we left as friends. We met up a few more times, but it was never as bad for me as back then.
Around this time, I think it is worth noting that I was on the look out for a new job and had an interview with a five star hotel. I had never once stepped inside a hotel like that, let alone worked there, so it should have been a terrifying experience for me. It was, but not as bad as it could have been. My anxiety in unfamiliar places was slowly dissipating.
Then we had our LSA holiday and meeting singlegirl for the first time. She had come over a week before we were due to meet up and had given me her number. I tried to call her many times before I finally did so. Our first six or seven words with each other was 'hello' as I had no idea what else to say. But afterwards, we had a ten minute chat. It is also worth noting that this is the first time I had ever phoned a girl for no particular reason except to talk. Also worth noting is, at that time, I still believed her to be single.
Sof, SG and me met up at Waterloo station and spent the rest of the day getting northwards to where Gatsu lived. We were booking our rooms at a hotel when SG announced about her and Gatsu. While by this time I was used to being disappointed by women, it still didn't stop the sinking feeling in my stomach. Still the rest of the trip went by well and I forgot about it.Cured?
After the vacation, I moved to my new job and while there, I stepped up my flirting. I made use of innuendo and at times direct references. It became second nature to me to the point where I managed to ask a couple of girls for their numbers and it not feeling that bad.
I went back to my old job after about eight months there and met up with another loveshy.com poster named confused? We had been PMing and emailing and texting for the better part of a year and decided it was time to meet. Blimey, it was easy. Hardly any anxiety. I was able to eat without feeling sick and no alcohol was involved.
About a month later, I met up with another girl I met online. This one, I knew wasn't single (technically), but I still wanted to meet her anyway because she seemed like a nice girl. I felt the familiar anxiety when I first saw her, but she approached me and it went. We talked, we drank, we ate, getting steadily drunker as the night wore on. I felt at this moment, I could have made a move on her. But I didn't need to.
Once the first kiss was in the bag, I was all over her and she was with me. We were so comfortable with each other, it was as if we had been doing this for ages. I felt absolutely no anxiety whatsoever and enjoyed the moment. I am sure that if we were alone, if she were single and if she would let me, it could have gone further and I wouldn't have felt any embarrassment or awkwardness about doing more.
I went out in public today for the first time since that kiss (over the past few days, I've been working and then going straight home) and felt that I could do anything. If I met a girl, would I be able to talk to her? Would I be able to ask for her number? Would I be able to call her and ask her out? Would I be able to initiate kissing? Would I be able to initiate sex? If you asked me five years ago, the answer would be no. Today?
To conclude, the cure for loveshyness is take small steps to overcome your immediate problem. If you can't make friends, do that first. Can't show interest? Do that next. Can't ask a girl for her number? Do it. And so on. I have been lucky in that I have had some girls initiate stuff with me, but I'm sure that if I hadn't I could still get cured. It would take longer, but I would get there.
So now, my only problem is trying to find a decent girl