Caleb struggled with social anxiety as a teen, though he didn’t realize there was a name for that until he was in college. His college years and 20’s were all about overcoming his fears and feeling more comfortable in social situations.
He pushed out of his comfort zone, doing improv and going out with friends. Now at 25, he has a solid group of friends and enjoys life. But even with his social leaps of progress, he was never able to create sexual chemistry with women.
To this day, every time he sees a woman he feels attracted to, he freezes up. When he imagines going over and talking to her (much less flirting with her), all he can think about is the terror of other people watching him and judging him as creepy.
The last thing he ever wants to look like is a pick-up guy. As a result, he simply doesn’t approach. Any beautiful women he does talk to, the vibe is strictly platonic. Sometimes he has an inkling that a beautiful woman is attracted to him, but it seems unreal. He pushes the thought away as a fantasy.
He’s finding that at 32 years old, he has very little experience with women. It took so long just to get open and comfortable around people that he feels a bit behind, truthfully. He’s afraid that if he doesn’t kick himself into high gear and get this handled, he’ll never push out of his comfort zone.
If he doesn’t push out of his comfort zone, he fears that he’ll grow old alone, forever timid about being boring, uninteresting to women. With a little work, though, the opposite could be true. Caleb has a hunch women would really love him if he could just show them who he is without being afraid.
Also, he’s sure that some of the women who have seemed attracted to him actually have been, and if he can either get a better read on them or just be bolder regardless, there would be some low-hanging fruit. This feels optimistic, and also doable with the right approach.
What he needs is a way to build basic comfort with women and with his own sexuality. After all, if he’s going to have a girlfriend one day who he feels a special closeness with, sexual intimacy is part of that closeness. A crucial, central part, in fact.
Caleb has felt self-conscious about that part of him, though, since he grew up religious and sexuality was shamed and repressed in his family.
If he can get comfortable with women and attraction, then he can start to express his genuine desire (which he knows women do find attractive in the right context with the right delivery) in a safe, non-threatening, and skillful way.
As he builds his skills and experience, he knows that with practice, he can start feeling free with how he connects with women. He can keep it friendly or move towards flirtatious, without letting the fear of being judged stop him.
If he can do this, his relationship with women can start to feel wonderful for everyone involved. If he can control the pace of attraction and chemistry, he can relax and enjoy himself. When he’s relaxed and enjoying himself, he has a hunch that women around him might follow suit.