Many men find asking a girl out one of the most terrifying experiences of their life.
But Neil Dando fears his “loveshyness” will prevent him ever becoming involved in a relationship.
Neil cannot approach a girl without becoming a nervous wreck and suffering extreme anxiety.
Despite suffering from stress most of his life, the 27-year-old, who has never kissed a woman, has only recently accepted the psychological problem.
He said: “It’s such a difficult thing to explain.
“I experience a whole range of emotions, from depression to sheer anger. Then I feel a little foolish for not being able to just get over it.
“There are times when I think it may have disappeared but then a week later I’m shaking all over the place.
“At work, because it’s purely professional, it’s fine. It’s only when I get attracted to a girl that it really affects me. There have even been cases when I’ve pretended to like somebody just to see if I can get over it.
“But the more I talk, the more I start thinking and the same anxiety halts me mid-sentence.”
Neil, from Worthing, has spoken out to raise awareness about what he describes as a “chronic shyness.”
While not an officially registered condition, he says it makes him continually stressed.
He only recently discovered about his chronic shyness and has been using an internet message board to communicate with others experiencing the same trauma.
Neil said: “I picked up a book about the subject which made me realise there were others like me with the same problems. I realised I’d been foolish spending my life thinking I’d just been unlucky and that someone would come along eventually.
“I have to push myself to get over being love-shy otherwise I’ll probably be alone my whole life.”
The term “love-shyness” was coined by American professor Brian Gilmartin.
In his 1987 book, Shyness And Love: Causes, Consequences And Treatment, he said it affected about 1.7 million men in the US.
Professor Gilmartin said: “Shyness inhibits people from assuming a sense of responsibility for their behaviour. It makes them feel and truly believe they are not in the driver’s seat of their own lives and destinies.”