Sometimes, when I'm feeling sad about the fact that I am not currently partnered (unlike, say, everyone else in my entire family), I go through the list of reasons guys have said they didn't want to be with me.
And then I feel better.
Before I give you the list, I feel that it's important to note at the outset that these are not things that I inferred from what they said ... or my interpretation of their words ... or what I figured they must have been thinking.
Oh, no! Noooo.
This list is simply a record of words that actual people have said, sincerely and in good faith, to explain why they could not commit to a romantic relationship with me.
Here they are, in no particular order.
1) I couldn't be with someone I thought was smarter than me.
This was said by someone who is now a full professor (I think--he's certainly tenured and prominent in his field) at a school you have all heard of. (Not in philosophy, though, so stop guessing.) In any event, I must be smart!
2) I couldn't be with someone I thought was as smart as me.
This was said by someone who went to a top law school and is now, I believe, a judge. Not exactly an intellectual slouch. I must be REALLY smart!!
3) I'm too attracted to you.
Yup. The guy was worried that his attraction to me was clouding his judgment about whether I would actually be a good life partner for him. To this day, I go 'awww' when I remember that conversation. (Partly because, to be honest, I wasn't that attracted to him.) In any event, I am apparently both really smart and HOT!
4) You're too funny.
Again, yup. For realz. LOL! Like, LLOL and ROFL and, um, HAHAHA.
Actually, I've never felt more sorry for another human being in my entire life than I felt for the guy who said this to me. Because he was very serious. He thought I was very funny, and he felt like he couldn't keep up. (Because it's a race? An arms race of hilarity?) I just wish I could introduce him to whoever posted my favorite random comment on RateMyProfessor: "Some find her sense of humor pitch-perfect, but I am not one of them." The upshot, though, is that I am, apparently, really smart and hot and FUNNY!
5) You're too nice.
Followed by "I need someone with a mean streak." Well, umm...fair enough. That person is not me. (In fact, my first impulse on hearing this was to give him a hug and recommend a therapist.) So I am really smart and hot and funny and NICE!!
6) Our connection was so amazing and intense that it caused me and the long-term partner I've been going through a serious crisis with to recommit to each other. Permanently.
Actually, what's truly remarkable about this one is that it seems so oddly specific, and yet two different people have told me more or less this exact same thing. What can I say? Some people are heartbreakers and homewreckers, and others are lovebringers. Bringers of lasting, committed love and devotion. To people not themselves. Yup. Some really smart and hot and funny and nice people are also freaking altruistic lovebringers who constantly find themselves surrounded by people in loving relationships.
Now, I'm a professional philosopher, so you can trust my reasoning here. There's really only one salient feature that these people left out: I take the world's best selfies. See?
What's not to love?!