My Valentines Day Post: why I suck at romantic relationships


Disjointed “stream of consciousness to follow”:

It is Valentines Day Eve and I often see:

1. I’m lonely posts
2. I don’t need a man posts (from hetero females)
3. Syrupy Oh, I am with the most (wonderful, awesome, beautiful, handsome) person in the world posts.

I see the reason for all of these posts.

Right now, my spouse is away on vacation and won’t be back until February 28’th. It is almost a month long trip.
I’ve had time to think…ok, to catch up on work (sort of) and yes, to play. In some sense, while I still work full time, I’ve gotten to play quite a bit too, albeit in a colder, less exotic location. So we’ve both had vacations of a sort.

About to the title of the post: my personality is described a bit by Mitchell and Webb. Mitchell plays the best man in this speech:

“Being slightly deluded in each other’s favor”…

And that is where I run into trouble.

Do I think that my wife is the “only one for me”? Yes and no: “yes” in that I intend to stay sexually and romantically faithful to her, but “no” in the sense that there are many other women I could have had a happy love/romantic relationship (even marriage) with. I think that is just a statistical fact. I can’t bring myself to say that she is the only one out of 3.5 billion women in the world that I could have been happy with.

Now, of course, that doesn’t mean that the percentage of women that I could be happily compatible with is large; it isn’t. I won’t belabor the list of attributes, but my wife is attractive to me, she is intellectual, well read, well informed, fun, and compassionate. She has stellar people skills and had a career that I am very proud of; she received well deserved promotions and awards. And it appears (at least after almost 20 years) that our respective flaws (yes, she has them, as do I) aren’t toxic; in some sense they are offset by the other’s strengths.

Oh, yes, she appears to like me too; that helps. 🙂

But it would be madness to claim that somehow she is the only one who has the attributes that I like that would also be attracted to me.

Yes, the latter is important..and sometimes doesn’t happen:

Now, if for whatever reason, I were to become single again, well, I’d put up with the anxiety of dating (“OMG, I hope she doesn’t stand me up! OMG, I am bombing on this date..she doesn’t like me! OMG, she didn’t return my IM right away!”) and yes, the women that I would seek out look, well, remarkably like those I have as “do friendship stuff with” friends. Yes, it is one of my flaws that I tend to seek friendship with those I am proud of (this applies to both men and women) and…well, that is pretty much what I have at the moment.

But when it comes to the traditional romantic stuff, she’d have to be ready for:

1. “You are attractive enough for me…I find myself stimulated by you..” (which morphs to “I love it when you wear your yoga pants” or “I love it when you bend over to pick something up” when I’ve gotten to know her better)

2. “I think that we might be compatible; you are one of the small percentage of women that: 1) I like and am proud of and 2) Haven’t rejected me outright from the get-go….so will you go out with me?”

3. “I think that we have a 70-80 percent chance of being happy together…given that I am deluded in your favor it is probably more like 50-60 percent, so will you marry me?”

In short, for me, finding love is to find some promising candidates, and then take a chance and then try to make it work. It is less about “making the optimal pick” (if such things can be optimized) but about working with the one who you picked AND picked you. And like anything else, sometimes the ride is bumpy. But for me, it has been worth it.

Now how much to expect? Yeah, I’ve read the relationship quizzes and even took one. I answered honestly and got:


Sorry, but I think trying to get too much from your spouse is unhealthy. Yes, I’ve learned much from her and I think that has helped me in relating to other people and in the classroom. I got “marked down” because of the first 3 questions. When it comes to “being able to accomplish more things” due to my partner, that is mostly not true. What IS true is that I get more joy out of accomplishments because of her. Well, the quiz is short and interesting.


February 14, 2016 - Posted by | Friends, relationships | , , ,

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