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Reasons why no one will want you

April 10th, 2004 · No Comments

Richard at Just a Gwai Lo has been posting comments that sound a bit skeptical of his potential for finding a romantic partner:

Can you run that by me again? Geeks get girlfriends?

Maybe he hasn’t read how some women want to get a geek boyfriend

And the comments on a recent post of mine laud the wonders of having a nerd husband.

In his post Why Not Me? last week, he wrote (a little tongue-in-cheek, I think)

What’s really caught my attention is the number of the really geeky guys (same glasses and worse) who have girlfriends, fiancées and wives. It’s been a big shock to all my preconceptions that if I’m a geek, I can’t be attractive to someone.

I think we each have a list of reasons why no one else will want us. Richard wrote about his geekiness and also quoted a woman worrying about her weight. I had a long list, perhaps even a novel, of reasons why no man would ever want me. It included everything from my feet to my family. My feet are big. They are in the almost-too-large-to-find-shoes size. Doctors told me I would grow into them, reaching some appropriate stratospheric height, but I didn’t. So these are the feet I’m left with: long, wide, flat. Not easy to fit into flirty feminine footwear. Not an asset for attractiveness.

Since I was the oldest sibling in my family, it was possible I would become my retarded brother’s caretaker. Anyone seriously interested in me would have to be willing to be involved with my family. Marrying me meant making a commitment to care for my brother too, perhaps for decades. He died a few years ago and never did come to live with us. But I am grateful Ted was willing to love me, feet, family and all.

Ted’s geekiness never entered into the equation of our relationship. I even think he looks cute in glasses! There were many other qualities I was hoping my husband would have, should I ever have one. I didn’t care whether he was a geek. But now that I have a geek husband, I’m quite happy with him.

I must say though that last weekend, after reading Richard’s post, I went out and cleaned the garage. As I was stacking and moving boxes of MacUser magazine (premiere edition!) and multi-colored SIGMOD precedings, I began to wonder why I loved a geek 😉

But when we started dating, I think we were each surprised. I think each of us had doubts and insecurities. We each wondered why the other would want us.

And we articulated these feelings. I remember sitting in my dorm room discussing these doubts the night we decided to start dating.

“It doesn’t matter to you that I’m _______?”

We asked each other, filling in the blank with our various favorite fears. Well, I didn’t ask him about my feet or my family. Those came later. But I think I did make sure he didn’t mind my age. At that time I was only 18, young enough to be in high school, while he was a graduate student. I didn’t know why he’d want me when he could have his pick of much older, more sophisticated women.

We each had our lists. I can’t speak for Ted, but I can say that I had a long one. It was so long I knew no one would ever want me. In fact, I had even planned that I wouldn’t get married. That way I wouldn’t be disappointed. I’d plan to live alone forever. After all, why try? Those I wanted had never wanted me. I’d already had too many painful tries with guys. All I was going to hear in life would be “No.”

Then Ted surprised me.

Fifteen years later, I find myself struggling at times. I guess I’ve still got a list. I think – there I go. I said that. I did that. Now it’s over. This time for sure. I shouldn’t dare to ask, “Do you still want me?” Maybe I should just go.

But again and again I hear it: the “YES!” of Love. And I’m amazed.

Tags: marriage