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too right can be so wrong
by katherine l (aka clevertitania) (@CleverTitania)

I recently rejected one of those guys you really hate to reject. You know the ones I'm talking about. They're not the wrong guy, they're just way too much the right guy?

I wonder if men have had this experience. I wonder if they live through this phenomenon, or if a woman too much like them sounds ideal.

For those lucky few who might not have lived through this, let me elucidate.

We all have baggage. A popular turn of phrase is that we need to find someone with "matching luggage". But in reality, what we need is someone with complementary baggage. You know, he's a neat freak but he also loves to clean, so it balances with your complete lack of giving a shit if the brick-a-brak gets dusted? Sure, it's good you both like to watch the same 24 episodes of Quantum Leap every February 29. But it's even better that you are terrified of driving on stacked freeways and he feels safer being behind the wheel in such cases. And sure he hates your mother, but he also hates his mother, and you both just enjoy avoiding the pair of them.

Now that's Ying and Yang.

When you meet people who's baggage is incidental to yours - and who don't even get the clever leap-year joke above - it's easy to blow them off. You politely explain that you do not enjoy sleeping under a tarp on the ground or you don't find spending every weekend at flea markets a good time. Some men take that as a rejection. I think there may be something wrong with those men. Because the last time I checked, rejection means "I don't like you," not "We have nothing in common."

But then there's the 'right guy'. The right guy doesn't have complementary baggage, he has baggage that looks like it came off the same assembly line as yours. He has the same afflictions, the same types of OCD (because we ALL have something), the same history, and a list of likes and faves that is basically the male equivalent to your list. Sure, he doesn't have You've Got Mail, but he has Joe Vs The Volcano (that's practically a DaVinci Code level of symbolism). And neither of you likes to clean, so you're going to eventually start letting shit get really bad. Or worse, YOU'LL have to start cleaning more to compensate for him.

Oh hell no!

The problem is... you know how hard it is for this guy to find someone right for him. Because in some ways, you are him. So rejecting him for being too much like you, that's just one of the shittiest feelings.

So what do you do in those cases? Well I can't say this is a full proof plan, but for me, it all depends on just how smart and intuitive I think he is.

If he's not quite on my level in language, I find something simple but honest to point to and leave it at that. For instance, if he has cats (and that's a surprisingly common occurrence). I am very allergic to cats. That's a safe out. If he's a vegan, I explain that I am an omnivore and I have no intentions of being otherwise (or being lectured to become otherwise). There's usually something that I can latch on to, that doesn't make them feel like I'm just being arbitrary because I think I can do better (honestly, I don't).

But if they are fairly intelligent, I lay it on the line. A nice light-hearted, self-deprecating, but honest explanation about why the last thing in the world I can do right now is juggle a matched set of crap. Most of them don't exactly take it well - but they at least seem to understand the logic of my argument. And since they can't argue with the logic, a clean getaway is more likely.

There is such a thing as someone being too right for you, if they're only going to compound your flaws and minimize your strengths. As unfortunate is it is, to reject someone for being too similar to yourself, you at least have to cut yourself slack for being self-aware enough to see the pitfalls.


When I grow up, I want to be; whoever Joss Whedon wants to be, when he grows up. I am a writer because it's the first thing I want to do when I wake up in the morning; aside from eating and using the lavatory of course. My work includes screenplays, short stories, film/TV/music reviews and socio-political commentary. The last one is a fancy way of saying I like to shoot my mouth off on many topics. I excel at using $1.50 words. They gone up, thanks to inflation. Isn't our economy awesome?

more about katherine l (aka clevertitania)


teaching my son
and learning from him
by katherine l (aka clevertitania)
topic: general
published: 7.30.10

different strokes for different folks
stop pissing on everyone else's path
by katherine l (aka clevertitania)
topic: general
published: 7.13.09


adam kraemer
9.23.11 @ 10:35a

Is it the Tom Hanks thing or the Meg Ryan thing?

katherine (aka clevertitania)
9.23.11 @ 11:28a

Ahh, but that's the beauty of the Hanks/Ryan trilogy - they're both frakking brilliant.

dirk cotton
9.23.11 @ 1:07p

I have to agree. I had a girlfriend, Cathy, in high school. She was a dream come true. Smart, pretty, self-confident. But she was self-absorbed, always had to be right, and had to be the center of attention. I, on the other hand, was self-absorbed, always had to be right, and had to be the center of attention.

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