September 14, 2012

You can do better

One day not too far in the past, I was told for the millionth time that I "can do better" than the male person whose company I was keeping. Now, by virtue of the fact that I am hanging out with said male, isn't it obvious that I might find something about him attractive? Isn't it obvious that he is better than others before him and thus gets a place in my rooster? And if he is better than others before him, isn't it obvious that the statement is stupid?

Now, in their defense, these comments usually come at times when I appear to be waffling or have verbally raised questions about whether or not this male is worth my time. They would claim that I seemed like I wanted to hear their opinion. And most likely, on some level, I did.

But that opinion is the worst one ever. It's vague and does not offer me any concrete reasons to leave the man. It doesn't tell me what exactly needs to be better about the man. It doesn't specify a man that I know who is better. It just vaguely shits on the show with its pessimism, bundled in deceptive optimism. And it usually comes from people who do not at all know me well enough to know my many, varied, deep rooted imperfections. It's probably just a surface comment, based on our respective appearances, which in no way indicates our full worth.

That's the bit that most irks me, to be honest. The idea that I can do better. How the fuck do they know? I've never done better before! Where is this mysterious man with whom I would be perfect? Am I really going to spend the rest of my life always trying to do better and better and better?  When do I know when the man is the right one? See: the secretary problem. Which would make a great movie, by the way. Unless Grey Gardens is that movie... oh god, that's my future. I'm going to end up alone in a crumbling mansion filled with animals because I could always do better....

The worst bit about hearing "you can do better" is that I always end up believing them.


  1. Oh, it's a bitch. Nobody can really know except you and it's so important to have that self belief.

    My BF says this himself to me and I'm pretty sure others think along those lines too. On the surface he doesn't seem like a typical success or even my type of person, but like I say, from the outside you never know what the full story is.

  2. I blatantly disregard all such opinions because they are useless. However, my best guess would be that they think that you can probably find someone that's better looking or has more money, or all those "traditional" things that used to matter a lot more.

    But really, only time will tell whether he's good enough or not anyways. How much money the guy makes has nothing to do with how he maintains a relationship with you.

    1. Forgot to add:

      Oh man, secretary problem! It is a specific instance of a class of decision making problems called "bandit problems", which are about a gambler and a row of slot machines. The solution is incredibly difficult...

      However, I'd like to think that more than 37% of people make the right decision... 37% is a good number when it comes to theoretical decision making - it's better than random. But when it comes to judging guys, I guess that most people instinctively know somehow. 'Tis mysterious.

  3. I've gotten that comment about my BF (albeit not recently) before and to all I have to say is, "Thank you for your unsolicited and ill-informed opinion."

  4. Hi Marina! I've been searching for you everywhere! I'm glad that I finally found you. :) I'd like to talk to you via email, if that's alright. SO maybe when you get a chance you could post on my blog (and leave your email I can contact you with - I use wordpress). If you don't mind. No worries, I won't share. :) I just want to ask you something. :)

    Any who! I have to agree. Getting comments like "you deserve better" is less then informative. If someone is going to say why you deserve better, then should say WHY. What makes them think this? What exactly do they suggest or recommend? They must have more to say then "you deserve better". :/ Otherwise, if that's all they have to say, then they should keep their opinions to themselves.

  5. Okay, the secretary problem is too math-y for me, so I'll give my unenlightened advice: too much choice leads to unhappiness. I think those other people are projecting their own unhappiness on to you, for whatever reason. If you're happy with the man you're with, that's all that matters.

    The problem is if I understand correctly, that these people who are telling you this, are people whose opinion you care about, correct? I'm having to deal with something similar, people telling me how I should live my life even though I'm totally happy with the way I currently am living it. You want to please everyone naturally, but this is your life you gotta live. So you have to make the choice in the end. I'm not very eloquent at the moment, but I hope you understand what I mean.

    Do what makes you happy!