Hooked on Your Own Neuroses

I used to have this mad crush on an amazing man. Sadly it wasn’t reciprocated, so for a while there I allowed myself to pine away. He’s intelligent, funny, likes a lot of the same things I like. He’s popular. He has a lot to offer. So, for a hot second I wondered, “What’s wrong with me?”

But things happen, or in fact do not happen, for a reason. And now I’m profoundly grateful that we never hooked up, because I know him a lot better now. And I find him annoying.

Don’t get me wrong. He’s still amazing. But he refuses to see it. He’s too busy focusing on his flaws. Everybody has flaws. I have tons. So do you, no doubt. But what sets us apart from this guy is that he seems to be in love with his.

His self-deprecating humor is charming at first. But then you start to realize that not only does he believe what he’s saying about himself, but he uses it as an excuse. He hides behind his neuroses so that he doesn’t have to move ahead in his life. He clings to his quirks, uses them as a suit of armor, to keep life at a distance. His rut has become so deep that he’d be hard-pressed to climb out of it now.

I find this tragic. I also find it frustrating, because I see his potential, and I see him wasting time. I want to shake him until his teeth rattle. But I’ve also lost patience. I kind of get sick of hearing him tell people what’s wrong with him, as an explanation for why he’s alone, and why he doesn’t measure up in life according to his own impossible standards.

So I shall leave Narcissus alone, happily gazing at his own reflection, and do my best to find a man who is willing to look up and see me and the wider world.

Narcissus by Caravaggio

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