Daily Archives: October 9, 2012

how academia has ruined my chances at love

a little hyperbole never hurt anyone.

but seriously, i have thought about this topic several times.  participating in academia seriously limits my dating pool.

for instance,

  1. there are plenty of data showing that couples match on certain characteristics, namely intelligence.  although my IQ might not have changed much during a PhD program, my ability to use it certainly has…so now my standards for the brain power of a mate are stupid high.  leaving me stuck with dating…other academics?  bleh.
  2. being stuck dating other academics can be partially explained by real-world, business types’ inability to comprehend why someone would spend 10 years in college to end up with a starting salary of 50-60K.  rightly so.
  3. academics are often (self-) insulated from normal people things and find it difficult to relate (or find time for) popular culture that is a cornerstone of many normal interpersonal relations.
  4. many people don’t understand how academics talk, so something as simple as explaining a concept is often misperceived as “being condescending”, as is using any sort of sophisticated vocabulary.  no, i’m not trying to look smart; that is just how i TALK
  5. on that note, in academia we learn to use specific language that clearly communicates our message.  many laypeople do not do this, relying instead on colloquialisms and common usage, which leads to lots of miscommunication and frustration on both ends
  6. the standards of evidence among layfolk are not the same as the standards of evidence among scientific researchers.  having conversations about the truthfulness of a claim can be especially trying.
  7. similarly, it’s not very polite to ask people about the sources of the claims they are making so you can do your own research.  i try to do it under the radar and fail most of the time.  i have heard many exasperated claims to “just trust me”
  8. it can be exhausting to be constantly skeptical of everything unless there is a citation next to it so you can review the evidence, and it doesn’t make for good relationships since trust is, you know, kind of important
  9. put the words “PhD” and “psychology” in a sentence, and you’re sure to be a winner.  that is if, by winner, you mean the winner of the untrustworthy, behavior-analyzing, x-ray vision award.  absolute conversation stopper.

where the fuck is my victory dance?

this blows.

my anger has all dissipated.  my scaffolding has fallen.  i’m just left with a stupid aching feeling and visions of self-harm that, in my imagination, would provide relief to this emotional crap.  like going a few rounds in a boxing ring with no protective gear.  or choking on my own vomit.  or being shot.  don’t ask me why, i just tell it like it is.

without my anger, disgust, and frustration, i can’t feel satisfied with my decision.  there is no feeling of relief, like i’ve experienced in other break ups.  interestingly, this is even almost worse than the acute pain i’ve felt in certain break ups, because in those the pain came from letting things get too far.

in some sense, i didn’t let things get too far so there remains a kind of uncertainty about things.  and there is the knowledge that [because things didn't get too far] the person i’ve hurt is not all bad, not all evil…easy attributions when i do let things go too far.  it’s a twisted psyche that finds validation in abuse.

so i’m just left being an asshole.  because i knew from the beginning that i would need time to myself, and even though i communicated that, i still let myself get involved. actions speak louder than words.