It's been eleven years since my marriage of nineteen years ended in divorce. I've been single ever since. This morning, I found myself thinking about why I'm still single, when the natural order of things is for men and women to pair up. I was not surprised that this mental inquiry occurred in the shower, where so many of my best ideas have popped into existence, but that's another blog. For now, let's stick to the question of why I'm single. Is there something wrong with me?
There are plenty of people that would insist that there is indeed something wrong with me. I have to agree. Heck, there is something wrong with any one of us humans. We all have flaws, just as we all have assets. There is something wrong with every one of us, just as there is something right with every one of us. But that doesn't answer my question. And as it turns out, it has very little to do with answering my question.
Humans like to think they are special, but they are just another type of animal. The answer to my question becomes clearer when you examine the behavior of other animals. What is it that causes other animals to choose a long-term partner, in those few animals that do partner up for life?
This is a complicated subject, because of all the variations the natural world has produced. So, to simplify things, I decided to look at one particular animal -- me. This is, after all, an animal I have observed for nearly a lifetime. What am I looking for in a woman?
I could produce a long list of characteristics, but the key to answering the question is in the question itself, specifically in the word "look". Humans make their initial selections visually. You can show pictures of women to men, or vice versa, and both the men and the women can tell you at a glance if they are attracted to the person in the picture. Yes, I know, the "beautiful" people divorce each other all the time once they find out what's beneath the visual surface, and an entire gossip industry has sprung up to cater to our fascination with this contradiction between what our eyes tell us ("they look so good together!") and what our minds tell us ("he/she treats her/him so badly!"). But the trend is clear -- the eyes have the initial priority.
So what is it that the eyes are looking for? I believe I can answer that -- shape. That includes the shape of the body as a whole, the shape of particular body parts, the shape of a face, and the shape of particular parts of a face. In those shapes we look for symmetry, proportion, composition, harmony, transition, and balance. We look for aesthetics that please us.
So why am I still single after all these years? I don't like the shapes that I have to choose from. And because I have a non-compromising character type when it comes to aesthetics, I often won't settle for less. Of course, all of us are much more than just a shape! But, deny it all you want, our animal nature is strong. Because we're animals.
Miss Universe 2012