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Out of his league?

He’s met a 10, but he’s not sure he is good enough for her

By Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / June 26, 2010

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Q. This problem may have been discussed before, and if it has, please accept my sincerest apologies.

I can’t help thinking about my situation as it is somewhat analogous to a recent movie that had a tag line of “How can a 10 go for a 5?’’ For those who don’t know what movie that’s from, I will cut to the chase. It is from “She’s Out of My League.’’ The title is unequivocal but for those who want a brief synopsis, it is about a young gentleman of moderate attractiveness with a less than prestigious job (but of significant importance) with animated friends and family who comes across a stunning, intelligent, empathetic, and ambitious woman who defies convention by showing interest in said gentleman.

I am a mid-20s, master’s level-educated, attractive (as others would say), employed, and an easygoing male with a severe lack of self-esteem which has contributed to other issues for which I am currently seeking help. So it is a beautiful weekend several weeks back and I am strolling down a street often described as pretentious when a beautiful girl walks beside me and compliments me. I am stunned by a) her beauty, b) her confidence, and c) my uncomfortable feelings. We talked briefly and exchanged numbers.

Fast-forward a few weeks. We meet, drink nonalcoholic beverages, and talk. I learn she went to an extremely prestigious school and studied an extremely challenging subject and has the genes of an entertainment mogul. She is very empathetic, compassionate, culturally sensitive, inquisitive, intelligent, eloquent, and holds eclectic interests. She learns that I come from a less prestigious school and hold a less-than-prestigious job (but of significant importance) and picked up on other aspects of me that I have a difficult time seeing. At the end of the night we shared in a passionate exchange of saliva.

In total, considering her qualities and personality, she is a 10 my eyes and I am sure in the eyes of others. In total, considering my qualities and personality, I rate myself as a 3.14159.

I know a large part of the problem is my self-esteem issues, but the difference in leagues is apparent. Should I pursue and continue being myself and see what happens irrespective of embarrassing myself? Stop pursuing? Just friends? Advance my therapy in correcting my self-esteem.

WISHING TO BE IN THE BIG LEAGUES, BOSTON A. Reasons you might be a 10 in her eyes:

You are capable of making a joke involving pi.

You used the word “unequivocal.’’

You have low self-esteem so you work your behind off to stay interesting.

Beauty, brains, job, degree — those are all important things. But her “Perfect 10’’ list might prioritize humor, the ability to listen, self-awareness, and aptitude for sharing saliva. Perhaps you score high when it comes to those things.

You’re not “competing in her league.’’ This isn’t a competition. People usually look for someone who will balance them, make them feel secure, and care for them. Good partnerships don’t involve rankings.

I get that you have a self-esteem problem, and to be honest, once you have one, it’s difficult to train yourself to ignore the self-doubt. And that’s why I’m not asking you to get super confident. You’re you, a guy who second-guesses. That’s fine. I’m just asking you not to self-sabotage.

I haven’t seen “She’s Out of My League,’’ but I can guess the ending. It probably ends the same as all of the other films about really cool guys who feel outclassed by a “10.’’ Moral of the stories: Stay funny. Humor wins out over everything. Justin Timberlake was a 9 in my book until he dressed up like an omelet on “Saturday Night Live.’’ He gained a full point by wearing an egg costume. Think about that every time you wonder what it means to be a good catch.

MEREDITH

Readers respond:
She likes pi. Let her have it. Don’t question her taste. QTGRL143

I like you. If it doesn’t work out, let’s date! No seriously. We can be average and awesome together. Although you don’t sound the least bit average.

MSLYNN586

Five years from now, no matter how ugly you think you are, you’ll look at pictures of yourself from today and you will wish you looked that good again. Today is as good as it gets, buddy.

LAMAJAMA

Edited and reprinted from www.boston.com/loveletters. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at mgoldstein@globe.com. She chats online Wednesday at 1 p.m.