Ars Amatoria

Why I Will Never Have a Girlfriend is an interesting paper written by Tristan Miller, in which the writer seeks a purely scientific explanation to his troubles with the fairer sex. Through a series of mathematical equations (which, I admit, went quite over my head,) Miller comes to the conclusion that the odds of his meeting his ideal partner (i.e., achieving “true love”) are extremely slim, and that he will likely never do so. To be sure, the paper is not entirely serious, but it nevertheless manages to raise some interesting points, and represents an unusual take on a fairly commonplace subject.

The paper hit particularly close to home with me, considering I have spent more than my fair share of time pondering my own romantic woes, and was thus of considerable interest to me. I admit that there is a certain degree of comfort in finding a scientific explanation for one’s problems, even if the hypothesis is not one hundred percent bulletproof.

The one area where I took issue with Miller is his refusal to believe that he himself might possibly be the cause of his unwilling celibacy. This is not a sentiment which I share with Miller; I freely acknowledge my considerable shortcomings, and I would be the first to admit that I myself am the impetus for whatever difficulties might arise for me in the course of my life. This is not to insinuate that Miller might have any shortcomings which he is ignoring; I’m merely disagreeing with his assertion that one’s celibacy could not possibly be a result of a problem with oneself. This gripe notwithstanding, Miller’s conclusion is solid.

The probability that I (or indeed anyone, for that matter,) will ever achieve so-called true love is indeed slim to none. This is a suspicion that I have held for some time, but Miller’s paper gave some factual basis for my inkling. I do not expect to ever enter into a truly loving relationship. This is not to say that I expect to be celibate forever; I do think I will be married or in a relationship at some point, but in all honesty I believe that any relationship of which I am part will be one without any real passion; it is most likely that, given what I know about myself, I will go along with the first attractive woman who is so lacking in self esteem that she would be desperate enough to have me as a significant other. In other words, it will more than likely be a marriage of convenience for both parties. The same can probably be said for most celibate individuals in the world.

As a postscript to my review, I would like to draw attention to Robert Sternberg‘s Triangular Theory of Love, which I came across while searching for a suitable image for this article. It is another good way of looking at love in purely scientific terms. According to the theory, my future relationship is likely to be either Empty or Companionate love. Personally, I think the former is more probable.


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