The Yomiuri Shimbun Dear Troubleshooter:
I'm a male public employee in my 40s, and I feel humiliated after a woman rejected me due to my higher educational background.
A colleague I've secretly been in love with talks naturally with other male coworkers, but she seldom talks to me. So at a drinking session among colleagues, I mustered up the courage to ask her what she thought of me, and she said, "I think you're scary because you're so well-educated." I managed to ask her to come to another drinking session with me in the future, but she didn't look happy about it.
I graduated from a former imperial university while the woman in question was employed by our company right after graduating from high school. Each time I see her chat happily with male colleagues, I wonder why my high academic qualifications are driving her away. I feel humiliated about it.
I'm also looking for a marriage partner via a matchmaking agent. I'm thinking maybe I should find a woman who is more attractive than the woman at work to make her regret rejecting me. However, I'm worried my high academic qualifications will just drive women away again.
How can I get rid of this feeling of humiliation?
R, Osaka Prefecture
Dear Mr. R:
I understand you aren't happy about being given such a negative label. However, I don't think it's surprising considering her background.
If you think you aren't actually scary, why not disclose aspects of yourself that she doesn't know about, like, "People sometimes say that, but I'm actually pretty careless and make stupid mistakes." That will probably make her warm to you.
However, you say you were humiliated by her and want to date a woman who's more attractive to make her regret what she did. How can you say such a thing right after saying you've fallen in love with her?
Honestly speaking, I'm also scared of you. I'm not scared of your academic qualifications but your obsession with academic qualifications. You felt your pride was wounded by a woman who didn't go to university and you overreacted, didn't you? You've also slapped a label on yourself and refused to think beyond that.
There are numerous people who have the same kind of educational background as you. You're just one of them. You're probably aware of that fact. So I sense you may feel uneasy about yourself because you think you have no special qualities beyond your academic background.
So take off the heavy protective helmet named "academic qualifications" immediately and relax a bit more. I believe you have good points that nobody else has. If you treasure them, I'm certain you'll meet a woman who doesn't evaluate you solely based on academic qualifications.
Hazuki Saisho, writer
(from May 4, 2015, issue)