How to tactfully respond when people comment that my partner and I look like "brothers"?
We are both lily-white twenty-somethings with an at-times overlapping fashion sense, and that's about where it ends. I'm several inches taller, different hair and eye color, different bone structure, etc. etc. than my partner. But often, in fact several times this week, people have asked if we're brothers or commented that we look like brothers or "twins." Sometimes this comes from people who KNOW we're partners, other times they are just strangers commenting. Often it is older people, but not always.
This bothers me for several reasons:
1. We really believe we don't look alike.
2. I feel acute vicarious embarrassment
for the person when I have to explain that we're not related, because...
3. ...I think that's an offensive (or at least loaded) thing to say to a couple, and something that most people would NEVER say to a straight couple. (When a male/female couple look uncannily similar, I've found people say they "fit together" instead.) It implies that this is part of our attraction to each other, and taps into an image of the narcissistic or incestuous homosexual that I feel is inappropriate and inaccurate in this case. From the beginning, we have always noticed and loved our differences.
Here's a photo
if you really must see (plus stepmother-in-law). But please limit your advice to dealing with the situation at hand; chiming in how alike we really may look to you isn't helpful (see 1, 2, 3 above).
What can I do to defuse these situations, for the sake of all involved?