Wanted: stories or memoirs of the Unwanted
October 3, 2010 12:34 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for stories or memoirs of persons famous or otherwise who at some point in their lives realized that nobody wanted them as a partner/lover/mate and how they dealt with this realization in the rest of their life.
posted by Sully to Human Relations (7 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I can't find the exact quote right now, but I've read various interviews with Tim Gunn from Project Runway where he talks about how he's been celibate for almost 30 years after a traumatic break up where his partner told him that he didn't love him anymore. He also says that he's happy and has a fulfilling life and that while he isn't opposed to being in a new relationship he's still too traumatized to actively seek one out. I think he writes about it in one of his books but I haven't read it.
posted by Shesthefastest at 1:31 AM on October 3, 2010

Tim Gunn interview here.
posted by beerbajay at 5:57 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Perhaps I have not had enough coffee yet, but for some reason "The Women's Room" by Marilyn French comes to mind. The story is a complicated one, but she does speak of her years of solitude at the end of the book, but I think it may be also be a personal choice for her.
posted by sundrop at 7:44 AM on October 3, 2010

Incels in the media, which contains instances of incels both fictional and real.

Of course, by definition, what you're suggesting isn't really possible. What you're looking for is people who at some point in their lives felt as if they were unwanted in love, and felt as if they'd never be wanted. That's such a common feeling as to have been felt by hundreds of thousands – honestly, quite possibly millions – of individuals, including a multitude of celebrities, some covered in that thread above.

But it is a feeling, an opinion, and one endemic to the human race – not a fact one can "realize." And one can definitely not assume that the state will just automatically remain constant for the remainder of their life.
We're excellent pattern-matchers. That's what the human mind does — it's a pattern-matching engine. So we look at ourselves, at our history, at our behaviors, and we draw straight lines between the points — we assume that just because we've done things a certain way in the past, we'll always do them that way in the future. If we've failed before, we'll always fail.

Screw that.
posted by Fizzgig at 8:17 AM on October 3, 2010 [2 favorites]

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing explores a related theme from a female perspective. The autobiographical protagonist Anna enters a relationship with a (married man), which is the profoundest she has ever experienced. She finds her deepest emotional fulfillment in this relationship, but he ends it. Having rejected traditional, comfortable, "bread and butter" relationships, she struggles to come to terms with the realization that she will likely never again find the physical, emotional and intellectual connection that she craves.
posted by Ladysin at 8:39 AM on October 3, 2010

Well temple grandin has said that autism precludes her from having a relationship
posted by bananafish at 11:11 AM on October 3, 2010

The letters and diaries of Barbara Pym are pretty interesting. She was in a relationship with a man she met in college. From what I can recall, he married someone else, but they kept seeing each other for some time. She never married and seemed to dedicate herself to writing and her job at the International African Institute. "A Very Private Eye" is her autobiography in diaries and letters.

Her novels are often feature or contain characters who have resigned themselves to "spinsterhood," which seems to be autobiographical.

I agree with other replies that it is hard to find many real life examples of notable people who have documented incidents where they realized "Nobody wants me and here's how I'm going to deal with it."
posted by aspiring polymath at 8:55 AM on October 4, 2010

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