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The question nagged at me—not least because of my own experiences watching promising relationships peter out over text message—so I set out on a mission.I read dozens of studies about love, how people connect and why they do or don’t stay together.So I thought I’d address all of those responses at once.In this argument, I often get accused of homophobia, lesbophobia, or lesbian erasure by lesbians who believe that I’m trying to change their sexual orientation or identity.Edward Royzman, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, asks me to list four qualities on a piece of paper: physical attractiveness, income, kindness, and fidelity.Then he gives me 200 virtual “date points” that I’m to distribute among the four traits.
If you’re a woman who only likes women, go ahead, identify as a lesbian! And if the fact that some lesbians might be attracted to those women offends you, it’s because you don’t think trans women are real women.
”(Sure, but I mean, who would want an ugly, broke jerk sticking faithfully by their side?
)Royzman said that among his students (not in a clinical condition), men tend to spend much more on physical attractiveness, and women spend more on social attractiveness traits like kindness and intelligence.
The first girl, he said, was “a little too tall,” and the second girl was “a little too short.” Then he met my mom. Let’s look at how I do things, maybe with a slightly less important decision, like the time I had to pick where to eat dinner in Seattle when I was on tour last year.
He quickly deduced that she was the appropriate height (finally! First I texted four friends who travel and eat out a lot and whose judgment I trust. Finally I made my selection: Il Corvo, an Italian place that sounded amazing. (It only served lunch.) At that point I had run out of time because I had a show to do, so I ended up making a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich on the bus.