This depressing thought struck me as I was waiting at the platform of the train station in the rain.
I am an attractive young man.
I have no deformities, nothing that would repulse the shallow or unsuspecting. I am tall, dress smartly, my hair finally looks like it was grown by someone who realises that hair can be aesthetic. I fit narrow, Euro-centric, even Aryan beauty standards. Careful choice of glasses hides the things I hate about my face, and careful choice of clothes hides the things I hate about my body. I am skinnier than I think, even if I will never take the massive time/money/pain investment that leads to a great body. I am reasonably healthy. People who know me well wouldn't call me confident, but various strangers have loved my confidence so much that they crushed on me. When I talk with passion, when I reveal what I tend to hide, I can feel people responding to that.
When I realised this, I felt as if I'd been gutted. Because that's it. Battle over. Goodbye, irrational complexes, see you again sometime in middle age. Have fun.
Because I've spent so long looking at uber-pretty men, I can't bear to accept that this is it. This is how far I get. This is attractive.
I don't feel any different. I don't feel like I always imagined attractive men to feel. So therefore I don't feel like I'm attractive.
It's sort of like the myth of thin, which I read about somewhere and now cannot find (prizes to whoever provides me with a link). You keep putting your life on hold, thinking 'when I'm attractive, I'll have this amazing and successful life'.
Well, I'm attractive.
It's time to start living.