“It’s exhausting to be right all the time,” the Know-it-all will tell you as he swirls his drink around his glass. “But I just can’t help myself. If I see an error, I have to correct it.”
You may find this charming at first. Knowledge can be quite sexy, after all.
“He’s so clever,” you’ll gush to your slack-jawed friends. You revel in your new role as Marilyn Monroe to his Olivier, drinking in his fun facts, grammatical corrections and recommendations like lattes.
But the trouble with a know-it-all is that sometimes they… don’t.
But the trouble with a know-it-all is that sometimes they… don’t. They make a mistake. And you might be the one to spot it.
Whether it’s the eternally arousing question of whether to use ‘less’ or ‘fewer’ or a seemingly irrelevant factlet about the Spice Girls, your little boffin likes to be the one doing the correcting.
You’ll hear “It’s bored with not bored of, remember,” much more often than “I love you” and there’s no room for an upstart like you wading in with your addenda.
Day after day come the Twitter-storms – his inability to keep his nose out and his talent for getting a bee in his knickers about the most stupid of things meaning he has little time for anything that doesn’t involve putting the world to rights via his long-suffering keyboard.
You will come to dread the phrase “I think you’ll find…” and saying something you have the remotest doubt about becomes a nightmare.
Don’t fuck somebody who can’t admit when they’re wrong.
You live on a permanent knife-edge that every thing you say will be met by a small, deliberate sigh, a slow push of the spectacles back up the bridge of your paramour’s nose (there are always spectacles), and a withering look that tells you your very own Encylopedia Homosexualica is about to put you straight. Or perhaps, after a while, turn you straight.
He will never admit he’s got it wrong. The height of unsexy. Don’t fuck somebody who can’t admit when they’re wrong.
The solution: Either live in a permanent war zone of “No, you’re wrong!” continually checking Wikipedia to outsmart each other, or lay down the ground rules early on that nobody ever died because someone said “movie” instead of “film” or used “literally” figuratively every now and again.
He’ll dump you for a Countdown viewer in the end, of course, but it will be nice while it lasts. You will probably bump into him eventually on Grindr arguing over “you’re/your” – instead of getting sex like everybody else.
This post originally appeared in a different form in Gay Times magazine, where I have a monthly column All The Men You Should Never Date, plus a page where I help with readers’ dilemmas. You can get the latest edition and back issues online at gtdigi.co.uk