Los Angeles, CA–Slate.com’s “Dear Prudence” may well be right about this troubled couple, but I find it hard to believe the same advice would be dispensed were the genders reversed.
From Mr. Right Is Never Wrong: My genius boyfriend wins every argument, and I’m sick of it. (10/16/08):
My boyfriend and I are both in our early 20s and have been dating for three years. We have a really strong relationship in almost every way, and I can’t imagine being with anyone else. But here’s the rub: My boyfriend is a genius. In so many ways, I love this about him. He challenges me to think about things, I am constantly learning, and he is always honest and rational.
Unfortunately, these last two qualities have caused a bit of strain. I consider myself a very intelligent person also–nowhere near his level, but I’ve always felt confident academically. This sometimes takes a hit when I am around him. I rarely win arguments because I simply can’t keep up with him. In matters of politics or world issues, this can be frustrating, but it doesn’t really raise my ire.
However, sometimes his argumentative style and calculating rationale are applied to our relationship. In many situations, I feel as though I am the one who has to compromise because he always wins the argument. I know my positions are reasonable, but I just can’t articulate them as well as he does.
I have talked to my boyfriend about this, but I think he has a hard time seeing my point of view–that though my feelings may not always be logical or rational, they are still valid. Am I being unreasonable for wanting a little bit of slack, or should I just accept that I’m dating Dr. Manhattan and let it go?
–In Love With a Super Computer
Dear In Love,
Did you conclude on your own that your boyfriend is a genius, or is this one of the things he had to articulate to poor, dumb you? I don’t know what his IQ is, but his emotional intelligence comes in somewhere around “dolt.”
I’ll take your word that you’re dating a virtual Einstein, but take mine that he’s an arrogant twit who’s got you confusing bullying for brilliance. It’s also possible he has some kind of disorder that leaves him unable to process the feelings of others. If so, he should be seeking help, or else he is destined to go through life alienating co-workers, friends, and loved ones like you.
Actually, you might want to examine why you have spent three years being told by Mr. Spock that what you say has no validity because it lacks rationality. Mr. Spock and Dr. Manhattan are effective characters because while they seem human, their lack of emotion and empathy means they aren’t quite. So give your mastermind a copy of Emotional Intelligence and tell him it’s about a subject in which he’s deficient, but it’s important for the two of you that he learn.
What many advice columnists would say were a man complaining that his girlfriend is too smart is so obvious I need not even write it–all together now, say it…