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Here’s an example of her being a little dumb: She’ll say something like, “I brought a brand-new dress.” I’ll correct her by telling her it’s “bought” not “brought.” I’ve explained the difference and she understands, yet she still continues to use the wrong word. I told her that when I’ve gone on vacation, I keep my money in the safe at the hotel. She asks me is it safe? I thought she was kidding, but she wasn’t. I took my mum to the hospital for a check-up and she asked me what were they researching. Again, wrong phrasing. She told me her cousin is gay but not “practicing.” Wrong choice of word again. What she means is, he’s not sexually active. She thinks her house is “unhealthy” because it’s not painted. Again, wrong word.
We went to a party a couple of weeks ago. I introduced her to some of my friends and I was listening to some of her comments. I was laughing on the inside. Because I had a smirk across my face, she asked me why I was laughing and I had to come up with something. To be fair, it was the first time she met my friends so maybe she was a little nervous and shy. When I went to her work function, she seemed so much better. She has a favorite band, but she hardly remembers any of the song titles though she remembers the album cover. Just the other day I met up with her for lunch and she told me she had bumped into her friend Emma on the way to meet me. “Have you met Emma?” she asked me. I’ve never met Emma. She should know I’ve never met Emma. So why ask the question?
On another occasion, we were watching TV and she made some comments which I found a little boring and I became distant. It was like the TV was more interesting than what she had to say. The next day she asked me if she was boring me. I couldn’t say yes because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, so I said no.
While shopping together, we were having a normal discussion and I jokingly told her that she doesn’t make sense. She started crying and said, “You think I’m stupid.” I apologised to her and, truthfully, it was never my intention to criticise her at all. I was just kidding.
She’s had a sheltered upbringing, being very protected by her parents, and she only recently revealed to me she had lost her virginity at age 27. I wonder if all this is a case of her being nervous. Or maybe it’s shyness? Could she be intimidated? She is capable of having a really good conversation and she gets my jokes. We can have a laugh. We can have a discussion on some topics. Then she lets herself down by asking a silly question or making a silly comment. Then I’m like “oh my god” and I just cringe. It can be frustrating.
She’s revealed that some people think she’s dumb and that she’s struggled with some roles at her previous work. She’s quiet in an office environment. Because of this, work colleagues think she’s dumb. I’m not very intellectual or very intelligent by any means. I have an average IQ. But I’m much more knowledgeable on topics than she is. She’s realised this herself and asked me if this would be an issue, to which I replied no. She even asked me about what can she bring to the relationship. “I’m a dummy compared to you,” she recently remarked. I wish she were a little more confident. But most importantly, I wish she were more knowledgeable on more topics and a little more curious and insightful. I’d like us to have more intellectual conversations. I’m the sort of person who will analyse a documentary, film, TV show, or an album to a certain extent, but I don’t think she is. The thing is, I can teach her. I can explain things to her so she can increase her knowledge and that’s not a bad thing. I can pass on my knowledge.
Having said all this, my girlfriend allows me to relax and be myself in her presence. Maybe there is a real advantage in being with someone with whom I’m not competing. I know you can’t get everything you want from a partner and I don’t want to terminate the relationship because she has many good qualities. However, I wonder if, when the passion fades, there will be something to fall back on. How important is intellectual compatibility in a relationship when everything else is good? I’m worried that we won’t have enough to talk about when we’re both old and can’t do much more and then that I won’t find her interesting. I’m worried that i’ll become even more frustrated and lose respect for her.
Is this really an issue or just something I need to tolerate? Should I discuss this with her? — More Intellectual Than She Is
Obviously, intellectual compatibility is important to you, which is fine! What isn’t fine is stringing this poor woman along and pretending to be interested in her when you clearly think she’s dumb and boring and are embarrassed by her. She sounds like someone who has some lovely qualities and could be a perfect match for someone else — someone who would really appreciate her for who she is and not want or need her to change in order to be satisfied. Forget about your own needs for a minute; If you’re a decent person at all, you’ll let this woman go so that she has a chance to find that match and so that her confidence doesn’t continue to suffer in a relationship where she feels like her boyfriend thinks she’s a dummy. When she ask why you’re breaking up with her, tell her the truth: You don’t feel the kind of spark with her that will sustain a relationship long-term.