“My Girlfriend is a Little Dumb. Should I Dump Her?”

My girlfriend of four months is attractive, kind, and morally upstanding. She’s easy-going and has many friends. She’s a great kisser, she has a nice figure, and the sex is great. She’s warm, caring, supportive, affectionate, nurturing, and thoughtful. She doesn’t seem to have a big ego and wouldn’t hurt a fly. We’re both middle-aged and get along well… And she’s crazy about me. There is one problem though: she sometimes comes across as a little dumb.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.


  1. Jesus, bro, you wrote seven grafs about how she’s not up to your standards intellectually. Please break up with this poor woman already. Honestly, I wish she had higher self-esteem so she could break up with you first, because smirking at your girlfriend in front of your friends and making her cry when you “jokingly” told her she doesn’t make sense are dick moves, regardless of her intellectual prowess.

    1. Joan Snookes says:

      To the author of this post – leave fast, this poor girl is too good for you, you self centered p… k.

  2. Bittergaymark says:

    Yeah. You are not a match. Especially as you seem far more condescending than she does dumb.

  3. Sweet Jesus on a skateboard.

    Break up with her, today. Even though you find it “relaxing” to have a girlfriend who makes you feel superior. She deserves much, much, much better than a boyfriend who keeps a mental record of every minor verbal mistake she makes and looks down on her for it.

    1. dinoceros says:

      Yeah, I’m disturbed by the fact that he seems to think she’s a prop in his life or something. He needs to consider more than just whether she makes him happy — he’s got a negative effect on her life. Save her some time and misery, dude.

    2. disagree. people are too sensitive. dating someone who is intellectually incompatible is exhausting.

  4. OMG. Do you keep a log of every gaffe your girlfriend makes? She sounds like a good person with some great qualities and deserves a boyfriend who does more than tolerate her!

  5. There’s nothing wrong with wanting intellectual stimulation from a relationship, but there IS something wrong with making your girlfriend feel like shit all the time. You’re lucky she didn’t dump you on the spot after YOU embarrassed HER in front of your friends – who she was nervous about meeting for the first time! Instead of helping her feel at ease and being a buffer between them, you left her hanging out to dry. And constantly correcting her is a dick move too. She sounds charming, and someone else out there would find genuine delight in her word choices. I actually love “non-practicing” in reference to sexual activity, I got a grin out of that one!

    1. Yea, I get that some people are smarter than others. But the LW’s low opinion is so clear that it made her cry. I just can’t imagine.

      1. or she’s just sensitive

    2. anonymousse says:

      That’s a legitimately funny comment! Reality bites, anyone?

      1. I loved that movie back in the day.

  6. dinoceros says:

    Yikes. It’s ironic that you are considering staying with her (despite writing multiple paragraphs about how dumb you think she is) because you can be yourself around her, but when she’s herself around you, you make it clear you feel like she’s stupid. You don’t need a bunch of internet strangers to tell you whether to date someone or not. You should be dating someone if you think so little of them. You’ve barely been dating and you already have a huge list of things you don’t like about her, you make her feel bad about herself, and you find her embarrassing. Move on.

    I think you also need to keep in mind that you’re probably not going to find someone who never uses the wrong word or who is never boring. So, at some point, while you’re looking for the perfect person, you need to learn to accept that and learn not to judge people so much.

    1. Oh yeah, the “boring” thing really rubbed me the wrong way. The LW seems self-aware enough to admit that he’s of average intelligence, but he requires his girlfriend to be “on” for him at all times. If she makes some offhand comment while they’re watching TV, he gives her the silent treatment over it. That’s bizarre, and cruel. Like…can a lady not actually chill while watching Netflix? Take it down a notch, dude.

      1. Yes! She was talking to him and he was “bored” so he tuned out and it’s her fault for not being intellectually stimulating enough to keep his attention? WTH. You’re not a child you’re middle aged, definitely old enough to give someone you care about your attention even if it’s not a topic you find very interesting.

  7. “She’s a sweetie pants” … I’ve never heard anyone say that, and I hope I never do again. Speaking of sounding a little dumb.

    1. Yeah, I left that unedited on purpose (after editing quite a bit of the rest of the letter). LW, the phrase you meant is “sweetie pie” not “sweetie pants.”

      1. Yeah, but she’s the one who uses “wrong words.” Right.

      2. I noticed some of the phrases he hated on were also regional. Some even unique and things you’d find in literature (personification etc).

        She sounds like a fun person and it sounds like he’s obsessed with circle jerk info. IOW I think Ive spot some biases, which it’s nice to have common knowledge in a relationship, but hotdogs on a stick.

    2. anonymousse says:

      That comment creeped me out a little bit. Who says that? Grandparents. And they mean sweetie pie.

  8. LW, honestly you sound insufferable. It’s not so weird to ask if the safe in a hotel is really a safe place to keep your items (fyi those get broken into), using the wrong word (brought vs bought) isn’t a sign of low intelligence for goodness sakes. I hate that you correct her as it’s condescending and patronizing. She has low confidence in her intelligence because of how YOU treat her. Let this woman go, and realize you need to work on yourself.

  9. Honestly, I don’t think that she sounds dumb, so much as not having a super sophisticated vocabulary. The LW sounds like an insufferable snob. I mean, everyone knows what she means when she says her gay cousin isn’t practicing. Even though a the locked container at the hotel is called a “safe” that doesn’t make it automatically secure. Break up with her and let her find someone who appreciates her and doesn’t look down on her.

  10. Breakup with your girlfriend! Someone who keeps a list of their partner’s shortcomings is not boyfriend material.

    Stick with shallow relationships like FWB. They are a better fit for your nature.

  11. Allornone says:

    I’m a writer for a living (grants for non-profits) and while I consider myself reasonably skilled at at the written word, I often can’t speak for the life of me. When I’m nervous, it’s a lot worse. I am constantly misusing and forgetting words (and taking long pauses while gesticulating near-wildly with my hands as I try to remember them). It doesn’t actually mean I don’t know the words, I know them, I just have a hard time getting my thoughts from my brain to my mouth. If my significant other got annoyed or corrected me every time I did it, he’d be out of my life real quick. Good partners lift each other up? You? You’re bringing her down. Like others have said, yes, you should break up with her, not because if her intelligence or perceived lack thereof, but because you are not good for her.

    1. Dang it. I wish we could edit posts. “Good partners lift each other up” was meant to be a declarative statement, not a question. So much for being reasonably skilled. …

    2. Part-time Lurker says:

      Ditto. And the more tired/nervous/stressed I am, the worse it gets. My highly intelligent, creative husband adores and respects me anyway.

      1. Sea witch says:

        My dyslexia isn’t anywhere near as noticeable as that of my brothers, but it definitely comes out when I’m tired.

  12. I am pretty sure this post was written by Henry Higgins.

    1. The Magnum opening theme is stuck in my head now, you jerk.

    2. Right? Especially when he mentions how he could teach her! Blech.

  13. anonymousse says:

    Quite honestly, you don’t come off quite as intelligent as you think you are. Some of her comments weren’t wrong. The bigger issues are, you see her quirks as “wrong” and have chosen to believe her small gaffes are a sign of her lack of intelligence. Many people would have no issue with any of the things you’ve listed. I think you’ve been a pretty rude/borderline cruel partner to her. And your entire post is “is she right for you.”

    You aren’t right for her. You’re condescending, a little mean and believe you are superior. She deserves better than you.

    Many, many people value kindness over supreme intellect. As you get older, you’ll notice even very intelligent people use the the wrong words sometimes, or forget which friends you’ve met. That doesn’t mean they aren’t smart.

    Please think about how you treat the people around you, especially romantic partner. You haven’t treated her with much respect and I’m sure were not the only ones who’ve picked up on that. And that doesn’t reflect badly on her, it reflects badly on you.

    1. So it is good you mention this. My husband uses the wrong word but it sounds close to the right word. He is smart and an accountant but it is just something that happens. Now, what happened in front of friends once that I didn’t realize we did as a couple was i was reading a magazine and he was talking to a friend. He said rigorous instead of righteous. His friend got confused and my husband said” honey” then I said righteous. The friend laughed and said “you guys do that all the time don’t you?” It didn’t occur to me before but obviously we do because he didn’t even ask me what word he meant, he just said honey. But my point is ” so what.” He is a smart, good man. Maybe not the most eloquent. I just think this LW is more concerned about the appearance.

      1. So many people do this. I’m an English major and I use wrong words sometimes.

        Also, not everyone wants to “analyze” stupid TV shows. How about just enjoying your shows, why do they have to be analyzed?

      2. Allornone says:

        Ugh. I hated that analyzing T.V. shows comment, too. While I certainly watch intelligent and/or quality things, I have quite a few guilty pleasure shows that require no thought, simply provide just pure mindless enjoyment, and I make no apologies for them. Does my boyfriend judge? Nope. He even seems to find it charming, and will often watch with me, and the only thing getting analyzed is how hideous that outfit on Project Runway was.

  14. There is nothing wrong with wanting a certain level of intelligence in a partner but you are SO CONDESCENDING towards your girlfriend. She’s a grown ass woman, not a puppy you are trying to house train. It’s so nice you feel as though she allows you to be yourself; it would be even better if you extended her the same courtesy. Honestly I hope she breaks up with *you* because you suck

    1. She is doing something dumb by staying with LW. Somehow he missed that in his paragraphs of her infractions.

  15. Wow, Wendy was so much kinder to you than you deserved LW.
    If you actually exist, you are a total jerk Nothing you wrote says anything good about you. You are a sad man who tries to boost his pathetic ego by nitpicking and correcting his GF’s grammar and vocabulary as if she was a child and he were her teacher, or by smirking at her ‘mistakes’ in public, or by making her feel so stupid she breaks down and cries. You might be more knowledgeable than her about some things, but you certainly don’t know how to be a decent human being, let alone a decent boyfriend to your ‘sweetie pants’ (gag).
    You say you wish she was more confident: I say bullshit to that. Your nitpicking, your corrections, your smirking laughter, and your, ‘I can teach her’, statement make that clear. That statement, incidentally, makes me want to reach through the computer and slap your patronising smirk right off your face.
    And too right you’re not very intelligent: if you had even a modicum of intelligence you’d realise that none of your petty little examples of how dumb she is actually ‘prove’ anything. I’m a criminal lawyer with a doctorate and I can never remember the names of songs; my partner is an biochemist with a PhD and sometimes he says ‘me’ when he should say ‘I’. Intelligence doesn’t equal flawless.
    And, by the way, he doesn’t mock me because I have a terrible memory or smugly name the songs I’ve forgotten. And I don’t correct his grammar and think ‘oh my god’ and smirk . Why not? Because we care for each other, and because we can feel confident about our intelligence without belittling others and making them feel stupid.
    Scrape together a smidgen of decency LW, and set her free – she can do so much better than you. She deserves so much better than you. And you can go revel in the joy of being able to watch TV without the horror of having to tolerate a ‘warm, caring, supportive, affectionate, nurturing and thoughtful ‘ woman making comments that are a ‘little boring’, or go shopping without the horror of having to listen to an ‘attractive, kind’ woman say ‘brought’ instead of ‘bought.

    1. Sea witch says:

      There are so many different kinds of intelligence. The LW just doesn’t understand that being smart at this one thing – knowing the right words – doesn’t mean being smart at other things.

      1. Ruth Seeley says:

        Yes – exactly. The fact that she worries she’s boring him shows her EQ is higher than her lover’s. OTOH, this guy doesn’t seem to want to be the smartest person in the room – which is a good thing.

    2. I literally made an account to tell you that I heavily agree with your comment. My girlfriend has low level autism and takes many things literally. She is the love of my life. She is so sweet and will ask “What does that mean?” when she doesnt understand things. She is super intelligent and has a photographic memory, but can have a hard time understanding certain metaphors, similes, etc because she thinks logistically all the time. So when you say “This day really flew by” her first instinct is “Did you take a plane?”. It is adorable and I am lucky to have her in my life.

  16. You could always move on and try to find a more intelligent gf. Of course, then you might find your self with someone who looks down on you for being dumb and also isn’t sweet, thoughtful, caring, and totally into your dumb ass.

  17. Part-time Lurker says:

    My Fair Lady 2019. All of the smarm and none of the charm.

  18. Sea witch says:

    I’m beginning to understand why the LW is still unmarried in middle age, ha ha.

    She could very well have some quirk similar to dyslexia. In any case, I’ve worked with a number of very intelligent engineers over the years who weren’t good with words at all, their talent lay with numbers and design.

    I remember one engineer trying to dictate a long wordy note to put on a drawing, then stopping and asking “What am I trying to say here?” My reply: “You want the rails for the overhead crane to be mounted flush with the bottom of the helicopter deck.” He gratefully replied “Yes, that’s what I’m trying to say!”

    1. Smartest person I knew couldn’t spell, not even the number four.

  19. OMG! LW you are “middle age.” Ask yourself how many of your past girlfriends have you been able to say, “my girlfriend allows me to relax and be myself”? She is your gold, your brass ring, she will give you happiness the rest of your days. Why are you being a jerk? Let it go, stop trying to teach her things and kiss and hug her and be yourself! Stop trying to to find Mrs Right because you have already found her. Just except her. Except the fact you are happy when you are with her. Take her to museums if you must.

  20. Bittergaymark says:

    The gf does sound awfully dim. Like Trump supporter dim…

    1. She sounds as interesting as a child’s party in McDonalds. Not bad at all, but dull for certain people.

    2. You sound pretty dim for insulting people unprovoked to boost your ego. Kind of like OP. Maybe you 2 should date?

  21. I´m not sure if the GF is the kind of goddess of happiness and supreme realization, as most of the commenters have written, but what I’m sure is that you are not the right match for her, and she is not the right match for you.

    She sounds as a very good person. And sometimes very good people is boring, so I’ll give you that. But I don’t think is cool from you to think of her in such condescending terms.

    It’s Ok if she doesn’t fit what you expect from a partner. What it is not Ok is to stay in a relationship with someone you think as a lesser person than you, as you seem to imply in your letter.

    Move on and allow both to find better partners.

  22. The “unhealthy” and “practicing” things makes me think that this woman is autistic. I’m autistic, and I often describe things with unusual words. (And, for what it’s worth, I have an IQ of 149, and my specialist subject is storytelling, meaning I can analyze a narrative just as well as if not better than the LW because I’ve had a lifetime of practice. I say this not to brag but to clarify that I’m “intelligent” as the LW conceptualizes it.) When I say, for example, that an inanimate object “lives” in a specific place instead of “belonging” there, I don’t literally think the object is alive, nor have I forgotten what “belonging” means. I’m not being stupid–I’ve got a nonstandard brain and a nonstandard point of view.

    The LW honestly seems to be mistaking, if not autism, then eccentricity and scatterbrainedness, for stupidity. But even if his girlfriend were stupid, she wouldn’t deserve a partner who thinks of her as a child and of themself as her indulgent schoolteacher.

    1. Absolutely, the LW is not at all accounting for neurodiversity and the different ways people’s brains process information. Some of the most brilliant people in history had brains that worked differently than typical brains and may have resulted in atypical behavior or speech that some less than enlightened people could have perceived as “a little dumb.”

  23. LW, you are not kind. Let her go because she is not a good match for you. You are making her feel bad. Let her go and find someone who you don’t belittle or think poorly of because although you try to hide it, it comes out.

  24. I’m interested to know what Wendy would do in this situation?

    Would you be able to tolerate your boyfriend if he was a little boring and dumb?

    Would you focus on his good qualities instead?

    1. Dude just break up with her. You clearly look down on her and no one deserves to be with a guy who thinks so little of them.

    2. anonymousse says:

      Do you want to be with someone who tolerates your superiority? Or someone who loves you, warts and all?

      She clearly told you to break up and allow her a chance to find someone who appreciates (not merely tolerates) her.

    3. golfer.gal says:

      You have repeatedly lied to your girlfriend. She has asked you some pretty perceptive questions, multiple times, about what you think of her intelligence. And you have blatantly lied. You laughed at her in public and then lied to her face to “spare her feelings”. Despite this she picks up on your tone, body language, and behavior enough to know you think she’s dumb and boring. No, you shouldn’t “tolerate” her and focus on her good qualities. Wendy told you, point blank, to break up with her. Why are you still curious what Wendy would do? She’s just told you. Do you lack reading comprehension? Good lord. You seem to want to stay with her while being validated for treating her poorly to the point that she is in tears.

      1. And get martyr points for it too. Dude, you’re not a good fit for her. Break up. You must know deep down you can’t do better, or you wouldn’t be still pushing this.

    4. HannaMarin says:

      lw, what baffles me is how she tolerates YOU. Poor woman. She sounds genuinely wonderful and sweet and so what if she uses the wrong word every once in a while yet she has this highly judgmental, insufferable bf. Break up with her so she can be a guy who actually appreciates her. She deserves so much better than how you treat her.

  25. No. Wendy clearly told you you should break up with your girlfriend so she can move on to someone who will appreciate her. She absolutely did not say you should “tolerate” her and “focus on her good qualities.” She said you should both move on.

    1. Yes, please do your girlfriend a favor and break up with her. She deserves to be with someone who appreciates her and sees her as an equal.

  26. While the LW may be more intelligent than his girlfriend (I’m going to leave that premise unquestioned), I think she far surpases him in emotional intelligence. She deserves to be with *her* equal in that.

  27. You sound really patronizing. And cruel. It actually sounds like your girlfriend might have a learning disability. I don’t think any of the things you started specifically states “dumb” in my books. I have a friend who consistently misuses the word “borrowed”. She’s still quite smart. Word use isn’t always a sign of intelligence.

  28. allathian says:

    She sounds like a real sweetheart. The LW sounds inhuman. Break up with her already, you two aren’t suited. You’re being really condescending towards her, and that’s a horrible foundation for a relationship. The only sign of dumbness I’ve noticed from her is that she hasn’t dumped you yet.

    One of the smartest people I know talks like Mrs. Malaprop.

  29. Teri Anne says:

    I do not think the girlfriend is dumb at all, because she is perceptive enough to realize that he looks down upon her, and is making fun of her in front of her friends. The very minor “mistakes” the LW describes could be due to a learning disability or social anxiety. He sounds like an insufferable jerk, and for her sake I hope he breaks up with her.

  30. It did not take long for me to cringe while reading this letter. She sounds perfectly normal. And she will never be happy until she is out of the relationship.

  31. I totally understand this guy – have been in the same position. In fact I commend you for the way have delivered this, also stating her wonderful qualities. A relationship for an intellectual will not weather the storm if there is no intellectual stimulation beyond the “niceties”. Ignore the negative comments here – they do not come from people who desire mental closeness and triple digit IQ. I took Wendy’s advice, as painful as it was.

    1. I’m curious what gave you the idea that the LW is remotely intellectual, seems more like you’ve seized and opportunity for an r/iamverysmart moment.

  32. Thanks for having the confidence to write this letter, and for seeking help to confirm your suspicions. It’s was helpful for me to read this letter. Despite the overwhelmingly negative response, I appreciate your vulnerability in asking a hard question.

  33. I personally don’t think all these critiques against this man are correct, or better say “lawful”! He is expressing his feelings and he is seeking for advice, and not to be frowned upon just because he has written a few lines online. Maybe all this was done in a burst of anger and rather than venting on her, he just posted online? Maybe there is more to it that we will never know? Surely I’m not picking sides on their matter, we will never know for a fact unless we were directly experiencing their thoughts in their minds.
    I can relate in a way, as my partner openly admits of being dumb (her words) and uses it against me to do what morally not right (swears, stir things up in arguments just to cause drama, asking stuff on purposes to annoy me, all this being justified with I told you, I never said I was the smart one).
    Me being here, proves how I try to overcome all this by educating myself and try to find guidance on how to find a way to communicate to her to solve the issue, I decide to concentrate on the positives rather than the negatives.
    And maybe that what this man was trying to do.
    I would really like to know how this ended, and if you were able to solve this and get past it, or if you ended up breaking up.

    Thank you

      1. Sorry I am a bit perplexed about your comment/answer.

        Could you please add a bit more to it?

        Thank you

  34. Bittergaymark says:

    The guy in this letter could phrase it better to be sure… but the intellect of his gf apparently only rivals Trump’s! Sorry, but she sounds not all there mentally. She is a 40 watt bulb in a hundred watt world… I wouldn’t want to date that either.

    1. Bittergaymark says:

      “Gay but not practicing“ is also a homophobic way Christians justify loving the sinner but hating the sin. Being gay is hunky dory if one remains a sexless mr lonelyheart. ?

      Not cool. Fuck her.

  35. Send her my way, she sounds like a catch from a human decent perspective. You are the one that sounds shallow, boring, and dumb unable to see past your inflated self.

  36. He is going through what I’m going through..

    1. I’m going through this too. She is a gem, but it’s frustrated feeling like she doesn’t try to use her brain when she could… just doesn’t feel like it. So I have to use mine to think for her, or else problems can cause consequences. I don’t think he’s being a jerk. I think he’s possible just here trying to work on the relationship because he values her. Many of the commenters here are being jerks toward him; that’s hypocritical. I think he respects marriage enough to try to find out now if this small thing could be a big problem later on. For people who see marriage as permanent, not something to try out, and get divorced if it’s “not working out” you have to figure out these things beforehand. We have lost so much info/wisdom about marriage because so many of our parents and fam have failed at it. He’s trying to find out whst would make a successful marriage.

      Commenters say he’s a jerk for having a list of things she’s done “wrong,” but if he didn’t recall specific things, they would dismiss him for not being able to name anything she’s done wrong. So he’s damned if he don’t; damned if he do, according to commenters. He says a lot to give a thorough description “oh he’s saying too much” they complain. She don’t deserve to have her heart broken with a break up, or ending up single like many of them, but commenters not considering that part. She adores him, remember. Breakup will not necessarily be a good thing for her, and could cause her to become jaded. She’s happy right now. And if this guy gets the right perspective, he can improve. Some people in this world, try to improve themselves. That’s not being a jerk. But yes, he should not have lied to her.
      So many people saying “just break up” is why there’s so much divorce. Nobody willing to work on anything. His “smirking” may be a coping mechanism, not him trying to be cruel.
      What are the dates of these comments? Am I ten years late again?

      1. He is picking on very trivial things – like using a wrong word in a sentence. Big deal.
        If it bothers him that much, he probably shouldn’t marry anyone ever at all.
        The end.

  37. At least half of the reason why you think she is dumb, is because she believes it herself. People automatically mimic the beliefs of others. If she was a total idiot, but a narcissist believing she was Gods gift to humanity, you would be lead to look in that direction instead of the direction you are currently looking.

    Other people in her life will experience the same effect, and then they fall for the miss judgement of supporting each other in that belief. It is a fallacy that other peoples beliefs can verify your own.

    That belief may just as well be wrong.

    One thing about stupid people, and I mean those that are truly dumb, is that they don’t actually believe they are dumb. This is not something I am just making up. It is the Dunning-Kruger effect. She is obviously not one of them.

    We all are limited in our mental capacity, so our minds filter the information it receives on looks for what it thinks is important. Our minds can only process a small percentage of what our senses input to us, But what gets through the filter is different from person to person, because we are different and we think and perceive differently.

    Plenty of people feel insecure in their job. It is called the imposter syndrome. This by itself is not a sign of dumbness, but self esteem.

    I don’t know your girlfriend, but what you tell us is not enough to say that she actually is stupid.

    If her self esteem was better, she would have broken up with you.

  38. ele4phant says:

    She sounds sheltered and uneducated. Hard to say if she’s dumb. Intelligence is actually hard to measure.

    That said, even if she is dumb, there are worse things in life. She has so many wonderful qualities, is her ditzyness a dealbreaker for you? Maybe it is, and if so, no judgement there. But move on then.

    She clearly knows you *think* she’s dumb and you’re kinda mean about it. So, stop that. Either accept her for who she is, or if you can’t, let her go. Don’t make her feel bad, that’s not a very nice character trait of *yours*.

  39. ele4phant says:

    Also – to be frank, I’m not dumb, but I found you kind of patronizing.

    I definitely rolled my eyes at “I can teach her, I can expand her knowledge.” Cool man, what woman doesn’t love forcefully being taught about their male partner’s interest under the guise of you “passing on knowledge.” Could it be possible that she *gets* these documentaries you are so entralled with, she’s just not that interested in them or not that interested in analytical deep dive conversations? Does she *really* need you to “teach” her? Don’t decide to play teacher unless she, you know, asks you to teach her more about x, y, or z.

    Again, no judgement if you decide you guys aren’t a good fit. It’s not a crime to want a partner that has similar interests, worldviews, and is on a similar intellectual plane as you.

    Whether or not she’s unintelligent, it does seem like at minimum she is naive and perhaps not curious about things the same way you are.

    But, you seem like you’re being a real D about it.

    Take her as she is and treat her nicely, or move on.

    1. Many people are not teachable. He can teach her, which means she can learn and improve. It’s a good trait. But it can mean extra work and frustration for the person teaching if the other person never starts seeking to learn information on their own. I.e. Some people will eventually burn the house down if you don’t teach them to stop leaving the cloth on the stove, or if they refuse to listen and learn. So teaching someone isn’t wrong. Their parents and teachers may not have taught them.

      1. Even though this letter is super old let’s be clear: LW’s girlfriend wasn’t asking for him to teach her, likely nobody is asking you either. Tuck your superiority and martyr complexes back in.

  40. Bittergaymark says:

    It baffles me how pretty much everybody glossed over the pretty blatant homophobia of the girl in question. Gay but not practicing is a pretty fucked up think to say. It just is. Nobody would ever say: “Oh, he’s straight. But don’t worry! He’s not practicing! Thank God!”

    1. I’m 100% with you. I’m actually still sympathetic with the girlfriend, though. I have a lot of friends raised in religious households to believe that you can be gay, but as long as you aren’t in a gay relationship, you won’t go to hell. It’s f!@#ed up, and that doesn’t make it okay. It’s not an accident that they’re atheists now.

    2. Im not sure where you’re getting blatant homophobia from. The only thing the LW said about it is that “She told me her cousin is gay but not “practicing.” Wrong choice of word again. What she means is, he’s not sexually active.” He doesn’t mention her feelings one way or the other, and it’s entirely possible that she just mentioned it in conversation without passing judgement. Sounds like you’re projecting. And before you accuse me of being homophobic, I’m also a gay man. Just maybe not so bitter.

      1. Thanks for saying that woo. I am hetero, but not practicing. And it’s not f’d up. It’s what I believe God requires of me bc the bible doesn’t just say gay is wrong, but straight is wrong too if you’re having sex outside of marriage. But nobody calls me heterophobic, why be called homophobic? I like how “not practicing” sounds, anyway. It’s more efficient and sounds softer and less graphic than having to be out in public turning heads by saying “sexually active” instead of “practicing.” It’s possible this guy’s girlfriend is actually smarter than him.

        He admits he’s not that smart, and “dumb” people often think smart people are dumb. She could be creating better ways to say things, but he thinks she’s dumb because she doesn’t use the same phrases that everyone else uses. And maybe she’s trolling him or being passive agressive by keep saying “brought” after he corrected her. Maybe she gives him things to correct in order to give him something to do to keep him from being too bored. Maybe she’s a genius.

  41. Anonymous says:

    You sound like judgemental. Why is she with you?

  42. Anonymous says:

    She’s not dumb is just that she’s not use to these kinds words yet.

  43. Yes, you should break up with your girlfriend. It’s important to know what traits you need in a partner and act accordingly. This relationship has shown that intelligence is one of those important traits for you, so break up with her and only date people that jive with what you want. Honestly, at your age I’m surprised you haven’t already done enough self-reflection to be more aware of what traits are and aren’t deal breakers for you and break it off quickly if the person you are with doesn’t match up with that. Instead, you’ve been passive aggressive and have been treating her with contempt. That isn’t an acceptable way to treat a partner. Breaking up with someone who isn’t compatible with you is actually much kinder than staying with them but treating them poorly or trying to change them. Both of you will be happier and healthier long term if you break up now, and that will allow both of you to find a better relationship with someone you are more compatible with. Just because you two don’t mesh doesn’t mean she isn’t great relationship material for someone else.
    Not only do you need someone to be compatible with you, but you also need a relationship that brings out the best in both of you. What you have now is bringing out passive aggressive, arrogant, deceptive behavior in you and is causing her to feel uncertain and negatively impact her self esteem. Not only are you not compatible, but the relationship you are building together isn’t healthy. If you tend to treat partners this way in more than just this relationship, then you might need to delve into ways to interact with more compassion so you can build healthy relationships once you do find someone who matches what you are looking for.

    1. What if a breakup wrecks her?

  44. Anonymous says:

    First of all when you ask questions like this you have to realize females whom are also idiots will comment or gay men. So the answers are bias you’re not a condescending prick but with all that being said if she gives decent blowjobs and rides you good keep her around. Most females aren’t entertaining , funny , etc but you’re 27 still pretty young in the realm of dating. So I guess you didn’t know but most women are similar to your gf/ex gf. There soft , gentle & compassionate(sensitive very sensitive) pretty much everything we’re not. Keep that in mind.. are you at the point that you wanna wake up to great sex with unwanted conversations here and there ? To Someone who is just as knowledgeable as you but may have other characteristics that you could also complain about (bad sex , overweight , health , money hungry or annoying). Or be alone. When you make that decision be an adult & know she is gonna find a man who will let her mispronounce a word because he wants to f**k her lol. They say it’s plenty of fish in the sea right ? meaning some you catch & release. Is her stupid ass worth it or not ?

    1. At least us ‘females’ are smart enough to realise this question is years old and most likely resolved by now.

      1. The grammatical errors in this one are extra stupid.

      2. Or smart enough to figure out not to put any dates so that it can’t be figured out. You can’t claim to have figured something out if you have no way to confirm it. All you can do is assume. So assume that other people are still reading this today for their own situations, which have not been resolved yet.

  45. I’d date her over him any day. She has a PHD in emotional intelligence and this guy is in pre-school.
    Learning empathy, respect and how not inflate your fragile self worth by bringing others down (especially ones you are having sex with) is far more appealing than learning the difference between brought and bought. I hope she sees he’s as deep as a puddle and moves onto quickly to someone worthy with an open heart who sees only the best in her. That’s what will sustain any relationship

  46. OP, you are a cruel, emotionally abusive jackass. The only reason why you are with her is to use her as an emotional punching bag. You want to feel like a big smart man, so you verbally abuse and mock her at every opportunity. My god you are a cruel, vicious person.

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