Recently, I’ve found myself rendezvousing with a new man. He’s fantastic and an all-around amazing guy, but the MFer is insanely smart and it presents some challenges. I first realized what I had gotten myself into when he sent grammatical edits back in response to my sexts.
I’ve never been in a relationship where I’ve felt mentally inadequate compared to my partner. If anything, it’s always been the opposite where I’ve been the brains and could use that to my advantage. But now, it’s been one instance after another of me realizing how he is intellectually out of my league. This change in pace has me feeling some kind of way, and I’m not sure how to handle it.
The problem is, it’s not like he’s excelling in one area alone: the boy is well-rounded. Not only does he have a head for numbers, he’ll spout off film directors and music producers I’ve never heard of, explain the complexities of almost any sport with ease, and the list could go on. He is literally smarter than me in every way possible. I voiced this opinion to a friend and she assured me there must be SOMETHING I know more about. The thought was genuine, but unless we’re going head to head on knowledge of Lilly Pulitzer prints, or how to best organize Pinterest boards, he blows me out of the water every time.
I find myself trying to scrape the bottom of the barrel to prove that I’m not just some dumb broad who can’t keep up. I tried to access my SAT, and AP scores from years ago on College Board to have some proof that I could hold my own. I scoured the internet looking for a peer-reviewed article I got published in a journal while in college. I read and re-read the news in the hope I can contribute in a conversation about politics. I even make mental notes not to bring up the dumb shit that I really like (i.e. The Kardashians) so I don’t seem too frivolous.
Even describing what we do to others makes me look like an idiot. While he explains his role in finance, statistics, and risk management, I have to follow up with “I design stuff in Photoshop.” I’m sure friends and the general public look on with confusion as to why he’s settled down so far below him on the IQ spectrum.
I once asked him to proofread a piece that I had written, and I received a document back with more red lines and changes than I could count. It was demoralizing in the biggest way, but I couldn’t even be mad because everything he had edited was valid. One of the sentences he crossed out even included a nice little editorial note: “You’re just repeating the same thing here and you just sound really bitchy.”
It’s not all feelings of inadequacy though. There are also some huge benefits. Any bar trivia team we participate in has a strong presence when he’s contributing. If I don’t understand something, I have a walking encyclopedia to offer an explanation. I’m never worrying about explaining a reference because chances are he knows more about it than me. While he may have to dumb things down, I sure as hell never have to.
In the end, I appreciate the push to be better. I’m always going to be clamoring to keep up, but it’s challenging me to not be so complacent. I’ve had to start trying again. Gone are the days of coming home from work and watching The Hills until it’s time for bed. Instead, I listen to podcasts he’s suggested, I read commentary on Twitter instead of my usual curated meme bullshit, I fine tune my mind instead of filling it with garbage. In a very Pygmalion fashion, I am making the necessary changes to run with the elite.
Relationships, in general, are hard but it turns out relationships with savants are even harder. Keep me and my little lady brain in your thoughts and prayers. .
Image via YouTube