Monday, October 27, 2008

Dating: Not Always Logical


You're still immersed in the ivory tower, surrounded by self-consciously intellectual dudes. To add to our relationship discussion: Check out this letter written to Slate's Dear Prudence column:
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?
The writer should note that Dr. Manhattan strides off alone at the end of Watchmen. I feel for her, though, as only someone who repeatedly put herself in the Laurie Juspeczyk/Nurse Chapel role can.*

Prudie, of course, manages to give terrible advice as usual. Apparently being smart and good at arguing means you're an autistic bully. The writer is having a hard time in part because she's conflating rhetorical skill with reasonable substantive positions. (All feelings are valid? Bah!) They appear to have a conflict in communication styles and values; it's not necessarily just a problem of empathy on the part of her smarty-pants boyfriend. What do you think?

* Gee, what could possibly cause someone to obsess over genius loner heroes with no emotional affect? So unhealthy!
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