Dear Wendy Updates: “Master Debater” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Master Debater” who was concerned that she and her boyfriend didn’t seem to be on the same intellectual level. “I’m a girl who loves intellectual debates and discussions.” She wrote. “When I try to have these discussions or debates with my boyfriend, he ends up just agreeing with me because he rarely understands what I’m even talking about.” She worried about what might happen later in their relationship when they were faced with important decisions and she didn’t have “the benefit of a partner who can think deeply and critically about things.” So, was the difference in intelligence a dealbreaker for her? Or, did she figure out a way to make it work? Find out after the jump.

I had written in about my boyfriend and I being on different intellectual levels. I was concerned about the long-term compatibility between someone who loves to debate and talk about deep subjects (me) and someone whose ability to think deeply and critically about serious issues was in question (my boyfriend). Since writing in, I discovered that the issue isn’t really anything to do with intellectual capacity. Instead, he has difficulty understanding things as quickly as I do, and after I delicately asked him about it, he confessed that he’s always had that problem. He admitted that — in high school specifically — he didn’t grasp things as quickly as others, and it hurt him when the other kids would tease him about being “stupid.” Hence, he never took school seriously and is now (at 28) trying to fix that.

Of course, that made me feel like a complete cad, but this whole situation is teaching me patience (not one of my strong points), and I now know how to approach heavy topics so he can really be a part of the discussion. The reader comments about different types of smarts and how subjective intellect really is helped tremendously. He and I have had our first talk about marriage and each other being “the one,” so this has definitely been a learning experience for me and a positive outlook for our future! Thanks for your help! —Master Debater

Thanks for the update!

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at {encode=”[email protected]” title=”[email protected]”} with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

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