Should I marry a guy I’m not intellectually compatible with?

Should I marry a guy I’m not intellectually compatible with?

My boyfriend of 8 months just proposed, but I’m torn. He’s a great guy; caring, loving and makes me happy. BUT we just don’t have the mental connection I’d expect with someone I’d be spending my life with. He doesn’t really care about current events and so any kind of topical debate is out.

I can’t remember the last time I saw him reading a book or even a magazine for that matter. He works in a physical job and spends his down time on the Playstation. We talk about travelling – which I love to do – but we have never actually gone anywhere and I know he’d be just as happy if we never went anywhere. Would I be making a huge mistake marrying him? Anon

I think being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have any intellectual curiosity about the world around them, is obsessed only by superficial things, or has very fixed ideas about life, can be hard to take short-term, much less for a lifetime. But is that really your experience? Your Playstation-loving tradie may not read much or watch the news, but he doesn’t sound like a bad guy. In fact, you describe him as ‘great’, someone who cares for you, loves you and makes you happy. That means a lot. That’s hard to find. And walking away from him because you’d prefer someone who can dissect the political wrangling on The 7.30 Report every night is a big call.

Metaphorically speaking, relationships are a bit like burgers. You can crave the chili chicken burger with the lot and extra jalapenos, and think there’s no way you’d be happy with anything less. However, the burger you get may have an ingredient or two missing. You can jump up and down, you can go look for a better burger, or you can eat it and get on with life. Same goes for relationships. You won’t always get everything you want and need, but accepting that is key to contentment – and if you’re 70-80 percent happy most of the time, you’re doing well.

Still, eight months isn’t long, and maybe you should tell your guy that while you’re flattered by his proposal, you feel it’s just a bit early to make such a big decision. He’ll be hurt, but if he really loves you, he’ll wait. Next step? See if he’ll share what’s important to you. Like travel. Plan a trip together. Make an effort to get him away from the Playstation and just talk. About everything. Who you are, and what’s important to you. Find out who he is and what matters to him. You might have to be the driving force in these conversations at first, but be honest about the fact that you want to share your thoughts, ideas, dreams and plans with him. If the lack of ‘mental connection’ still bugs you in a year, by all means bail. But first, give this great, caring, loving guy a little time before deciding he’s definitely not the one for you.

Love, reality chick


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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).

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