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The Long Haul Are you past the flirting and dating stage? Wondering if there's life after 6 months with the same person? If you're in a serious long term relationship, this is your one-stop shop for questions and answers.

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Unread June 26th, 2009, 01:41 AM   #1
come_on_seriously
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Default how vital is intellectual stimulation?

This forum helps me much and you guys make me realize what a lovely thing I have with my fiance.

He's an altogether lovely man (despite being a li'l rough around the edges) and we plan on getting married next year. My problem is...we just don't seem to be on the same intellectual level. Oftentimes, I find myself staring out the window wishing he was someone I could have intellectually stimulating conversations with. We don't enjoy the same movies, the same books (he hates reading), and I can't talk to him about my work because he says it bores him I'm a writer and he is a sports coach.

He's actually a smart guy in his own right, but I miss having deep conversations over drinks with a significant other...

How important is this to you all? I'm thinking 10 years down the road and we are in our bathrobes having breakfast together and I'm still looking out that window...

Am I asking too much of him? If I am, please don't hesitate to send me a virtual slap on the face to wake me up...
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Unread June 26th, 2009, 02:26 AM   #2
Kuky
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Default Re: how vital is intellectual stimulation?

I think it's important, for the long haul, to be with someone who's intellectually challenging. That doesn't mean "booksmart", but having conversations that go deep below the boring surface level is very important to me. It doesn't have to be intellectually stimulating, but you know, when you lie in bed, all cozied up, and talk about random stuff, it has to be enjoyable haha.

As a general rule, I think people should know what's at the core of what you want, and not settle for less. Are you asking too much of him? Maybe. But what if it weren't too much of someone else? On the other hand, I bet this guy does for you what all other guys you've met who were intellectually stimulating have failed to do.

It might be hard to meet someone who does all those things. I mean, not _everyone_ lives close to my place.
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Unread June 26th, 2009, 04:14 AM   #3
Deidre
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Default Re: how vital is intellectual stimulation?

It's important, but what is absolutely vital and somewhat related to intellectual stimulation is a partner who stimulates growth.

My absolute most favourite thing in my relationship is the talks and thoughts we share and how new things develop out of them. When our minds work together the results are far greater than the sum of their parts. But, I'd be able to live without it if my partner was still encouraging and willing to come on board my projects and dreams even if he didn't want to be apart of the mastermind developing the ideas and directions.

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Originally Posted by Kuky View Post
It might be hard to meet someone who does all those things. I mean, not _everyone_ lives close to my place.
The world is such a small place, sure we do!
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Unread June 26th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #4
ConfusedMama
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Default Re: how vital is intellectual stimulation?

I will be completely honest with you, if you are not compatible in the most important ways you are headed down a road of disappointment and unhappiness. This is EXACTLY what's going on in my marriage (aside from other things). But my husband and I are on completely different intellectual levels. That carries over into conversation that should be rational and logical and since he cannot handle the conversation he gets frustrated and takes it out on me. I'm pregnant and we are on the brink of divorce. My husband would be described EXACTLY like you described your bf...."rough around the edges". If you can't accept everything about him and let it go and not expect him to change, while being happy he is this way, then go for it, but if it bothers you now, I'm forewarning you that you may find yourself in na unfavorable position if you marry him. Either accept him now 110% and love him the way he is now, or don't marry him.
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Unread June 27th, 2009, 05:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: how vital is intellectual stimulation?

If there is no mental connection, then what will happen when the honeymoon phase wears off? Will you talk sports or just grunt at each other in passing? Is there something you can both get involved in which would give the intellectual conversations a jump start?

My BF and I are completely polar when it comes to education (he has a grade 10, but runs his own business and reads non-fiction all the time - I have a degree and I love trashy reading! Go figure) But, we both are into the enviroment, metaphyscis, quantum physics, documentaries etc. We never run out of things to talk about and a good doc dvd can keep us brainstorming for days. It's worth a try! (FLOW and an Inconvenient Truth are good ones to get a conversation going!)
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Unread June 28th, 2009, 08:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: how vital is intellectual stimulation?

Me, personally, would find that situation very difficult and probably wouldn't be able to go into a lifelong relationship under those circumstances. I need to have someone on my wavelength, who I can talk to, vent to ... they don't necessarily have to be into the same things as me, they just have to be able to maintain intelligent conversation. I'm a bright, curious person and I need to have my mind stimulated all the time.

If you can't discuss movies, books or work, what do you talk about? Do you share any other interests? If there seems to be a huge gap between you intellectually, maybe you should reassess ... for me, I know "lovely guy" just doesn't cut it. There's got to be more than that.
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Unread June 28th, 2009, 11:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: how vital is intellectual stimulation?

Thank you all for your insightful replies! Kuky, u hit the nail right on the head when u said this guy does for me what others who stimulate me intellectually have failed to do. This time I went for the man who does things from his heart and apparently, not so much from his brain

Deidre, he does support me and encourage me in other ways so I should try to focus on that instead of wishing for a mentor...

ConfusedMama, thank you for the advice. I agree with you when you say that either I accept him 110% for the way he is now, or not get married to him at all. I will try giving him that 110% I'm sorry to hear about your present situation, I hope things will start looking up on your end...

Nicky and Moonangel, we do have a few common interests, like scuba diving and cooking and traveling. And now we are starting on creating a garden together (which he loves, and which I still have to get used to). He loves the fact that I read rather extensively, and gives me time to do just that. I don't mind that he watches movies at home most of the time, as long as he doesn't force me to watch all of them with him! We don't talk about the books I read or the movies he watches, but he does talk to me about EVERYTHING; whatever happened at work, the people he talked to, where he went for lunch, etc. But I can't seem to discuss much with him! Either he gets easily bored with what I'm saying, or he doesn't get it. So lately, I've been quiet and keeping things to myself, rather than boring him to death or explaining every single detail for me to be understood...

I guess I should just stop trying to make everything "perfect". I hope, as time goes on, I will see that I haven't actually "settled for less"...
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