Princeton mom: Women have a "shelf life"

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by ilovepaydays, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    My SO lives for intellectual conversations (imagine dating Niles Crane). We would totally have a discussion about Bachelard. But while I like those discussions periodically, I hit my saturation point much more quickly than he – which does frustrate both of us sometimes, when he wants to keep going with it and I want to go watch The Walking Dead. But he can balance it with being great fun too so, like in everything, we take the good with the bad.
     
  2. heckles

    heckles Banned Member

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    At least you didn't think they were talking about The Bachelor. :lol:
     
  3. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    Yes and what they probably don't understand because they are young is that 20 years from now, they might not be comic book geeks either. So if the entire basis of the relationship is "OMG, I found a girl who likes comic books!" well, it might not last if the comic books don't

    Compatibility and a basic level is what I mentioned earlier. They can't be stupid and maybe they even have to be smart or at least above average. But definitely they don't have to be equal. And definitely that's not what my relationship is based on.

    Since I don't really want to get into my own marriage out here in public, I will give examples from my mother's two marriages.

    My mother is smart. Very, very smart. She belonged to Mensa and has a bunch of advanced degrees and graduated Summa Cum Laude. But when she married my Dad, they were both just HS graduates. My dad was not dumb. But he was not an intellectual either. He never did well in school, unlike my mom, who was actually offered some sort of academic scholarship to college back in the 50s when women going to college was rare. (She didn't take it because, for a smart woman, she could be dumb :lol:)

    Their marriage didn't last. Was it because my Dad wasn't an intellectual or wasn't her intellectual equal? On paper they had the same education and they definitely came from the same background and he wasn't dumb. But that wasn't it. The marriage didn't last because he was abusive, pure and simple. They also didn't have the same values (in spite of both being raised Roman Catholic and being Irish) or the same approach to life.

    There are some very basic things you need in a relationship -- respect, similar values, and not being abused are right up there -- and if those aren't there, the rest -- intellect, shared interests, etc. -- don't matter one iota.

    In her second marriage, she married someone who, on paper is also match education-wise, but is also not really an intellectual. OTOH, I think education is very important in his family unlike for my dad. So they match there. But they don't have similar backgrounds AT ALL. They come from different countries for starters! Is he smart? I have no idea. He's not dumb, that's for sure. But the relationship isn't about that. They have shared interests and they are compatible.

    But most importantly, he's a NICE GUY. He nurtures my mom and takes care of her. He's not the major bread winner but he doesn't sit at home eating bonbons either. He works really hard making sure the house is nice, not just doing housework, but remodeling it and gardening, and he makes sure all the little and big things get taken care of (taxes, cooking) so she can go out and conquer the bigger world. They take trips all over the world and have a great time together. I don't worry about her in her old age, because she has him.

    But, no, they don't talk about Bachelard either. Don't get me wrong, my mom is totally the kind of person who talks about Bachelard. But she has people in her life she can do that with. She doesn't have to get everything she needs from her husband and that kind of talk is a really minor thing (for her) compared to all the other things she gets out of the relationship.
     
  4. quartz

    quartz I wonder what tomorrow has in mind for me

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    MacMadame, I believe you hit on the key word, "NICE GUY".
    Which, of course, is what matters.
    (Well, to me :))
     
  5. madm

    madm Active Member

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    I can totally relate to this! My hubby is also the guy who does a lot around the house/yard and was never the breadwinner. I will add to this that he is a very funny person - his sense of humor, impersonations, and quirky way of looking at everyday life make living so much fun! It would be so boring to be discussing serious subjects all the time.
     
  6. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    I value cleverness above intelligence. I like being around clever, but down-to-earth people. I'm not sure I know what "intellectual wavelength" means either, but I do know I like being around men who are self-deprecating, clever, and have a similar sense of humor to mine. It's fun seeing the world through someone else's eyes when that person is clever and funny :) I like my women friends exactly that same way, and I'm very fortunate that most of them are!

    O-
     
  7. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I've been around enough guys who lament they don't have a girlfriend even though they're a "NICE GUY" that I don't use the term anymore. :lol: (In the context they use, "nice" means a pushover who's also a secret douchebag since they believe they deserve a hot girlfriend because they are "nice." :p )

    I use the term "kind." And yes, having a partner who's kind I think is the most important thing. Because even though Alf has no interest in the social or pop culture issues I do (and they are a large part of my identity), he's very mindful of my needs. Yesterday he offered to drive me to work and class because I'd gotten 3 hours of sleep the night before trying to finish a project. :)

    I have friends to talk social issues and pop culture with. :)
     
  8. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    This times 100 million. Kind is an underrated trait.
     
  9. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure that I do either. I suspect some people would say my aunt and her husband are - they both have PhD's in similar areas. They work in a university setting. I don't know what they talk about or even what their relationship is like, although they have been married for 50 years so on some level it works.

    We've been married for 40 years. We both have Master's degrees although in very different fields. We have different hobbies/interests. We do have similar values and political beliefs. Some of our best discussions have been when walking - maybe on silly topics, maybe on serious topics, most of which do not involve what level of education we have. The middle years of our marriage our conversation were mainly about children, tasks to do, money or lack thereof, and other similar topics. Now we talk about retirement, hobbies, grandchildren, politics, aging parents - but sometimes it is as silly as a stupid commercial.
     
  10. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's underrated as it is difficult to ascertain on a first date. ;) Or even a month of dating. I didn't get to see his kindness in full swing until we were dating about a year and I got really sick. (It doesn't show really, until the going gets rough!)

    Lots of people just want to know right away if this person is for them. Hence the fixation on having similar hobbies and the like. It's a benchmark to say, "Yes, this person is for me!" when there's a lot of deeper things that have yet to be considered. But I think there are early signs to look for, if you're observant. This is why it's always a good idea to treat service staff well on a first date. ;)
     
  11. Prancer

    Prancer Dysteleological Staff Member

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    Many years ago I read something in a book? An article? Something. Anyway, I read an anecdotal account of a hard-driving Young Turk who was highly regarded in the corporate world, a real up-and-comer. His wife was considered a handicap for him--she was, essentially, a hippie, an SAHM who was a real earth-mother type, with neither a college degree nor the corporate wife personality. People would sometimes comment on how odd their marriage was, but he said that it was relaxing to come home and talk about something completely different from work with someone who didn't expect him to be a Boy Wonder and who reminded him that the world was not his office.

    I thought of that when I read the Princeton mom's comments because I think she would consider that an example of a man who wasn't bothered by marrying his intellectual inferior and proof that men don't mind marrying dumber women. But that makes as much sense to me as my colleague marrying someone with whom she could discuss Bachelard over dinner--more, because I have a lot of empathy for his point of view. I find liberal arts people stimulating for a while and exhausting after a while :shuffle:.

    Maybe all of these people ARE on the same intellectual wavelengths?
     
  12. quartz

    quartz I wonder what tomorrow has in mind for me

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    Anita18, how about nice, AND kind. That's the man I have and that is all I need. Sounds like that is what you have too. :)
     
  13. DAngel

    DAngel Active Member

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    I've met people who are the opposite of that... I thought they are kind, but after a while I realize that I mistook their other qualities for kindness :shuffle:.

    JME, anybody who says they are nice, usually are not. :lol: The people who are really nice/kind are usually not aware that they are. They think they are just doing what everybody else would do in that particular situation.

    Ps: I'm using nice and kind interchangeably here, but I guess this lady would disagree...

    Pss: How do you measure someone's cleverness/intelligence? I have been feeling pretty dumb lately :lol:
     
  14. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Wait...how can you mistake something else for kindness? You're going to have to explain. :lol:

    Yeah, "nice" and "kind" supposedly are synonyms, but there's too much baggage associated with being "nice" that I don't use it often anymore. Unless I really do want to describe someone as a pushover looking for approval from others. :p So I suppose I agree with the HuffPo author there.

    But someone can be genuinely kind AND nice at the same time. "Nice" usually also involves being obviously taken advantage of, and someone can be so naturally kind that this starts to happen...A nice person usually has no idea when to say no, even if it starts to impede on their own happiness and helps no one....
     
  15. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    :confused: The evolution of language is certainly strange -- I never knew that if someone was "nice" it meant that others took advantage of them. That used to be called "inablity to say no" or "being a doormat" or an extreme "people pleaser." I never realized that the word "nice" could have such a negative connotation.

    ETA: Of course, to my grandmother, "nice" usually meant polite and well-mannered -- "what a nice young man he is" she would say.
     
  16. quartz

    quartz I wonder what tomorrow has in mind for me

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    Nope, never knew that nice meant being taken advantage of either.....well glad to be informed of that. I have a whole lot of nice people in my life that will be very interested to hear that as well
     
  17. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the context. I guess I have heard so many people describe themselves as "nice guys (and why can't I get a girlfriend)" that it has ruined the word for me. :lol:
     
  18. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    I was going to say...despite being the liberal arts person (I'm the family underachiever, I just have a BA in archaeology and an MA in museum studies) I can find liberal-arts kind of conversation draining (like I might have to end the conversation painfully if it spent much time on French philosophers.) But sit there nitpicking the physics of a solar system in Doctor Who (leading to the conclusion "Another offscreen holocaust"), I'm good with that. I tend to have more...tolerance for science and mechanical intellectual, rather than liberal arts perspective. Though I can be a history geek of the first order. I tend to prefer conversations that are somewhat more random than deep philosophizing. I'd sooner sit there with a vet explaining to me how to correct a breech birth in a cow than have some guy want to discuss the spiritual meanings of Emerson's poetry. (At which point I'd derail on purpose with my musings on how Emerson must have really felt about being the sugar daddy of Concord...Just because I do not enjoy something does not mean I don't know it.)

    Anita18, I know what you mean about "nice". Though usually with "nice guy" I don't think doormat, I think passive-aggressive jerk. I'll take kind and civil over aggressively nice any day. Civil is easier to spot first than kind. And I think DAngel is right, people who are nice generally don't think they're nice.
     
  19. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Glad I am not the only liberal arts major that can only take so much deep intellectual humanities oriented discussion without wanting to fall into a coma. That stuff exhausts me after awhile. I dated a few guys who loved that. On paper, those were probably great matches. In reality, not so much. I married a guy with an associate's degree in agri-business who loves comedy movies and cars. I nearly have a master's in history and had three majors as an undergrad. The difference doesn't matter. There are different kinds of intelligence and my husband has many other intelligences even if they are not really academic.
     
  20. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    When you major in something, and work in something, frequently it's the last thing you want to talk about when you get home.
     
  21. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    But they aren't Nice Guys. They are "nice" guys. ;)

    Word. For me, anyway.

    I was reading an article today on how to have extraordinary relationships. The kinds of things they said to do all were about how you treat other people. Of course, it wasn't about romance, per se. But I think it still applies.
     
  22. DAngel

    DAngel Active Member

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    Well it was a mix of politeness/well-manner and patience and other things like cultural differences, but after knowing him for a while, I find that he can be quite apathetic towards others. Not a jerk or anything, but not exactly kinder than normal :lol:

    Talking about measuring intelligence, Youtube read my mind and suggested this BBC documentary on intelligence. Fascinating :)
     
  23. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    Here’s another negative connotation of the word nice – they interviewed the neighbors of the Georgia man who held the firefighters hostage, and they said he was always a nice man. Just like all the other homicidal wackos from recent years.

    My experience with guys who describe themselves as “nice” is that they set the bar pretty low. Like I am nice because I would never hit you, and I am nice because I would never run around on you (unless a hot chick knocks on my door and wants to have sex with me). So therefore, you should have sex with me. And make me dinner.

    Yeah, usually the self-described nice guys are an annoying mix of underachievement and inflated ego.
     
  24. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    To me, nice and kind are somewhat different. In general, I am nice to everyone- but a lot of the time, I'm putting on a front. I am really only kind to some people. Being nice is social etiquette, being kind is deep rooted.
     
  25. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Alf is always kind to me, but he can be not-so-kind to people when they cut him off in their cars. :p He doesn't practice road rage, but I told him I didn't appreciate some of the words that were coming out of his mouth...

    If you are kind to him, he can be very kind back. If someone is in trouble, he'll always offer to help. But he certainly is no Mother Teresa to people who are mean to him! :lol:
     
  26. heckles

    heckles Banned Member

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    The website Heartless Bitches International has a funny commentary on that.
     
  27. DAngel

    DAngel Active Member

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    To me, the marker of kindness is with strangers.

    If you're kind to (some) people you know/love, then I think you're like the majority of the people.
    If you're kind to strangers, then you're really kind.
    If you're kind to people who are mean to you, then you're a :saint:

    Kind people always inspire me to be better, saints always makes me feel bad about myself :p
     
  28. leesaleesa

    leesaleesa Active Member

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    It's all balderdash. The only people who have a shelf life are the people who read nonsense that tells them they have a shelf life, and take it to heart. Shelf life is for beets, not long lived mammals.

    Sometimes really smart and really dumb people get on just fine. My friend is going on 10 years of marriage with a very intelligent man. She has no idea what/where Missouri is.
     
  29. J-Ro

    J-Ro Active Member

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    OK. [pause and deep breath] What I mean by "intellectual wavelength" is that you and your partner are on the same intellectual range. By intellectual, I mean brain capability, not that one actually has academic conversations. It means that you understand each other's sense of humor. It means that you carry on a general gossipy conversation. You understand each other's frame of mind and that sort of stuff. Let's put it this way: if one partner has an IQ of 100 (the average) and the other's is 140, you're just not going to have the same understanding of each other as two people who both have an IQ of 100 or both have an IQ of 140. And I'm only using the IQ example as a means of comparison in this thread, not that one should have an IQ test before marriage, lest anyone feel the need to parse this too much. But people have a way of sorting each other out by intelligence, anyway. Most couples are in the same intelligence range. You rarely find a person of average intelligence with a genius (Unless you have the otherwise bright but egotistical man who finds a not-so-bright but pretty trophy wife, but that's not what I'm talking about. They each have their own reasons. I'm talking about most normal relationships.) Here's another example: one Columbia and Harvard educated man I know was constantly trying--and failing--to form relationships with very handsome yet not so bright men. (Same sex, different sex, it doesn't matter. Relationships are relationships.) He said that he had no idea why he couldn't form an emotional connection to any of these guys. I told him: "Uh, maybe you should find someone who's as bright as you are. These guys are never going to understand you, no matter how hot they are. So if you're looking for a good time, they'll do, but if you want something more, you'll never be satisfied." Hey, even Ivy League grads need help on the relationship front. And again, it's NOT the education level that's as important as the overall intelligence level. I know I'm going on about this, but all I'm saying is that people of similar intelligence will find more of a meaningful connection than people of drastically different intelligence levels.
     
  30. J-Ro

    J-Ro Active Member

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    You apparently don't live anywhere near Boston.