The guy I’m dating is a high school graduate with a manual labor job. I have a master’s and a corporate career, and I’ll eventually make several times his salary. He’s a great guy, and does stuff like spontaneously buying me flowers at the farmers market and calling just to say goodnight. We talk sports, which I love, and he shares his work gossip, but I can’t talk to him the way I talk to my egghead friends. I use $5 words (my natural speech after years of schooling), and I can tell he sometimes has no idea what I just said. My friends seem put off by him and question whether we’ve got enough in common. I’m more concerned with how he feels around them (going silent, fumbling words, getting grumpy).     Is it reasonable to give up this sweet, attentive man for somebody married to his work, but who can match wits with anyone, anytime?

    Opposites might attract, but then they start talking. You say tomayto, he says tomahto, and you throw in a side order of antidisestablishmentarianism. (Man is from Mars, Woman is from Encyclopedia Britannica.)
    It’s amazing how you can be in a man’s arms and over his head at the very same time. In a way, this is a case of terrible timing. If you’d both been around during the Oklahoma Land Rush, he would’ve been a much wiser choice of boyfriend than some pointyhead who’d just read the collected works of Charles Darwin. But here you are in 2008, probably all cozy in some starter condo, feeling the constant grate of his intellectual incompatibility, especially at those smart people clambakes you’re always attending.
    While people will tell you money can’t buy happiness, if you make lots more than he does, you might end up feeling pretty miserable. There was this theory that women only wanted rich, powerful men because they couldn’t get money or power themselves. Studies by evolutionary psychologist David Buss and others actually show that rich, successful women tend to go for even richer, more successful men.
    As a woman who uses $5 words, can you be satisfied with a man who only has $2.75 or so to play around with? Most importantly, do you admire him? And will you — when he stretches his hand skyward and promises you the stars...without the faintest idea that he’s actually offering you a passing satellite?

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