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I've just stared dating this guy and while he's very sweet, I'm afraid our personalities and lifestyles will quickly end this before it begins. We're just very different, but I'm wondering if this can be overcome.


The main issue i have is the difference in our educations. I'm rather well educated; went to university and have 2 degrees, and he is a tradesperson. I'm not trying to be a snob, it's really not about that. It's more that sometimes when we have conversations, he just doesn't know what I'm talking about. He says I use a lot of 'big words' and while this is probably true, I'm not doing it to prove something; it's just how I speak! I'm a teacher and as a part of my job I have to be articulate in order to model for my students.


Normally I'd just say 'too different!' and move on, but I really like him. He makes an effort, wants to spend time with me, and is really sweet and caring (which is more than I can say for the last 2 guys I dated).


Has anyone been in this situation before? What did you do?



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I don't know if it can be overcome...you don't want to dull your shine for him (words of wisdon from Tyra Banks) - meaning you speak that way and should keep speaking that way - and he may start to feel "un"smart. At the same time, maybe giving it a bit more time will really show you whether you can deal or not.


Personally, I would prefer someone a little more on the same level.

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I tried that a few times. Didn't work for me. When I tried to change the way I naturally spoke (and I don't mean the way I have to speak in a professional setting using profession specific vocabulary, phrases) I felt too self-conscious. Having said that I am very good at tailoring the way I speak for the listener - and that does NOT mean dumbing it down in the least but I naturally try to establish rapport and in doing that if there is a phrase the other person uses I will choose that phrase when I respond rather than another that might not be as comfortable for him or her.


I will not dumb down the way I speak because I believe I speak in a clear and understandable way. Some may think I use big words- since I know I do not - and don't use them just to use them - I would probably find it difficult to get very close to a person like that. I love words and language and it hurts my ears to hear slang or very bad grammar and similar.


When I dated someone like that many years ago his mother, a schoolteacher, asked me to try to be a good influence on the way her (30-something) year old son spoke. He knew she had said that and he resented it. I felt uncomfortable with the way he expressed himself and sometimes felt a little embarrassed - at a business event I took him to, for example.

His obsessive behaviors were the real reason it didn't work, however.

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Sure it can work - my mother has her undergrad in geosciences, an diploma in business administration, a diploma in risk management and a handful of other diplomas related to insurance and the like and works a very white collar job as a higher up (after many years working her way up!).


My stepfather has worked as a train mechanic and crane operator with the railroad for over 37 years and barely finished high school.


They adore one another and really compliment one another well and the education difference certainly is not a hindrance to either of them, as it does not matter to them as underneath it all they are equals, and compatible in terms of personality and values.


I'd say they both talk pretty normally though...lol. My boyfriend and I come from different careers/career pursuits so often use words the other does not know or understand in certain terms (just related to our own career or knowledge), but we explain them to one another when the other has the "huh?" look on our face without feeling resentful or put down because of it....so it just depends on how you are speaking and whether it really is "big words" or just "articulate".


So, really, it all depends on you - and him. I know others whom hold further education as a very important "must have" and others who don't give a lick as long as their partner loves what they do and they get along well.


I would worry that if he thinks you are using big words, that he may over time feel a bit "put down" but this may be more due to his own feelings about not being "equal" - not necessarily anything you did or didn't do!


I think the bottom line is are you interested in HIM, and not just with him as he makes you feel good about yourself? Do you find yourself interested in HIS life, and his passions, and his career - because I think it is really important that you have that too and you are with him as you genuinely are interested in HIM (not just because he is sweet and kind and not like the others before him...), and it is important to HIM to feel like HE is interesting to you too.

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It's more that sometimes when we have conversations, he just doesn't know what I'm talking about. He says I use a lot of 'big words'


If you really like him then I don't think this should be an issue. You will develop over time in any relationship an understanding of how each other communicates. The fact that he does not understand what some words mean or is unclear about them is really not an insurmountable issue.


I think if you really like him I'd hang in for a while and see how you guys start to mesh.

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I don't think you should let it get in the way. Its good when partenrs compliment each others weaknesses.


Just don't let it become a point of competition between you two. An ex of mine felt she was much smarter than me. . . but became resentful that I was paid more than her (in her mind undeservedly so). It became a pretty regular point of contention.

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I can see how this is frustrating but, you can make it work. It is still a new relationship and if he does care for you and you for him. Comprimise will happen. I wouldn't take any odd tones with him if he doesn't understand. Just take it in stride and explain. He will learn a lot from you and you from him. This is a great thing, I do love opposites. So much to gain from each other even if it is understanding and patience.

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