Happy Monday, Intellectual Badasses.
I have a question for you: if you ever watched the TV show Friends (who didn’t, right?), how did you feel about Ross and Rachel’s relationship? Did you like them together? Did they seem like a well-matched couple? What did you think about them getting together in the end?
I ask because Ross and Rachel represent a good example of an IB/non-IB relationship. Sure, we’re talking about television here and not a real relationship. But I use their relationship as a way to illustrate today’s topic – whether IB/non-IB relationships work.
This is really a question of compatibility. As I discuss in Changing Your Game and It’s Not Him, It’s YOU, if chemistry gets a relationship started (it does in many cases), compatibility keeps it going. Compatibility isn’t just about having things in common or having similar traits; it’s about meshing well together despite any differences. And, as you know, there will always be differences.
An Intellectual Badass may wish for someone as bright as they are, for someone who loves science as much as they do, or for someone who also appreciates old Star Trek reruns or long, involved conversations about The Hunger Games series. It’s great if you can get that, but more often even other IBs won’t have all the traits you wish for. Likewise, a non-IB may not share your occupation or hobbies, but may share other, more crucial values.
In other words, it doesn’t matter whether you choose an IB or a non-IB, as long as you’re compatible in the areas that matter most. Do your personalities mesh, or clash? Do you agree on what type of relationship you want and whether you want kids? Is being with them easy or difficult? Most importantly, do they appreciate you for who you are?
My husband is a bright guy, but he’s not an IB. He doesn’t care about science, never watches science fiction with me, and hasn’t read any of my books. Do I care? Not a bit. Why? Because we mesh in areas that are far more important to me. We’re the same age. Neither of us has kids or plans to have them. We get along well, despite any differences. He has good social skills. We have similar life goals. We respect one another’s work, and he has no problem with my IBness. I have my IB friends and colleagues to share all that with.
So what about Ross and Rachel? Not to be a curmudgeon, but I vote no on that relationship, despite having loved that show. It isn’t because Ross was an IB and she wasn’t, or because Ross was smarter than Rachel. It’s because they didn’t mesh well. He looked down on her love of fashion; she couldn’t stand his dinosaur talk. He wanted marriage and kids; she got squirrelly about such conventional stuff. He liked to be close; she needed more space. They spent most of their relationship clashing with one another. And, to be honest, having just begun the 4th season of Big Bang Theory, I see Leonard and Penny’s relationship showing similar signs.
Yes, an IB can easily date non-IBs. Just make sure they’re compatible with you.
Some useful links: