I ended a very loving relationship on the basis that the man I was with was not my intellectual equal. The relationship had everything for me, except for this compatibilty. People say I made a mistake, and half of me is living in regret. However this nagging feeling would not leave me throughout it all that I would be better suited to someone who challenged me intellectually, and would thus command more respect from me (that last part I feel terrible for saying but I know there is a truth in it, indeed I yearned for a challenge). Can a person who values intellectual pursuits really have a long term relationship with somebody who can't fully share in them? Did I make a mistake?

Sure, some people can only be in love with people who are entirely different from them. One of the nice things about romance is that it brings very different people together and we often wonder why they are together, what they see in each other, and whether it will last. Hollywood romances are based on such differences. It would be very boring if we always fell in love with people rather like us, although we often do, and surely there is no right or wrong in cases like this.

Did you make a mistake? Certainly not, you gave it a try, it did not work out and so on to the next relationship. It would not be surprising though if you fall in love again, perhaps for a long time, with someone who is again not your intellectual equal, since while you might enjoy the cut and thrust of discussion, it is sometimes pleasant to give the rational rapier a bit of a rest.

My Valentine's Day reflections on the topic.

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