Intellectual: I'll tell you right now that I prefer to use degrees of laughter, rather than degrees of education, as a barometer for intellectual compatibility, but others disagree. I think people get overly concerned about the amount of education their mate may or may not have. If he "gets" you and makes you laugh, what more do you need? I mean, we all know someone like Miranda, the redhead lawyer on Sex and the City, who was happy marrying Steve the bartender.

I've learned from my clients that a man can be intellectually stimulating even if he hasn't been to college. Michelle, an Ivy League???educated business executive, didn't respect men who were less degreed than she was, and believed they would resent her. Then she met her uneducated actor boyfriend who introduced her to the joys of National Public Radio and Pulitzer Prize???winning author Michael Chabon. How had she gone through her entire, ivory-tower life without being aware of either one? Now, she didn't end up marrying him, but she couldn't deny that her no-degree boyfriend wasn't the dummy she expected him to be.

If you can find at least two intellectually stimulating activities you like to do together, I'd say you're in pretty good shape. Do you love to watch foreign/independent films together? Do you both love wine tasting? Have you done the New York Times crossword puzzle on Sunday together? Do you enjoy discussing politics? You don't have to agree necessarily, but it's good if you enjoy the debate—it can even be sexually stimulating. Do you like to go to the same types of museums and exhibits? When you travel, do you both like to explore the culture and do as much sightseeing as possible, or do you both like to just unwind on the beach or in the mountains? Maybe you're both into extreme-sports vacations? Do you like to read the same books, newspapers, or websites? If your favorite news sources are TMZ and Perez Hilton and his favorites are the Wall Street Journal and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, I'm not saying it will never work, but be prepared to endure eternal ribbing (I know I do). Just be aware that street smart can be a good match for book smart, if neither one of you is too invested in your own particular form of higher education.
Become Your Own Matchmaker by Patti Stanger. Published by Atria Books. ?? 2009


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