If you follow my Instagram account, then you’ll remember that I attended my cousin’s wedding about a month back. Prior to the wedding, my aunt informed me that one of the groomsmen was cute. He also worked for NASA and was finishing his PhD dissertation in aerospace engineering.
Now none of you know my aunt, but I didn't put a ton of stock in her opinion of male "cuteness." But I have more faith in her now.
When I got to the wedding, it was very obvious which one she’d been talking about. He was tall (I’m 5.6″ and was wearing 5″ stilettos and he was still taller than me, if that gives you an idea) with brown eyes/hair and looked positively adorable in his tux. Considering it was a family wedding, I felt there was a certain quota of family time that needed to be met, so I didn’t chat much with him at the wedding or reception. We danced around with my baby cousin a bit, but nothing beyond eye contact and introductions ensued.
At the brunch the next morning, we both made an effort to talk to each other. Even when others in the circle were talking, we’d have eye contact and glance/smiles. I was feeling great about my chances with this guy.
Enter my aunt Peg.
She wasted no time informing me that Corey likes to date girls of his intellectual caliber, and his last girlfriend crumbled under the pressure of keeping up with such a high-achieving boyfriend. This is all heresy through the groom, but it rattled me. My mom claims my aunt wasn’t implying that I’m too dumb for him, but let’s be realistic; she totally was.
You know those people who make you feel smarter just by being near them? Corey isn’t one of those people. He makes you feel dumber because he’s on another level. I started to check out when he and my brother started trading data analysis tips and tricks.
I'm book smart--literally. I’m an English major concentrating on 19th and 20th century literature. I have little knowledge of science, and when Corey told me he was working on a paper discussing “hypersonic vehicles,” he had to dumb it down to “flight.”
So I wasn't feeling great about myself. But then I realized that we’re both smart in our own ways. I don’t need to be down on myself for not knowing much (if anything) about aerospace engineering, because he’s never even read Jane Austen or Charlotte Brontë or any novelists who I covet dearly. Why did I put him up on a pedestal when I myself don’t want to pursue what he’s studying, and vice versa.
I spent so much time kicking myself for not being good enough for this kid and double-checking everything I said to make sure I didn’t say something incorrect or stupid (which still happened anyways, because let’s be honest–it’s me we’re talking about). I could’ve really used a reality check from Lizzy Bennet; she always says exactly what she’s thinking whether or not it’s what should be done.
If there's one thing I've learned in my dating life it’s that men want the real you–they may not want it right away or all at once, but they do want to see it. (Anyone get my Hitch reference?)
The more I think about it the more certain I am that opposites attract. Corey and his last girlfriend (a cancer researcher with a degree in neuroscience) were still in the same-ish field: science. I’m in an entirely different industry. It shouldn’t be a matter of picking the better guy. Pick the person who is going to make you the better girl.
I've always considered a good and healthy relationship to be one within which both partners are actively learning and teaching each other, pushing the other to be better, think harder, get the most out of their life. I’ve always wanted a relationship where I can learn from my partner, someone who will constantly force me to read and learn even after I receive my diploma.
Maybe Corey is my Mr. Darcy, and maybe he's not.
Corey and I are still talking (though it’s been nearly a month since the wedding). His main mode of communication is Snapchat, so that’s how we message. It’s not particularly efficient for having a conversation. I have absolutely no idea where I stand with him, which is proving extraordinarily fun–not. And no, we haven’t gone out on a date because he lives in Michigan and I’m currently in Nebraska. The odds are really stacked in our favor, aren’t they?
Don’t worry. I’ll keep you all updated on any happenings.
I’ll end by saying, don’t ever let anyone trick you into thinking you’re not worthy of some guy. Don’t you deserve the best? We all want that happily ever after. It’s not the fact that you’re not worth his time or energy–it’s whether or not you’re the right fit for him. If you’re going to make him just as happy as he hopefully makes you. A relationship of equals–that’s what we should aim for.