It’s never wise for a guy to talk about women in broad strokes, whether the topic is dating, work, or anything else. Besides the obvious objectification and mansplaining pitfalls to avoid, it’s just not fair to segment enormous segments of the population into compact, easily digestible macro categories, much in the same way horoscopes are a sham. (Yes, they are and you know that at your core.) When it comes to women AND men, “everyone is a unique individual”, “your mileage may vary”, and the myriad other caveats are very real and to be taken seriously. That said, I’m going to do my best to enumerate a few tips, suggestions, and confidence boosters to help you average guy archetypes handle the daunting task of dating a woman who is unequivocally your intellectual superior. Feel free to ask her what “unequivocally” means when you finish.

Be yourself

This one kind of carries over to dating anyone, not just the MENSA sort. Being yourself means not putting on airs or trying to drop info or vocab that you think will impress her. She’s not falling for it, and on top of that, it adds an unnecessary layer of deception, albeit a minor one, to this stage of dating. Rather than dumbly nodding along or throwing out a “yea, totally” when she casually mentions cap-and-trade in a conversation, give a frank “I’m not familiar with that. Care to fill me in?” Earnestness is oodles hotter than a dumb lie followed by nothing to add to the conversation.

Have a curious mind

Piggybacking onto the advice above, if these “I dunno” moments are happening to you with somewhat alarming frequency, and she’s amazingly still into you, there’s always the nuclear option: take the initiative to go learn a little something about the subject on your own time. It won’t kill you. Nobody’s saying you have to pick up a hardback book that they only sell in airport terminals just to brush up who or what Monsanto is. There are scores of blogs, listicles, and infographs online that’ll bring you up to speed in just the time of a healthy BM. It’s easy to get discouraged at just how brainy she is compared to you, but just because she’s miles ahead doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on closing that gap. Self-improvement and education should stop after graduating school anyway, dude.

Find your area of expertise

She might have that fancy book learnin’ stuff down pat, but there are undoubtedly numerous topics of which you’re the expert in the relationship. Figure out where it is you have a deep wealth of knowledge, be it cars, sports, woodwork, Halo, or cross-stitching, and drop some bait on the subjects from time to time. If she bites and further inquires, now is your time to shine and casually teach her a thing or two on the topic. Don’t lecture, though. Let her steer the convo with her questions. Education is relative, my man, and we live in strange times where the novelty of learning about the minutia of some esoteric job or activity absolutely fascinates some people. Maybe your girl is one such person.

Don’t Fawn

It might be cute or flattering for you to tell her “Wow, you’re so smart!” in the early stages of your relationship, but after a while it will merely serve to highlight the chasm between your mental capacities when you should instead be focused on bridging that gap. She knows she’s smart, man. She’s already comfortable with the dynamic between you. Pointing it out constantly, even if done in a complimentary manner, will make you come off as something worse than unintelligent: you’ll seem boring.

Be a generous lover

This is another one that really could be cut and pasted into a guide about dating ANY woman. Everyone has stayed in a relationship longer than they should have because the sex was just too damn good to leave. If you’re keeping her happy in other ways (not just limited to bedroom stuff, by the way) it stands to reason that she’d be a bit more willing to overlook how the light sorta leaves your eyes anytime she starts talking about the 2016 Election candidates. But really, it’s just common courtesy to want to satisfy your partner. Besides, doesn’t pleasing her, in turn, please you too? It’s 2015. Why haven’t you still not taken the time to learn how to properly eat pussy?

Check your ego

We’ve established that she’s smarter than you, so it’s incredibly likely that she will (if she doesn’t already) make more money than you. You could be a dick and huff and puff every time she offers to pay the bill or treat you to something nice, or you could recognize that you’re in a perfectly modern relationship where women have agency and earning power and take those actions as the kindnesses they’re meant to be. Your boys giving you shit? Try hanging out with men who don’t ascribe to outdated gender norms for couples living in an age where we’re about to colonize Mars. It isn’t just about financial stuff. You’re going to wind up in situations where, unfortunately, she or you will unintentionally belie your lack of smarts in front of others. Like most things in life, this can easily be defused with a heaping spoonful of not-taking-things-so-seriously.

 

Congrats on landing a thinker, man. She, like every other human being, has her legitimate flaws and irrational insecurities, so just treat her as you would most any other person; try to not put her on such a pedestal, and maybe, just maybe, you kids can take this thing the whole way. Your statistically-smarter-than-you future kids thank you for not fucking it up.