I’ve been with my boyfriend for over two years. I love him and want things to work out between us. However, there is one thing that concerns me about him. He always seems to need to prove his point to everyone no matter how big or small the topic is. I am much more open-minded and feel like people can think how they want to think. If someone says something that he doesn’t agree with, he always needs to correct them and give them a jumble of facts why he’s right. It is very important to him that he prove he is right. What does this mean? And how can I deal with it so that it does not always bug me?
Thanks for your question.
Clearly he wants people to know he’s intelligent. But it’s more than that. He has a very black-and-white view of the world. And when someone sees the world that way they tend to act like a know-it-all. He might think he’s doing the world a service, but for the many people who would prefer to avoid conflict, his behavior is pretty annoying and unnecessary.
Conflict in general seems to be more prevalent these days as the world becomes more and more polarized. Arguments occur at parties, sporting events, and wherever issues are discussed. Some people keep quiet when they disagree and others argue and then proselytize their opinions to possibly gain converts. We need to look no further than politics to see this dynamic illustrated. The split between Republicans and Democrats is so pronounced that people are even choosing their friends along party lines.
Your boyfriend’s behavior also means that he’s somewhat inflexible. This could become a major issue in your relationship. If he’s lecturing strangers now, imagine how he’ll treat you as your relationship progresses? What will happen, if and when you don’t do something the “right” way? I can imagine a frustrating road ahead.
But it doesn’t have to get to that point. You need to start discussing this with him. Most people strive to improve themselves throughout their life; and if he’s as intelligent as he purports to be, then he’ll be interested in your feedback. As long as you broach the topic without criticizing him he might be receptive to your concern. Say something like, “I care for you very much and want to make this work, but there’s one thing that’s been on my mind and I’m hoping we can talk about it.” Then ask him what’s going through his mind when he starts lecturing someone on a particular topic. What’s he feeling inside? Why does he feel the need to prove his point? Why can’t he let it go, at least occasionally? If he gets really defensive or angry, well then you have some more information about him to process.
Page 2 of 2 - Understand, Karla, how he deals with this issue right now is exactly how he’s going to problem solve throughout his life with you. I’m not saying your goal should be to change him, but maybe he needs reminding that life is short, and we all need to pick our battles.
All the best,
Saelen Ghose is the head writer for The Guy’s Perspective, a popular relationship blog and website. Over the course of his tenure he has responded to thousands of relationship questions, and while he hasn’t solved every problem, he has provided a thoughtful perspective on every question received. If you have a relationship question of your own, please email email@example.com. Saelen will do his best to answer your question. Please limit your question to 200 words or less. For more from The Guy’s Perspective, visit www.theguysperspective.com.