I am a teacher who has always been self confident. I am now dating a psychologist who I really hit it off with. He and I can talk for hours and I enjoy him. He hasn’t shared as much about his family with me except to say that his mother left him when he was very young and his father disregarded every accomplishment he made. He mentions it to me as if he was abandoned. I adore him and our relationship is terrific but I fear I am not asking him enough questions. I am intimidated about his knowledge base. What does he need? What should I do?
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Thank you for submitting this very interesting question.
First, let me remind you that psychologists, psychiatrists and medical doctors are all just people. They are human beings who experience and suffer from all of the human foibles and life problems that afflict us all.
So what does this mean for you and your question?
Well, for one, I want to remind you that his "knowledge base" is intellectual in nature and does not have much to do with him as a human being. If he is in private practice, he may be a really good practitioner. However, when he is away from work he is just himself.
Think about it from your perspective as a teacher: I do not know what level of teaching you are involved with. Perhaps you are a Pre School teacher or Elementry School or Middle or High School or College School Professor. So what? Your students view you as a "Goddess." As a child, my friends and I believed that our teachers were all powerful. The point is that when you go home you are simply your own self and not the professional role you occupy as a teacher. It is exaclty the same for this man you are dating.
In other words, he is not looking for a professional colleague but a human being, a woman, a person for him to be with, in an honest and open way.
What he needs and wants is YOU, just as your are. He does not want someone who is being "phoney" or intellectual.
He tells you about his mother and father not "as if" he was abandoned. Instead, he truly "feels" abandoned by them. This is all the more reason for why he is looking for and wanting YOU and not anything else.
I can only urge you, encourage you, try to convince you to be true to who you are. If you want to ask him more questions then ASK. If you feel some anxiety, then tell him. If you feel annoyed about something, tell him. If he has said he "likes you," respond in kind, if that is what you feel. If he has told you that he loves you then tell him the same if that is what you feel.
Talk to him about your profession. Ask him about his profession. Talk about all the mundane things that comprise every day life that we all have to cope with.
I want to remind you that you and he are in closely allied fields. Teachers and psychologists work closely together. Despite your self doubts, he is not from some "some other universe" than you.
I cannot tell you to not be intimidated but I think it would help if you remind your self that he is just a man, just a person, just a person who has his hurts and pains and that he looks to you for things like: Love, Acceptance, Warmth, Understanding and Safety.