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Married to an engineer . . .

In a piece entitled ‘The pros and cons of dating an engineer’, the author brags that engineers are definite marriage material, and that your parents will most certainly approve. What the author fails to mention is that most are over 30 years old and might be more than just a little reluctant to share their bachelor pad with a creature as unpredictable as a woman.
Engineers are known for their high-paying jobs at the beginning of their career ladder, but are notoriously frugal – every penny spent is optimised. They are known to handle the stress and strain of relationships better than most of their competitors, but whenever you are emotional, you can be assured they will be there by your side analysing the mathematical and ‘logical’ reasons as to why this moment occurred. They are very handy when it comes to fixing things around the house such as lawnmowers, washers and dryers, and arranging your home theatre system to ‘just the right acoustic levels’, but if it has been more than an hour and they are still fixing it, don’t dare disturb them, because you could soon be date-hunting again.

And I’ve heard time and time again how more than one engineer has had his new bride distraught over her inability to ‘wow’ him on unbuttoning her blouse back in the honeymoon suite of their 5-star hotel after a sexy picnic. Because, you see, he’d prefer to fold their clothes first before embarking on ‘wild’, ‘uncontrolled’ sex (after first ensuring the door is locked, the towel covers the bedspread just so, and the curtains have been bolstered with sheets to muffle any possible sounds).

First-hand experience
Brenda met her engineer at a weekly social gathering. “I was nineteen and he was twenty-six,” she says. “He was melancholic and had an eye for detail. Seemingly ‘small’ things, to me, were big things to him. He lived on what I call a ‘germ-level’ and wouldn’t drink from the same bottle as me, or eat off the same plate as me.” Slightly hurt by his actions, Brenda once made the mistake of commenting on the fact that he French-kissed her, but wouldn’t share food with her. They never French-kissed again! (Be careful, ladies!)

“It was difficult in the beginning as I internalised his reactions as rejection. My feelings were really hurt and I didn’t understand why he would often pull away and ‘need his space’,” explains Brenda.

Understanding temperament
“Because of his personality, he was quite shy when it came to times of intimacy,” says Brenda. “He had been with someone before we met, but he didn’t feel comfortable with sexuality. He insisted on always having the lights off and, because he lived in a townhouse, we always had to whisper as . . . ‘what would the neighbours say?’ He wasn’t open to doing anything which was a little creative. The ‘norm’ was safe as it was what he knew and felt comfortable with. We did not deviate from this.”

Brenda admits that it took her a while to understand her partner’s temperament: “Before I understood the different temperaments, I cried many a tear, but with knowledge comes understanding and compassion . . . even appreciation. I’d advise women married to engineers to obtain a book which explains the different temperaments. "The Spirit-controlled Woman" by Beverly LaHaye is an excellent one which helped me appreciate his strengths, such as the stability he offered and the ability to consider the different options and make the best, most logical choice.”

A survival guide
In her blog, Amy Steele writes: “Brian represented the stability I desired. He’s tall, cute, smart and even funny despite many frustrating quirks.” Through her journey with Brian, she has devised a ‘survival guide’ to understanding and accepting your engineer . . .

Engineers only communicate by formulas: don’t expect cards or notes
“In my entire time dating Brian, I never received any sort of note or idea of how he felt about me. They show you and don’t usually tell you. And by this I don’t mean warm and cosy snuggling or unexpected sex . . . it’s a set of tires or a cable modem . . . or sitting down with your account and an Excel spreadsheet to help you create a budget.”

Engineers don’t do small talk
“If you like to chat and ramble about your day or how cute your cat can be, find a friend with a good ear. It’s not going to fly with your engineer. Engineers like to tackle problems and projects. He wants everything to be concise, which is why reading tons of silly emails from you will not make his day. Engineers don’t like a needy girl. Sure, they want to solve your concrete problems, but they don’t want to deal with your emotions.

Sleeping counts as time spent together
“That’s right, girls, seven hours asleep next to you is quality time for engineers.”

Changing him requires clever strategy
“Usually, the engineer is resistant to change. That’s why he wears the same thing to work every day. But if you do it very casually, you may be able to tweak a thing or two. Put the green cords (i.e. the most stylish pair of pants in his collection!) on top in the stack of pants piled in the closet and he will wear them. The best way to achieve a desired result is to just put something in his range / direct line of sight and make it as easy as possible. Once, I suggested that Brian not use soap to wash his face. I bought him Neutrogena Razor Defense face wash, and he still uses it six years later. Months before, I gave him products that required several steps too many (three products instead of one). He tried them a few times but gave up quickly. One single step is the preferred way for the engineer to handle any personal hygiene issues.”

Engineers provide concretely
“Do not expect unexpected kisses, cuddling or hand-holding. You are more likely to get a new notebook or an iPhone as a sign of affection. The engineer will take you to dinner, the theatre, and on trips galore – but get him to suddenly grab you and kiss you and express his love? Not likely. My first holiday gift from Brian was snow tires. Apparently, I needed those more than, say, a sparkly ring.”

Although you may need to spiff up their wardrobes or houses, or may have to nudge them into some less geeky behaviour, engineers are reliable, dependable partners. And if you’ve had your fair share of unstable relationships, it can be somewhat comforting to be with someone predictable. Just do not allow things to become too staid. Although engineers do enjoy routine more than most people, you’re well within your rights to spice things up a bit from time to time . . . you may even find him game, as long as he can be in bed by 11 pm!