Dear Miss Emily:

I met someone and we have been talking on the phone for about 2wks. He is very nice, but I can't seem to get him to understand anything. His vocabulary is very short. But I try to explain things to him as simply as I can. This has caused  problems in communicating with each other. I don't want him to feel bad, but I don't know what to do. When we are on the phone, now, I don't say anything because he tries to make smart comments and joking all the time. I told him that it's ok to joke, sometimes, but how do we supposed to get to know one another if we are not serious? When I ask him a question he always answer with a question. Please help me understand what is going on with this guy.

----------------Miss Emily's advice--------------

I think this guy feels he's not up to your intellect, and he's extremely insecure about it.  To me, he is exhibiting a form of shyness, and shy people are self-conscious, insecure and, often, use jokes as a way to attempt to cover it up.  If you have this much trouble communicating, I'd call this a wash because, although I feel sorry for him (maybe growing up he was made to feel he is a loser), you should not put yourself in the role of teacher if you are interested in a relationship. And in fairness to him, he should not have to feel like he's in a classroom.