Ideal partner: Smarter, dumber, or about on your level?

Murais

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Sep 11, 2007
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All of the above. Love is love, mon capitan. I'll admit I find a lower intelligence less attractive... but it's not a deal-breaker. Sometimes you love people the most for the simplest things. There is beauty in imperfection.
 

Biosophilogical

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Jul 8, 2009
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Smarter. I want someone who, when I ramble about random philosophical stuff, doesn't sit there thinking I'm being arrogant or stuck-up, but really gets me, ya' know? So yeah, smarter, because that way my not-arrogant-yet-seemingly-arrogant-ramblings will seem run-of-the-mill.
 

ChocoFace

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Nov 19, 2008
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me no think smartitude got lots to do with feelings.
in all seriousness, though, about the same intelligence would be great: i can't stand to be around close-minded people, and if a woman's too smart for me, that takes oh so much fun out of everything.
 
Apr 29, 2010
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I'd rather be with someone who's about the same level as I am. Granted, it's not a deal breaker if they're smarter or not. I just think having a conversation with someone of my intelligence would be better.
 

JC123

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Apr 10, 2008
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Wow, talk about a hot topic, gone from 2 pages to 6 overnight.

Hader said:
Well for starters, I am currently single. And without sounding like too much of a bigot or anything, my last 'partner' definitely cuts the cake when it comes to downright stupid behavior and poor life decisions. But that, I will not get into here.

I would not discount the fact that intelligence of your significant other plays into your attraction to them; more that the fact you might ask yourself, or your partner, that question in the first place, is what I would say is uncalled for and unnecessary. If there is attraction there in the first place, the general intelligence of the other person is a negligible factor. At least through my experience.

I do not set standards, nor do I have any definable expectations. I have learned to accept the surprises in someone's character as the best part about them, and that's good enough for me. Setting unprecedented standards only leads to tension, and a general bad time, for both involved. And hope based on those misplaced standards is only the first step down the road to disappointment.
Kortney said:
Kortney said:
JC123 said:
And here we have two individuals who have either neither experienced an adult relationship, or fear that they're the "dumb" one in theirs.
And here we have an internet psychologist. Oh yay. Fun.

JC123 said:
Relationship psychology - how you feel about your partner's intelligence (and personality in general) will measure how you fit with them.
Sorry, but I call bullshit. How I feel about other people's intelligence has no bearing on how well I fit with them. I've already stated that I know some people who would be described as "stupid" yet I'd be very happy in relationships with them. The point I was making is that "stupid" or "dumb" are ugly words. Especially in this community, "stupid" people are the ones who aren't involved with academia or have trouble with it. That doesn't make someone stupid nor would it effect my relationship with them. Who are you to tell me otherwise? Some armchair psychologist? Yeah. Go away.


JC123 said:
Some like to feel like equals, others to nurture or be nurtured.
And what does this have to do with intelligence? Do you not feel like an equal if someone knows more about academia than you? Heh. I do. I feel like an equal around 99% of people I meet.

Once again feeling nurtured has nothing to do with the topic in this thread either. These two concepts are entirely different to how "smart" someone is. It is possible to be nurtured by someone of less intelligence to you and vice versa.

JC123 said:
If they don't meet your criteria, your expectations will not match reality and the relationship will fail unless they change. It's not sexist, demeaning or unrealistic to have a "type."
Sexist? When did either of us mention that?

Anyway. I think posting on an internet forum talking about "how you couldn't dare to be with a stupid person!" is nothing short of elitism. I do not care if someone is more academic than me in a relationship. I don't have to have academic discussions with my partners. It's not a priority to me. It may be to you, so good for you. Just don't go around acting like a wanker because I think differently to you.

JC123 said:
It's the reality of attraction.
So you know the reality of attraction now? Attraction is a completely random thing I can't control. It may not be for you - maybe you like to pick apart other people and anaylse them and see if they are compatible but I don't work that way.

JC123 said:
Intelligence is nothing more than another feature we pick and choose our partners from, and if anything, I respect picking a partner by intelligence more than I do picking by hair colour, body type, skin colour, or any other widely accepted factor.
Intelligence is a feature you pick and choose your partners from. It's not for me. If it is - it is entriely sub conscious.

JC123 said:
Personally, my first girlfriend was smart enough to be in my courses at college, but for some reason her behaviour had me feeling like a teacher, and I struggled to respect her because of it. One in the middle was on par with myself, but had to act superior. We'd have clashes of opinion and rather than polite debate, she would act as if I couldn't possibly understand her, and she must be right. This included her trying to debate material from my own degree, which she had never studied. A lot of that came down to her nature (she was rather rebellious against the "norm," including being vegan), and the differences between us (she was 9 years my senior).
That has little to do with intelligence. It's personality. Some people have that personality type where you feel like you have to "teach" them. In my opinion, it's a sign of emotional immaturity - not a lack of intelligence.

I know many people who wouldn't be able to do my course at University. It doesn't mean:

A) That I'm smarter than them

or

B) That if I was in a relationship I'd feel like a teacher to them.

JC123 said:
My missus fits me perfectly. She's smart, and willing to tell me I'm wrong, but never rudely, and to take criticism if she's wrong. We both teach each other things, I never look down on her or up to her. Equality in both actuality and how we treat each other is what works for us.
Good for you! Really. I just don't work that way.
Intelligence is not measured necessarily by IQ, or any academic specifics. It's a general measure of their ability to comprehend and reason. No-one (well, I hope no-one) is suggesting issuing a test to each potential partner before dating and denying those who don't make the cut-off. A measure of intelligence is an almost subconscious read of how they present themselves and their thoughts. Can they take part in intelligent discussion and understand things when explained, or do they continualy fail to grasp what you feel is obvious logic and reason? It can extend to academia if that's a significant part of the poster's life that they wish to share with their significant other, but I wouldn't read it as that for everyone. Most of the posters here (who've gone into details, rather than just giving single sentence answers) seem to measure smart as someone they can have a conversation with. Terms of intelligence like "smart" or "dumb" are also largely subjective, based on the chosen comparative scale (here, one assumes the scale is the person's own intelligence).

I think it's clear from the sheer number of answers here that intelligence matters to most people. Some find more intelligent people threatening, unsettling to feel a wide gap between where they are mentally and your attempts to share those thoughts with them. Others find a more intelligent partner brings out the better parts of themselves, making them stronger, helping them build a bridge over the gap. With a partner of less intelligence, it's the reverse. It may feel like a struggle to constantly explain things, "teaching" the partner, or even being unable to hold a conversation on the topics you enjoy because they won't understand it. Or you may feel a rush, similar to charity work, by helping your partner understand the ideas, grasp the logic and reason, and in turn become more intelligent. That bridging of a gap is the nurturing that's been mentioned by the way, an encouragement and support of mental growth rather than the largely emotional nurturing indicated by child-raising.

The decision is subconscious, but it can be consciously realised. I'm sure everyone can think of at least one person in their life they have measured and found wanting, or even more than capable than their testing scale. It will probably change how you interact with them - you'll find yourself patronising them slightly, explaining things more often in layman's terms, or perhaps even avoiding conversation with them entirely if you feel that they're more trouble than they're worth. Kortney, if you don't feel you think that way, I'd suggest either further analysing your interactions with people, or guess that your scale is merely more widespread than most. I'm sure you don't talk to children or the mentally disabled like you would others, because you understand that they cannot comprehend everything you discuss. It's not a negative thought, you aren't looking down upon the person, but you understand where their comprehension level is and act accordingly. It's only negative if you're patronising them, assuming they cannot comprehend when they can.

Relationships are, among other things, heavily about support and sharing experiences. If you don't feel supported by your partner, or you don't feel you can experience/share the same thoughts, that will stunt the growth of the relationship. Intelligence is going to be a factor in this. It isn't a conscious decision. Who you love and who you don't is pure, primal, subconscious. It's based heavily on your past and current place in life, your mental and biological self. If your subconscious feels your partner isn't intelligent enough to share your DNA, you won't be attracted to them. If your conscious doesn't feel an ability to love the partner, the same results. You'll also find that you don't like tall or short people, people of a certain hair colour, skin colour, gamers or non-gamers, people into certain music types, whatever. You don't hate blondes, they just don't float your boat. Maybe you had an ex who was a blonde and a bit of a jerk, or maybe your biological subconscious simply thinks you need a brunette to make the best baby. It's not offensive, it's the truth.

Kortney said:
Sexist? When did either of us mention that?
Given the internet bias towards male posters and your derision of the Escapist community's talk as if they were "owning" their partner, I felt mysogny/sexism was implied. My apologies if I'm putting words in your mouth.
 

Nimcha

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Dec 6, 2010
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As long as they're somewhere along the same level of intelligence as me I'm fine. Naivity and ignorance are very unattractive to me.

Current partner is going to become a surgeon of some kind, guess I hit the jackpot. :p
 

DustyDrB

Made of ticky tacky
Jan 19, 2010
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I have this weird tendency to fall in love based on what the girl has on her iPod.

No, it doesn't work out well at all. I'm a complete freaking dumbass for it. But car rides with that special-someone-of-the-week with you both jamming to Phoenix on a lovely charleston summer day makes for a nice moment. Even if we hate each other two weeks later.

Intelligence. I expect them to be around my level, I guess. I'm not a real long-term relationship kind of guy though.
 

Rensenhito

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Jan 28, 2009
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I don't really subscribe to the belief that anyone is really "smarter" or "dumber" than anyone else. I prefer to think that everyone has their own areas of expertise... I know, rainbows and unicorns all round, right?
That said, I like a girl who's smarter than me in areas where I'm not very skilled.
 

Tdc2182

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May 21, 2009
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Secretly I hope they are smarter, because I'd expect them to carry the potetnial family we would possibly have.

In reality, probably about the same as me. I find its much easier to relate with someone who isn't constantly on your back about getting your ass in gear.

Edit: never dumber.

Dumb girls are the biggest turn off of mine.
 

MiracleOfSound

Fight like a Krogan
Jan 3, 2009
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SimuLord said:
In your case, anything beyond "slightly dumber" and you'd have to get her away from her social worker at the state Department of Mental Retardation.
I'm sorry but how is it that Simulord can get away with saying shit like this to people all the time?

Just because he dresses his insults up and makes them read well does not make it any less of a blatant insult.

Any other user who speaks to people like he does would be probated or suspended. Why is he getting away with this shit?

And of course the other guy gets moderated over it.

I used to respect you Simulord, thought you made some good posts.

But lately I keep seeing you being an intellectual bully, going out of your way to upset people and prove how much more intelligent you are than other members. It makes you look like an elitist asshole.

EDIT:

And just for the record, I am not calling him an asshole, in case any mods are reading this. I said his behavior made him look like one.
 

BehattedWanderer

Fell off the Alligator.
Jun 24, 2009
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About the same, maybe a little on either side, depending on the topic. I do like a good, deep, involving conversation with a partner, so dumber is out. But, generally, I like them right about where I am, with the willingness to learn more.
 

The Seldom Seen Kid

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Apr 28, 2010
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Not too smart. Smart people tend to be the ones with their own opinions, and I could see a lot of discussion and arguments over pointless bullshit.

Not too dumb either. Dumb people tend to be the ones without their own opinions, and I could see a lot of discussion and arguments over stupid bullshit.
 

SimuLord

Whom Gods Annoy
Aug 20, 2008
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MiracleOfSound said:
You may have noticed there's a bit of an edge to the way I handle people who annoy me. A bit of mod wrath is, to be quite honest, worth it sometimes.
 

MiracleOfSound

Fight like a Krogan
Jan 3, 2009
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SimuLord said:
You may have noticed there's a bit of an edge to the way I handle people who annoy me. A bit of mod wrath is, to be quite honest, worth it sometimes.
That's not being edgy, it's being a bully.

No-one likes a bully.
 

TriggerOnly

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Oct 18, 2010
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i judge 'smarts' on a persons ability to have a good prospective . Whether they can look at any and all things from different angles be open to suggestions that kind of thing. To me the ability to think healthy and open is higher then the ability to learn and comprehend things complex and simple at a good speed.

there are lots of people in this world that are smart but have so many bad quality's and bad personality in general

so if smart = good prospective ability (as that is how i judge 'smarts') then = or higher

i could not be with nor associate with ppl that are so blind to life and them self's )dumb ppl by my standers( or though i don't like the work dumb)
 

Rachel317

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Nov 15, 2009
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Probably the same. My ex is dumb and immature (not sure whether one begets the other). I'm not an amazing genius or anything, but I have a fair knowledge on certain things, so I'd want to be with someone who could discuss things properly with me. I'm a great lover of books, and NEED to discuss them!
But if they were too smart, I'd perpetually feel inferior and stupid. A middle ground is nice and healthy! In all things, I'd want our relationship to be one between equals, not tipped in favour of one or the other.

EDIT: I didn't necessarily mind the ex being "dumb", he was great company and I don't like to judge people based on intelligence (we all have our own experiences, and can't all know the same things!). But he was immature, the two went hand in hand...I wasn't sure where the lack of intelligence ended and the immaturity began, if that makes sense. Just thought I should clarify! I didn't want to sound like a total *****, there! :D