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Difference in intelligence in a relationship

Can a relationship between someone who is, you be brunt, smarter than their partner work?

Just_Me81 4 Feb 18

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I married a man when I was a young woman whom I believed I loved. He was tall, athletic, sexually compatible, and cute. As I matured emionally and intellectually, I found it more and more difficult to communicate in effective ways with him. I take fifty percent of the blame for our divorce, but he had literacy issues that I was not aware of. I read all the time, and he skimmed through the pictures in magazines. He was not articulate and it was hell arguing. And we always argued. I ultimately did not understand him, and he did not understand me once the romantic sexual euphoria of "love" wore. It makes a difference. It truly does.

Admin, we need a "sympathise" button.

I've been there to some degree and I agree.


By how much? I rather like it when people are smarter than me, because I can learn from them and they (if they are so kindly disposed) can catch me when I make a mistake or otherwise help me develop.

I'm not so much into being the "smarter one", because it's less fun for me and I've noticed most people (unlike me) are threatened by and resentful of superior intelligence. But it really just depends on the attitudes.

Friends-wise, I've had plenty of satisfying connections with people not quite as "intelligent" as me, because we connected over human things, and the disparity in intelligence didn't come to bear. It's not a huge thing for me, so if it's not a huge thing for you, we'll be golden.

I'm not into romantic relationships anymore, so that side of it is moot. But I never imagined myself being attracted to anyone dumber than me by a noticeable margin. I'm not hung up on intelligence, but I like what I like. And I like learning, complexity, abstraction, and subtlty. That kind of necessitates a certain level of intelligence.

TL;DR:. Yes and no. It depends on the degree of difference and the attitudes involved.

Yup! I concur.


They don't have to be smarter than i am, but they have to be at least somewhat intellectual.


I think I understand the question. I don't get turned on by men less intelligent than myself, so it wouldn't work for me.


For me, I need someone close to as intelligent as I am. Has to be a reader, and has to have an interest in life around him. If you have't read anything except as you had to to get a job it probably isn't going to work. I love learning and I have to be able to share that.


I am generally only really attracted to a woman after I find out she is smarter than me. I am quick at seeing the obvious, so having someone there to define another option keeps things interesting, I hate it when the thinking comes down to me because they are timid about offering input. A confident mind is sexy


Intelligence has always been a turn-on for me. A must have. Can make a person increasingly attractive ! I believe I am a sapiophile ...

For me too ! You can get bored of beauty, but never of intelligence


It all depends on how you define "smart".

I've dated or personally known women with graduate degrees who were emotionally as dumb as a doorknob. I've also known women with barely a high school degree who were as wise as Solomon when it came to dealing with me or men in general.


As far as I am concerned the brain is your sexiest organ.


Possible, if the intelligent partner is a nurturing and forgiving partner.


I'm no genius, but I think I'm pretty bright. I've mostly dated men who are about as intelligent as I am. I recently got out of a long-term relationship with someone who was less intelligent than I am, and it was the first time I found myself struggling to respect my partner. To be fair, there were other things that contributed to my losing respect for him, but the difference in intelligence was a big one. I have plenty of friends who may not be as intelligent as I am, but I still respect them for their other awesome qualities. When it comes to dating however, I've realized I need to be able to have intelligent conversation regularly.


I am not sure how to measure someones intelligence. Is it through conversation? Well James Baldwin, Vincent Van gogh and others of their like would be considered less than average. Is it through mannerisms? Well that would leave out a majority of folks since mannerisms are subjective at best. Is it a test that we take? ALL I.Q. tests have been proven to be biased. So whats the metric or mean that we should use to gauge someones "intelligence"? I find most of my relationships are "talked" out. If she can hold a decent conversation then she is a winner.

I have never inquired about someones educational level. What level does one need to hold a conversation anyway? I find it amusing when someone who has an advance degree and speaks/writes in such a manner that no one understands them without bring a dictionary or thesaurus to the conversation. I guess its the old adage of,"know your audience". Same in relationships.

When it comes to sex, most of my relationships leave the "intelligent" portion out of this aspect. Animal instincts take over and her hand on my head, head and heels on the sheets, a sound of some sort indicates orgasms and legs wrapped tightly around various parts of my body lead to moments of ignorant bliss. NO THINKING REQUIRED.


My ex-wife thought she was smarter than me. Insisted on reminding me of the fact too. So I got smarter. Read books on cognitive development, self-empowerment, etc an learned how to do the things I couldn't do. One day I got smart enough to realise she wasn't smarter than me, she was just asserting dominance.

Yes, that darn Dunning-Kruger effect of the less competent you are the more you over estimate.


Depends on what they want out of a relationship. The best example of a success story was a friend of my father. He was a very bright and old retired lt colonel who, after divorcing his abusive wife, married his 15 years his junior and greatly cognitively inferior secretary. She treated him like he was gold and they lived the few remaining years (two years after they were married he developed Alzheimer's disease and was dead three years later) with the greatest amount of happiness imaginable. Based on my observation and the stories I heard, she lived (gained much happiness) to serve him and he always enjoyed every moment with her.

I imagine this is not at all a common scenario.

I believe a more common scenario is that of several of the teachers I work with - - they (3 of them in this example) married (and eventually divorced) guys that were not terribly bright. In each case, the teachers became significantly happier after divorcing their not very bright husbands.

For me, the smarter the person, the more attractive he/she is. (I am strictly heterosexual but I find all intelligent people desirable.) I hold myself as a bottom baseline standard (sceptic and atheist) and do not consider those below that bar worthy of my consideration.


I find it very difficult to respect a man with lesser intelligence than me. For me, the ideal partnership should be between equals. I like to be able to discuss anything and everything with a partner, be inspired by their ideas, and different perspective.


I think so. I remember I dated a guy for a while (mostly for sex) who was dumb as a rock. However,, when he went back to Taiwan, I found when he left, I actually missed him. So, even if there is a differential in intelligence, it is possible to devlop felings and a fondness, even if you dont' really think that it is possible.

On that note, it is amazing how often when there is a break up or death of a partner, that the person will miss the very things which used to drive them nuts or annoyed them originally. We learn to adapt, accept and even grow fond of each others imperfections over time. I would think that this woudl also apply to intelligence differentials.

I guess the sex you had together was amazing... I had same experiences, where I could deal with a less intellectually curious mind when sex was good. I had a 5 years relashionship like that. But the last person in my life was not really bright AND not good in bed. I spent the whole time frustrated ! Now I prefer to stay single.

@Nathalie_Quebec I think I'd prefer to stay "single" too.

As for the sex, it wasn't fantastic, but I was hsi first sexual partner, so I taught him what to do and what I liked. It's interesting to have a sexual partner who starts out as a totally blank canvass.

@snytiger6 yes it is... I had this opportunity once. He cried the first was nice.


It depends upon what kind of relationship you want.


Yes, not sure if I would use the word “smarter” I think I would use more knowledgeable, as long as the non very knowledgeable person is open mided and not stubborn and thinks he knows all. I think is important for everyone to be open minded. We all are experts on something.


Sometimes I have trouble figuring out if someone is stupid or just acting stupid for self-preservation.


I think so but it could make the conversations a bit one sided both ways. some things nieve are quite endearing.


I was always an overoveracheiver. I went to 3rd grade six times. LOL


I depends on how much difference there is. I couldn't date a woman who wasn't at least intelligent and articulate. The smarter one can't be constantly annoyed by the difference. The less smart one has to like that the other is smarter and not try to compete or be jealous.


There's bound to be some difference in intellectual capabilities between two people in a relationship. If one, however, is a Rhodes Scholar and the other is dumb as a box of rocks, the relationship might have a very limited shelf life.


Yeah i'd assume so, as long as they still have common interests


Can in a dominant slave atmosphere. Master and commander as long as demands are reasonable. I would say that one or the other would stay though looking for commonality. Simple people need the grunt reaction, where as intellectuals need brain stimulation.

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