Does Your Chemistry Fade If Your Partner Is ‘Too Smart’?

Nancy B. Varghese

Travel Writer

"Sapiosexual - a person who finds intelligence sexually attractive or arousing"

If you've been a part of the online dating experience, the word may have popped up and made you question: how passionately do people believe in the concept of being sexually aroused by somebody's intelligence that they feel the need to put it out there in their dating profile? And how legit are their claims anyway?

According to a report published by Tonic, In a survey conducted by Dr, Justin Lehmiller, "nearly 200,000 adults who were given a list of 23 traits and asked to choose the three they most prefer in a potential romantic partner, 49 percent of men and 44 percent of women included intelligence among their selections. Believe it or not, more men and women put intelligence in their top three than 'good looks."

Intelligence, as a stand-alone concept, sounds like one of the most romantic qualities a partner can possess, but how intelligent are we talking about?

In the study that was conducted, participants were first asked to rank the importance of 13 different traits in a potential romantic partner, including intelligence. They also reported the degree to which they were attracted to people at seven different IQ levels, ranging from the 1st percentile to the 99th percentile.

This is when things got interesting.

internal - people want smart partner

Specifically, those with an IQ in the 90th percentile, with a score of 120, were rated as most attractive out of the seven intelligence categories tested.

Those who procured a spot in the 99th percentile, with a score of 135, were still seen as attractive overall; however, it wasn’t quite as attractive as the 90th percentile.

Which just goes to show that maybe people desire partners who are smart, but not too smart. It is true that an IQ test is never the sole judgment of a person's intellect, and there are external factors that play an equally significant role in determining how intelligent you are. But is having a partner who is 'too smart' a turn-off for people?

The report concluded that "while most of us want to have an intelligent partner, the reason we want them to be smart isn’t because it makes it easier for us to get off. Instead, attraction to intelligent partners probably has more to do with the fact that intelligence signals other desirable traits, like success and achievement—that, or as evolutionary psychologists argue, maybe it stems from a desire to pass those smarts along to our children". 

Ah, evolution. Comes right along to prove that every decision we perceivably take as a conscious and aware human being, maps the trail all the way back to our most primal and hard-wired instincts after all - intelligent progeny.

Maybe think that over the next time you're swiping right and picking only the best of the best from the sapiosexual dating gene pool?

Images: Shutterstock, Unsplash

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Published on Feb 08, 2018
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