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Why Intelligence Is Such a Turn-On for Some People

It does not make you arrogant, unrealistic, or weird.

Key points

  • For the sapiosexual, intelligence itself is the genuine "switch." Their ideal life partner would be an intellectual equal.
  • This is a preference or orientation; it is not up to an individual who they are attracted to.
  • Sapiosexuals deserve love and happiness as much as anyone else, though it may be somewhat harder to find.
goodluz/Shutterstock
Source: goodluz/Shutterstock

The word ‘sapio’ is derived from the Latin word ‘sapere,’ which means to be wise. The idea of being attracted to someone’s mind rather than their body is not a new concept in the realm of romantic relationships. From an evolutionary perspective, being in a relationship with an intelligent person has certain benefits, such as potentially higher socioeconomic status or heritable advantages for your offsprings. But for the sapiosexual, intelligence itself is the genuine ‘switch.' It is the key on its own, without any added benefits.

An IQ test does not describe the parameters emotionally sapiosexuals seek in prospective partners. For the sapiosexual, intelligence is not a number. The ability for a person to have unique, incisive, deep, and inquisitive conversations is highly attractive. As a sapiosexual, you may also be physically attracted to someone, but if you later find out that the other person lacks curiosity, intellectual rigor, and open-mindedness, these things can be deal-breakers. When a person exhibits a general lack of awareness about the world, you may quickly feel let down and lose interest.

How does it feel when a sapiosexual meets ‘their people’?

Sometimes a sapiosexual would want to test their own limits by becoming sexually intimate with someone they are not really attracted to from their core, but they will soon see that the relationship is unviable. Sapiosexuals who know themselves well would say that they are skeptical about investing in a relationship unless they know they can have many good conversations with the other person. In an ideal scenario, their life partner would be their intellectual equal.

The attraction to your intellectual equal can even be intuitive and bypass your conscious awareness. This is especially true if you had not yet realized your own gifts. For example, you might have found yourself being drawn to particular people without knowing why, only to later realize this is because you have unconsciously picked up on subtle signs of their intelligence. The qualities that you are looking for can manifest in many obvious and not-so-obvious ways, such as their humor and thoughtfulness.

When you finally meet someone who is your intellectual equal, your immediate feeling will be a sense of relief, followed by excitement, hope, and anxiety. You may also suddenly feel insecure and needy as the possibility of intimacy triggered your attachment system to become activated.

You may marvel in excitement as you realize this person in front of you does not find your quirks to be ‘too odd.' They do not see being a ‘geek’ or a ‘nerd’ as something negative; they, too, identify as one. They delight in your humor and reciprocate with a joke that only a few people would get. Your conversation is energizing; you may constantly interrupt each other in excitement.

You can talk about a wide range of subjects, from politics to science to pop culture. You don’t feel the need to edit yourself or dilute your message. You are not afraid to express an opinion, take a stance, pass a critical judgment. You do not dread that they would see your natural excitement as an ‘exaggeration,' or your’ quiet confidence as ‘arrogance.’

‘Finally, someone gets it!’ With this reassuring realization, you will feel liberated to open up and reveal more parts of yourself. In the best-case scenario, through such an exchange, you can gradually heal from the wound of being called ‘too much.’

If you are a sapiosexual, the brain is indeed the largest sex organ. When a person starts sharing unique insights on a topic, your full-body arousal goes to the next level. You enjoy listening to a person’s deep-rooted ideas and wildest dreams. You are mesmerized when you hear a person talk knowledgeably and passionately. If they counter your beliefs with logic or teach you something new, you find that alluring. When two intense sapiosexuals get together, their shared desire for cerebral stimulation becomes an integral part of emotional bonding.

Is Sapiosexuality Misunderstood?

These days, dating is by and large defined by the ‘swipe left or swipe right’ phenomenon. A sapiosexual may feel alone and lost in such a dating environment because they value intellect and communication more than appearance and want to spend time getting to know a person before assessing the possibility of a relationship. You tend to seek uniqueness in your dating experience. Rather than doing what the rest of the world is raving about, you may prefer to experience the offbeat. Instead of dining at popular cafes or going to loud concerts, you would rather visit a quiet restaurant where you can have a good conversation or visit small live music venues. You may value the communication and the company more than the activity itself.

While the intellect is the most important for you, it does not mean other qualities don’t matter. Long-term relationships require a host of compatible attributes, including physical attraction. It is not easy to find a person who is compatible with you intellectually and also emotionally, sexually, and romantically.

It can also be difficult to explain your expectations to family and friends or potential partners. You may have been told that your standards are too high, or that you ought to compromise. Having had an emotionally tumultuous experience in the dating scene or successive short-term relationships can also leave you feeling lost and confused.

Own It

If you have been repeatedly disappointed and criticized, you may begin to doubt yourself. You may look at your peers and wish your path to romance is simpler. You may begin to wonder if there really is something wrong with you or if your standards are too high. You might have been tempted, again and again, to give up on owning your genuine desire and settle for something more normative.

However, if you hide, skew the presentation of who you are, or succumb to society’s standards, those who are seeking you will not be able to see you, and you may miss the opportunity to have a lasting and fulfilling relationship with someone who is equally interested in your soul.

Being a sapiosexual does not make you ‘arrogant’ or ‘unrealistic.' While it comes with difficulties, it does not have to lead to despair or loneliness. This is a preference or an orientation; it is not up to you who you are attracted to.

The best thing you can do, on realising who you really are, is to embrace it and make the best of it. Remember: Even if you belong to the minority, the ones you are looking for are also looking for you.

Facebook image: goodluz/Shutterstock

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