It’s thought we’re often attracted to people we’re similar to, but couples breaking the mould have been sharing their experiences.
On Reddit, men and women have been revealing what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone you know is significantly less intelligent than you.
It may sound like a recipe for disaster on paper, but some of their answers will surprise you.
“My guy is dyslexic and I’m aiming for my masters and then PhD. He’s a builder and I’m quite involved in STEM and veterinary biomedical development.
“I know he has no interest in academics but holy shit he absolutely blows me away with the depth of knowledge and passion he has for things he is into. It’s not that he’s less intelligent, just that he’s spent less time in education and is more intuitive and practically minded.”
“My SO is less intelligent than I am (I hate saying it like that, but she readily admits it), and it’s actually kind of nice. When I’m talking to my friends who are on the same intellectual level as I am, it can get tiring to be constantly scrutinised and debated with- even if it is just a friendly joust. Sometimes it’s relaxing to come home, have a drink, watch some tv, take a walk, and be able to calm down and not worry about her picking apart everything I say. I also love sharing new information with people, so being able to teach her new things is really fun.
“It does get frustrating when I do want to have a conversation about something topical or political because it gets very one-sided. She lets me talk plenty, but can’t always provide a genuine, thoughtful response. I remember having a conversation last week that went from climate change to milkshakes real quick. But the difference in intellectual capacity is nothing compared to the amount of fun we have together and I wouldn’t trade her love for anything.”
“People are intelligent in different ways. I’m far more booksmart than my SO but she can come up with solutions to everyday practical issues that I would spend hours struggling with.
“Sometimes it’s frustrating because I want to talk about books or politics but you have to appreciate what make us different and how it balances us out.”
“99% of the time, she’s wonderful. Not educated (to the dismay of my science jokes) but quick-witted, intelligent and clever. And then sometimes I wonder how anyone could be that stupid.. Let’s just say she doesn’t waste time on little mistakes.”
“I wouldn’t say my wife is less intelligent, but she’s certainly less knowledgeable. You can name almost any topic and I will know more about it than she will.
“I’ve been called a walking encyclopedia. I’m well-read on current events, politics, any religion, sciences, humanities, hobbies... I’m interested in nearly everything. That doesn’t mean I know every detail about every subject, but I like to be up to date.
“My wife, on the other hand, was a stellar student...but all that information was in one ear and out the other. It wasn’t because she couldn’t learn it, it’s because it didn’t interest her.
“We still have a lot of fun together. We like travel, performing arts, food tourism, bike rides... but our serious conversations are always a bit one-sided. She enjoys those, too, but it feels more like a teacher-student relationship than a romantic one.”
“It’s strange. She’s not l particularly unintelligent but lacks basic common sense and common knowledge. I often find myself repeating things or explaining obvious concepts when I shouldn’t have to. I love her but it can be frustrating.”
“I don’t know if I’d say less intelligent, but my girlfriend was definitely less versed in common subjects. I tend to make a lot of pop culture references, but she’d not understand even the most obvious jokes. References to Forrest Gump, Top Gun, etc went completely over her head. Even references to shows like Archer, that she watched all of, she just completely misses cause she does homework and texts while watching.
“You have to explain pretty simple concepts, I remember she asked me ‘Why didn’t they just make cars run on water from the beginning’ which threw me for a loop and I had to explain steam and energy. It makes arguing things sort of difficult. You tend to hear her opinion on something and know she has little to no experience in anything else, and that her logic is often deeply flawed.
“You don’t want to be rude, but it’s hard to argue with someone who is just objectively wrong on something like world history and just won’t accept it.”
“Sometimes it can be a little bit frustrating when I have to explain things a lot (she’s bad a picking up on context clues), but she is the biggest source of fun in my life and helps me loosen up. She is also incredibly honest, which I find admirable and she is a sweetie pants.”
“Pretty sure I have the higher IQ overall. But we each have our strengths. I can articulate politics and philosophy and I handle anything technical, but compared to her I’m mostly a moron when it comes to more common sense kind of things, like cooking and handling the kids and organising trips and social engagement. I either overthink things or the seemingly obvious thing to do just doesn’t occur to me.”
“He has a learning disability and I do not. He is passionate and very emotional and I am typically factual and technical, so it works out pretty well. He knows that I am technically more intelligent than him and this upsets him sometimes, but it really doesn’t bother me. He’s very loving, caring, funny and nice to be around and that’s what counts. We’ve been together less than a year, so we’ll see how it goes.”
“I dated a girl with ADHD, dyslexia, and auditory processing disorder. She had a hard time reading out loud and was in mostly remedial courses in high school.
“I was AP Scholar with distinction, speech and debate, that kind of shit. I was well-spoken and a now a published writer, she more or less spells everything phonetically.
“The truth is though, everyone has their own intelligence. She was amazing when it came to these crazy cool art projects that took months or even years to finish. I think it was meditative for her to work alone on really detailed stuff that connected to a bigger project. I mean, she had the artistic ability to really go far if she kept her ambition.
“Because of her black and white view on life, she helped me make decisions a lot. While i was reviewing every factor, weighing odds, and speculating outcomes years into the future, she’d bluntly tell me which choice I was going to choose already because she knew me and it was obvious to her.
“I enjoyed it. She wasn’t snobby, nor did she try to act smarter than she was. I respected her decision-making abilities. She was honest and she respected my strengths as well. If something complicated came up, I got better at making it less complicated and she would often make the decision. If she couldn’t grasp it, she trusted me.
“It wasn’t the gap in “intelligence” that split us, but the difference in ambition. Which really sucks because I think it was from how often she was told she wasn’t smart.”