Social Question

ETpro's avatar

Would your ideal lover's IQ be significantly higher than, same as, or significantly lower than yours?

Asked by ETpro (34436points) January 7th, 2012

Let’s say this ideal person shares your interest, is very attractive to you and finds you attractive. and is compatible in all other ways. Given that, would you prefer your mate to be much brighter than you, much dimmer, or about the same candlepower?

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42 Answers

Charles's avatar

The higher the better.

digitalimpression's avatar

Similar candlepower. The witty banter tends to be lop-sided otherwise.

zenvelo's avatar

My girlfriend’s is two points higher than mine. We are great together.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Must be at least equal…don’t mind if it’s higher than mine…DO mind if it’s lower, in any way…I don’t really trust IQ as a measurement of anything though…I have my own gut feeling about people’s the assessment is my own, biased, I’m sure but that’s all that matters, in relationships.

janbb's avatar

About the same or slightly higher although since there are many different types of intelligence, it is hard to compare. My husband has a higher IQ and has great mechanical ability but I am more emotionally and artistically intelligent.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I would rather be with someone who does not define himself by his supposed IQ. In my view, those can change, and anyone who relies on them to the point of defining their entire relationships on what their IQs may have been at one time are being unrealistic.

Lightlyseared's avatar

To be honest I don’t think it makes any difference either way and is not something I would even think about when dating someone.

rebbel's avatar

My girlfriend once entered a quiz in which you had to guess whether you had a low or a high IQ.
If you guessed correct you had a high IQ.
She was correct!

jerv's avatar

I got lucky and found someone as smart as I am, and i can’t imagine any other option. I need someone who can keep up with me, but not smart enough to hurt my considerable ego.

Note that intelligence is subjective though; many of the dumbest people I’ve known had an IQ well above mine.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, equally. Or more so.
Being unequally yoked is the killer of many a relationship. Donkeys and racehorses just aren’t a good match to go the distance. lol

Jude's avatar

Same or higher.

I’ve got a mensa girl on my hands. Can’t compete with that.

marinelife's avatar

The same or slightly higher.

FutureMemory's avatar

A little higher. I need all the help I can get!

6rant6's avatar

I think up to a sigma higher would be good. I know someone three sigmas up, and although I really enjoy her company, I can’t imagine trying to keep up 24/7.

tranquilsea's avatar

I think it’s really important to find someone who can keep up and even challenge you. I know I burned through a few guys because my mind is fast and always inquisitive.

That being said I don’t think your mate has to be 100% of everything you need. You should branch out. I know I give my husband a headache sometimes so I find friends that I can explore with.

I know that one of the things that attracted me about my husband was he is a bit calmer than I am. He was attracted to my intellect. So we’ve been a great match.

everephebe's avatar

Higher would be hot, I believe I’m clever enough to keep up with a smarty-pants – after all there are many forms of intelligence beyond what shows up on an IQ test.

Nullo's avatar

In the same neighborhood as my own (say, within +/- 5 points). I don’t particularly like the idea of being massively overshadowed (yes, it’s just miserable pride, I know), and I know from previous experience that a significantly dimmer other is not desirable.

FutureMemory's avatar

@tranquilsea I think it’s really important to find someone who can keep up and even challenge you.

So true. Otherwise, boredom is inevitable.

wundayatta's avatar

I doubt if she could have a significantly higher IQ than mine, but it would be nice if she could have a higher one. If it was significantly higher, I would be totally thrilled and awed.

I know of one woman I’ve met who had an intelligence that intimidated me. I can’t recall any more.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If they’re all that then I doubt I’d care what their IQ is. I’ve never had an IQ test that I’m aware nor have I wondered the numbers for any outstanding mates.

downtide's avatar

The same or higher. Which is good because my partner’s IQ is a LOT higher than mine.

flutherother's avatar

I like intelligent women.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I sincerely could not give a shit.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I like em’ dumb. When I whisper in her ear, if her head doesn’t echo, then I’m out.

Coloma's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies be a bad boy!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Well what can I say. I just love it when she gazes at me with that “nobody’s home” look in her eyes.

filmfann's avatar

I love intelligent women. I also don’t know many who aren’t intelligent, but I love them too.

Earthgirl's avatar

The type of intelligence they have is more important to me. You can have a rocket scientist that is a total bore and completely socially inept because he has no emotional intelligence or people skills. You could also have an academic who has absolutely no street smarts at all. I judge intelligence by more than IQ. And for me the intelligence needs to be coupled with a good heart and a kind nature. l am very attracted to intelligent people but I couldn’t be attracted to them as a lover if they didn’t have the other qualities as well. And if they weren’t super smart but were very creative, sensitive, giving, emotionally aware and communicative, that would trump a high IQ without those qualities.

ETpro's avatar

To everyone who answered, thank you. I asked for your opinion, and to all who gave it, that’s a Great Answer. Now to specific replies to some of the responses I found interesting.

@Charles, @flutherother, & @wundayatta You three seem to be unique (or grouped with me) in wanting someone as bright as they can get. I love intelligence as long as its owner doesn’t often turn it against me and use it as a bludgeon.

@filmfann Always flattering the Fluther ladies,..

@wundayatta I suspect being in or near the top standard deviation makes one much less threatened by what a partner may posess in intellectual firepower. That may be what pushes us to say “Bring it!” when so many others do not.

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies And you are the sole polar opposite of @charles—or else only you are intellectually honest enough to admit plead guilty to liking to rule the IQ roost. I have to think that the phrase, “Keep ‘em barefoot and pregnant.” applies to more than 1 in 28 respondents.

To all who said similar candlepower, or something to that effect, that’s clearly where most responses fall. You’re in good company. And there is much to learn from that.

@FutureMemory Good point. Having an intellectual wizard on your side can keep you safe and left your own performance, I think.

@Nullo Don’t be so hard on yourself, my friend. Note the point that @FutureMemory raised and so many others hinted at by answering the same, or nearly the same as mine. Most people do not want to be, as @Coloma so eloquently put it, “unequally yoked” with someone running far slower than themselves. If that’s true of your mate, then hooking up with someone who leaves you in the intellectual dust is probably a bad idea because you would eventually bore them.

Now it may be ego for you, but there’s your convenient out. :-)

augustlan's avatar

The same or higher. Not an actual IQ score, but the same or higher level of intelligence.

Lightlyseared's avatar

So if everyone wants someone more inteligent than themselves what hope is there? The people who are more inteligent than us won’t even give us a second glance.

augustlan's avatar

@Lightlyseared They don’t need to be exactly the same or higher. Just in the same general ballpark. At least for me.

janbb's avatar

I think we’re missing a lot of subtlety in this discussion. I also want someone as “bright as I can get” but I consider myself very bright so I don’t see a great mismatch. While my husband was Mensa category in his IQ and I am not, we were certainly a match intellectually but in different areas. I couldn’t grasp all the subtleties of some logic problems but he could, in no way, teach Jane Austen. What I would not want is someone who didn’t challenge me and teach and learn from me. You are hitting a nail with a sledgehammer.

Coloma's avatar


Yes, the most likely to succeed relationships of all kinds, including friends, are those that share, at least, some common ground and parallel each other in personality style and intellect.
I am hardly Einstein but I have had a lifelong frustration trying to find friends that share my enthusiastic and curious personality and love of learning.
The frustration comes from the limitations set by the nature of the situation, usually resulting in the more intellectually vivacious person toning down their interests and energies to accommodate the less interesting/intellectual person.
My most rewarding relationship on an intellectual level is with my daughter and one other male friend whose intensity and passion is uncanny as far as many men go. haha

My daughter and I share many of the same interests and love of rousing and stimulating discussions on a myriad of topics and a mutual dislike of those that only talk about their petty daily concerns. A chip off the old mother block, it pays to breed your own kind. lololol

Lightlyseared's avatar

@janbb and that is exactly the problem with using IQ as a measure if inteligence – it doesn’t really measure what most people commonly define as inteligence, it only measures one particular skill (and not even particulalry accurately, truth be told) and then blindly extapolates from there. All you can honestly say about someone with a high IQ is that they are good at sitting IQ tests.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I ask every girl I date what their IQ is. The typical response is spiders, snakes, public toilets, and outdated shoe styles… all make them scream ick! (iq). That’s my gal!

ETpro's avatar

@Coloma Makes perfect sense.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

‘Why your wife should be 27% smarter than you.’

Not sure I understand the methodology behind this, but this came to mind when I read the question.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

^I thought of that, too.

submariner's avatar

Here’s a snippet of an actual conversation I had with a fellow grad student back when I was in my prime:

[After some flirtatious banter, the conversation edged into romantic topics.]
SHE: I want to date someone smarter than me.
I: I feel the same way.
[Then there was an awkward pause as we both realized that this meant one of us must not want to date the other. Despite our high estimation of our own intelligence, we couldn’t figure out how to tactfully climb down from this.]

Intelligence in a potential romantic partner is much less important to me now than it used to be, but these days I’m just generally a lot less choosy.

ETpro's avatar

@hiphiphopflipflapflop & @ANef_is_Enuf That’s going to make finding the right gal a true challenge. :-)

@submariner There are most certainly other factors to consider.

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