You are smart. You are so smart that you find many people boring.
It’s okay to admit that.
However, when it comes to dating, we may dismiss people who aren’t intelligent in the same way we are. That’s unfortunate because different types of intelligence can be very complementary. In fact, dating someone who is intelligent in ways that you aren’t can actually keep you on your toes.
The theory of multiple intelligences provides insight into all of the different ways that people can be smart.
It'll make you think twice about overlooking people that you believe are boring just because they aren’t smart in the same way that you are.
The Problem with Dating People Who Are Smart Like You
It is very easy to be drawn to someone who is smart in the same ways that you are. Oftentimes, you’ll have similar interests. For example, if you love obscure words, you’ll likely find it attractive when you meet a smart person who easily uses them in regular conversation.
However, over time, the allure of it may fade away. In fact, if you date someone who is smart in exactly the same ways you are, it can actually lead to problems in some circumstances. You may find yourselves competing to be the smartest one at the dinner table. Or what was originally witty banter can become a frustrating form of conversational one-upping.
On the other hand, you may also discover that they actually aren’t as smart as you first thought. Sure, they can hold their own for the most part. But you are very intelligent, and maybe they just can’t keep up. Of course, you expect that from certain people that you meet. But it can be extremely disappointing when someone you thought would be able to keep up with you simply can’t.
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
In 1983, developmental psychologist Howard Gardner came out with a book that explained the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. It shed new light on the concept of being smart. Through it, we all learned that people can be intelligent in different ways.
According to the original theory, there are seven types of intelligence:
Interpersonal or emotional
If you are the type of person who can hear a song once, pick out the nuances of each instrument, and then play the song back on an instrument of your preference, you possess a musical intelligence. You might not seem smart to someone who is verbally intelligent, but no doubt your skills are amazing.
Some people are highly capable of intuiting other people’s emotions, moods, and even motivations. Those people have strong emotional or interpersonal intelligence. They may not score high on standardized tests, but they are brilliant when it comes to other people.
In contrast, someone with intrapersonal intelligence is deeply knowledgeable about their own internal self. They are very self-reflective, understand why they feel and do the things that they do, and have a realistic picture of their own strengths and weaknesses.
Smart Dating: The Benefit of Different Intelligence
If you can step outside of your own perspective, then you can begin to see all of these different forms of intelligence as valuable in their own right. As you do, you may discover that dating someone with a type of intelligence that differs from yours actually makes good sense.
After all, in a healthy and sustainable relationship, you each come with your own strengths that complement the other person.
Of course, you have to have some common ground. But you’re a smart, capable person who is already able to weed out the folks with whom you have nothing in common. Now it’s time to look for people who share commonalities with you but also possess strengths that are far different from your own. They can help you learn new things about the world and discover different things about yourself.
For example, you might not have a particular interest in sports. However, if you meet someone who is bodily-kinesthetically smart, they may be able to provide you with new insight into the nuances of this type of intelligence. Whether they’re a dancer or a fitness trainer, they can explain things about the body, action, and physical interaction in a way that you might never have noticed. It keeps you intrigued.
When you find a partner who can teach you new things, it’s easy to get excited about spending time with them.
Likewise, you’ll have the ability to teach them things from your type of intelligence. This will give you the opportunity to shine, which is always good for self-esteem and motivation.
As you show each other new things, you’ll be able to express your intelligence in ways that grow your love. And that makes dating a whole lot more exciting than just debating with another person about the same things you already know so well.
Trying to find your mirror image may seem like a smart dating plan, after all you do bring a lot of desirable qualities to the table, but you may be ignoring a whole wealth of phenomenal options for a sustainable partnership by eliminating people who are smart in ways that are different from your smarts. If you are interested in learning how to think outside of the box you’ve drawn, click here to read more about working with me.