Advice for Dating a Genius

Nadia Santiago
man in front of math equations

Is your partner or romantic interest a genius? It can be enlightening and frustrating dating someone with above average intelligence, but if you keep an open mind, you can increase your understanding and learn ways to strengthen your relationship.

Benefits

There are a few upsides to being in a relationship with someone who has a high IQ.

Intellectual Stimulation

With a smart guy or woman, you'll find your brain firing on all cylinders. Whether they bring you fun and interesting facts he typical person may not know or they freely display their wit through clever puns and one liners, chances are good you'll never get bored.

Human Google

No need to pull out your phone or type your question into a search bar. If there's a lingering question in your mind, ask your loved one. Even if he or she doesn't know the answer, it will be fun to hear him or her reason out a response, then check to see if it matches up with the truth.

Emotional Balance

Happiness researcher Robert Biswas-Diener wrote a piece in Psychology Today explaining those with higher than average IQs experience less emotional ups and downs throughout their lifetimes than those lower on the intelligence scale. In a relationship, this means less drama and more reason when it comes to disagreements.

The Negative Side

There's no doubt that there are areas in which you and your genius differ. These differences will show up in your significant other as common tendencies that may serve them in their careers or in academics but can cause conflict in a relationship.

Over-Analyzing

Intelligent people are thinkers by nature, so when it comes to sorting out problems, they seek to understand it logically. This may mean skipping the feelings talk and moving straight to a solution or working so hard to figure out why something happened they get stuck in analysis-mode. Yet, as most folks know, relationships revolve around the heart, where emotions rule. Because of this, geniuses may be perceived one of a few ways.

  • Cold and uncaring
  • Emotionally unavailable
  • Judgmental
  • Arrogant

Try to understand your genius doesn't act this way maliciously. He or she simply has a hard time understanding how the average person thinks and feels.

Play to Your Combined Strengths

One study from Yale and University of New Hampshire showed couples with one partner higher in emotional intelligence (EI) rated themselves higher on life satisfaction than those who had two people with high EI. They concluded perhaps it was helpful for one person to take the lead in conflict and communication. What this means is you can use your situation to your advantage. Where your partner takes the lead in the logical realm, you can take the lead when it comes to emotions.

Develop Open Communications Skills

Instead of assuming your partner knows how to communicate with you, develop a style that is best for both of you to have conversations.

  • Take a breath when strong emotions arise. Your partner may be more even keel when it comes to displaying emotion. Use that as your guidepost. Give yourself some time to cool down before you start a conversation.
  • Clearly communicate your feelings and desires.
  • Avoid placing blame. Understand when you step on each other's toes, it is because you have a difference of opinion or different needs. Instead of blaming him or her, help your partner understand your experience. It will play to the intellectual side.
  • Ask for feedback. Once you have explained how you feel and think, communicate that you are interested in finding out more about your partner's feelings and needs. He or she may have difficulty opening up in this way. Knowing you are receptive will give them permission to open up in a new way.

Genius or Not, Focus On Love

A study in the Journal of Personal Relationships found similarities and differences in couples' level of intelligence had no effect on whether their relationship was successful. In the end, relationships are about love, mutual respect, and building a life together. They are not about who is more intelligent. Clearly, you two came together because you have things in common you appreciate about one another. Remember you both have useful things to bring to the table. As long as you make it a priority to cooperate with one another and engage in open communication, you're good.

Advice for Dating a Genius