I Don't Want Someone Smarter, I Want Someone Who Thinks Differently

By Gigi Engle

I’ve never dated anyone as smart as I am. I’ve never had a partner who knew as much about books or writing as I do.

I’ve never been a relationship with someone who wanted to discuss authors or literary themes. At least, it's never been a relationship that's lasted or kept me interested.

It’s not to say I’m trying to date down. I don’t want to date someone stupid. I guess I’ve just never chosen a boyfriend who knows as much about the things I know about.

I once dated a guy who was clearly well-educated, and he had a great job. But if you asked me to explain what he did for a living, I was at a loss.

He was in finance, and while he was very knowledgable about money and numbers, he couldn’t begin to understand my love of English and reading.

When he didn’t know who William Faulkner was, my heart sank. My first thought was that he must be really, really dense. (Who doesn’t know who Faulkner is? He’s one of the greatest American authors of all time!)

This got me thinking. Upon further reflection, I came to realize my guy wasn’t a moron; he just knew about things I didn’t know about. He was smart in a different way.

After all, I couldn't logically expect someone to be well-versed in everything. I certainly don’t know the first thing about finance.

This doesn’t make me stupid; it just makes me bad at math. We all have different talents we exploit to our benefit. There's nothing wrong with that.

I don’t want to date someone smarter than I am. I don’t want to be with someone who is constantly competing with me for the intellectual spotlight.

I DO want someone who teaches me. I want someone who makes me a better version of myself.

I would like a boyfriend who isn’t smarter than I am -- just one with a different kind of intelligence.

I want to be with someone whose intelligence complements mine.

I don’t want someone dumber than I am; I just want someone different from me.

I’m not trying to date a carbon copy of myself. I want to be with someone who has different qualities than I do, qualities that I admire.

I’m a smart girl, and I want to be with someone smart -- but a DIFFERENT kind of smart. I’m a writer.

I want to be with an engineer, a banker or a marketer. I want to be with someone who brilliantly understands the intricacies of a craft, one whose basics I can't even begin to wrap my mind around.

We bring different things to the relationship.

Being with someone different but equal means a host of new elements to the relationship. If you both have the same kind of intelligence, holes form.

But if he brings the math skills, I can bring the literary skills. If he can do the marketing, I can bring the copy.

A strong relationship is formed from the combined skills and qualities of two very unalike people.

You don’t put each other down; you learn from each other.

You boyfriend or girlfriend should always have something to offer you. Your SO should share knowledge willingly, and you should absorb it with the same enthusiasm.

When you’re with people who think they are smarter than you, it’s easy to feel constantly put down, like the village idiot.

I don’t want to be with someone who makes me feel like I’m dumb; I want to be with someone who has something to teach me.

When you date someone with complementary intelligence, you both have something to offer.

You’re smart about different things. You support each other, and you appreciate each other. It’s never a competition; it's always an education.

You never run out of things to talk about.

Your conversation will never run dry. I don’t want to discuss the same subjects all day long. I’d like to have a whole host of interesting topics to cover.

When you date someone who complements (and compliments) your intelligence, you will constantly have a running, interesting discourse.

There are only so many times you can muse about poetry before you’re itching for new, more engaging engaging subject matter.

If your boyfriend or girlfriend knows about something you’ve never even considered learning about, you’ll automatically have conversational material to fill endless hours.

Opposites attract.

The age-old adage is tried and true: Opposites will always attract. There is something so appealing about someone who is different than you.

Sure, it's interesting to be with someone who is just as smart as you. But their knowledge should be unfamiliar. I don’t want to date someone who doesn’t know about anything at all.

I want to date someone who can talk for hours about things I know have no clue about. If we’re smart but dissimilar, that's a huge turn-on.

On your own, you know a lot about a few things. Together, you know a lot about A LOT of things.

If your boyfriend or girlfriend knows a lot about software engineering and computer science, and you know a lot about writing and PR, then the two of you are an awesome power couple.

You might be a force to be reckoned with on your own, but there is just no way you can know everything about everything.

While you’re very fluent in what YOU know, your partner should be very fluent in what he or she knows. You're bringing two sets of knowledge to the table. And together, you’re unstoppable.