Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

He’s too stupid to realize how smart I am

Hes too stupid to realize how smart I am dating polls  iStock 000008243293XSmall 300x198I’m a sucker for certain types of articles. Claim to have a good explanation for why otherwise reasonable people do unreasonable things and I’ll give you a click. Even if I don’t expect you to have a good answer.

I’ll read your post for the entertainment value alone.

So yesterday I was thrilled to see this post from The Love Consultants, “Why Smart Women Fall for Jerks.” There wasn’t anything really new there, but it was a fun way to spend a minute of my life.

The post reminded me of a really dumb I dated nearly 2 decades ago. He was really, really dumb. But that was fine with me. In a lot of ways, in fact, it was the answer to my prayers.  Just prior to him, I’d had this odd, tumultuous flirtation with a friend of a friend. And the friend of a friend was a guy. Mr. -friend-of-a-friend was always mean to me.  It felt like he was trying to put me in my place. If you know what I mean?

After battling it out with Mr. Smart-friend-of-a-friend it was a relief to meet someone who was dumb and kind.

Anyway, one day my mom asked me to describe the not-so-bright new guy in my life to her. And what I said was, “He’s too stupid to realize how smart I am.”

Yes, I really said that. To my mom. About a guy I was dating.

And it was true. Also, I always assumed that he was so sweet and kind to me because he didn’t see my intelligence as a threat. Because he didn’t see my intelligence. There was no need for him to constantly cut me down.

Which leads us in a roundabout way to this week’s . It’s been ages since I’ve done a poll.  I’ve been totally slacking.

I’m dividing this one up by gender. Please be honest, it’s only fun when people are honest.

Only, Please

How smart is your ideal date/partner?

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Men Only, Please

How smart is your ideal date/partner?

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20 to “He’s too stupid to realize how smart I am”


  1. Smart is such a slippery term. Clever, inquisitive, challenging, knowledgeable, exploring maybe… I look at the manifestation of intelligence as the ability to engage successfully in real life improv, the ability to take a statement and shoot it back as a “Yes, and…” In that exchange, my partner is only smarter than me until I throw it back as a “Yes, and..” to her. We grow in intelligence together because we challenge each other and neither is allowed to give up. Make sense?? Could not last two minutes with someone too stupid to know how smart I am, no matter how pretty she was. Improv and repartee is hot… the ultimate foreplay :-)

  2. Liz says:

    I’m heartened to see that men want someone of equal intelligence, but I’m wondering if your blog readers are indicative of the average guy.

    I’m always reading that men don’t care about a woman’s accomplishments, intelligence, or career– that all they care about is whether or not they are physically attracted to her and those things don’t factor into it. I don’t know how I’m supposed to react to that as a woman. I feel like, they don’t care about me at all as a person? Because those are things that largely make up who I am and that indicate certain character traits about me, like perseverance, maturity, etc. I also feel like it’s such a shortsighted view, as having an intelligent wife to raise your children and to pull in another salary if need be seems like an incredible bonus. I also think that intelligence can equate to greater sensitivity and empathy, and that a man who thinks life with a “dumb” woman is going to be easier is probably in for a big surprise.

    I’ve occasionally dated men who didn’t seem very “smart” to me, and I felt like they couldn’t appreciate my intelligence. You are right, it’s like they couldn’t even see it. I always assumed they’d go on to some conventionally “hotter” woman, but it didn’t bother me, as I felt like they couldn’t appreciate my finer qualities anyway. I’d like to be with someone of equal intelligence, although it’s definitely okay if in certain areas he is smarter than me and vice versa. That makes things interesting.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’m always suspicion of anything that says, “men want this and women want this…” because it’s going to be wrong. And write. Yes, there are men who are that superficial (none of those men chose to reply to this survey, or maybe none of them read my site). Eh, people are complicated.

  3. Matt says:

    Why should he see your intelligence as a threat?

    • Simone Grant says:

      The article I linked to and similar posts/studies assert that men wish to be with women of lower intelligence and belittle smart women as a way to cut them down and control them. Lovely.

      And, well, I’ve always instinctively felt that SOME men acted weird around smart women. Threatened. As if we were disrupting the natural order of things.

  4. C_Girl says:

    Smarter than me, but not smarter in the same ways that I am smart. This is why I’m attracted to science types, I think…I’m also too threatened to date anyone who is much funnier than I am.

    One thing I don’t like in a smart man is superiority, though, or vanity about their intelligence. It should be something he’s proud of, but not something he flaunts constantly. My current man is the perfect mix of smarter than I, bit differently so, and not an ass about it (even though he could be.)

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’m with you. Like you, I tend to really go for science types (my first love was a rugby playing enginerd – go figure). And like you, humility is a requirement. Flaunting one’s smarts is so not smart.

  5. Wilmaryad says:

    I’m gay, so voted as both. I gave the same answer, though.

  6. Smarter than me isn’t going to be that difficult, so if I get to choose and all, I’d like to request that she be patient. I can participate with patience. Smarts? She can have those. I want the patience:)

  7. Dennis Hong says:

    Derrrr. Whuz iz this heer pole thingy ma jiggy you be talking bout? Derrrr.

  8. NikkiB says:

    Interesting! I’ve definitely dated the Dumb Guy – although, at the time and being 19, I cared more about him being the Hot Dumb Guy than the Nice Dumb Guy. However, even at 19, I realized I could not date someone I couldn’t have a conversation with. Period.

    Smarter than me? That would be ok, unless I couldn’t hold a conversation with them, either. That could be just as frustrating – for both of us!

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’m talking about a relationship that happened in my early 20s. And, oh yeah, he was a HOT nice dumb guy. But I wouldn’t have tolerated the hot without the nice.

  9. I like men that are smarter than me but don’t rub it in.

    I dated the really dumb guy once too. So dumb that he had a fit one night in public about how people were always talking over his head using “big words.” The “big word” in question was “moderate.” That night I had a horrible nightmare that I was going to get pregnant and have a dumb baby.

  10. Jobo says:

    YES! Intelligence is huge for me too. I dated a personal trainer twice and we seriously just didn’t have ANYTHING to talk about. It was so dull. Sure, he had an amazing body, but that can only get you so far. M has both :) I realize I am lucky in that boat!

  11. I think the sexiest thing a woman can be is intelligent.

  12. Rajita says:

    He thinks that i am still childish and think that i am not as smart as he is.i know he is smart and intelligent but i am also very much fond of him because he is the one who can make me break free from my usual monotonous and mushy life.but i am very shy to interact as you know i am not as smart as he is and i feel like a stupid in front of him.what i believe is that i will become smart and intelligent once i am spontaneous and start interactions because he is very loving and caring