Sapiosexuality: The Attraction to Smart People

November 9, 2019
Although intelligence is a trait that appeals to many, for some it becomes the most decisive factor when it comes to feeling attracted to someone. Learn all about sapiosexuality here!

Sapiosexuality is a term that’s becoming more known in the world of romantic relationships. It comes from the Latin word sapiens, meaning wise, and refers to an attraction to smart people.

Although experts coined the word “sapiosexuality” relatively recently, the concept itself is very old. As early as 380 BC, Plato spoke in his book the Symposium about the relationship between love and intellect. Intelligence has always been an attractive trait for many. But in the case of sapiosexuals, this is the trait that attracts them the most.

From physical attraction to sapiosexuality

A couple smiling.

Physical attraction on its own doesn’t determine whether you like someone or not. People are usually attracted to a person’s sum of qualities.

As we all know, physical attraction plays a very important role in many situations, such as in dating applications, when you fall in love, or even when you’re voting for a politician. This is a factor most people have in mind (whether they’re aware of it or not).

However, it’s also true that physical attraction on its own doesn’t define whether you’ll be attracted to someone or not. In fact, most people don’t feel attracted to only one trait, but to set of qualities that make them desire someone. Thus, the attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that comprise another person’s personality deeply influence your desire for them. Then, depending on each person’s tastes, they’ll value some components more than others.

Read on to learn more: Things That Make You Unattractive Without Realizing It

The eroticism of the brain

In sapiosexuality, people do take into account physical factors and personality. However, they feel more attracted to the exchange of new ideas and deep conversations that enrich them both emotionally and intellectually. Therefore, for them, words aren’t only instruments of communication but also of seduction. They feel much more attracted to a person’s knowledge or the intimacy that can be built in a conversation than any other trait.

Different types of intelligence

When we talk about intelligence, we usually associate it with high cognitive ability or some people’s accumulation of knowledge. However, for many current researchers, the definition goes way beyond that.

Authors such as Howard Gardner with his theory of multiple intelligences or Daniel Goleman with his emotional intelligence have expanded the concept to many other factors. Essentially, this means that sapiosexuals can be attracted to academic knowledge or the ability to solve complex problems, but also to highly creative, emotionally mature people or those with a great ability to interact with others.

Characteristics of sapiosexuality

A couple talking.

Sapiosexuals are usually open-minded people. They’re attracted to novelty and want to learn and acquire new knowledge.

Nowadays, there’s a much broader definition of intelligence nowadays. Therefore, sapiosexuals may not differ much from the general population. They may even have much more in common than you might have believed at first. However, some characteristics define them more specifically:

  • They tend to be people with a high degree of self-knowledge.
  • Sapiosexuals are open-minded individuals.
  • They tend to have a high level of intelligence.
  • Novelty attracts them.
  • Usually, they’re deep and thoughtful people.
  • They’re keen to learning and dedicate some of their time to acquiring new knowledge.
  • Deep conversations seduce them.
  • Although both men and women may be sapiosexuals, sapiosexuality is more common in women.

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Intelligence is just another trait. Although it’s a positive quality, feeling especially attracted to another’s cognitive ability can be harmful to certain people. This is the case of individuals with low self-esteem who tend to idealize others because it’s easy for these people to project on another someone who isn’t real. Eventually, that attitude can harm them and make them feel even more insecure.

Recognizing and admiring another’s traits is very healthy in romantic relationships. This is true no matter if it’s intelligence or any other quality. However, every relationship should be balanced and not make any of the partners feel less than they are.

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