Caitlin Gallagher
November 23, 2017 8:00 am
Imperia Staffieri via Getty Images

You might not be able to always pinpoint exactly why you’re dating the person you are dating, but you can probably name what traits your significant other has that drew you to them initially. Was it their smile, their sense of humor, their style? Well, if you’re dating a sapiosexual, they were most attracted to you because of your intelligence. And while it’s a relatively new term and not very scientific, you could be dating a sapiosexual without even realizing it.

According to Merriam Webster, sapiosexual means “sexually attracted to highly intelligent people.” And although people have been attracted to other people’s intelligence for quite some time, Oxford Dictionaries notes that the word sapiosexual first started to be used in the early 21st century. “Sapio” should sound familiar because it comes from the Latin word “sapiens” — you know, as in homo sapiens. As Encyclopædia Britannica states, “homo sapiens” means “wise man,” and so, “sapiens” means “wise.”

While a lot of people may find intelligence to be a person’s most attractive feature, the term has received some flak since it rose to prominence. The Daily Beast deemed it pretentious and a writer for the website Study Breaks called it arrogant. Yet, as more dictionaries acknowledge the word, the more legitimate sapiosexuals have become — arrogant or not.

So now that you know that a sapiosexual is turned on by wisdom, how can you tell you’re dating one? Based on their defining characteristics, here are seven signs that you might be with a sapiosexual.

1You didn’t start dating right away.

Whether you were friends for years before you started dating or just had a longer courtship than you’re accustomed to, a sapiosexual needs to know your mind before they can be truly attracted to you. So if your partner’s interest in you grew significantly the more they got to know you, there’s a chance they are a sapiosexual.

2They value all aspects of your intelligence.

If you’re a fan of The Bachelor, you most certainly are familiar with the term “emotional intelligence.” As a sapiosexual told The New York Times, “What I connect most with and value most as a sapiosexual is emotional intelligence and comedic intelligence.” That means it’s not strictly book smarts for all sapiosexuals and they may admire you for your emotional maturity and wittiness as well.

3They appreciate your clever texts.

Speaking of wit, who needs sexting when you guys have banter through your texts, emails, and other online messages? Sure, the art of writing a love letter may be dead, but your ability to communicate with intelligence not only in person, but in writing, makes you a real catch to your significant other.

4They respect humility.

Although you might expect a sapiosexual to have an ego, that’s not what they want out of a partner. As the website Love Dignity explained it, “Many sapiosexuals tend to be more impressed by a person’s humility rather than the various accomplishments they list off.” So even if you have a Ph.D. from Harvard, your partner wouldn’t be impressed by you stating that. Instead, they’d rather you show ’em your smarts than tell ’em your smarts.

5You have the same level of intelligence.

Cosmopolitan talked to six people who refer to themselves as sapiosexuals and one takeaway was that they’d either break up with someone or never even date someone that they didn’t regard as intelligent. So when it comes to book smarts, you’re probably on the same level if you have a sapiosexual partner.

6They don’t do small talk.

While you aren’t engaging in small talk as a couple, you may have noticed your significant other struggled with pleasantries when you first met. Or that they don’t really excel at meeting your coworkers and acquaintances. Small talk is hated by many, but particularly by sapiosexuals, who’d rather be engaging in more dynamic conversations. As the website I Heart Intelligence notes, a sapiosexual may choose to be silent over making small talk with strangers. But that doesn’t mean that your partner has to be rude, so it’s always a good reminder that sometimes being nice can be a bit boring.

7Your brain is the most beautiful thing to them.

When you hear of studies in which men are intimated by clever women, knowing that sapiosexuals exist may give you faith in humanity since their overall trait is that they are sexually attracted to intelligence. As Diana Raab, PhD, wrote for Psychology Today, “Those who are sapiosexual are those who are stimulated or challenged by the way another person thinks.” So no matter what you think of your own appearance, your partner will always find you exciting and attractive as long as you are keeping things interesting mentally.

So while beauty may only be skin deep, the beauty that sapiosexuals admire most is far from that. And if you’ve got a sapiosexual significant other, there’s a real chance that your relationship will only get better and more enthralling with time.

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