Relationships With Massive IQ Differences

GG writes:

I’ve been dating a guy who has a IQ of 180. You are absolutely correct about communication with someone who has an IQ 20-50 points lower and the jokes tend to be difficult at times. He loves telling jokes which, make me laugh. I love this about him, but I don’t get all his jokes. Of course, he knows this immediately and explains or he will say bad joke. I’m concerned he will grow tired of communicating on my level or explaining. I like him and enjoyed our last three months of laughter. Does anyone have tips for dating a genius or had a relationship with a difference of 50 points? If the latter, any success stories?

I do not think that the 50 points itself is such a terrible barrier. It depends more on where the high IQ is at.

In your case, we have a 180 IQ versus a 130 IQ. Of all the 50-point differences, ones along these lines would have the best chances of succeeding. A 130 IQ person ought to be able to keep up with a 180 pretty well I would think.

But it depends on the character of the 130 IQ. My father had a 129 IQ and in some ways, he was smarter than I am with an IQ 18 points higher. But in other ways, he had quite a concrete way of thinking. He just couldn’t get out of the box. And he was one of the most closed-minded people I have ever known. A lot of that was tragically wrapped up in some nasty Axis 2 stuff, but that’s not really important here other than to show how Axis 2 pathology might impair the full flowering of your mind.

130 IQ is near gifted. Two more points and she is in Mensa. The poster is no dummy.

But then I know a 117 IQ who seems to be as smart as I am, if not even smarter, and he is 30 IQ points lower than I am. I can’t make sense of that other than to say that he has spent his life stuffing his brain, especially with philosophy, which is a great thing to stuff your brain with.

The anti-IQ people are correct in some sense. IQ is a nice metric, but it doesn’t take into account to what extent you have stuffed and exercised your brain. To reach the full flowering of your intelligence, you should stuff your brain as much as possible and exercise it and work it out as hard as you can. Think of it as going to the “brain gym.” Instead of a bodybuilding program, start a brain-building program. It’s all the same idea anyway. The brain is not a muscle, but it is similar to one. A muscle works better the more you use it. Same with the muscle-like organ called the brain.

I know a guy with an IQ of 106 who is extremely intelligent. I do not have the faintest idea of what he has done to get to this point. I believe maybe he just likes to think. I have a friend with an IQ of 107 who was at first intimidated by my blog. I told him to keep at it and use the site to work out his brain. I also had a lot of long brainy conversations with him and I turned his head around in some ways. We also fed off each other. I do not know what happened, but he seems much more intelligent now than when I met him. I think maybe he is just working it.

170 and 120 IQ couple. Not sure how this is going to work. In some cases, like the 117 IQ cited above, it should be fine. Keep in mind that the average physician IQ is 125. I believe your average physician could get along well with a 170 IQ person.

160 and 110 IQ couple. I have a feeling that this might be a problem, but I am not sure. I have known some folks around 110-115 IQ, and they were no dummies. A lot of people with IQ’s ~115 have very interesting brains and many are quite creative. The 160 IQ might have to explain things to the 110 IQ person quite a bit though.

150 and 100 IQ couple. Well, my best friend for many years probably had a 100 IQ, and we got along like peanut butter and jelly, best friends forever. There were some problems in the relationship, but he was smarter than you might think. Also he was an extremely talented artist, and after a while, he developed superb social skills. He was also a very successful cocaine dealer for quite a few years, and you have to be smart to do that.

I had a roommate in college who may have had a 100 IQ. We watched TV and got stoned together every night. There were a few issues in the relationship, but he had a very wise mind and understood about life pretty well.

I know a man right now who has a 96 IQ, and I can communicate with him perfectly even though he has an IQ 51 points below mine. Actually he is amazingly intellectual. Once again, I think he has just been filling his head up with stuff all his life, and he’s now in his 50’s.

I have a feeling that in a lot of cases though, this 150-100 relationship might run into some issues. In particular, the 150 IQ person may feel frustrated in the relationship due to the IQ gap.

140 and 90 IQ couple. I am quite certain there are going to are going to be some serious issues here. I have a pretty hard time communicating with most folks with IQ’s around 90. They don’t seem to understand me and more importantly, don’t seem to know much about anything I am interested and from my point of view, they have nothing to say. But many have great social skills, are very wise about life, and have a fantastic sense of humor.

130 and 80 IQ couple. I can’t really deal with people with IQ’s in the 80’s. That would be 58-67 IQ points below mine – call it 60-65 IQ point difference. I have tried. Mostly I find them unspeakably boring.

This Hispanic gangbanger character used to hang out here all the time, mostly to smoke weed because he couldn’t smoke it at his Mom’s place. He had excellent social skills, and he was funny as Hell. Actually he was downright hilarious. We could not communicate intellectually in any way, shape or form, and his idea of a good time was utterly boring to me.

He was also basically a criminal. I find that a lot of folks with IQ’s in the 80’s have a somewhat criminal-type or low morals mindset, and this bothers me a lot. They are also often manipulative and all-take no-give types. At some certain point, possibly below 90 IQ, I believe your intelligence starts effecting your moral structure.

120 and 70 IQ couple. Forget it. This person is retarded.

However, as a young man, one of my first girlfriends was a woman named DJ. Actually I lost my virginity to her. She may have had an IQ of 75. That means we had a 72 point IQ gap. She was definitely not all that smart. As a matter of fact, we used to joke all the time about how dumb she was, and she readily admitted she was basically a dumb bimbo and seemed ok with that lot in life. It was sort of a running joke.

Nevertheless she was beautiful, blond and blue, with the vacant eyes and insatiable sex drive of a classic bimbo, and every guy in town wanted to fuck her. Nevertheless, she was a very interesting person, and she taught me many things about women and especially sex, which was her favorite subject since she was a nympho. She also had an interesting view of life, in particular focused on interpersonal relationships and especially once again sex. We were best friends and sometime lovers for quite some time. On the whole though, this is just not going to work. Not only that, but once you get into IQ’s in the 70’s, you may indeed run into quite a bit of low morals and criminal type behaviors. One problem with these people though is that they are often not even very good criminals. They are literally too dumb to be good criminals!

All in all, I think too much is made of the 30 point IQ gap beyond which communication is difficult if not impossible. I feel this is somewhat of an exaggeration and as we saw above, even 50 IQ points is not insurmountable, though it may be frustrating for the person on the higher end.

Also we see above that not all 95, 105 and 115 IQ’s are the same. Some have stuffed their brains so full and worked their brains so hard that they seem much more intelligent than their score.

As far as the woman above, I would say that a 180-130 IQ relationship is certainly doable and may even work well depending on the individuals involved. The important point here is that even though there are 50 IQ points difference, the person with the 130 IQ is classed as very superior intelligence, near gifted. In other words, they are very smart. This is a relationship between a very smart person and an unbelievably smart person. That distinction is not as significant as it might seem.


Filed under Crime, Ethics, Intelligence, Psychology, Romantic Relationships

20 responses to “Relationships With Massive IQ Differences

  1. Jason Y

    Should relationships between the high or mid, and low IQ be illegal, considering low is “child-like”?

  2. Jason Y

    I think a lot of people have a low IQ, cause they haven’t really tried hard. It’s a choice thing. It’s just like somebody can’t neglect the gym, and expect to be a bodybuilder.

  3. Jason Y

    Of course, we’re looking at this thing from the POV, of a higher IQ person dating a lower one. However, what about the opposite? A higher IQ person can be snobby, snooty, and condescending in many ways. Who would want to date someone like that? It would be like dating the upper classes of Latin America 😆

  4. This reminded me of a joke I heard (and modified) about 25-30 years ago.

    Two guys were sitting next to each other at a ball game waiting for the game to start (originally in a bar). One says to the other, Hey, what’s your IQ? Mine’s 170, what’s yours? 165. Great! Do you want to discuss Einstein’s Theory of Relativity?

    Upon hearing that, two guys further down the seating talk: Hey, what’s your IQ? Mine’s 140, what’s yours? Mine’s 145. Great! Do you want to discuss Reaganomics?

    Further down the seating, another guy asks, Hey, what’s your IQ? Duh, about 70, what’s yours? I think it’s 65. [Here’s where you can change the end to rib whomever you wish; two examples follow.] 1) Great! What size drum sticks do you use? 2) Great! What company do you rep?

  5. Jason Y

    High IQ people might destroy the human race, considering they invented nuclear weapons. 😆

    • DHL1

      I remember reading a children’s story, three sons of a Village Pundit decide to leave the village to go to far of Lands to learn the Advanced knowledge. Their village simpleton friend decides to stay back in the village.

      Upon several years, these three newly educated men return to the village, the simpleton friend of theirs goes to welcome at the river bank adjoining their village. On their trek back to their village, all of these foreign educated people keep discussing their expertise in their respective fields.

      To their surprise they find a few Bones of a dead Lion, The first foreign educated person says, I am a structural engineer, I can put back these Bones together into a frame. He reconstructs the Lions Skeleton Frame. The second guy comes forward and say, I am a tissue engineer, I can reconstruct the muscles etc. He proceeds to do the same. The third educated guy comes forward and claims that he can fill life into the recosntructed lifeless Lion. At which point the Simpleton friend reminds all of them that it is a Lion. If it comes alive it will kill us all. To which all these educated people reply, “Its our creation, it will never backfire”. OK says the Simpleton, let me climb a Tree before you proceed to bring it back to life.

      He climbs the tree, and the third educated person brings back the Lion to Life. The Lion kills all these three educated people.

  6. Jason Y

    One thing about university, it’s possible to solve advanced math equations, but not know them on a deep level. So is that fraud?

  7. IC

    Here is some data regarding dating and IQ

    (3) Assortative mating is greater for intelligence (spouse correlations ~0.40) than for other behavioral traits such as personality and psychopathology (~0.10) or physical traits such as height and weight (~0.20). Assortative mating pumps additive genetic variance into the population every generation, contributing to the high narrow heritability (additive genetic variance) of intelligence. Verbal intelligence shows greater assortative mating (~0.50) than nonverbal intelligence (~0.30), perhaps because it is easier to gauge someone’s verbal ability such as vocabulary than their nonverbal intelligence such as spatial ability.

    Assortative mating for intelligence is caused by initial selection of a mate (assortment) rather than by couples becoming more similar to each other after living together (convergence). In part, spouses select each other for intelligence on the basis of education — spouses correlate about 0.60 for years of education — which correlates about 0.45 with intelligence. Assortative mating may be greater than it is for intelligence for a few other traits such as social attitudes, smoking and drinking, although these traits might be affected by convergence. Assortative mating increases additive genetic variance in that the offspring differ more from the average than they would if mating were random.

    The increase in additive genetic variance can be substantial because its effects accumulate generation after generation until an equilibrium is reached. For example, if the heritability of intelligence with random mating were 0.40, the additive genetic variance of intelligence would increase by one-quarter at equilibrium given assortative mating of 0.40, Falconer and MacKay (1996) equation 5, Table 10.6, p. 176.

  8. IC

    Guess I am still banned.

    • You are not banned at all. There is just a comment blocker up. I went through and edited the comment blocker and I screwed it up bad and banned a bunch of clean commenters. So you all will just have to go through the filter for a while.

  9. I do not agree with this at all. In social science, I believe that a correlation of .4 is considered to be very high as any sort of correlations are hard to get in the social sciences. On many variables in social science, correlations around .1 or .2 are very common, and correlations higher than that are not common and are generally considered to be proof that there is something going on here.

    Or 0.5 with 95% confidence limits – the limits are always set high like that in any good social science research. I have never seen any research period where they do correlations where they do not set up those high limits like that.

  10. jan

    What about me? I have a 95 IQ. I am uneducated (formal education that is). Most of my friends are highly educated, I like smart people stuff. People call me extremely intelligent all the time. I guess I am the intelligence enigma then.

  11. Matt H.

    I’ve found that criminal behavior isn’t limited to the low IQ sect. The high IQ people can be criminal as well. They just commit a different type of crime, usually embezzlement.

    • Dahmer: IQ 130

      NB Son of a German-American Chemist.

      Manson: 128

      Bundy: 130-something

      Kenneth Bianchi: Hollywood Hillside Strangler IQ 128


      Joel Rifkin: IQ 128

      Son of Sam: IQ 125

      Richard Ramirez (Castizo Mexican): 9th grade dropout high IQ

      Periods of serious crime can continue for years.

      Average NAM offender? Locked up at 22.

  12. Katy

    This page is from 3 years ago, but I’ll comment.

    I have an IQ of 134. I’m married to a wonderful history loving storyteller of a man with an IQ of 189, and one of my lovers is comparable, a mathematician grounded in teaching and philosophy. I’ve befriended several folks with IQs in the 150s and 160s, people who decided to just pick up a programming language over a week’s study.

    I’ve struggle deeply with insecurities around these people, and still am. Will I really have anything challenging to add to the conversation? Is dating me like being with a child?

    I have insecurities but they are getting better. I’m realizing that it’s my essence as a person that matters in the relationships. What I care about matters, even if I’m not as learned or intellectually deep-rooted as I want to be.

  13. Me

    There was a large difference between my ex and myself, with him being slightly below average in some respects. This contrasted with his siblings, who seemed fairly bright in comparison, and I later discovered that his mother had experienced birth complications with him that had deprived him of oxygen for a few minutes. I didn’t really mind.

    The value of a person to me does not rest with their intelligence but with the positive impacts they have on my life. My ex was a caring person, and we had a lot of fun together, but I think the difference did start to bother him. I never brought the issue up, as it wasn’t relevant to me, but I have three STEM degrees and was pursuing a fourth, and he was a lifelong food service worker with no college education, and while I never intended to make him feel bad in any way, I think sometimes it couldn’t be helped, and he started to become passive-aggressive and resentful towards me.

    My line of study occasionally brings me into contact with people significantly more cognitively endowed than me, and I admit it can be intimidating, and I don’t think I would feel comfortable in a relationship with any of them. So I empathize with how my ex must have felt, but I don’t think it’s anything that could have been helped.

  14. Nic

    The plural of IQ is IQs not IQ’s.

  15. Rahul

    I think differences between two IQs should be attributed to their percentile difference. 130 and 180, that’s only about a 1 percentile difference.

    120 and 180, that’s about a 9 percentile difference, not much of a difference.

    100 and 130, 48 percentile difference- Huge. A 120 will communicate better with a 180 than a 100 will with a 130.

    This is on average. There are quite a few smart people with IQs in the 80s and 90s.

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