I talked with a friend recently who wondered why that more people weren't smarter in general; not that people are stupid intentionally, but don't take that marginal effort to learn or be better people. We both came from serious relationships and grasping at what kind of person we wanted to be with next.She is extremely smart, going to be a doctor in fact, but felt slightly isolated from the world by her intelligence. Even though she wanted to find someone awesome, she wouldn't compromise herself in brilliance in order to find someone she wanted to be with.
We argued, and came short on understanding what exactly she was looking for, but it got me thinking about myself.
Smart people generally are a little arrogant about how smart they are. They take solace and shelter in the fact that they are better thinking than everyone else, probably similarly to how really attractive people take refuge in their good looks. The rub is that if you are especially gifted in one area (looks, brains, personality, endowedness) that almost everyone you meet will fail to measure up in that area to you.
I compared it to a bell curve. Sure, I am smart. If I had to give it a number, I would be in the 95th percentile of people around me; there are very few people that I know who are as smart or smarter than I think I am. So, if that is the thing I value the most, then I will only be looking in a small bandwidth of people around me for smarties, not to mention other attributes that I want (physical, chemistry, emotional).
This is who I am. I'm a funny, smart, decently attractive guy who is dynamite in the sack (or so I have been told). The stars could align and I could find someone who is looking for all those things. All the things I feel about myself are all at the very tip of the bell curve. Great, but I don't think that is what people are looking for; if I want to catch the most fish, I gotta fish with the best bait. You don't want to wait for someone to perfectly match.
So I ask a question of myself.
Who do I want to be? Do I want to be less smart, but more common?
Do I shoot for the masses, where the venn diagram has the largest intersection? Tailor myself to be what the most people are looking for: a marginally smart, marginally funny, very physically attractive with nice clothes and always looking like I have something that I can offer or give them? This person can sleep with whoever they want, talk about vapid or topical stuff with anyone.
Or do I shoot for something similar to me and take the road where I already know I will be more isolated from the world. I feel my friend's pain too. I feel that I'm imbalanced, too much brain, not enough in other areas.