Ever since I was a kid, I have been told that life is better and easier when you are smarter. Naturally, it makes sense: you’re less likely to get fooled and you are better suited for independence.
However, lately, I’ve been thinking that being intelligent might actually be more of a curse.
I Guess My Thought Process All Started A Few Weeks Ago
I was doing what anyone who has a lot of things on their plate does: ignoring my responsibilities.
Instead of being a proactive person, I was absent-mindedly scrolling through my Instagram feed.
Then I Saw Something
I stumbled across a photo of a girl I went to high school with posing with her husband, who also went to my high school.
It was a perfectly fine photo: just the two of them standing together outside somewhere.
Not To Be Mean, But She Was Never The Brightest
She was always a delightful person to interact with. Don’t get me wrong: I genuinely found her pleasant.
She just wasn’t the smartest. For example, in Home Economics class, she asked if ice cream was a baked good.
But, There She Was, Smiling
She seemed pretty content with her life as a whole and happy with the man she married.
I thought of the fact that his friends had previously mentioned that he was cheating on her—it’s a small city, so word gets around.
However, Even She Seemed To Know
I scrolled down to the caption in a kind of shock.
In the caption herself, she mentioned that they’ve had their ups and downs but, through it all, he’d “always made his way back to her bed after straying away.”
I Was Absolutely Shell-Shocked
I mean, it’s one thing to be unaware that a partner has been cheating on you. It’s another thing to find out.
However, publicly acknowledging your husband’s infidelity in an Instagram post exists on a whole different level.
I Guess It’s An Extreme Case, But Not Rare
While this particular post caught my attention, it’s not exactly an isolated situation.
There have been many times where I have seen people in relationships just seem to not even notice they’re being mistreated.
Is Ignorance Bliss?
I’ve heard the phrase countless times, and I always dismissed it as being silly, but maybe they’re onto something.
Part of being intelligent means that you tend to be more likely to be cognizant of bad behaviors and more likely to analyze your situation.
Would It Be Better To Be Stupid?
I think of this one line from The Great Gatsby that’s stuck with me since I was a teenager.
A woman has a baby and says, “I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
My Whole Life, I Was Praised For My Intelligence
I was a smart kid. Like, winning math competitions, reading material intended for an older audience, and being at the top of the honor roll kind of smart.
I’ve always worn my intelligence like a fashionable coat—something to show to others.
But Some Say Intelligence Is A Curse
I’ve heard the notion that smart people tend to be less happy in life, and a lot of the examples back it up.
Some of the most brilliant writers, thinkers, and inventors were incredibly dissatisfied with their lives.
Some posit that the reason that people who are intelligent are more likely to think critically about different aspects of their lives.
Naturally, this means that they’re more likely to consider negative aspects that others might gloss over.
It Makes Sense That It Would Translate To Dating
Of course, it would make sense for smart people’s acute analysis of everything to seep into their dating lives.
They’re bound to really think about things, making them more aware of the ways in which the relationship is not working.
So My Heroes Die Alone
It makes sense that some of the smartest people I look up to ended up dying single.
I think of writers like Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson whom I’ve always looked up to. They didn’t exactly end up in happy relationships.
So Where Does That Leave Me?
I guess, the more I mull over it, the more it makes sense.
I think of the way others go on dates and simply enjoy the experience; I am constantly analyzing things.
Relationships Aren’t Exactly Easy, Either
When I do end up in a relationship, I find myself really considering all the aspects of what happens.
It’s almost too easy to see the ways in which a partner and I aren’t good for each other, and I’m faster to cut ties because of it.
I Sometimes Wish I Could Ignore Things
I think that being intelligent has left me with a lot more dealbreakers than some others.
For example, I see my peers overlook some of the transgressions of their partners—they’re talked over by their husbands constantly or their partners regularly say disparaging things about women—but they seem so blissfully unaware that they don’t even see it as a problem.
Maybe I Would Be Happier If I Was Stupider
Truly, if I was stupid, I probably would probably be married by now.
I would probably have been happy to settle with some guy I met when I was younger, and I would gladly tolerate the things he does wrong.
But, I Don’t Know If I Would Want That
Then again, I look to the girl I knew from high school who is married to a guy who cheats on her.
Sure, she might be happy on the surface, but is she really okay with that happening? Will she wake up one day down the road and realize that she’s not happy after all?
I Guess I’ll Be Alone
At the end of the day, despite how lonely it can get, I think I would truly rather be alone than be in a relationship that makes me feel bad.
Sure, it can be harder to date when you’re intelligent, but it also means that you’re not going to settle for a relationship that’s bad for you. Perhaps that’s the real way to win.