We all have a checklist of desirable traits we look for in a partner and chances are “intelligence” is high up on the list for most of us, but what if smart people really turn you on? You may be a sapiosexual.

Not sure what it means? Sapiosexual is a fairly new term used to describe someone who finds intellect and the human mind to be the most attractive feature in a potential partner.

Merriam Webster defines ‘Sapiosexual’ as just that: “sexually attracted to highly intelligent people.”

“While it’s a neologism, it’s derived from Latin “sapiens” (wise) “sexualis” (sexes),” explains Antonia Hall, MA, a psychologist, relationship expert. sexpert and award-winning author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life.

That means that the person you’re most attracted to can stimulate you verbally, but there is also a maturity component. With wit there is wisdom, and emotional intelligence.

How do you know if you’re a sapiosexual?  “More than any other quality, you need your partner to engage and challenge you intellectually, and be able to trust in their ability to make good decisions,” says Hall.

If the person you’re dating doesn’t stimulate you mentally and feel emotionally secure, then it’s a dealbreaker for you.

“No amount of good looks, great job or financial security is going to make up for a lack of intellect. What’s great is that knowing this about yourself can help you quickly weed out potential partners because a few messages back and forth or a quick phone call will show you if they have the brains to will your heart,” says Hall.

Sound familiar? If you feel like have some sapiosexual tendencies but aren’t exactly convinced yet, read up on these 10 signs to find out whether or not you are, indeed, a sapiosexual.

Signs you’re a sapiosexual

You think conventionally attractive people are boring

If you look at conventionally attractive people, including celebrities, and think “meh,” then there’s a good chance you approach attraction in a different way.

“This could involve focusing more on intelligence than conventional definitions of attraction,” says Jonathan Bennett of The Popular Man.

Poor spelling and grammar anger you

One good sign you’re attracted to intelligence is your reaction to the messages you receive from potential dates.

“If you care about proper spelling and grammar and find yourself getting aggravated by errors, you could be a sapiosexual,” says Bennett.

You develop crushes on people you spend a lot of time with


Do you regularly develop unexpected crushes on your coworkers? Do you find your feelings growing when working closely on a project with a classmate? That’s a sapiosexual tendency — especially if you find yourself crushing on people you didn’t instantly find attractive when you met them.

You care more about dating profiles than photos

“If you are trying online dating and focus far more on the profiles than the pictures, this shows sapiosexual tendencies,” says Bennett. This is especially true if you get very turned on by a well-written, witty profile.

Knowledge turns you on

Have you ever developed a deep attraction to someone because of their passion for continuously learning and evolving? Sapiosexuals are not only attracted to intellect, they are attracted to qualities that relate to knowledge itself.

So if you find people who are into self-development super hot (which is very probable given that you’re reading Goalcast), you’re not alone!

You’d rather have a good conversation than a casual make out session

If you prefer an engaging and meaningful discussion over physical intimacy, there’s a good chance you fit the bill. That’s not to say you don’t enjoy sex, it just means that you place more value on intellectual stimulation than on the physical connection.

Your idea of a great first date is one that’s intellectually stimulating

You enjoy a nice romantic dinner just as much as the next person, but really your idea of the perfect date involves intellectual discussion. As a sapiosexual, you prefer roaming the aisles of a bookstore than going to the movies, to get to know someone.

You value emotional intelligence

Empathy, self-awareness, and the ability to identify, express and manage one’s emotions are the foundations of emotional intelligence, and it’s something you actively look out for in a partner.

You hate small talk

You don’t like it and you’re not very good at it — you find it superficial and incredibly boring. Awkward silence doesn’t terrify you. You get excited when the person you’re interested is a critical-thinker and can maintain a thorough conversation.

You admire humility

Credentials, status and material possessions don’t matter all that much to you. In fact, bragging turns you off and if you find yourself drawn to humility in a potential partner, it’s pretty good sign you’re a sapiosexual.

Pros and cons of sapiosexuality

Relating to dating and relationships in a less conventional way may lead to misunderstandings.

For example, you could be expecting (and looking forward) to having a super deep and meaningful conversation on a first date, only to end up with an uncomfortable date trying to change the subject and keep the topic light.

RELATED: 3 Qualities to Guide Successful Relationships of Any Kind

On the plus side, being a sapiosexual tends to breed intimacy and help lay the foundations of a strong, long-term relationship based on mutual understanding and communication.