Fulfilling relationships aren’t just about emotional or physical compatibility—you also need to be in tune intellectually.
And if you’re curious, there are ways to tell if you are… if only you pay close attention.
Here are 10 signs to look out for if you want to know if you and your partner are intellectually compatible.
1) You both feel at ease
Neither of you feels like you have to dumb things down so that the other will understand. There isn’t fear or insecurity about sounding stupid, either.
Not only that. There isn’t any kind of worry that the other will immediately take offense or shrug you off because they find what you’re saying boring.
That’s not to say that they’ll never find conversation offensive or boring, or vice versa. It’s just that when you do, you communicate it clearly so that you can make the topic more interesting (if the other finds it a bit boring) or change the topic (if one of you finds it offensive).
2) You can agree to disagree
Sometimes there are just certain topics that we simply can’t ever agree on, no matter how hard we discuss them.
Some people might try to brute force or manipulate their partner into accepting their side, but you can be sure such relationships won’t end well.
It’s a big sign that you’re intellectually and emotionally compatible if you can simply agree to disagree—that you can let things slide.
It means that you’re both mature enough to accept that you can have different opinions sometimes.
But even more importantly, it also means you’re still a good match.
That’s because your differences lie on things you are fine compromising with, and that neither of you disagree with the other on your core, non-negotiable ideals.
3) You just “get” one another
There’s almost this instinctive understanding between the two of you.
Perhaps you might stumble upon an article in the newspaper that you know your partner would love to hear. Or perhaps your partner would recommend music to you because they know it’s your taste… and they’re right 95% of the time.
Perhaps you might be talking about random things and end up finishing each other’s sentences.
This is not some proof of a psychic bond between the two of you. It means that you paid enough attention to one another that you have come to understand how the other thinks.
Because of that, you can more or less predict each other’s thoughts and feelings without speaking.
This is something that can only happen if you’re intellectually compatible.
4) Your bodies aren’t everything
That is to say, your relationship goes far deeper than the physical.
You don’t need to make love often to show how much you care, and neither are you especially conscious about your looks.
In fact, you’re perfectly fine with simply cuddling in bed, reading a book together or chatting instead.
When you’re physically compatible but intellectually at odds, your relationship will naturally focus almost entirely on your bodies to compensate for the lack of intellectual engagement.
But when you’re both physically and intellectually compatible, physical intimacy is just one of many facets of your relationship…and sex isn’t something you feel pressured to do all the time.
5) You look forward to each other’s opinions
You can’t always say why you look forward to hearing from them, just that you’re genuinely excited about what they have to say…even if you know they’ll disagree with you.
When you read the latest twist in a book you’ve been reading together, one of the things you look forward to is hearing about your partner’s thoughts about it (and of course, seeing their reaction)!
And when your partner comes across a particularly interesting piece of music, they can’t wait to have you listen to it and give your opinions on that piece.
Neither of you is afraid that the other’s opinion will differ from yours because you respect each other’s perspective.
Besides, you’re both aware that it’s your way to bond and grow as a couple—not as a way to show off that you’re smarter or more cultured.
6) You get lost in conversation
You would be in bed at ten but then you start talking…and talking and talking. And the next thing you know, it’s already close to midnight!
Time simply flies when you’re talking with your partner because of how much you have to say to each other.
And it doesn’t matter whether it’s a big, important topic like your opinions on China or something silly like the dress you bought for your cat.
You simply enjoy talking with one another.
Even better is that this is not just a sign that you’re compatible intellectually, but emotionally as well. Having this level of connection increases intimacy. And yes, it feels like home every time you talk to your partner.
7) Silence doesn’t feel uncomfortable
When we think of “intellectual compatibility”, the first thing that comes to mind is verbal communication—talk, talk, talk.
But a good sign that there’s no insecurity or any kind of intellectual incompatibility is silence…comfortable silence.
That’s because you both already KNOW that you’re good together, so there’s no need to fill every silence with words.
You don’t need to impress each other with wit because you’re both already aware that you’re clever. You don’t need to make elaborate explanations because you’re already sure your partner gets you.
8) Corrections don’t feel demoralizing
We all make mistakes, and it’s normal for people to correct us when we make those mistakes. And yet those corrections often leave us feeling defeated and useless.
You’re completely okay when it’s your partner trying to correct you however, and your partner probably told you they feel the same way as well.
A big part of this is because they understand you and offer their corrections on your level. They don’t leave you feeling like you’re being either talked down on or that someone below you is preaching to you.
And it’s also partly because you know that you are also free to dispute their correction. And that you trust they’ll try to listen to you and understand where you’re coming from.
In contrast, relationships between people who aren’t intellectually compatible tend to be volatile, with one person feeling like they’re being underestimated all the time.
9) You have similar interests
Your interests might not always be the same, but there’s a lot that definitely coincides between the two of you.
For example, you might be into gardening while your partner is into cooking.
Maybe you like jazz, while your partner is into classical music.
Or perhaps you’re into writing, and she’s into drawing.
Perhaps part of it could be because the two of you were influenced by similar things over the years, like the media you listen to and the people around you. Perhaps part of it is in your innate nature.
There are many different reasons why the two of you are this way, and the specifics differ from person to person. But it’s a big part of why the two of you can relate to one another so much.
10) You respect your differences
You have your similarities, but you also have plenty of differences.
You might have hobbies that your partner can’t relate to, or your partner might have beliefs you totally don’t understand.
For example, you might not “get” tarot and astrology at all, while your partner is deep into them. But rather than give them shade, you’ll just let them be. At least they are geeking over something…which to you, is always a good thing.
Or perhaps you have a fascination for antique computers that your partner simply can’t relate to, and yet they never say things like, “Why are you wasting your time on them?”
Your differences are no issue for the two of you; in fact, both of you believe they enrich your relationship.
These signs don’t always show up quickly. Just because you’re intellectually compatible doesn’t mean you’re going to “get” each other one month into dating, for example.
That means you shouldn’t stop dating someone just because you don’t have all the signs above.
These things make themselves known as you progress into your relationship and slowly smooth out the kinks between the two of you.
Being intellectually compatible means that your minds operate on a similar enough level that, with time, you will understand and respect one another.
In contrast, relationships without intellectual compatibility can last for decades without any of these signs manifesting.