My post yesterday got me thinking about relationships, and I decided to re-post this. I wrote it 3 summers ago, and it still applies.
"The brain is the most important sex organ in your body. It's your brain's reaction to ideas, fantasies, images, smell and touch that triggers arousal and desire."
That’s a quote from Dr. Rosalina Abboud, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the Mayo Clinic, in my home state of Minnesota. I agree with her (and not just because she’s a Minnesotan).
Some women are attracted to a fat wallet, or eye candy. Although I can certainly appreciate those attributes, the thing that excites me, always, is intelligence. I like bright guys. Politics aside, Bill Clinton is sexy because he’s bright, vs. Dubya (who’s not because he’s NOT), and it’s the light of intelligence in his eyes that makes Matt Damon sexy in a way that Ben Affleck will never be. Intelligence is, and always has been, WAY sexier than brawn to me. Because of my moth to the flame attraction to raw intelligence, I’ve dated a number of very bright guys in my life. But often, I haven’t enjoyed their company. All people are complex and multi-faceted, and I’ve learned that it’s a mistake, always, to allow oneself to be seduced by a single aspect of anyone, even when that aspect is intelligence. But until recently, I frequently allowed myself to be seduced by intelligence alone, and so I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on the meaning of the phrase, “fools rush in”...
A great deal of the time that I’ve spent reflecting on that phrase has occurred in nice restaurants, while I was sitting across the table from any of a number of the interesting, bright guys I’ve dated. Inevitably, on those occasions, I was manicured, pedicured, and spritzed with Chanel 22 for the evening. My hair was usually pulled back into a tidy chignon, and I was wearing a de rigeur chic little black dress or some variation thereof, complete with sexy heels and pearl earrings...but for all the effect any of that had on most of those bright guys, I might as well have been devoid of make-up and scent, barefoot, and wearing a muumuu. Because as we sat there, waiting to order, glasses of wine and a bowl of fresh bread on the immaculate table before us...rather than flirting, gazing into each other’s eyes, and enjoying each other’s company, as couples all around us always seemed to be doing, australopithecus robustus’ head was inevitably bent intently over his dinner napkin, where he was graphing something for my benefit. Sometimes I’d say, “Please! If you must draw, at least use a pencil on that linen!” The response was always a variation of, “But I’m trying to show you something, and this is important!” Then, as my eyes glazed over and I felt my heart sinking in my chest, I’d think, “Shoot! Not again! When will I ever learn?” Sometimes I’d realize that in addition to drawing a graph for me, he was speaking, and I’d try to sit up straighter, and pay attention, as I heard him uttering seemingly random multi-syllabic words and phrases like “sub-galactic” or “quarks” or “stratospheric phenomena”...or sometimes “cardiomyopathy” or “tort reform”, depending on his profession. And I’d nod and smile, envious of the couples around us, whose snippets of conversations contained words like “weekend” and “beach” and “tortellini”. Fantasizing about, and longing for, some friendly banter, I’d plan my escape, and I’d vow to curl up alone with a good book, come next Saturday night.
Eventually, I did just that. I took a break from dating. I spent a lot of Saturday nights curled up, alone, with a good book.
It was good to do that. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and about who I’m attracted to and what I want. I’ll always be drawn to bright guys, but I’ve learned that I want much more than just brightness. I want compassion and generosity and especially, because it’s delicious to me, I want humor. Life is good, and funny, and I’ve learned that what I want is a co-conspirator...a bright, funny guy, who can not only carry on an intelligent conversation and make me laugh, but who can look into my eyes while he’s doing it...because Crosby, Stills & Nash had it right in Suite Judy Blue Eyes: Fear is the lock, and laughter the key, to my heart...