What intelligences do you possess?

The doctor in my exercise class is always off a beat. He enthusiastically flails his arms and legs — if occasionally in time with music it is by mere accident. I wonder how it would be to be coupled with a highly intelligent man who had no rhythm and no consciousness that his body is moving very differently than our instructor.

We all have an idea of our perfect mate. Perhaps he’s artistic, articulate, rational, a great dancer, musically adept, introspective, appreciative of nature, and a great communicator.

If you want all of the above, good luck. As they represent competency in each of the 8 intelligences Harold Gardner presented in his 1983 theory on multiple intelligences.

  • Spatial
  • Linguistic
  • Logical-mathematical
  • Kinesthetic
  • Musical
  • Interpersonal
  • Intrapersonal
  • Naturalist

You say, “But the description above is just of well-rounded person. Nothing really grandiose.” Perhaps. It depends on the level of proficiency you desire in each of the intelligences. If you want someone with a 10 in each, you are living in a fantasy.

Most of us have one dominant intelligence, according to Gardner’s hypothesis. Or perhaps two. You may be average at a few. And one or more that just aren’t a strength.

Take a stab at rating yourself on a 1-10 scale on each of the intelligences listed above. If you are a concert pianist, you would be a 10 in the musical intelligence. A Ph.D. in mathematics, no doubt a 10 in logical/mathematical. An architect — spatial. (More examples at Wikipedia.)

For example, I’d give myself an 8 or 9 for linguistic since I’m a writer and speaker. I’d give myself a 6 at kinesthetic since I’m a reasonable dancer, but would never qualify for “So You Think You Can Dance.”

After you’ve subjectively rated yourself, now rate your ideal mate in these 8 areas. If you’re an 8 on kinesthetic, would you be willing to couple with a 3? If you’re a 4 in logical/mathematical would you see yourself with a 9?

Of course, you can fall in love with someone who has polar opposite natural skill sets. In fact, some schools teach to all 8 intelligences to get kids to improve their appreciation of each, and perhaps their skill level. So if you have two left feet, will you ever be an exceptional dancer? Probably not. But if you continue to develop your skills you will at least be better — and your 8-level kinesthetic partner will enjoy your dance outings even more.

Appreciate not only your various intelligences as well as your date’s. However, know which ones you require and which ones you can live with if he’s not as good as you.

But if your partner insists that you engage in activities that come naturally to him and are hard and thus not enjoyable to you, best to communicate that you won’t be joining him in that activity. If he insists, that’s a sign it’s time to put your foot down — or out the door.


Want to explore more about the make up of your next mate? Get your copy of In Search of King Charming: Who Do I Want to Share My Throne? today!


One response to “What intelligences do you possess?”

  1. Susan Avatar

    I don’t think Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences translates well to activities such as dancing. For example, a highly kinesthetic man such as an ex-college football player may not care for dancing. I don’t put a lot of stock in mutual activities as a basis of a relationship because they often are the weak glue that hold two incompatible people together…for a while. I’m sometimes annoyed at the activity matches that match.com sends me: “Like you, he loves dogs and cooking!” So what? He’s also a fundamental Christian conservative and I’m a moderate agnostic. What were they thinking? Too superficial.

    I would personally avoid anyone too skewed in any direction. I’m basically logical, but someone too highly mathematical (and often musical as well) may be eccentric to an annoying degree. Serious artists may be eccentric and egomaniacal as well as the very serious musician. A highly extroverted social butterfly often seems shallow to me and the “naturalist” who wants to camp/hunt/fish every weekend is not for me either.

    The theory of personality typing and matching is much more appealing to me and I haven’t read any blog entry about it although you have been a member of eharmony and chemistry. If your potential mate doesn’t really get you at a fundamental level, then no amount of mutual activity will compensate for that. You will just bring out the worst in each other. I’m an NT Rational and looking for another NT or an NF idealist. I find the i(N)tuition vs. (S)ensing the most important factor. I was married to an SJ Guardian type for over 20 years and he never got me. Half the time, he didn’t even understand what I was trying to say. I’m a big picture person and he’s a fact masticator and the attraction and love we felt for one another (plus all the mutual interests) wasn’t enough to keep us from driving each other crazy.

    Thinking and judging styles could probably be loosely correlated with intelligence styles. I’m looking for logical and intuitive, a man who gets excited about the big picture and ideas, and who is adventurous (maybe scuba dive with me?) and unconventional without being eccentric. Liking books, music, art, and firms is a big plus because that’s something we can talk about and share ideas.

    Then there is the whole issue of good character, similar values – and I prefer culturally similar because statistics show that two people who are culturally similar have a much better chance of a good, lasting relationship There is a lot to be said for mutual experience.

    I haven’t made any real lists about my potential mate other than this post. I know that I will know when I find him.