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The Unintelligent Man I Loved

November 20, 2013


(left, this is he with her goddaughter, at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago in the 1990's) 

He "had a heart the size of Texas, and a brain the size of a pea."

For a change of pace, a reminder that perhaps
we put too much emphasis on intelligence and
not enough on heart.

"I knew from the beginning, in my mind, that I shouldn't have allowed myself to get involved with someone who is so mentally challenged. And, at first, because I wanted him physically to such an extreme, I rationalized that he was the male equivalent to the female dumb blonde."

Answer to 'Do women like unintelligent men?'

by Anonymous
(Edited by

One day, about 15 years ago, I was planning a trip to Six Flags with my cousin and her boyfriend. Since they were worried about me not having someone to sit next to on the rides, they decided to set me up with a friend of theirs.

I met him the night before - and even at first glance, I knew he wasn't quite right in the head. He had a bit of the crazy eyes. But then, he was also pretty wasted.

I pulled my cousin into the next room and told her, 'No. F-ing. Way. I am NOT going on a 'date' with that guy. He looks like a big stupid loser.' (This was because he was holding an empty vodka bottle and couldn't stop smiling and staring at me.)

My cousin told me to just relax, since it was just going to be for one day, and just to have someone to sit next to on the roller coasters. How bad could it be?

Well, the next morning, the three of us went to pick him up. When he walked out the door, I thought it was a different person. My mouth fell open. Now that he was sober, and all fresh-faced for the morning, he was so cute, and so sexy, I was sure I was going to enjoy the day, after all.

On the way there, while talking in the car, he confirmed over and over again that he was of very little intelligence. But he also made me laugh like nobody's business, and he had a sweetness about him that was so simple and boyish in a big strong man's body. The sexual attraction was through the roof.

By the end of the 'date,' I couldn't believe how much the sexual tension had built up - despite his low IQ. The heat between us was so animalistic, so primal, it couldn't be ignored, and it got the better of me.

Nothing happened that night, but two days later, I saw him again, and just as the first time, there was a chemistry that was pulling me, and making me weak in the knees.

This one 'date' turned into a nearly four-year long relationship.

I had never in my life, and think I never will again, feel that type of a physical connection with someone. We fit like hand in glove. He was the most amazing lover I had ever known. He treated me so well, with so much love, and respect, and kindness and would bring me to tears on several occasions.


To give you an idea on what level he suffered from lack of intelligence, I'll give you a short list of examples:

1) He thought the year 1900 was the beginning of time.

2) When he saw that his birth certificate said weight '9.0', he believed that he was a 90lb newborn.

3) When attempting to measure the width of a door one day, he insisted it was 8" across. That's because the tape measure he was using had the inches restart after every foot - so instead of noticing that it was past the 3' mark, he only paid attention to the 8".

4) He could not figure out the formula for marking boxes at work as '1 of 5, 2 of 5, 3 of 5,' etc.

5) He had trouble reading and spelling, and sometimes recalling the right words. Such as 'cherish' and 'cherries.' So he would say something like, "I cherries you."

6) One day he repeatedly dialed a phone number to a man who kept trying to tell him that he had the wrong number. He kept trying it, anyway, because he was convinced that two people could both just coincidentally have the same phone number.

Oh, I could go on and on!

I knew from the beginning, in my mind, that I shouldn't have gotten involved with someone who was so mentally challenged. And, at first, because I wanted him so much physically, I rationalized that he was the male equivalent to the female dumb blonde. Or, something like the John Travolta character from 'Welcome Back, Kotter.'

But then, after a while, and only a little while, something else began to happen. I started to have feelings for him. At first, they were feelings of empathy, and wanting to protect him from the world. Then, they were feelings of just missing him...missing the way he smiled, and would pick me up and spin me around and kiss me, and the feeling of snuggling up in those big strong arms.

And then...I started to love him. Oh, woe is me. I tried to push it away, and I couldn't. It happened so fast, I didn't know what hit me.


When I found out he was using cocaine, I thought it was a blessing in disguise. I thought, 'Now is my chance! I can end this once and for all, and blame it on the drug use." It was a very bittersweet discovery.

But then, he wanted to get help for it, and asked me to go with him to talk to a drug counselor. Sitting there, in that little office, next to him...I will never forget the question he was asked, how he answered it, and how it brought tears to my eyes, and pulled me right back in to the black hole of loving someone who didn't even know how many days there were in a year, or what day Christmas is on.

The counselor asked him, "How do you feel when you take cocaine?'

He said, "I feel smart. I feel like, for once, I know what's going on."

Ohhhhh my GOD. Hearing him say those words - realizing for the first time that he had a self-awareness about his 'low intelligence' - and that he felt bad about it. Wow. It killed me. I wanted to hug him and protect him and take care of him like he was my own child.

And that's what was the beginning of the end. I began to see him like a child, and my feelings toward him turned more motherly than anything else.

But to this day, I miss him, and wonder what ever became of him. I lay awake some nights, wondering where he is, and if he's okay. I fantasize about winning the lottery, then tracking him down, and setting up a trust-fund for him, so he would always have a place to live, and food to eat. He wasn't very good at keeping a job. Not because he wasn't a hard worker, but because he just kept fucking up.


In all these years, I found what I suspected to be true. There never again was a lover who made me feel what he made me feel. When I think back on it, now, despite the worries and frustrations and embarrassment of being with someone who understood things in such a retarded fashion...those years were the happiest of my life. I mean a pure, simple happiness. The kind of happiness you might have if you lived your life in a tribe, in the middle of the jungle, where there were no such things as books or tape measures or calendars or IQ tests. I'm talking about a primal happiness - without logic or reason. Pure sensation.

And so, to answer the's both a yes and a no. Yes, I couldn't help myself but to fall in love with a man of limited intelligence - and I was able to find happiness with him. But no, I could not accept it as something permanent in my life. It doomed us from the start, and there was no getting around it.

One last thing...don't imagine this man as a squinty-eyed, slack-jawed dufus who wore a perpetual expression of DUH on his face. No no. He was a tall, muscular, good-looking man. He had a 'cool' look about him, with a black leather jacket, earring, dragon tattoo, and Harley Davidson boots. He could carry on a conversation just like anyone else - and have opinions just like anyone else...but his responses would be so utterly and fantastically ridiculous sounding, one would think it was all a big joke. He had countless friends who thought he was 'so hilarious' - and probably never realized just how damaged his brain really was.

And oh, by the way...I DID end up getting married, ten years later, and guess what? The man I married was incredibly smart. He was able to solve the Rubik's Cube in under 3 minutes, each and every single time. His shelves were filled with books about physics and aero-engineering - which is what he had his degree in. He could do anything, fix anything, figure anything out - and was like a walking encyclopedia. BUT...I was nowhere as happy with him as I was with my low-IQ guy, who had a heart the size the Texas, and a brain the size of a pea.

The marriage with Einstein ended very badly. He was SO cerebral, there was no chance for that silly, goofy hugging and kissing sort of stuff. There was almost no affection, almost no sex at all, and life was very dull in the romance department.

What is the moral to this story?

That's something I'll think about until my last dying day.

Thanks Matthias for sending this!

Comments for "The Unintelligent Man I Loved "

Sofia said (November 24, 2013):

That was a very sad and touching piece. She should really make it into a book … I have a great title. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it (not incessantly, but from time to time). It haunts me! Can I get in touch with her and find out how much of a writer she is? If she could write a book, she might be able to unload the pain and heal and have something many people would [enjoy is not the right word] … I too have been caught in this kind of situation, but not exactly the same … and not as long. I think many women would connect and resonate to a longer version of this. It is really beautiful in many ways. Thank you for posting it.

Jennifer said (November 21, 2013):

She did not "Love" him, she was oxytocin bonded.
When women & men save sex for marriage they avoid the drama

Roman said (November 21, 2013):

The type of men most women like are idiots, lairs, degenerates, wimps, bullies or psychopaths, because women have the need to feel superior and in control and they want to be entertained by fake personalities. They either want to mother them or feel superior by judging the beast for using and abusing them. Or they think their all powerful "love" will convert the bastard.

Women don't need childish men to take care of, even if it's their motherly instinct. What they need is a father-like man to love them and rescue and protect them from this sick world.

Jim said (November 21, 2013):

This is a very intriguing story. The woman found herself in quite a conundrum. If she could have learned to not mother him but rather be his helpmate, he may have been the ideal husband. Could she have helped him along in his struggles and weaknesses as he fulfilled her need for love and affection?

This man may have suffered from dyslexia or some other kind of cognitive disability. These people generally aren't unintelligent. They just learn things differently and needed to be taught in accordance with how they learned. But because they didn't learn they feel and act dumb. However, I have met some very unintelligent-smart people.

I work in a men's prison and see this scenario played out time and again. Some of the men who would be considered unintelligent are amazing artists and musicians. (I can't even draw a stick figure or play a note). I seen men who couldn't even write out a five word sentence rebuild an entire engine. (I get worried if the lawnmower doesn't start on the first pull). Everyone one has limited abilities but theirs is more obvious than others.

As illustrated in this article, these types of people also tend to be the most compassionate, empathetic and appreciative humans on the planet because they understand what it's like to not measure up. Perhaps we all can learn something from these "unintelligent" people.

Dan H said (November 20, 2013):

It wouldn't matter if she had married this man. She would have eventually hated him for his stupidity and would now be wondering how her life would be better had she married someone with more intelligence.

The answer to the question, "What do women want?" is "That which they do not have."

Dan said (November 20, 2013):

That story is so messed up I don't what to say. Most older people who've had a life of hopping from one relationship to another look back fondly on the memory of somebody they dumped when they were young and pretty. Maybe it's a good case study in how American women chose men in the latter 20th century -- on fashion and stereotypes.

Her attraction to the first man wasn't primarily his soul, as the article implies, but his height, muscles, tattoo, and 'rock star' looks. Now she's nostalgic for a man she wouldn't recognize if she met him now through his beer gut and lined face with dim eyes, living on disability.

I'm not 'dehumanizing' either her or the men in her story. I sympathize with her because I had years of identical regrets, thinking about dumb girls I dumped when I went back to college, (after indulging in sex affairs with them of course).

Many years later after the divorce from our intellectual 'equal' we get done with the nostalgic re-processing we realize that the problem wasn't the people - it was the 'lifestyle' that was out of whack. We lived in a time in America in which it was 'normal' for girls and guys to screw on a first date if they felt like it. For males, that was purpose of dating.

It turns out that without chastity, when sex is in the foreground of our attraction, the superficial attributes dominate at the expense of discernment of the soul.

Jim Perloff said (November 20, 2013):

Henry, they already made a movie about this guy. Here's the trailer:

Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at