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It’s official. I’m no longer sapiosexual. That was a tough mental program to hack but I finally broke through. While it seems noble to value to be attracted to intelligence over looks, I recently realized that it could be just as fickle as building a relationship on the foundation of physical attractiveness. Just my opinion anyway. Let me explain.

A person could be really intelligent but very mean and insensitive. That is a disastrous recipe for any kind of human interaction because the qualities that keep relationships alive for a long time are beyond looks and raw intelligence.

I sadly admit that having a decent conversation with the average African (especially Cameroonian) millennial is challenging; not to talk of a stimulating one, that’s just almost impossible. This once-in-a blue moon kind of experience made me fall for certain people who did not have my best interest at heart. I’m not saying all very intelligent people are jerks but there is that one scripture that says “knowledge puffeth up” (just saying). Lol. Just kidding.

This write up is not meant to stereotype intelligent people because of one or two bad breakups.

My previous experiences, observations and research have raised a couple of questions about what we as a generation truly esteem. What are our core unshakable values? Why is kindness and simplicity considered weakness? Why is arrogance considered strength? Why do we admire people who are constantly using their strengths and knowledge to make others looks weak and stupid? Why do I attract contempt when I genuinely, profusely express how much I appreciate something or someone?

Why can’t a person be playful, humble and selfless without being disrespected or taken for granted? Do we love the torture of seeking an oppressor’s approval? Why don’t we believe that there’s love without drama? Why do I have to be mean sometimes for people not to mess with me? Why do we praise fake and shame authentic? Why is it more important to mindlessly scroll through an app than talk to someone in distress and truly be present with them? Why do Cameroonian guys take girls to clubs on a first date?

If any of these questions make sense to you, then you’ll agree with me that our value systems are seriously messed up. What or who do we blame for that? The media? Abusive family units? Ourselves for not learning and doing better?

I used to feel horrible when my efforts didn’t impress people I considered cool, but as I grow older I chose to focus on people who care about me and want to be with me on this journey called life. Those are the knights in my kingdom; the ones who are too cool to be bothered about me should go on with their cool selves. I cannot comman go and be killing myself. I no longer conclude on a person’s mindset based on the eloquent expression of information they have memorized. I have decided that what I value is integrity, reciprocity, loyalty, kindness, compassion, consistency (because words and actions lie, only consistency speaks the truth) and open-mindedness.

Open-mindedness has to do with being reasonable, being able to question everything you believe when presented with new evidence. It’s the fine art of forgetting for a while how you see things and looking at the world from another’s perspective before concluding on anything. I find that way more attractive that spitting knowledge in people’s face and thinking you are the “omniknowest”.

You may be struggling to get someone’s attention to no avail and that’s making you feel rejected and unloved but if you look closely you’ll see good people around you who want to genuinely be a part of your life. Unless you are a relationship masochist, It’s advisable to take all of that love, attention and respect you’re giving to the “Jones’s ” and give to people who will reciprocate it.

Please understand that I am not shaming anyone’s attraction or preferences. You have a right to be attracted to and esteem whatever or whoever and also to change your mind and rearrange your priorities when you know better like I just did. I still admire beauty, intelligence, material things and success on a very superficial level but I know now more than ever that there’s more to life and people than these things.

An understanding of what’s truly important and good for you, in the long run, could help you make better choices and lead to a more fulfilling life. Maybe we should start valuing kindness, loyalty, positivity, respect, playfulness, adventure, compassion, patience, hard work, wisdom, fairness, sensitivity and warmth.

You want to know what’s fun about upgrading your values, you get to work on being these things before seeing them in other people. Isn’t that fantastic?

-Bella Charis




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