You have to be a 'genius' to join this dating site
- smart or snooty?
MEETING OF MINDS: An Asian Mensa gathering in Singapore last year. PHOTO: MENSA SINGAPORE
Report by CHARLENE CHUA
Is smart the new sexy or is it elitism at its finest?
In other words, do smart people want to only date other smart people?
In the US, they can, if Mensa Match has its way.
Launched last month, the dating website has been deemed controversially niche.
The partnership between high-IQ society Mensa and online dating giant Match.com has been criticised as elitist and discriminatory.
Mensa Singapore, which has around 1,000 members, organises social activities at least four times a month for its members to network and socialise.
It is not quite Mensa Match, but its events have nonetheless resulted in relationships forming between people with high IQs.
Mensa Singapore president Patrick Khoo told The New Paper: "During our activities, people meet mentors, business partners and there are couples who meet and marry.
"But just because someone. is not a Mensa member, it doesn't mean that he or she isn't smart."
Mensa Singapore member Muhammad Subhi Ajiman, 25, favours the idea behind Mensa Match.
The airlines contracts executive told TNP: "Since I joined Mensa last November, there have been a lot of opportunities to meet other Mensa members.
"Such activities definitely help to widen your social circle and to meet likeminded individuals, depending on what you are interested in."
Mr Subhi said that the activities are wide-ranging.
"This definitely helps those who are slightly shy, and the common interest acts as a platform to bond and find out more about each other.
"Of course, these Mensa events aren't usually aimed at finding The One, but you will easily meet and make new friends, and who knows what will happen if you find someone you have chemistry with?"
Mr Subhi said that he knows a happily married couple in Mensa. "They come to events together and their chemistry brings a fun vibe to the event."
Fellow Mensan Jayne Tan, who is in her late 40s and took the admission test in 1989, said she knows of singles who met at Mensa Singapore and started dating.
But the housewife, whose husband and son are in Mensa, said: "I think what a couple needs most is chemistry."
Some Singaporeans who are not in Mensa were divided on the issue, but most like the idea of one's IQ being "transparent".
Creative director Jillian Lim, 35, whose partner is a local Mensan, felt that there is a link between a person's IQ and how he or she handles relationships.
DATED 'STUPID PEOPLE'
She said: "I've dated a lot of stupid people in the past and I hated that. I couldn't connect with them and most of the time they couldn't understand how I was feeling about stuff.
"My current partner is smart and funny and we can talk about a lot of things.
"Mensans are good at solving picture puzzles. So perhaps that equates to figuring out what makes me tick. People are the most complicated puzzles."
Miss Wendy Chew, a 38-year-old sales executive who is single, liked the idea of knowing a person's IQ before she considered dating them.
Miss Chew likened it to putting a picture on a dating profile.
She said: "No one says anything when we put our photographs up on a dating website because it's a given that you want to know what your potential mate looks like.
"I would love to know how smart my potential mate is and since that may take me months to find out through the dating process, choosing to date a Mensan helps me not waste time in that department."
Freelance graphics designer Gerald Lee, 33, who is also single, felt that displaying a person's IQ on a dating website is "selfish".
He has had a tough time finding love in Singapore and felt that segregating the brainy from those who are less well-endowed intellectually would be detrimental
in the long run.
He said: "If you let all these smart people date only each other, then only they - and we're talking about 2 per cent of the population here - will likely have the chance to produce smarter kids.
"This isn't fair because the rest of us will stand no chance at all."
Intelligence comes with benefits, say supporters of website
In the US, supporters of Mensa Match have made no bones about their opinion that love is more attractive when it comes in an intelligent package.
Match.com's chief scientific adviser, Dr Helen Fisher, said in a press pelease: "Why do we want a smart partner?
"Because intelligence is correlated with many benefits, including higher income, sense of humour, creativity, social skills, coordination and problem solving.
"Money can buy a sexy evening on the town.
"People everywhere gravitate to smart lovers because an intelligent partner comes with a host of sexy perks."
The dating service is open to Mensans in the US who have scored at or above the 98th percentile on standardised intelligence tests.
There are more than 110,000 Mensa members globally with around 56,000 in the US.
In Singapore, close to 1,000 people are members of Mensa Singapore. (See report below.)
Dr Ali Binazir, author of The Tao Of Dating and the 2009 article Why The Smartest People Have The Toughest Time Dating, told CNN that in general, people with higher IQs tend to feel entitled to love and therefore hold extremely high standards when looking for a partner.
As a result, a person with Mensa-level intelligence can often feel alienated when looking for love.
ABC News quoted American Mensa marketing manager Victoria Liguez as saying of Mensa Match: "You're looking for someone in the same tribe as you.
"You're asking, 'Do you value intelligence as much as I do?"'
Mensa Match has also received criticism online from those who do not appreciate its connotations.
Wrote Ms Molly Mulshine on betabeat.com: "The pairing consists of a few initiatives.
"For regular Match.com members, a new Mensa 'badge' will be available in case they want to 'express their interest in the High IQ organisation', a release says.
"Sounds like a relatively tactfuJ way to express their interest in a mate with a high-paying job, but whatever.
"Those plebes can also humiliate themselves by taking the Mensa practice test... (to qualify for the dating service)."
You can only try for Mensa only twice
How does one become a Mensa member here?
Every two months, Mensa Singapore holds its admission test for $60.
A person can try out for Mensa only twice and should a second attempt be needed, it has to be done a year after the first.
In the 40-minute standardised, culture-free, intelligence test, only symbols or pictorial representations are used in the 36 questions.
To avoid confusion due to different numeriCal scores from different tests, Mensa uses a percentile as a cut-off for membership.
To qualify for Mensa Singapore, one must score within the top 2 per cent of the general population.
Mensa Singapore's normal membership fee is $60 a year and its youngest member is around three years old while the oldest member is
Last September, Mensa members from South Korea. Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong and China attended the annual Asian Mensa. gathering in Singapore, with about 60 of the 150 attendees being Singaporean.
Apart from these large gatherings, the society organises four regular social events each month, ranging from networking lunches to seminars to happy-hour sessions and board-game events.
Its president, Mr Patrick Khoo, said with a laugh: "There are couples where one is a member and the other isn't, so the partner also takes the test and joins us.
"Some other halves are hesitant to take the test (in case they don't qualify)."
News, The New Paper, Wednesday, July 30 2014, Pg 2-3Edited by The Code 02 Aug `14, 3:31PM
Some people do not attract each other at first but both grow and both fall in love with each other gradually, cos both saw how each other grew emotionally and intellectually. This kind of love tend to be stronger cos they have gone through the worst kinds of weather. Just speaking from my observation. :)