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Prepare to cringe at these stories from people who suddenly realized they were dating an idiot

This should make you feel smart—but it won't.


Jay Hathaway

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 11, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 8:04 pm CDT

The internet promises nearly all of the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, a chance to spend hours a day satisfying our human curiosity and getting smarter. Or we could just use social media to feel smarter by putting down people who don’t know as much as we do. That seems easier. 

And in that spirit, a hugely popular Reddit thread asked readers to share their stories of “idiot” exes. Not abusive assholes or bad people, necessarily, just people they’ve dated who didn’t know the most basic of scientific or historical facts. Indeed, there were some real doozies—and no one really felt smarter for having read them. 

Here are some of the weirder stories people told about the moment it dawned on them that their exes weren’t very bright. 

“When she flipped out because her third grader came home with “erect” on a spelling list, and was on the verge of calling the school. She honestly had lived her entire life not knowing “erect” had any other use aside from describing a penis.” – Iscariot_

That doesn’t say as much about this woman’s mental capabilities as it does about her life experiences. And she’s not alone. Someone else chimed in that he knew a girl in sixth grade who thought the word “amateur” was only associated with porn. At least she wasn’t a fully grown adult with a child, though. 

Hoo boy. 

“When she pointed up at a bluish star and sincerely asked ‘Is that Earth?'” – RevolPeej

This one is a little harder to explain away through simple lack of reading. Maybe it was a joke? Maybe it’s made up? I hope it’s made up. Humans living on Earth is a pretty common theme in TV, movies, pop songs, idiomatic expressions, and… just, how does this happen?

I had been dating this girl for a few months and it was Christmas time. We weren’t super serious but it was serious enough that I was buying her Christmas presents. I found something for her that was perfect and it had a connection to some funny event involving her and my cat. So I made the present from the cat. I thought I was being cute and she would make the connection. Instead, she got pissed that my cat got her a present and I didn’t. I thought she was joking. To make matters worse we were at her parents’ place and they backed her up. It was extremely awkward and I realized it wasn’t going to work out. – dopkick

This person isn’t so much an idiot as someone who lacks a sense of humor or just takes herself too seriously. Maybe she didn’t remember the “funny event” that inspired the gift? Maybe the gift itself was lame or disappointing? That she actually thought the cat gave her a Christmas present strains credulity.

She got me madlibs and when it was her turn to do a noun she asked “What is a noun?” I said “it’s a person, place, or thing.” There was a long silence as she thought. It went on for so long that I thought she must be thinking of the best noun I had ever heard. Then she said “place.” – tedave123

Guy, buddy, pal. This has to be a joke. You want us to believe that she got you Mad Libs, thinking it would be fun, but didn’t know what a noun was? Is this a true story or some really bad standup material?

Was on a hike and was following a trail I had read up on online. We get to a fork and I say “okay now we need to go north”. She says “haven’t we been this whole time?”. Confused, I look at her and ask why she says that. She replies “north is the direction in front of you yeah?”
Still not entirely sure about the origins of that logic… – Tork260

I believe this. I’ve known people who’ve made this mistake.

There are a lot more of these on Reddit—including just a crazy number of misconceptions about animals. Check them out if you want to feel wise and superior by comparison to others. Or if you just want to feel sad for people who wound up in relationships with partners they couldn’t respect, then posted about it on the internet. 

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*First Published: Oct 11, 2016, 7:30 am CDT