Why Are Women Expected to Date Men With a Lower Educational Level?

Why Are Women Expected to Date Men With a Lower Educational Level?

Dear Evan,

I was at a speed dating event last night for the second time. Just like the first time, it was full of smart, pretty, successful women in their thirties and forties and men of similar ages with manual labor jobs (and a few running their own manual labor businesses) but no men of equivalent professional or educational status except for one doctor. Why he was there, I do not know, as he made it clear that he was not really looking to date anyone. He did however buy me a drink in the bar afterwards and asked me what I thought of the event. I said I would be unlikely to go again because I have nothing in common to talk about with the men that I have met at these events.

He proceeded to give me a lecture as to why I shouldn’t automatically dismiss dating the two guys who were responsible for service washes in the launderette as they may be perfectly nice people and that career women in their thirties get what they deserve if they don’t. I am just wondering how many other men think like this? For me, it seems plain common sense that, while professional women with masters degrees may be compatible with men in less successful professions, the guy that left school with no qualifications to work in the launderette is highly unlikely to be a good fit.

It is not the first time that I have come across the attitude that career women deserve to be alone if they don’t want to date men without any education, or men a generation older, or the obese. I am just wondering how many men really think like this.

Fiona

Fiona,

It doesn’t matter how many men think like this.

Just like KC’s email a few weeks ago about how she receives emails from disappointing men she meets online, you’re illustrating an amusing concern with men’s preferences in women.

Men do what they want. They don’t do what you want.

My answer to you is largely the same as my answer to her.

Men do what they want. They don’t do what you want.

If he is a dishwasher and he finds you pretty, he’s going to ask you out.

If you don’t go out with him because you intimate that you’re “above” him on the dating food chain, it’s predictable that he might lash out at you.

You may be technically correct that he’s not of your social station, but that’s of no concern to the man you’ve just insulted to his face.

Literally, the ONLY thing he can do when you tell him that you have nothing in common (without getting to know him) is tell you that you’re wrong for judging people and that this attitude may come back to haunt you.

Women tend to adhere more to their checklists, which usually call for a man who is just like you, but better. And without your flaws.

He’s right about that. This is one of the big blind spots that women have in dating.

Allow me to explain.

You painted a black and white world, Fiona. It wasn’t that he was less educated than you. It’s that he was a laundry operator. It’s not that a man is older than you, it’s that he’s a generation older than you. It’s not that he’s a few pounds overweight, it’s that he’s obese. All of your examples are extreme, but not all men are extreme examples of anything.

So, to be crystal clear: no one (besides the fat, stupid and elderly) is saying that you have to date the fat, stupid, or elderly.

Got it? Good.

How do I find a man with traits I desireWhat I am saying – and what these men are inartfully suggesting as well – is that you don’t marry a list of traits. You marry a human being. And if you never think outside the box, you may well find yourself standing alone at the end of the dance.

The reason that I call this a blind spot for women is because women tend to adhere more to their checklists, which usually call for a man who is just like you, but better. And without your flaws.

Taller. Richer. Smarter. Funnier. Saner. Sexier.

Alas, men don’t care if you’re taller, richer, smarter, or funnier.

We just want you to think that we’re amazing.

Which is why men can date ANYONE – regardless of education, income, and height – while many women can only date 1 in 1000 men who are 6 feet tall, with a masters degree and a $200,000 income.

So are some men unrealistic in thinking that they deserve a chance with you?

Yes, they are.

Are they also correct in pointing out that they are open to a lot more women than you are open to men, and this may hinder your ability to find lasting love?

Yes, they are.

To your original question, no one is saying (apart from the jilted men) that you deserve to be alone. But I would be remiss if I didn’t pull out the nugget of wisdom from the flawed logic of the laundry operator.

5
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Comments:

  1. 61
    Mickey

    Michelle:

    When I said that “I’m dating so-and-so, who happens to be…” , I’m not presenting it as I would actually introduce my date by identifying what she does. My point was that what my date does for a living is only one aspect of the whole person.

    Even if on the off-chance that I actually said “I’m dating so-and so, who happens to be a waitress” (for example), how exactly is that status seeking? Again, I’d be looking to date the person, not her job.   

  2. 62
    Goldie

    @ Fusee, my thoughts exactly. I’ve been here 15 years. Most of my relatives are here. My parents live a few blocks away. My children grew up here and do not remember living anywhere else. They can speak and read in my native language, but very poorly. They just learned to read in it last year, when they were 16 and 18, so as you can imagine, not very fluent. As for “back home”, we sold our apartment when we left, and my parents did the same. We only have one or two living relatives still living back in the “old country”, that we barely keep in touch with. We have no one or nowhere to go back to. We never even went back to visit. Maybe one day when time and money permits, I’ll go, but as a tourist. My kids would be lost there, and I would probably never find work. This is home. Going back there would be like immigrating again. Just like everyone else around me, there are some things about my life here that I like, some that I do not like, some that I plan to change, etc. I live here. I’m not constantly weighing my life here and now against my life somewhere else fifteen years ago to see if it’s still worth hanging around or I should call it quits.
     
    Also, just because I may not be a 100% perfect fit for a midwestern suburb, doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t fit in in America as a whole. So there’s that as well.

  3. 63
    Joe

    @ henriette #45:

    IIRC Fiona has mentioned wanting children, but being unwilling to go the adoption or sperm bank route.  She wants to stay home and raise this child, yet doesn’t want to lower her standard of living in order to do so, which logically requires a husband who makes nearly double what she currently makes.  This may be a large part of what is driving her checklist.

  4. 64
    Ileana

    @ Ruby #34: I ‘d love to tell you what the big deal is, but unfortunately, i don’t know for sure either. I can only make assumptions based on my past experiences, so it definitely isn’t a general rule here.

    My conclusion is that some guys are simply skeptical of dating people from other countries, mainly because they can’t predict how they will react. Considering that some (if not most) men feel overwhelmed when dating women from their own group, imagine what it might mean having to add another ‘translation filter’ (ie. another culture) to the dating scheme. 

    Then there are others who are simply so committed to their prejudices, that they simply don’t want to give you the chance to prove them wrong. I’m not saying that these people are bad – by no means! Many are genuinely wonderful! I’m just saying that they will be friendly, but they won’t date you. 
     
    @Fusee #43: ‘My two cents, being also a Europeean immigrant… Dating an immigrant is no big deal. Plenty of men love how exotic it feels to have sex with an attractive woman who speaks English with an accent. Especially when it’s French : ) ‘ 

    and #63: I was already feeling at home after two weeks in the US, so after so many years of complete engagement in my local californian community, home is 100% here. ‘

    I’m really happy that you’re pleased with your new home and your new community :) But the thing is, most people in the US are known to be more open when it comes  to interacting with other cultures. I also have friends living in the US (NYC and Boston) and i have been told that they were simply ‘absorbed’ by the community there. So immigrants might not be such a big deal, especially when they’re from Europe.

    However, things look a lot more different when you’re a European immigrant in another European country. For instance, do you think you could have stated the same thing, if you were a French immigrant in, England (gasp) or … say, Germany? I bet you couldn’t. And it’s not because of you, but because of history and the conflicts between nations which go waaaaaaay back. 

    So, not that i want to hijack the comment section or anything, but i would really really like to have Evan’s input on this, mainly because i know it won’t come up any time soon (pretty please with cherries on top):
    If guys who scored ok on my check list (it is really reasonable, i promise!) and initially were really attracted to me, but upon finding out about my ‘origins’ started becoming cold, is it worth while still trying to prove them that i am not the way they might have labeled me in their heads (which has always to do with the fact that i am an immigrant)? Or to what extent should i go? I know that you tell us to stop holding out for the unavailable men who don’t want us, but really… at this stage, my only option would be the dorky guy interested in other cultures and ‘ethnical’ food (hence interested in me mainly because of where i come from).
     

  5. 65
    Fiona

    Ilena, people in western Europe get on just fine living in each other’s countries for the most part. I lived in Switzerland and the Netherlands, had no real issues and back in the UK I have friends from France and Germany who love it here so I think you’re incorrect to suggest that we all have issues. The main issue that I have seen is language.

  6. 66
    RW

    BIG LOL @ “So do you like it here in the US or would you rather go back home?
    I have a story to share.  A few years ago, I was on a GAP adventure in Central America.  There were 6 of us from Canada on the trip (4 were caucasians and 2 – my friend and I – were not).  On the same tour was a 70 year old gentleman from California.  Nice enough as people go but a bit clueless.  After spending 2 weeks together as a group (there were about 16 of us), we were in Costa Rica on the last leg of the trip. He and I hadn’t conversed extensively at that point but in general, after that amount of time together, we knew basic details about everyone in the group.  My friend and I happened to be sitting across from him at a restaurant.  As the conversation quieted a bit and we began to eat, he turned to my friend and me to ask casually – “So, how was the flight here from India?  Must have been long.”  I didn’t look at my friend because I was dangerously close to laughter but the other Canadians sitting across from us gave him a funny look and rolled their eyes.  Needless to say, that didn’t register with him.  One of us told him that we had flown from Canada.  He went back to his dinner without even realizing that he may have given offence.  I was more amused than offended but I can see how terrible this situation would be in a dating scenario.  The worst part is that these people are trying to be friendly and don’t realize how impossibly clueless they are.  Also re: immigrant, I have never understood that mentality.  *Everyone* is an immigrant to North America, unless your ancestors were Innuit.  But that is how it works.  If you look caucasian and have no accent, you will not be labelled as an “immigrant” even though you may be one, first generation.  On the other hand, even if our great grandparents moved to North America and YOU speak no Chinese but look it, you may get “Ni Hao” yelled at you by multiple groups of curious, giggling Spanish schoolchildren in Barcelona.  True story….happened to my friend.  I was there :D   Again, harmless but kind of annoying.  Also a bit more understandable if still rude in Europe because immigration is not as common.  Anyway, the moral of the story for me is that some people are clueless.  Will probably always remain so and in any case they don’t mean offence.  Happily, there are plenty of others who are not this way.  Thankfully, I have never come across this in a dating context though I’ve heard stories.

  7. 67
    Fusee

    @Lleana #68: “However, things look a lot more different when you’re a European immigrant in another European country. For instance, do you think you could have stated the same thing, if you were a French immigrant in, England (gasp) or … say, Germany? I bet you couldn’t. And it’s not because of you, but because of history and the conflicts between nations which go waaaaaaay back.”
     
    I agree with you that the immigration experience (and dating experience in the new culture) is going to be influenced by where you are from and where you are going to. Some immigrants are sadly not welcome, despite the great benefits they are bringing to their adopted country. I definitely believe that I’m unfairly priviledged in being a white Western European immigrant, and on the top of that from a tiny country that has plenty of issues within itself but not much with others (I’m originally from French speaking Belgium). Therefore I feel decently accepted wherever I go (I traveled around the world), and I had the same great experience when I briefly lived in Germany for two years before moving across the pond. However it’s not all about the names of the countries; how you manage your cultural integration will greatly influence locals’ perception of you as one of them or as an outsider. Basically the overall experience of an immigrant is going to depend on how successful their negociation between the two cultures is, and how open-minded the other party is at that level. You can’t control others, but you can control yourself! I certainly did a great job negociating between my own values and the US values, and it shows.
     
    “… is it worth while still trying to prove them that i am not the way they might have labeled me in their heads (which has always to do with the fact that i am an immigrant)?”
     
    I personally would not try to prove anything to a man who would have labeled me without knowing me, whatever that is, really. Dating is about finding out what would work and what would not. A different cultural background is certainly a lot to take, and I would not be upset at someone not willing to discover what I am really about and possibly take up the challenge of building a cross-cultural relationship, but there would be no point for me in trying to change someone’s mind who would be skeptical from the get-go, even if their skepticism is based on assumptions or predjudices. Dating is not activism. If my background is a relationship deal-breaker, fine for me. Next!

  8. 68
    Tom10

    Fiona, Goldie, Ilena, Fusee

    “the main issue that I have seen is language”

    Right. I would be unlikely to date a non native English speaking immigrant for language reasons rather than for any xenophobic or cultural reasons. I really enjoy verbal banter, the subtle play on words, hints and innuendos etc. that you can only really engage in quick-fire conversation with a native English speaker.

    An immigrant from another country is slightly less preferable in the long run because of the logistical reasons Fusee pointed out – it’s just so much less hassle to date someone from your own country.

    It has nothing to do with ignorance, prejudice or racism.

  9. 69
    Tom10

    I mean an immigrant from another English speaking country is slightly less preferable because of logistical reasons.

  10. 70
    Goldie

    Tom10 #72. Dude, are you reading our posts? You think we run them through google translate before copying them on here? It’s quite an interesting assumption that all immigrants, regardless of their background, language skills, the number of years they’ve been here etc. are slow to react, bad with innuendos, cannot carry a halfway entertaining conversation and so on. Cannot speak for the rest of our foreigner crew here, but it’s definitely not the case for me.
     
    This takes me back to the original post. When you look at someone’s bio or online profile and, based on details like their place of birth, education, profession, assume things about this person that you cannot really know — like, I don’t know, “he’s a plumber so his crack must always be showing” — you’re cheating yourself out of meeting interesting people, one of whom may well be your match. Your loss. And yeah, hate to break it to you, but that’s prejudice. Being the foreigner that I am, I looked it up: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prejudice and here it is: ” a (1) : preconceived judgment or opinion (2) : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge.”

     
    @ RW: “even if our great grandparents moved to North America and YOU speak no Chinese but look it, you may get “Ni Hao” yelled at you”
     
    True. I hadn’t even realized how bad it was, until my coworker, who was originally from China, told me that, after 10+ years here, he was taking his wife and kids (both kids born here) and moving back to China. When I asked for his reasons why, he told me: “Your children are white and have no accent, they will be fine here. But my children, just because of how they look, will always be treated like foreigners.”

  11. 71
    Fusee

    @Fiona #69: I agree. Learning the local language – and learning it to as close as the native level as possible - is really a necessary first step to a successful immigration.


    @Tom #72: with all due respect, your assumption that non-native speakers might not be able to delight you with “verbal banter, the subtle play on words, hints and innuendos, and quick-fire conversation” is kind of ignorant ; ) You would be surprised at how skilled some non-native speakers are with not only grammar and speech speed, but also their ability to play with words. It’s not just about native skills but a lot about personality and how you like using words to communicate. Amongst my all-American friends I’m the most playful with language – even if I can’t claim yet speaking English at a native level. Anyway it’s all about priorities. For casual dating, it might be too much hassle, but when it comes down to looking at values, character, and relationship skills, thankfully some men are willing to look outside of the all-American box : ) 
     
    Sometimes your life-long partner does not look like what you (and your family and friends) had in mind. The more open-minded you are on irrelevant factors, the more likely you are going to find your special one. Ditch the education and cultural requirements and focus on what matters!

  12. 72
    Goldie

    Fusee #75:
     
    “thankfully some men are willing to look outside of the all-American box : )”
     
    Here’s your opening for an innuendo, Tom. You have 30 seconds. Go.
     
    PS. FTR I started learning English in 2nd grade at age 8. I went to specialized school where we had five English lessons a week in grades 2 through 10. Our teachers had all completed 1-2 year internships in England after finishing their degrees. But a guy that rules me out immediately based on my origin, will never know this, because he’ll never bother to ask — unlike, say, my boyfriend.

  13. 73
    Tom10

    Goldie and Fusee

    My apologies, I didn’t mean to offend: you are obviously two very intelligent women with language skills well above average. I just said I’d be unlikely to date someone for that reason, but of course I’d judge it based on the specific individual.

    I just don’t like those conversations where I find myself slowing down automatically, but this doesn’t apply to either of you :)

  14. 74
    Ileana

    @Fiona #69:First off, i didn’t claim that everybody has issues. I also didn’t say that people don’t get on well in each others countries. Nobody is going to kick you out or vandalize your car (although i could tell you a few stories about that). It is just that locals in these places are more inclined to still treat you like an immigrant and not be ready to take you in as if you actually belonged there. On the surface, everything seems fine and everyone is polite, but if you look deeper, the situation isn’t all that pink (especially with all the mutual resentment being built up now with the euro-crisis).
    Your experiences as a UK citizen (if i understood correctly) in the Netherlands and in Switzerland had an overall positive outcome, because these countries never actually had any direct confrontation with each other. Your German and French friends might have had an overall food time in the UK, but that doesn’t make it a general rule (nor does it make it an exception). I live in Germany and frankly, i can use ONE hand to count the number of people who actually could recall an experience somewhere abroad, without being called a NAZI, being, made fun of, or looked at funny. Plus, you can’t deny the fact that countries from the west are more likely to treat people from other western countries somewhat different than they do the ones from beyond the former iron curtain. That’s why the US is different. They don’t have these issues we have. 
    To a great extent it depends, as Fusee brilliantly put it, on where you are from and where you are going to. I would add ‘and what you’re planning to do there’. I still maintain my belief that most people will be nice to you, but won’t want to date you.
    However, i agree with you 100% percent that the language is the number one problem and the number one key to a successful integration. No doubt about that.
    @Fusee71: Ahhh, Belgique! :) Love the chocolate. 
    You really hit the nail on the head  when you said that ‘the overall experience of an immigrant is going to depend on how successful their negociation between the two cultures is, and how open-minded the other party is at that level.’
    I personally had to learn it the hard way. I had to overcome my shyness and go up and talk to people in order to socialize and actually make friends. German folks aren’t exactly the most talkative lot when it comes to dealing with strangers. I got used to that. They got used to me. 

  15. 75
    Fusee

    @Goldie #74: “Tom10 #72. Dude, are you reading our posts? You think we run them through google translate before copying them on here?”
     
    Ha ha ha!!! I’ve been laughing my head off from that one in the last half an hour!!! Come on Goldie, let’s admit it: we actually write our comments in our native languages and Evan translates it all nicely for us. Sadly translating from French is starting to annoy him profusely, so I might have to keep going in German :D My Spanish is not good enough yet.
     
    Kein Problem!
     
    Tom10, no worries, I’m not offended. I’m just trying to help you guys realize that excluding people randomly because of uneducated assumptions or even possible “inconveniences” might not help in the long run.
     
    @Lleana #78: Yep, some people will not date/marry someone different than themselves, whatever that difference is (citizenship, accent, skin tone, education, income, hobbies, etc). It can be frustrating to feel excluded, but the actual loss is for the intolerant one. As we can read from the comments, it’s the close-minded that remains single, and it’s folks like my boyfriend and Goldie’s boyfriend who win the whole package, no matter how different the package looks/sounds from the picture they had in their minds. They see the bright side of cultural competency, cute accent, regular international traveling, and the possibility of raising bilingual kids. What is a hassle to some is priceless to others!

  16. 76
    henriette

    I’ve dated mostly Northern European immigrants, not through any conscious choice but — I’ve recently realised — because I’m willing to give them much more leeway.  When a Dutch guy talks about money or a French guy talks about sex in a way that I don’t really like, I find myself gently starting a discussion or simply letting it slide, vs. walking away (which is what I’ve tended to do with North American-raised WASPs, who I figure should know better…)  Clearly, being gentle and forgiving attracts a lot more men than the cold shoulder LOL.
     
    And, in my current home town (major Canadian city), it’s a total status symbol for the local white rich guys to have a hot immigrant wife: proof that they’re worldly and not white-bread.   In fact, the super-expensive neighbhourhood close to mine seems to have 2 sets of wives: 1) beautiful immigrants (mostly from Hong Kong & India, though a few from South America, Eastern Block and Northern Europe) of whom the husbands are constantly boasting, “Women from —— are so much more elegant & feminine than Canadian woman!”  and 2) pretty small-town girls whose husbands are proud and excited to take the Professor Higgins role and transform them into sophisticated metropolitan beauties.  
     
    Joe 67: You’re right – thanks.  I did notice that Fiona didn’t want to take the Sperm bank or adoption routes but I thought I’d mention them as options she might wish to reconsider (just as many of us have reconsidered our dating choices).  Most of my friends who did so never dreamed of being single mothers but eventually saw this as a valid option and are now thrilled to pieces with the choices they made.

  17. 77
    Soul

    I so wish education would serve to teach people how to be tolerant, open-minded, and to see past the labels (which is my personal definition of intelligence)…. but you do not learn that in books unfortunately…you do not learn how to be happy in books either…there is a famous song in French that says “what is it that they teach you in schools, if the most important is overlooked?” (my translation)

    I did not know the expression “street smart”, but i love it!!! 

    Tom10 #30
    i might have come off as a brat, but I was only stating the truth (and it was part of my argumentation). I said that I am more educated than most people (it is a FACT), I did not say that I am smarter than others though (which, of course, would not be a fact but a conjecture!).

  18. 78
    Fiona

    Ileana, I won’t invalidate your experience. I spend a lot of time in other European countries including Germany and Italy. The fact that our countries were at war once makes no difference to me or them. I even dated a German guy for a while – no reason I wouldn’t again so my experience has been very different from yours. There are French people I know who have been in the UK for over 10 years. It really isn’t that dissimilar.

  19. 79
    Speed

    For too many years, I placed a strong emphasis on a woman being cute, intelligent and a little quirky. It appealed to me and made for very interesting dating.  Although all my relationships had only a 9-18 month lifespan (when one or both of us got bored or frustrated), I looked down a little on my friends who married a bunch of Plain Janes, many with only marginal educations.
    Recently I changed my view entirely. I now think a successful LTR or marriage is based on things like honesty, patience, and maturity. It’s also being able to stick with someone during long, boring stretches of ordinary life,  chores and habits, from taking out the trash to picking someone up from the train station to watching the same sitcoms together on Monday. It’s also about being able to meet life crises, be they healthy, family, financial, or whatever. “Commitment” means sticking with something when the excitement is gone. Or even when danger rises.
    Looking at my friends’ marriages from my new perspective, they seem to mostly about changing diapers, dealing with neighborhood, job or family issues, things like that—not collegiate debates about politics or art or culture. That’s how they thrive—not on biting satire (which I now thing is actually harmful to a relationship) or the ability to contrast competing global economic visions.
    In retrospect, although I have two graduate degrees and own a small business, I think I had a very immature notion of relationships and marriage.
    So although I’m just starting this new plan,  I am grateful to EMK for his great advice here.

  20. 80
    LC

    It’s very hard to be an educated, accomplished woman.  I’m open to dating men who don’t make as much money as me or have as much education, but in the end, they cannot handle having a woman who is “better than them.”  I’ve heard it a thousand times.  They compare their success to yours, and if they come up short, they’re out the door (usually with some verbal abuse to cut you down to size).  It would be so nice if people actually evaluated each other on their ability to love and provide friendship for their partner, but that is not the case most times.  Women are judged on their looks and youth, and men are judged on their wallets.  Any attempts to go against society’s rules usually end in much heartache and disaster.  I keep hoping to meet that one exception to the rule–one guy who is loving, kind, honorable, and is happy/proud that I’ve worked so hard to be successful.

  21. 81
    Ruby

    Speed #83
     
    Good for you for expanding your criteria, but I think a woman can be cute, intelligent, and a little quirky, and still want an LTR. It’s not as if the only women wanting to settle down are “Plain Janes.” It’s more about looking PAST the exterior to make sure that the interior qualities are present.

  22. 82
    hespeler

    Great post Speed 83.

  23. 83
    Karl R

    Fiona said: (original post)
    “He proceeded to give me a lecture as to why I shouldn’t automatically dismiss dating the two guys who were responsible for service washes in the launderette as they may be perfectly nice people”
    “For me, it seems plain common sense that, while professional women with masters degrees may be compatible with men in less successful professions, the guy that left school with no qualifications to work in the launderette is highly unlikely to be a good fit.”

    For generations, educated professional men have been marrying less educated, less successful women. If a successful, professional man wanted to hold out for someone who had his education and professional success, he was almost guaranteed to end up single. There weren’t enough educated, professional women to go around.

    Despite this, my parents (and millions of others) managed to find a “good fit” who could be a partner for 50 or more years of marriage.

    Men have managed to do this successfully for years. A few women claim it just can’t possibly work. If you’re our equals, you should be equally capable of making a relationship work when your partner has less education and less professional success.

    Catherine said: (#21)
    “Hmm, now if a size 16 woman thought a man was wonderful    I doubt she would make him feel wonderful. What would make him feel wonderful would be a a very attractive, size 8-10 woman at least 10, maybe 20 years younger.”

    I love how you’re trying to rationalize your own ineffective dating strategy by pointing out men who pursue an equally unworkable strategy.

    When I got back into dating 6 1/2 years ago, the first woman I dated was a size 18, a divorced mother of two and a year older than me. I found her attractive, and it was a great relationship while it lasted. (She was in another serious relationship after things ended between us, and she’s now engaged to marry a third man.)

    Even though she broke things off with me, she thought I was a great guy and was perfectly happy to say that to my subsequent girlfriends.

    My fiancée is 16 years older than me. She doesn’t have to be a decade younger than me to make me feel wonderful about myself. (And I’ve dated a couple women 11 years younger than me, who also thought I was a great guy, so I have a basis for comparison.)

    Of all the women I’ve dated, I’m not marrying the youngest, the hottest, the most fit, the most fashionable, the smartest, the best educated, the richest, the most successful or the funniest.

    But she is the easiest to get along with.

    Fiona said: (original post)
    “It is not the first time that I have come across the attitude that career women deserve to be alone if they don’t want to date men without any education, or men a generation older, or the obese. I am just wondering how many men really think like this.”

    Dating is not a meritocracy. This has nothing to do with what you “deserve”. It’s simple cause and effect. If you rule men out for irrelevant criteria, you’re throwing obstacles into your own path. If you put enough obstacles out there, you’ll end up alone.

    I don’t care what kind of job she has (or can get). Unless she’s applying for a job in my office, I don’t care what her résumé looks like.

    I agree with Fusee (#63). It sounds like status-seeking … wrapped in a rationalization of compatability.

  24. 84
    marymary

    I agree with speed.
    I’ve been described as quirky, and have moments of intelligence, yet my relationship with the boyfriend is  rather mundane and ordinary. I wouldn’t have it any other way.  No more durm and strang for me.
    It doesn’t matter if you’re a nobel prize winner or an oscar winner or a president, a relationship is mostly the ordinary bread and butter of life, the connection and intimacy that’s built steadily over time, with a few crises thrown in and some good times. When we accept that we’ll be ready to have a committed relationship, rather than throwing up reasons why he or she doesn’t make the mark.  No person on this planet can save us from the fact that daily life is, mostly, often and, blessedly, if we are fortunate, not that exciting!
    And that is very okay.

  25. 85
    Liz

    LC EXACTLY!!!!

  26. 86
    Joe

    Ladies, I think you’re being unnecessarily harsh on Tom10.  If language is an issue for hm, he’s probably less likely to initiate relationships with immigrant women than American-born women, but if he meets someone and discovers that she’s colloquially fluent in English, I don’t think the fact that she’s an immigrant would stop him from dating her.

  27. 87
    nathan

    Karl 87 “Dating is not a meritocracy. This has nothing to do with what you “deserve”. It’s simple cause and effect. If you rule men out for irrelevant criteria, you’re throwing obstacles into your own path. If you put enough obstacles out there, you’ll end up alone.” I don’t think the criteria being put up by some of the women here are irrelevant. It’s the length of the list, and the lack of flexibility that’s the biggest issue. I fully support Evan’s call for more flexibility, and to realize that degrees and job titles don’t always equate with a happy partnership or one’s level of success and intelligence. At the same time, just dating anyone who is nice and friendly isn’t the answer either.
     
    People rightly point out to the ways in which a lot of what constitutes a long term, committed relationship is everyday stuff. However, you have to have enough in common, enough shared values, interests, and also mutual respect, in order to make it through the slow, dull, and challenging parts. When I look at the marriages in my family from previous generations, including my parents’ siblings – the ones who stuck it out for decades on end – there’s more misery and conflict than love and respect. The best of the marriages were/are much closer to equal in terms of intelligence levels, common interests, and shared values. All three combined. The others had serious imbalances in at least one of those areas, if not more. 
     
    It’s seems to me that Fiona and a few others biggest challenge is to move past the idea that specific job X or financial level Y = both a successful person and also a good potential mate. Money and jobs can come and go, especially in the modern economic world we live in. Don’t throw away all your criteria, but look deeper than job titles and money in the bank.
     
     

  28. 89
    Fiona

    Nathan I think you’re right.

  29. 90
    Karmic Equation

    Hmmm…I’m a Chinese immigrant, but I arrived here when I was about 6yo, so have no accent (imho) but some of my male friends, including my current boyfriend, tease me about my pronunciation of certain words. My exhusband is caucasian, too. So, personally, I’ve never had an issue with a man committing to me because I’m an immigrant.

    That said, the other day, my BF and I went to a Chinese restaurant where the waitress had a strong Chinese accent and made a flirty comment to him. I think that if we had not been paired up, I think he might have asked her out, but I doubt very much he would become her boyfriend, because of her accent. Same thing with my exhubby. I don’t think he would have taken her too seriously because of her accent.

    I don’t necessarily think that immigration status is what keeps some men away, but rather perhaps the TYPE of accent you have. For example, I personally HATE Arnold Schwarznegger and Jean Claude Van Damme’s accents, which, sad to say, make me perceive them less educated than they actually are. But I absolutely adore tonny British and Australian accents, which make me perceive those folks as *more* educated than they are.

    So perhaps the type of accent you have may make someone perceive your intelligence in a negative light, which, in turn, makes it harder for that person to take you seriously. If that could be your problem, perhaps getting a speech coach could be of help to you. Just a thought.

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