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.



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.

What 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.

Join our conversation (683 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 1

    Reading between the lines of your post I got the impression that you are a decent just trying to make your way through the world like everyone else. Your choice of words, however, makes you come like a stiff snob.     Being viewed (judged) like that is the reason why many men will not even go near a woman who earns even a little bit more than he does.

    1. 1.1

      Thank you, that’s what I was thinking. What the doctor was saying was not that you are expected to date a man with less education then you, what he was saying, is don’t count a man out simply because he has less education then you. He was saying, that these men (and who says their professions are less successfull? Do you have any idea how much money a plumber makes? Yikes!) are good men to have in your life, regardless of whether or not they wear a suit to work. A successful life does not mean the same thing to all people. To some it means condiminiums and flashy cars, to others, it simply means all of their needs are met, and by the way, that is what success used to mean to everyone. That was the American dream. But these days it’s not good enough for people. Now everyone acts like if your not Donald Trump then your some loser. I think it’s sad.

      1. 1.1.1

        right on !

      2. 1.1.2

        Preach Anjilyn!

      3. 1.1.3

        i completely agree with you about the individual meaning of success. although i believe that if two people have a different life vision, and a different idea of success, this might mean that they are just not compatible to spend their lives together.
        both of them might be amazing, beautiful, caring people, but this issue creates a distance between them that might leave them deprived, and it would only get worse over  the years.

      4. 1.1.4
        nene w

        Anjilyn: Using the word ‘yikes’ turns me off. Why don’t you become a plumber if you think they make so much?

        Yes, here I am again! Years later, still physically beautiful and still single! When I asked a man recently (who had never met me) why he wanted to marry me, his first response was ‘Because you’re beautiful’!

        If a man can’t take the fact that you want someone with a college degree, he needs to develop a thicker skin. There’s a reason it’s called MEN .

  2. 2

    Like many women on this blog, I fall into the category of high-earning, intelligent successful women who have had the experience Fiona and others describe of feeling like I rarely met men my “equal” and got criticised for being too snobby or picky or dismissive when I bemoaned the fact that I got asked out on line by 55 year old overweight bus drivers who couldn’t spell.

    After years of fruitless dating since my divorce, and thanks  in no small part to Evan’s advice on this matter, I have now met a wonderful man who I am happily in love with, who wants to marry me.  He earns less than I do, has little formal education beyond school and works in farming, so in that respect he perhaps falls into the category of men who for a long time I would have considered “unsuitable.” And yet – he is highly suitable! He is manly, confident, has intelligent and interesting things to say about all aspects of life, is the same age as me (48)sexy, good looking, has no ex wife and kids complicating the picture, has money in the bank…. He is also loving, committed, a good cook and great at DIY.

    Where I think Evan’s advice has helped me is that it has somehow freed me up to give things a try with a man who is  not exactly what I thought I was looking for but who has so many good traits that  things work really well between us.  It took me a long time to come round to the idea that I could potentially have a successful relationship with someone who wasn’t a professional, university-educated type, but through Evan’s repeated message about not looking for a  carbon copy of  yourself but looking for someone who was loving and marriage minded, I  had reached a place where  I was at least prepared to consider it when this man came along. He pursued me, he saw the potential in the relationship before  I did, is not the least bit intimidated by my income or letters after my name and is very much the man in the relationship, which is important to me.

    I suppose what I’m trying to say is that although its true a lot of the guys you meet at events will not be suitable for you, it is important to be at least open to the possibility that the laundry guy may be your ideal mate. Its hard to get your head round this, and in no way changes the fact that most of these guys (most guys, period!) will not be right for you, but it is possible that one of them might be. Does that mean you have to date every overweight, ageing laundry worker who comes along? Absolutely not!    But if there was a less overweight, kinda cute, younger laundry worker… well, maybe…      

    Anyway, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to thank Evan for the part he has played in helping me to meet my soon-to-be husband, so this seems like a good opportunity: THANK YOU EVAN for opening my mind to this possibility and enabling me to meet someone I  would likely have passed up had it not been for your wise words.      

    1. 2.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Thank YOU, Helene. Comments like yours make all the hate mail, criticism, and arguments with anonymous strangers worth it. Seriously. Congratulations on your happiness.

      1. 2.1.1

        Evan, Do you realize what you’ve just done?

        You’ve patted a woman on the back for finding a man that aligns with a larger portion of her “pro’s” checklist after writing an article about NOT to do that. And I quote:

        sexy, good looking, has no ex wife and kids complicating the picture, has money in the bank…. He is also loving, committed, a good cook and great at DIY.

        1. SparklingEmerald

          Hi J – Are you trying to be funny, or did you not read Helene’s comments that the man she is in love with ” earns less than I do, has little formal education beyond school and works in farming, so in that respect he perhaps falls into the category of men who for a long time I would have considered “unsuitable.”       ????

          You are kidding aren’t you ?


    2. 2.2

      Firstly, thank you to all.
      Without repeating too much, I agree with the need to be open and to find a partner who compliments one, such as Helene has described. I too, fall into the professional university educated category of woman and would like to think I am reasonably emotionally mature. I thoroughly appreciate Helene’s description of the man she has found. I have a respect for men and have healthy communication and kindness in past relationships (a long marriage without sexual compatibility), so no complaints about men. However, having been in a relationship with a kind and witty man for around four years, I find that I am unable to commit properly. I feel the difference in education and general achievement runs deeper. That is, that there may be a mismatch of compatibility in the long-term. The main issue being a lack of intellectual curiosity and general curiosity in the world. I fell that curiosity drives action to a large extent. I would like this quality in a partner. My partner does have many good qualities (the reason we have lasted this long, along with his determination). He is kind and loving and we just get-on. However, I don’t feel we have much in common.  Another big issue that holds me in the relationship is that we have built a hard-to-give-up sexual bond that I feel is quite ideal, and seems to keep growing (we are very compatible in this way). My dilemma is despite the good parts of the relationship, and despite my being open minded about differences in education etc, I still feel I cannot commit in the long-term. I have struggled from the start with what I believe to be a deep-seated incompatibility in the long-term ( but have also found it hard to move-on, due to the good things).
      How can I go-about figuring out whether we are compatible in the long-term? I care deeply (there is quite an attachment), but I have been unable to feel that I could love this man completely. I do feel I understand the difference between ‘in love’ and ‘the commitment to love’.
      Thanks again to all, and Evan  for including the subtleties in discussion.

      1. 2.2.1

        wow, very thoughtfully said.     I can so relate and empathize with you.
        I know that after a time,   and looking within, you will know what to do.   And I am speaking outloud for myself as well.  
        Wishing you good things!

      2. 2.2.2

        Such an articulate way to describe the exact same predicament that I find myself in. It’s not snobbery to want a partner who matches you in intellect but a desire for full-filling compatibility. Whilst not a scholar, I am an intelligent and educated woman with a partner who has little formal education. Does this mean he is unintelligent? Of course not; just that his ‘smarts’ lie in other areas that I feel are mismatched to mine. This leads to extreme frustration at times and despite the fact that he is a lovely man I find myself longing for someone who stimulates me mentally. This was something that I never thought I would have to compromise on and as a result, despite all the good things we share, I find it hard to picture us in the long term. In response to Evan’s quote, I don’t want to be the one standing alone at the end of the dance and wonder if it’s worth sacrificing a trait that you thought was non-negotiable in a partner.

        1. gush

          Sorry to tell you, but most of the time it’s snobbery.
          Don’t take me the wrong way, being with someone where communication is harder is a pain in the butt sometimes, but unless the person is way below average it tends not to be an issue.
          If the person is above “make america great again” or “I’m voting for Hilary because it’s about time we had a female president” then they are good to go.
          And I’m from stem, which means the girl doesn’t even have to be dumb for communication to be sort of a problem.
          There’s stuff I want to talk about that it’s stupid for me to expect someone (even if I was gay) who can talk about it.

          The thing is, when you get smarter the world doesn’t. By raising your standards as you grow all you do is make things harder on yourself. Which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it at all, just be careful while you do it.

    3. 2.3

      Very wise woman, all the best to you!

    4. 2.4
      Helen Schirmer

      I like your words of wisdom. It is a balancing act. If you are an intelligent, financially stable  and successful woman it is understandable that you would also seek those with those traits. Likewise, physical attraction is neccesary. I am trim and fit and practice a healthy lifestyle. Being obese is something all men can remedy if they will. If they think that obesity does not matter to women’s sexual attraction of them they are wrong. Amazing how obese men go after fit women. Nowadays women are not looking to be a just a nurse and a purse. They do have criteria they want in man. They have to have respect for a man. What appeals to each women varies. Knowing what they offer, they are looking for something comparable to themselves. Remember highly successful men seek women who are attractive, wise,   and intelligent too.

    5. 2.5
      Nene the first and only

      Helene: I only read the first paragraph or so of yours, but I think that is attributable to men wanting to be the center of attention when they are good looking and ‘educated’, so nowadays they tend to pick less-attractive women. That is why the less-attractive men with less education are messaging those of us who are well-educated and very attractive. Didn’t used to be that way in the early 1960’s and past decades.

      (noyb3 is the OLD email address).

  3. 3

    I disagree!   Men are likely more willing to date a larger range of women because they are not as marriage oriented – they will date for sex, or short-term reasons more often than women will – 2)   They are fussy in different ways! – They prefer thinner, more attractive and youthful women, and do not care so much about education and career, because they are not as concerned with intellectual interaction.

    1. 3.1

      Yes, How dare men want to date someone they are attracted to! They nerve I tell you. The reason men don’t care about a women’s career or education is because a man supports himself and doesn’t look for someone else to take care of them.
      Men are attracted to women they are psychically attracted to, not women they feel will provide for them.
      How many young men do you see “dating” 80 year old rich women? Now reverse it, how many 80 year old rich men do you see “dating” young beautiful women.

      1. 3.1.1
        Oscar Calme

        Steve, how dare you preach this heresy.   You are in severe danger of being burned at the stake if you continue with this course.   Don’t you know that women who pursue careers and professional qualifications are not projecting their  desires onto men.   Whatever, we will just have to remake men to suit what the women want.   Irony off.   Over and out.

        1. SchadenfreudianSlipper

          Oh Lordie, Oscar, that was rich!
          I have a bachelor’s, two masters degrees; speak three languages very well (other than English); have visited or worked in more than a dozen countries; play classical, rock and jazz guitar; and did a brief stint as a professional soccer player in the USA.
          To many men, it’s mostly about preferences–I don’t refer to a scorecard or checklist when deciding to ask a woman for an evening together.   She merely needs to be kind, attentive, respectful, and speak one of the three languages if she’s not too good at English.   So many women are refining themselves out of a shrinking market, especially since so many jobs occupied by men with higher educations have been or are continuing to be eliminated.

      2. 3.1.2
        Dina Strange

        Steve, you are right that men support themselves but i had seen plenty of guys who are looking for women to support them.

        Regarding women looking for someone to support them, u forgot that its’ women who give birth, so naturally they want to make sure that a man can support the child.  

        1. gush

          Ok, so you can go back on the kitchen. (which actually means you can conform yourself to the risk-less prospect of mediocrity.)

          You can’t have both kid, If you want to be successful you have to understand that you give your kid to your husband right after you get out of labor.
          And if he’s successful he won’t be as willing to give out his career and everything he worked himself to be as you are because if he does he actually loses everything, including you.

      3. 3.1.3

        There are some younger men in their 20s who do date much older rich women. They’re usually called gigilos lol

        1. gush

          Yes. Sad most women think they are above it when they aren’t.
          It’s my first advice for women with dating problems, hire a prostitute and stop whinnying.

      4. 3.1.4

        This is exactly the type of double standards men unfairly have that I HATE!!!!!!!

        Several guys told me they only date good-looking (by their standards), slim women. When you tell them they should be open-minded, lower their standards (just like men tell us) they look at us like we’ve got 2 heads, like we’re crazy. HELLO????

        There’s this guy, he only looks for extremely physically attractive women for sex/one night stands. Yet he condemns gold-diggers. When I tell him he’s a “sex-digger” he totally denies it and gets so indignant. HELLO, don’t you see you’re a sex-digger just like the gold-diggers?? He thinks it’s totally ok for him to only have one night stands with attractive women, but it’s so morally corrupt if women look for only rich husbands. Totally unfair double standards.

        And the worst part is, they don’t REALIZE or ADMIT they have such unfair standards!

        1. Jason

          I think you go that confused.   He’s looking for someone to sleep with.   What he was saying was women look for someone to marry.

        2. gush

          Stop with the bullshit,
          Women have a problem with manwhores as well, just as much for a fact.
          This was clear in the nineteen hundreds and it’s still clear.
          It’s a double standards most people hold.

      5. 3.1.5

        Steve – You just illustrated her point! You’re saying it’s okay for you to be fussy and judgmental about what you want to be fussy and judgmental about but, it’s not for a woman?

        Fact: men are shallow with looks, women are shallow with status/money…and each judges the other sex unfairly and holds them to sometimes unrealistic expectations.

        For men: Try giving a size 14 average looking woman with a good personality a chance.

        For women: Try giving a man who adores you with an average paying job a chance.

        For both sexes: Date people in your league! That does NOT mean if you are attractive as a man look for an equally attractive woman.   Many men think this. NO! Dating in your league for a man means that if you have an average paying job, look for an equally average-looking woman. If you have a high paying job, you will attract more good-looking women. The more status you have and better provider you are, the more desirable you are to women.   For a woman, it means if you are an average looking woman, look for a man who makes an average salary.

        1. gush

          Women are shallow with looks, status and money, man are shallow with looks.
          That’s a fact.
          Most men would give a size 14 woman a chance without her having to be rich or ultra smart, most women wouldn’t give an average man with an average job, average appearance a chance.

      6. 3.1.6

        Perhaps a smart man would date a women that is successful just like he is to both be even more successful and powerful as a team?   😉

        1. Russell

          I understand that this what you want to happen, but as you are aware, it does not always happen.   I think this is what women seek out, but men do not…at least they don’t like women do.   While a lot of men and women who have degrees marry each other, it has more to do with the fact that more and more people earn degrees, and also the fact that people with degrees tend to run into each other more often.   While in college, you typically date other college people.   You form a circle let of friends you went to college with.   You live in the same areas of town.

          But, the fact remains that most men with degrees, do not have that as a requirement for a wife.   That isn’t going to change.   Men prioritise different things.   So, instead of wishing it were the other way, learn to prioritize different things.   Stop looking at things that don’t matter.   Look instead to whether a man is really in to you, and his character, and whether you have similar ways if expressing love.   How you express love to each other is far more important.   If you love to hold hands, and hug, etc, but he is not nearly as affectionate, you relationship is doomed to fail.

      7. 3.1.7

        Most women  who are complaining about not wanting to marry someone who isn’t their financial or intellectual equal make more than enough money to support themselves. They just don’t want to have to support their husbands, as well.

        I know a lot of men who have really hurt themselves financially by marrying women who had no earning potential. The only thing that these men cared about when they got married was  their wife’s appearance , and now their credit ratings are ruined, and they are bitter. However, the women never agreed to make money, or limit their spending,  they only agreed to stay attractive, so the men have no right to be bitter.

      8. 3.1.8

        Hello Steve:

        I agree with you on some aspects of your post.   Men that are successful and/or have a career and can support themselves, are not looking necessarily for a woman to support them.   And men are much more into visually appealing stimulation then women are – it is a fact, I studies the difference in the sexes.   Successful men want some type of eye candy, whatever that may be and of course it is different for each man.

        And no, a lot of men, in fact many men, do not care about a womans education.   they will marry a stipper if she is beautiful and sexy, but she may only have graduated high school.   Do they care, absolutely not.   But other men do want a woman who has a job and can support herself and is not looking for a guy to take care of her.   They look for women with good self-esteem, who can have a conversation, and is independent to a certain degree.   There are different preferences for different men and so we will never ever be able to narrow it down to just a few “kinds”.   There are all kinds.   And lots of heavy set women are married and happy because there are men who like larger women.

        As a woman, my criteria are this: a guy who takes care of his health, has a job, a car, does not live with Mom/Dad, is clean, has a sense of humor, and can dress himself for different occasions, and has some sense of social manners.



      9. 3.1.9

        LOL as a career man I married a career woman not because I wanted her to take care of me but because I didn’t want a hypergamic leech and well guess what if you don’t want a leech you gotta go for a career woman. “B-b-b-b-but she won’t have time for the kids” is B.S. that’s what home based businesses are for. Physical attraction is overrated – guess what happens when she gets old or the babies start wreaking havoc on her figure? Yeah men who marry for physical attraction will cheat based on it, too. A low maintenance frumpy woman who loves you for you and is good in bed is worth a thousand smokin’ hot babes.

    2. 3.2

      I agree Kathy. I would say that 90% plus of men don’t seem to rate intelligence in a woman. I find that to be quite sad. For me intelligence is important as well as emotional intelligence.
      well I guess stupid is as stupid does, shallow men get shallow women. Then they wonder why they are broken hearted from a woman who cheats on him or takes his money.  

      1. 3.2.1

        This is a common mistake:   Equating intelligence with formal-education degrees.   I find that many women project THEIR desires onto a man, and judge men by what WOMEN aspire to achieve.   Further, I have found that some of the densest, irrational, inflexible, obdurate and unstable people to possess advanced degrees.  

        1. Mark2012

          Plus, she assumes that just because a man does not insist that a woman have a degree similar to his, that he is shallow, and that the woman with the high school education, or something less than a bachelor’s degree is also shallow. In addition, she assumes that a woman who has a degree would never cheat on the man, or would not rape him in divorce court, given the chance. I would like to see the research that backs up that wild claim.

        2. starthrower68

          Well since we’re engaged in the rancor again, I have a Master’s degree.   I briefly dated a man with 2 PhD’s who was a dolt.   I fell for ones who didn’t have that. Did I date them to feel superior to men? No. I am better than no one.   I always wanted an education.   It has made me able to stand on my own two feet as a single parent.   I am grateful for that but I come from common folk and that’s what I am.

        3. Zoe

          SchadenFreudianslipper  your last sentence made me giggle… I am surrounded by some of the people you mentioned.

          Loving the name 🙂

      2. 3.2.2

        Absolutely true. I love to rant and rave about hypergamic women and women who chase Chads. But equally as tragic are the men who pursue women based on their looks with almost reckless disregard for their moral character and intelligence. Good quality women who aren’t hot babes are often left in the friendzone. This needs to stop.

    3. 3.3

      When we first meet a woman, we don’t have much to go off of aside from her looks. Once we start to talk we can get a sense of her intelligence, but for men it’s not about the number of degrees you have or the prestigious school you went to. It’s not about your income or your workplace achievements. While all of that may be very impressive, it’s not really what attracts us the way it might attract a woman. If I’m a Star Trek nerd I’ll be more drawn to your ability to discuss Star Trek than your Harvard MBA. If I’m into cars I’ll be far more interested in your ability to talk engines and such than in your salary. Most men aren’t looking for a provider. We’re looking for someone fun who can make us feel young and appreciated, interesting, and sexy.

    4. 3.4
      Nene the first and only

      Of COURSE you marry a list of traits! What do you think!? Otherwise, you’re marrying ‘just’ for sexual attraction and/or lust, and good luck with that over the long haul!

      KATHY LOL! Not in the northeast and Midwest! Take a look around there!!! They are all married to overweight/obese women, which they prefer. And if men weren’t ‘marriage oriented’, you wouldn’t have marriage between a man and a woman STILL numbering in nearly 90% of the World’s population by the age of 60.

      1. 3.4.1

        Sexual Attraction is on most women’s list of traits, whether she will admit it or not.

        The problem is not so much with the list, but what’s on the list, and how inflexible many women are when it comes to that list. “Sense of entitlement” comes to mind.

        Many of those things are not a predictor or whether the man will be a good man, good husband, or good friend for life. The reality is that you have bought into the marketing for colleges. To increase enrollment, they sold everyone on the idea that to be somebody, you have to have a diploma. The truth is, there are a whole lot of people who have degrees, and nothing but debt to show for their time in school.

        Many women are very much the “Keep up with the Joneses” types. You are very very worried about your friends and family liking and approving of your man. You fear that without a degree, they will see him as a loser.

        Well, the reality is, more women earn degrees than men do. And to add to this, men who have degrees don’t necessarily feel it important to marry a woman with a degree, furthering the imbalance. So, you can hold out for a man with a degree, and possibly end up with 50 cats instead, or stop seeing that as a litmus test for whether a man could be a good life partner, and maybe find the love of your life in the process.

        But, unless you truly experience a paradigm shift on this matter, I fear for that man, because no man, or woman, wants to be the person who is “settled for.”

  4. 4

    Congratulations Helene, I am pleased that you have found what you are looking for. All the very best with it.

  5. 5

    @ Kathy: if you’ve read any of Evan’s work, you should know that men don’t care about your accomplishments or intellect–what they do care about is how you make them feel.

    1. 5.1

      But is that really true?   Because a good woman can make a man feel like a king and he’ll still kick her aside for something he perceives to be better. That’s what hurts the most when give with an open heart and make him feel like he’s the only thing that matters and it’s just not enough for him. Men do what they want and then often convince themselves that a sincere and loving woman is too good to be true. I’ve had this told to me several times and it hurts.

      1. 5.1.1
        Karmic Equation


        “That’s what hurts the most when give with an open heart and make him feel like he’s the only thing that matters and it’s just not enough for him.”

        This is where you went wrong anonymous.

        It not that your making him feel like he’s “the only thing that matters” which is “not enough” … but rather that your making him the only thing that matters is TOO MUCH of a burden.

        A man wants to feel he’s “just as important” as other things in your life, but he does NOT want to be the MOST IMPORTANT thing in your life.

        When you make a man “the MOST IMPORTANT” thing in your life, he loses respect for you.

        He needs to know that you WANT him in your life not that you NEED him in your life.

        Any man (or woman) who NEEDS to be the MOST IMPORTANT thing in their S.O.s life does not have an interesting life and is too dependent on their S.O. for too much.

        When love crosses the line from gift to dependency, that love is no longer a gift.

        Never ever lose yourself in a man. Part of the reason most women love “alpha” men is because of this reason. He maintains his individuality even while in a relationship. Women who lose their individuality in a relationship kills the spark in that relationship.

        And there is a fine line between being an individual and being independent. A woman who knows how to navigate that line keeps the relationship strong and something that the man wants to stay in.

        1. Amy

          I agree Karmic Equation. I am not attracted to that either.

  6. 6

    I, too, followed Evan’a advice and am very happy i did.

    I have been in a relationship with a man one generation older than me and i am the happiest woman in the world, i am so grateful God sent me this wonderful man!!! Of course he is less educated than me (most people on this earth are), but who said education = intelligence? If anything, intelligence in a human being has often been hindered by his/her education…

    My man is smart and generous. His knowledge of art has taught me so much about the beauty of life, nature, and human beings… and his approach to life, as a whole, is extremely inspiring. He has got integrity and he treats me wonderfully… when you encounter sb like this, who care if he does not have a PhD (or a masters, or a BA?)  

    DITCH tHE CHECKLIST !!! Take time to really meet and get to know the person behind the labels !!!  

  7. 7

    Again Soul, I am glad that you found what you were looking for. I think however that I am better judge of what is good for me than anyone else is.

    1. 7.1

      Translation…I am stubborn and not open to change. I would prefer to remain unhappy with my unrealistic checklist.

      This would be like that guy who is a pig, who insists that he will marry a Playboy Playmate, and he won’t ever settle for anything less. Meanwhile beautiful, worthy women come into his life and he rejects them because they don’t meet his expectations…what he feels he deserves…what he is worth.

      Not to mention the fact that even if a guy who meets your expectations comes along, Mr. Wonderful just might end up having an affair with his secretary. Hey…very accomplished men often feel they are of high value and deserve whatever they want also, and often that is his secretary in his bed.

      Meanwhile, a great guys are trying to get your attention. Hey lady, this is 2014. Stop listening to your biological programming that was not aware of what 2014 was going to be like. Your biological programming is geared for a time when a woman would be totally dependent on a man for her safety, material wealth, etc… That is no longer the case. Your biological programming is no longer working in your favor and is the root of your unhappiness. If you can’t learn to recognize this and learn to circumvent that obsolete programming, then you are looking at a lifetime of unhappiness. Good luck, you are going to need it.

      1. 7.1.1

        I’m well-educated and have a great job.   While I certainly prefer college-educated men, I have dated numerous men with only high school diplomas.   The outcome was the same: they looked to me to be the provider.   We had absolutely zero intellectual compatibility.   A relationship is likely to last longer if there are shared experiences.   A dishwasher with a high school education is not going to be able to relate to any of your experiences in college.   Similarly, I’m not famous, so I cannot relate to the lifestyle of celebrities.

        I find that it’s much better to date or marry someone with a similar level of education as well as similar views regarding religion, politics and money.

        1. Amy

          Dishwasher comment made me laugh! But I agree with you 🙂

      2. 7.1.2

        I like the way you called out a “woman’s obsolete biological programming” here. Easier said than done, but well stated.

    2. 7.2
      Some Guy

        I am better judge of what is good for me than anyone else is.

      How’s that working out for you?    Unless I missed something, you’re still alone.


    3. 7.3

      Mein Gott, Fiona.   Is that the way you and your massively expansive educational accomplishments NORMALLY behave?

    4. 7.4
      Mary h

      Exactly!  No one should make you feel bad or guilty for having your own set of preferences or requirements for who you date.   Why is it ok for men to hold out for their standards,   but as a woman, you’re supposed to suck it up and date someone who you may not have as much in common with etc?   Sounds like a typical double standard to me.

      1. 7.4.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        No double standards. This is about what WORKS, not gender specific. If all men held out for supermodels, the world’s population would die out because only 1% of women look like that. Evidently, everyone has to make compromises. The question is whether your compromises are reasonable or unreasonable. People who end up alone because of their refusal to compromise are pretty unreasonable, given that 100 million people at a time are able to make the compromises necessary to get married.

    5. 7.5

      Yes! Well said Fiona!

  8. 8

    I am willing to date a “larger range of women” because if I stuck with some checklist authored from my fantasies I wouldn’t get dates. Lisa Fremont won’t be walking in a door near me any time soon.

  9. 9
    Evan Marc Katz

    What, if anything, did you learn from my response to your question, Fiona?

    Because I’m going to suggest that understanding what may be in your blind spot is far more important to you than “how many men think like” the man in your question.  

    If you were a great judge of what is good for you, you would probably not be asking the question. Most of us are very poor choosers until we get it right.

    And people who chose to value intellect more than kindness, or money over character and consistency, often end up choosing educated wealthy men who either don’t want to commit or have trouble staying faithful. Worse, they bemoan their fates by saying “there are no good men” out there, having passed up the good ones for bad ones.

    1. 9.1

      Great reply Evan!!

    2. 9.2

      I dated an intellectual professor with 2 PhD’s.   He was critical, arrogant, condescending, and bossy.   I felt like I had to constantly “on” but could never quite measure up. And for all the head knowledge this man had, he had no wisdom.   Later, I dated a fellow who worked in construction; I felt much more comfortable and able to be myself.   Why that one ended I still do not know and probably never will. But I would still pick the guy who didn’t have the “resume”.

    3. 9.3

      This is your view Evan it doesn’t make it a fact. You’re now making a judgment that you know Fiona’s situation/ life story.

      Your article fails to recognise what higher education does to change critical thinking. For some, incompatibility in this area can lead to incompatibility in partnerships. Of course, as with all things in life there are exceptions to rules. However, most men I have dated have a lower education than I do and repeatedly this is one of the key factors that leads to our ultimate incompatibility. They have all ended on good terms, they were good men but we weren’t intellectually compatible (something a couple of them told me themselves – not something I ever have or would say to them).

      It’s not a matter of superiority, it’s just person to person compatibility.

  10. 10

    Hello Fiona #8:

    Quite the contrary actually…. you might not be the best judge because of your blind spots (it is the same for everybody) …A little humility goes a long way….

    Please receive a warm and friendly hug; I sincerely hope you’ll soon find what you are looking for!  

  11. 11

    Well Fiona,   Evan just posted an excellent reply!!!  


  12. 12

    @ Kathy #4: I agree with you! Men are plenty superficial when they are just looking to casually date, which is the norm for them.
    Actually, and ironically, it was the DOCTOR (who showed up at a speed-dating event not really looking to date anyone) who told Fiona not to dismiss the manual laborers. I do object to his comment “that career women in their thirties get what they deserve if they don’t” consider all types, and would urge Fiona to consider the source.
    However, I wouldn’t rule out a man who ran his own manual labor business, or a self-made man with with less education, a shorter guy, or whatever. I’ve dated PhDs, but one of my smartest exes was a guy with a high school education. It really depends on the person and their interests and curiosity about the world.  
    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having one or two must-haves. If a very intellectual man is important to you, that’s fine, but you my have to compromise on other external traits. Look for the intellect, but don’t neglect the deeper layers of kindness and integrity.

    1. 12.1

      @ Ruby #12

      You said, “I do object to his comment “that career women in their thirties get what they deserve if they don’t” consider all types, and would urge Fiona to consider the source.”

      He was 100% right. But, that goes for everyone. We all get what we deserve when we try to go against what really works. If a 60 year old man thinks he is going to find love in an 18 year old girl, he gets what he deserves when 5 years later she leaves and takes him to the cleaners in the divorce, if it takes that long.

      We could go on and on with that but what he was saying is that if the woman creates an unrealistic checklist, one that excludes the majority of men, then they have only themselves to blame when they are 45 to 50, no marriage, no kids, etc…

      The truth is, there are many books and self help seminars for women that are downright damaging to women. I have seen some that actually encourage women to create lists and be so picky that they will never be able to find a man that fits the bill.

      Here is a gem from Good Will Hunting. It has to do with the fact that none of us are perfect, but that the imperfections are the gems that make relationships memorable.

      1. 12.1.1

        Hey Rusty,
        It is posts like yours that make me so grateful that I have chosen to exit the market at 53.   Face it, you guys need us much more than we need you. I take care of people all day long in my job as a health care professional. I don’t want to take care of some effing loser when I come home at night.
        Just because men are such losers does not mean we should settle for you.   I never had kids (my choice) but I know many women who chose to go to a sperm bank because the quality of men in America is so woefully low. I applaud their choice.
        Men do not have a clue in this country.

        1. RustyLH

          If that was supposed to make me feel bad, it doesn’t. If my post above yours made you that mad, thank you for doing the men of America a favor by removing yourself from the dating pool. If something in my other posts made you that mad, don’t know what to tell you. Life isn’t about men just killing themselves to please ungrateful women. So long before you were glad you chose to opt out, I had already opted out of marrying unrealistic, ungrateful American woman. Having a 6 out of 10 chance of divorce isn’t my cup of tea. I like better odds.

        2. RustyLH

          Oh, and I have to correct you. No, we don’t need you more. Thanks to feminists and how they have transformed this country, we DO NOT need you. We were raised to do our own laundry, cook our own food, clean our own homes, etc.. So there is only one thing we actually need you for…procreation. Sex? Sorry, don’t actually need you for that. Not in a relationship anyway. Yeah for women giving it away for free. Seems sexual liberation was actually to men’s benefit, not women’s. Companionship? We can get that from friends and family. Already covered the stereotypical women’s chores that are now no longer just women’s chores.

          In exchange for rejecting you women, we now no longer have to worry that all of that work we put into it will one day be enjoyed by some other man as she divorces, and uses the kids to rape the man, taking his house, and a huge chunk of his money.

          Plus…100% less drama. Nobody complaining because we want to do what we want to do. We can play a video game with some friends. We can go hunting, We can go to the races. We can go mountain biking and actually do the fun tails that offer a bit of scarey to get our adrenaline going. We can sleep in on a weekend as long as we want. No honey-do list that we are made to feel guilty about while her honey-do list has seen even less movement.

          Face it, so long as women keep giving up sex before marriage, what incentive do men have to get married? Oh hey! I get to marry the woman who has had 30+ partners. No thanks. I like the fact that Asian women, so long as you don’t pick a prostitute, have had very few lovers.

        3. ann

          Margaret, I agree with you and empathize b/c I’m going thru the  SAME things.       Very  nice job verbalizing the epidemic of what’s happening with the attitude  and quality of men lately!!!!
          Wishing all of us good things.

        4. SchadenfreudianSlipper

          Margaret, I find your response to be disproportionate to the point Rusty was attempting to make.   Perhaps the wrong words, but to verbally assault men as losers–how bitter, how sad, how ill-informed.
          Bitter, angry men could make the same assertion about women, for many men feel that women make no effort anymore.   To assert that men need women more than men is, frankly, misplaced anger…and it’s dead wrong.   Men and women need to be each others’ advocates, to retire the shaming and alarmingly hateful speech that serves no other reason but to destroy some part of another person or a group of people.
          I’m sorry for whatever it is that happened to you to motivate you to behave this way, but I am absolutely certain that your roiling vitriol is an exception to the way women consider men to be.

        5. Yogagurl

          Both Margaret and Rusty have issues with the opposite sex. Both are angry. I wish you both healing on this issue.

        6. Paulo


          “…chosen to exit the market at 53.”

          So in 53 years you were unable to meet one “quality” man? Based on your attitude toward men, rather than having exited the market, you likely submitted to your failure at attracting and retaining quality men.

          And, if “men do not have a clue in this country”, why didn’t you pursue foreign men instead? Or were you unable to attract and retain them too?

          Your comment speaks more of your failures than those of men. As does using the services of a sperm bank for -many- women whom choose to.

        7. Amy

          @Margaret: your comment made me laugh.

        8. Helen

          And what has made the quality of men in America so “woefully low”?  In my opinion, feminism. Men have been disrespected and emasculated for years by women. What did they expect would happen?

  13. 13

    I do not understand one thing. You said:
    “Alas, men don’t care if you’re taller, richer, smarter, or funnier. We just want you to think that we’re amazing. ”
    However, these re the qualities most men look for in a woman, can you explain this??

    1. 13.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Maria, I don’t understand your question. Can you please rephrase so I can clarify?

      1. 13.1.1

        It’s pretty clear what she is asking…men don’t just care that we think they are amazing, that is far too sweeping a statement.   Very often do look for “-er”s. Prettier, sexier, hotter, “cooler”, younger, richer, etc., etc. While Evan’s reply to Fiona had many great points to it, the reality is that there is a double standard.   I am glad that others brought that up.   Men are highly unlikely to give a real chance to women who are older, heavier, out of shape, or who work as laborers…

        There is constant chastisement of women to be more open minded, or even to “settle” yet not a lot advising men to do either, so in general, very much a double standard.   Settling is unfair to all parties. Open-mindedness is great, but not to the point where one disregards personal feelings solely to be open-minded.   Just reaffirming what others have said. All that aside, she wants you to elaborate on your quote 😉

        1. Russ


          Settling is the wrong word, because it implies that a person is giving up what they can have, and taking less than what they can have.

          In reality, people want what they can’t have, and then “settle” for what they can have.   Settle in quotations because they aren’t actually settling.

          Evan has often said things such as if what you are doing is working for you, keep doing it, and it doesn’t matter who you want to date, it is who wants to date you…that is your dating pool.


          So the idea here is that if you aren’t getting what you want in dating, you are likely wanting what you can’t have.   I really want Jennifer Lawrence, but if she won’t have me, I guess I will just have to “settle” for one of you ordinary women.   See how that works?

          Maybe instead of saying that we settled, a better phrase would be that we woke up to reality and accepted somebody we could actually have.

          That said, we often have very ridiculous standards and lists.   If we aren’t getting what we want, the best thing to do is to take a long, hard look at that list, and start dropping the more ridiculous items.   Maybe you can accept a guy who has less education, or doesn’t have hair, etc…


          And one last thought.   Why would a woman be advised to date a man with less education, while a man would not be advised the same thing?   Easy.   Women are earning 140 degrees for every 100 that men earn.   Do the math.   There aren’t enough men with degrees to go around for women with degrees.   Add to this the fact that most men do not require a woman to have a degree, in order for him to date her.   So not only do they not need to be given the same advice…the fact that they already do this means even fewer men with degrees for women with degrees.

    2. 13.2

      I think the author was trying to point out that men are more concerned with being respected and admired by their partners than more physical attributes. For most men, physical appearance, intelligence (within reason), and personal wealth are going to come second to the feeling of being loved by someone we can respect or love. A man isn’t going to continue dating a millionaire supermodel if she’s constantly mocking/emasculating him.

  14. 14

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and get Fiona’s back, at least a little.   The doctor at the speed dating event who lectured Fiona sounded like an ass. A professional woman in her thirties does NOT need to date a service washer at a launderette if she doesn’t want to. And no disrespect to the service washer, but odds are, they don’t have much in common for all sorts of valid reasons. Socio- economics influence our cultural experiences, and consequently our interests. The things we have in common with others is what adds to our attraction of others. The doctor implied that she didn’t have the room to be picky in this department, based on her age. It was ridiculous of him at best. That aside, Fiona, don’t be afraid to date someone without a college degree. There are PLENTY of good men who are motivated, successful, intelligent, kind and sexy without that piece of paper. Soul is right: ditch the labels and get to know someone as a person before you write them off.  

  15. 15

    The problem with checklists is, it’s so difficult to find someone who matches all the criteria, that by the time you do, you’re ready to overlook this man’s personality flaws, just because he was so hard to come by and you may never find another MBA six feet tall, no extra weight, your exact age, that lives five miles from you and makes six figures. So you try to ignore the facts that he still hasn’t set his divorce date with his ex-wife, or that he’s a control freak, or that he is leaning the very opposite of you in politics and religion and you argue about that each time you meet, or that he’s a pretentious douche, or that he is boring as hell and you have nothing in common. (That last one, happens more often than you’d imagine.)
    The first man I dated after my divorce, checked off every item on my list, up to and including the love of classical music. He also told me a story on our third date about how, when he walks his kids to school in the morning and sees someone run a stop sign, he jumps out in front of that car, stops it, and yells at the driver while his kids stand on the sidewalk and watch. Same date, he brought me home, parked in the driveway with his engine running, his headlights shining into my neighbor’s bedroom windows (at midnight), and tried to make out with the car still in drive and his foot on the brake. Charming. I stuck it out with him for another month because I was afraid I wouldn’t find another, six-foot-tall, liberal agnostic who’s working on his PhD. Then I finally came to my senses and ran off to date an old friend of mine, who never went to college, wasn’t liberal, didn’t like classical music, and carried about a hundred pounds of extra weight, and had an awesome time.
    That got me thinking. I realized that matching every item on my checklist is not a guarantee that the man will have something in common with me or that we’ll have a good time together. Now my approach is that it is okay to have some kind of a checklist, but they aren’t carved in stone, and slight deviations from the list on one or more items are okay. Nobody says to date a bum off the street. But an intelligent, successful man who hasn’t completed his college degree is perfectly okay.
    The man I’m seeing now, while exceeding my expectations education-wise, definitely missed a few items on my list, and I on his. (He probably hadn’t counted on dating an immigrant, for one thing!) But we have a great time together and that’s what matters.

  16. 16
    Jackie Holness

    Being too picky gets you picked over…not saying that you shouldn’t have standards, but the standards should be realistic considering all factors involved…

  17. 17

    My husband has less education than I do, is from a lower-social-class neighborhood, is much less sophisticated in many ways than I am, is less ambitious, has no interest in current events or the broader world around him, isn’t well-read, has siblings who are unemployed or low-skilled workers — and yet, he and I are perfect together. He treats me like gold, makes me laugh and draws me out of my head, where I would prefer to live most of the time.   We’ll be married 7 years this coming New Year’s Day.   (Time flies, huh, Evan?)   Evan is SO right about the “checklist” nonsense.   Fiona, you might want to read Lori Gottlieb’s excellent book, “Marry Him” if you are at all interested in getting married and having a family one day. It’s a real wake-up call for us “perfectionists.”    

  18. 18

    @2, Helene, good for you, congrats!   We’ve have a similar experience.   As a result of Evan’s thoughts on broadening our horizons, I made a concerted effort to date all kinds of different men…from really good looking, to highly educated and successful and/or older.   What that did is allow me to more clearly see why my current boyfriend is a good fit for me and why all those men were all good men, just not good partners/boyfriends–for whatever reason.   He is a professional, I have a BA, he never went to college.   I’m more interested in the world around me, he’s not, but can still talk intelligently, which I like.   We both like sports, etc., etc.   I really get this concept that no one is perfect…there is no perfect man, and there’s no perfect for me…there are just good men who can make good boyfriends that we can partner with perhaps in marriage.

    If you want someone that’s more educated,.   Be careful what you wish  for and good luck!    

    P.S.   I think that doctor saw exactly what you were about, and challenged you on it.   He did you a favor 🙂  

  19. 19

    I agree with KATHY4 ”   Men are likely more willing to date a larger range of women because they are not as marriage oriented — they will date for sex, or short-term reasons more often than women will — 2) They are fussy in different ways! — They prefer thinner, more attractive and youthful women, and do not care so much about education and career, because they are not as concerned with intellectual interaction””

    Evan says men just want to date women who make them feel good about themselves. 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.


    1. 19.1
      Ladd MaccAodh

      I’d agree, though I would not condemn it.   Truth is, if the other person doesn’t turn you on, it’s hard for anyone with a sex drive to want to be more than friends.   Goes for men and women, even if what turns us on works differently.
      A man’s sex drive doesn’t call for perfection, but a fat woman who treats me like a king still doesn’t turn me on.   Can’t change that, and I won’t apologize for it.   Same for a woman much older than I am, just doesn’t work.   I could certainly be friends with a fat or old woman, but it’s not going to work as a relationship.   In turn, I wouldn’t expect a woman to find me attractive if I let myself get fat and grew out a neckbeard.   What kind of entitled jerk would I have to be to expect women to ignore my neckbeard and love me for my brain, when there are so many equally-smart men without repellant grooming habits?
      You have to optimize what you’re working with – either find people who are into what you look like, or improve what you look like.   A solid resume just doesn’t turn a man on, and there is nothing wrong with that (ask me in a few decades whether that changes after his sex drive dies; I’m not in a position to know yet).

  20. 20

    I do understand what you are saying Evan and I am a bit flexible. Just about every man is taller than me so that is not so much of an issue and I don’t mind someone being a bit less successful, a bit less intellectual, a bit less well educated, a bit older (even all in the same package). However, it would be hard for me to accept anyone that didn’t at least meet those criteria. I do not value intellect over kindness – I do think that both are important. Nor do I think earnings are more important than character but I do think being able to have a reasonable standard of living is important. How flexible does one really have to be before feeling that you have settled for a man or a life you don’t really want?

    1. 20.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Catherine – I would think that it goes without saying that a man (or a woman) has to find his partner physically attractive in order to forge a relationship, so your point is kind of moot.

      Give a man identical twin sisters and he’s going to choose the one who is fun, easygoing, and makes him feel the best about himself, not the one who is constantly criticizing him for his flaws.

      @Fiona – “How flexible does one really have to be…?” Well, since there’s a lid for every pot, if you haven’t found a lid, you’re either not trying on enough or dismissing one that fits. Once I learned to let go of my list (East Coast, Jewish, liberal, Ivy League), I was able to find a life that I DID want. You don’t seem to be able/willing to do the same. So all I can say is that you should keep on dating and consider the wisdom of the women who posted on this thread…

      1. 20.1.1
        nene w

        Hi again, Evan: Baloney! I am living proof they don’t like ‘fun and outgoing’. They compliment fun and outgoing, they don’t marry it. MY personal experience.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          You’re right. Most men prefer boring and introverted to fun and outgoing. I stand corrected.

    2. 20.2

      I see the struggle you have in a lot of women who went to college and got a degree greater than a two year degree.

      The problem is this: In college you’re taught from a syllabus, an assignment checklist, a course dossier. They’re used to thinking in a robotic, functional, and logical way about every little thing that they used to do, that it is all they know.

      You have to ask yourself, is talking to your husband who has a degree greater than or equal to yours, about things that happened 12-15 years ago that have no bearing on your life now, over a 15$ breakfast more important to you that sharing a wholesome breakfast with a man who is more interconnected with the world and can produce more meaningful interactions other than;

      “Hey honey, my old frat brothers that I used to bang sorority sisters with are coming into town, you know, Jack and Brian.”

      “Yeah, the guys that tried to grab your ass and throw you into the pool during that wet t-shirt contest.”

      “Can they stay for a couple days while they’re in town.”


      No one is asking you to lower your standards, but you have to understand if your standards are based in reality, or the magical land of whothefuckknowswhere. You’re a woman. An aging one. You don’t fart rainbows, nor do you shit golden bricks. Past the age of 35 you can’t have children or start a family in a healthy or safe way. You’re beauty fades rapidly after your mid twenties. If you want a quality man, not a man who values money over your happiness, perhaps you should ground yourself in reality. Otherwise you should use that fancy degree you have and buy a ton of cats.

      1. 20.2.1
        No Name To Give

        Can’t figure out if you’re the average guy mad at women for not picking you, or the hot guy who scoffs at women “beneath” him. Give us some context.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *