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.

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.

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  1. 361

    @Henriette 388
    I come from Eastern Europe and guess what – any woman who has a backbone and doesn’t want to live as a Stepford-wife prototype (though is perfectly capable to be a great partner, if her needs are also respected) is called entitled, masculine and etc. by local men as well. So yeah, its not about location:)

  2. 362

    @Lau_ra390 & MaryMary389:
    Ha.  Your comments also reminded me of when I lived/worked in Europe.  Men in that country would often claim that North American women are rumoured to be slutty and fun-loving.  And North American dudes would often ask me if the women in my new European homeland were as passionate and easy to bed as they’d heard.  
    It seems like every man (and, no doubt, every woman) loves to fantasize about far-away places where the women/men are so much more loving and ideal than the b*tches/ a$$holes in their own culture!

  3. 363

    Having dated without a checklist and dealing with losers for the past ten years, I’m going to stick to my checklist this time around. Only educated, well-traveled men who know what they want and act like adults. No more druggies, abusers, or deadbeat losers for me!

    1. 363.1

      I think everyone does have a checklist, but what is on the checklist is what matters. Those three things you listed are reasonable. I will admit that I too have a checklist Everyone does. But is it reasonable? Mine has worked for me as far as getting dates, and married to a woman who taught me that I was missing something very vital on my checklist…14 years later. My checklist is pretty basic, like most regular guys.

      1. Attractive (to me…could care less what anybody else thinks about how she looks, or any other aspect of her.)
      2. How does she make me feel. Do I feel good about myself when I am with her?

      And that’s about it. But now I have added…

      3. Is she extremely physically affectionate?

      My ex was not. I noticed this before we got married and brought it up to her, noting to her that it was a problem. We talked about how my mom wouldn’t let you get past her without pulling you in for a hug, or tousling your hair. Of course as a kid you act like you don’t like it, but you do. Or maybe I didn’t realize how much I did like it because I never had to live without the physical affection until I left home.

      I remember totally blowing it with a stunning girl who was testing me, though I didn’t realize it at the time. We were hitting it off very well. I had been busy with Navy schools, and moving from base to base, so for a few years I had been without a girlfriend. to say that I was really missing physical affection would be an understatement, though I don’t think I knew how much until this girl touched me.

      We had been talking for a good long while, and looking back with clearer vision, I realized that she was in fact testing me. She realized that things were going great, but now she needed to learn something very important. See, this girl probably had her fair share of guys who did not like a lot of physical affection. I’ve known a lot of guys like this. They can tell you stores of great girls who always hung on them like a wet noodle, or were too clingy. This girl I was talking to was certainly one of those, and I think she tested me, and totally misread the results of the test.

      She steered the conversation to family, asking how affectionate my family was. I mentioned my mother and how she was. The girl took my hand in hers, and told me that her family was very very affectionate and said, “We wouldn’t think anything of touching each other like this.” and took her fingertips and lightly caressed my arm from wrist up to my bicep and back a couple of times.”

      I can only tell you this…it was better than sex. To say that it caused a reaction in me would be an understatement. It was like I had been repressing/ignoring my need for physical affection, and in an instant, the flood gates opened. I remember staring at her hand as she did that and it was like all of my senses had exploded. Though to an observer, I probably looked calm. I am sure to her, the look on my face was one of shock, and to her it probably looked like I was freaked out hat she did that. I believe 100% that in her mind, she she thought I was thinking, “OMG, I can’t believe she would touch me like that in public. How weird?” In truth, if I said what was on my mind, I would have excitedly said, “OMG!!! Do that again and don’t stop!”

      The reason I think she was testing me and totally misread me was the fact that it was pretty obvious to me later that she was in fact testing me. She was very intensely looking at my face as she did this, as if she was looking for a reaction and was analyzing that reaction. The reason I think she misread my reaction is that it was like a light switch. Her entire demeanor changed. I went from being the only guy at the party to being invisible. She quickly excused herself and was no longer interested in talking to me. I really do think she had pegged me as just another guy who she would fall in love with, but would break her heart, telling her that she was great, but too clingy. In truth, she was perfect for me. For me, the need is so intense, that I tune in very quickly when I see girls like her with guys in public. Like a young good looking guy who is a UPS driver, and his very pretty girlfriend met him at the restaurant I was at. They sat right in front of me, and the entire time they were there waiting for their food, she was doing with both hands, what that girl had done to me.

      I think women like that are not as rare as it seems. I think most just stopped being like that because they end up with the wrong guys…guys who call them clingy and tell them to stop hanging on him like a wet noodle. Hey I’m all about wet noodles. haha

      Been looking in Brazil because the one thing about Brazilian women, as one of the many married Brazilian women at my church told me…if you want to be with a Brazilian women, you better like being touched.

      So a question might be, “how did I end up with my wife, who did not like to touch, or be touched?” Well, like I said, I mentioned my family, and she said that hers was just the opposite. There was no physical affection. To me that was a foreign concept, and I thought all women wanted a lot of physical affection. So I though that she just wasn’t used to it, or assumed that if I was affectionate, I wanted sex right then. I figured that over time she would learn to relax and enjoy physical affection. I was wrong. Near the end, when we were separated, but trying to reconcile, she now felt free to say what was really on her mind. We were in my truck, driving along, and I was holding her hand, and while doing that I started caressing the back of her hand with my thumb. She snatched her hand away and said, “I’m not a dog for you to pet.” I knew then that it was over. There was no point in continuing.

  4. 364

    If they were taller, better looking, more educated, funny, smart, had a god job, remembered our birthdays, etc..

    THEN WE WOULD think they are amazing!

  5. 365

    Congratulations Helene – this is good news.  I’m still stunned at the number of people who reject certain human beings.
    In my environment, everyone is well off.  So how would I choose a partner from it? Easy.  If they’re single, polite and charming, loyal and follow up.
    Money isn’t everything.

  6. 366

    Two stories to illustrate a point:
    I once had a neighbor that I became friends with because we had similar interests.  We both are cyclists and he had a stable of *very* expensive bicycles that would make any cyclists envious.  Once he related to me how he got into the business that he is in, dry cleaning. He told me he was in his third of college prepping for law school when his father became seriously ill.  He decided to postpone his dream of becoming a lawyer and took over his father’s dry cleaning business.  15 years and 3 new stores later he is doing extremely well for himself.  He is happy, married to a wonderful woman who is educated and they have two kids.  He is very successful with ample money and…he never graduated from college.  
    Second story.  I used to ride with guy that was very smart and hilarious.  He was also strong as an ox and he could ride almost anyone off his wheel.  He is a computer genius that knows how to program very complex database’s.  He currently is the VP of operations for a major broadcast company.  Let’s just say he makes a lot of money which allows him to afford a lot of toys.  He too is happily married to a woman with a BA and they have 3 boys.  Here’s the kicker:  He never spent one day in college.  He was a naturally gifted programmer that taught himself how to do it.
    What do you think their wives would tell you about marrying someone ‘below’ them on the dating food chain?

  7. 367

    I live in Washington, DC so check lists definitely apply here.  I am in my fifties and have never married.  I dropped out of the “dating game” in my early 40’s when it became apparent that not wanting children scratched me off the “check list.”  Sociobiology explains a lot about what women and men are looking for in a potential mate.  In the end we are mammals with an enlarged prefrontal cortex.  Not very romantic but the dopamine surge that occurs when falling in love eventually wears thin.  Then the real work starts.  And it can be exhausting.  So why is the onus on men to make her happy and not a shared obligation?  Anyway, I digress.  I will soon retire to the family farm in rural North Carolina sans woman.  Been there, done that.

    1. 367.1

      @ Robert 367:  points well taken, but your post could have easily been written by a woman. Only we are subjected to different checklists, such as age, weight, etc.
      There have been a number of articles written about women turning to lesbianism at middle age.  Wouldn’t be for me, but I can understand how it happens.
      More and more women over 40 are choosing to “exit the market”, so to speak.  It is just as exhausting and non-gratifying for us as it is for men. 
      Yep, been there, done that, worn all sorts of tee-shirts.

  8. 368

    I’m a man with a blue collar job, and high school education, I have above average intelligence(My IQ is around 130), written English is my weakness:p  I could have gone to University gotten a masters degree and got a very high paying job, I choose not to,  I would not be happy with those kind of jobs nor would I feel fulfilled in life either..  I’m happy where I am in life
    I had many conversations go extremely well with women, and made a connection, until they started asking me about my Education and Profession, then the conversation goes to crap really bad. The only time women like this set that aside is when they are looking for sex, and you have to watch out that.
      Men should not feel bad for women rejecting them for this, they should feel bad for the man who meets their Education and Financial requirements, know that they relationship is based on material things and not the person. 

    1. 368.1

      I so appreciate this post.  I am sorry you are not being acceped for who you are, especially if the women click with you.   Women should stop focusing on labels and focus on how they feel with a man.  I happen to love men who can build things.  I respect them a lot.  I had a crush on one who was artistic and free thinking which I like.  He also had a college degree which made me think he has a good mind.  My hopes dashed, though, when he told me how he snickered a bit at those who read.  He said “he isn’t old enough to do that yet”.  I realized he wasn’t right for me. I don’t care about a college education but I do want to be with someone who likes to read, likes documentaries, likes to use their mind or at least won’t make me feel like a nerd for being one.

  9. 369
    Karl R

    Aaron said: (#368)
    “I had many conversations go extremely well with women, and made a connection, until they started asking me about my Education and Profession, then the conversation goes to crap really bad.”
    You need to learn how to more skillfully steer a conversation. I also lack a college degree. Family is another conversational landmine. I got very good at steering the conversation to other topics, or giving simple (and true) answers to deflect those kind of questions.
    I didn’t realize how skilled I’d gotten at this until one conversation I had a couple years ago. I was chatting with a woman that I’d known for over a year. We share a common interest, which was our most common topic of conversation. I was also cultivating her as a professional contact, so we would chat about professional topics. At one point, I referred to my lack of a degree, and she looked at me with total surprise. “You don’t have a degree? You’re the brainiest guy I know.”
    I had short conversations with this woman on a weekly basis for a year. By the time she realized I didn’t have a degree, her opinion of my intelligence and education had already been formed.
    It takes thought. It takes practice. But with practice, you can still be completely honest and still not discuss career or education with women you’re just getting to know. (Or you do discuss it, but just at the level of detail where it’s not apparent that it’s a blue-collar job.)
    As for the writing skills, practice also helps. Proofreading helps more. Read every written communication at least two times before sending it out (including texts). That will put you far ahead of other people.

    1. 369.1

      I would say that no matter what techniques you use, some women are going to be bullet proof to them. Some women I went on dates with in the past would ask what I did very quickly. In truth, they did me a favor, and in fact, I think it was fortunate for me that I did not meet their requirements because they were despicable women. I might not have figured that out if i met their requirements.

      But seriously, I have had it happen to me, and seen it happen to friends. I introduced a friend to a girl I knew. I figured they would hit it off. I know he was attracted to her, and I also knew she was attracted to him because she saw him and asked me about him. He was a very good looking guy. The type that women notice when he walks into a party. That’s exactly what happened, so I introduced them. Conversation went like this.

      Me, with my girlfriend talking in a small group that included the attractive and single Stephanie. In walks Rick…all muscular 6’3′ of him topped with black loosely curled hair, stylishly cut. I invited him because we played on the same amateur baseball team…me the catcher, him an infielder, usually shortstop.

      Stephanie: Hey, who is that? (with obvious interest showing in her eyes)

      Me: Oh, that’s Rick, a friend of mine. I invited him. Want me to introduce you to him?

      Stephanie: Sure, why not? (trying to act casual)

      So I go over to Rick

      Me: Hey Rick, glad you could make it. Hey, you are still single right?

      Rick: Yeah, why?

      Me: See the brunette with the royal blue top and gray skirt standing by Tamara (my GF)?

      Rick: Yeah. Nice looking girl.

      Me: Yeah, she noticed you too, as soon as you walked in. She wants to meet you. Interested?

      Rick: Sure!

      So I take Rick over to the group and introduce them.

      Me: Stephanie, this is Rick. Rick, Stephanie.

      Rick offers his hand warmly and says: Nice to meet you Stephanie.

      Stephanie replies with the same as the casually shake hands. Then as soon as they let go, she narrows her eyes, and in what could be best described as the tone of voice that sounded like that of somebody interviewing Rick for a job, asked him: So Rick, what do you do for a living?

      Rick, caught off guard a bit, likely from the tone as much as the question: Well…uh…I’m a general contractor.

      I’ll just leave it at the fact that this was not good enough for Stephanie. In her own words, speaking with my girlfriend…she wanted somebody who was upper crust.

      Well I would say she didn’t know upper crust from spoiled crumbs because degree aside, Rick was definitely upper crust. He was genuinely a great guy. While he wasn’t earning 6 figures, his business kept him busy and in a decent but modest house. Owning a house in San Diego is no small thing. Though it was a nice neighborhood, it probably wouldn’t have been good enough for her…older houses built in the early 20th century. Lot’s of older folks living there…and military families. No..no…this wouldn’t do for Stephanie at all…she knew her worth. Bleh…

      1. 369.1.1
        Some Guy

        Rick is fortunate that Stephanie didn’t waste his time.   He doesn’t have to settle for a bigot.

  10. 370

    Women are not expected to date anyone. If you want to date “professionals”, and “PHDs”, and “career-climbers”, than do just that. Not everyone who is a laborer or whatever is stupid, or ignorant, though. I guess from a social standpoint, if the woman is a “professional”, it will work out better for them if they also date “professionals”. I am one of those laborers, although, I am hardly unintelligent. I could probably run circles around many people on various topics, but, life was strange to me(mostly due to poor health), and I missed out on some of those things that people take for granted(such as post-secondary education). Anyhow, I would not go for a professional woman as, socially, especially in this era, it would be uncomfortable, and awkward. The bottom line is, stop with the labeling. A bachelors degree hardly equates to intelligence. Some of the most ignorant people I know(ignorant in almost every area) are bachelor degree holders. Don’t kid yourself.

    1. 370.1

      Curtis @370 – Tell me about it, one of the MOST PAINFUL “Skype Dates” I had was with someone who supposedly had a PhD in sociology. He was the most socially awkward person I have ever tried to have a convo with ever !

      I enjoy people who are clever and quick witted. Weather or not they have a fancy-schmancy college degree is irrelevant to me. And as far as career goes, blue collar, white collar, dog collar, I DON’T CARE, as long as he’s financially STABLE. Doesn’t have to be weallthy, just able to hold his own.

      When you don’t have an education, you have to use your brain !

      1. 370.1.1

        Most women don’t think like you. Who knew Emeralds were a rare gem? 😉

      2. 370.1.2

        I dated lots of guys with advanced degrees, many from elite institutions. Some of them were charming, some were dull. I like wit and the ability to hold a conversation. I have a Bachelors and found what I need and want from a man who went to college for two years. He owns a business, is very well read and he shares the same love I have for learning and exploration. Formal education doesn’t equal intelligence.

  11. 371

    I do know that I am not attracted to men who are defensive about their station in life or lack of education.

    1. 371.1

      I think most men who are defensive about it are only defensive about it because they know that it matters to women.

      I am in the process of getting my degree now. Later in life, but I am getting it not because it matters to women, but because it is required to do the work I now want to do. I spent 20 years in the Navy doing what I wanted to do, so now this is the next phase.

      I met a woman recently who stated to me that the degree matters because it is important to her to be able to carry on an intelligent conversation with a man she is involved with. I told her I wasn’t buying that. She wanted to know why. I told her, “You have a degree in Nursing, and I am going to have my degree in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications (IT) very soon. How exactly is that going to help us have meaningful conversations? The truth is, you would have better conversation as a result of your education if you dated a man who is a Certified Nursing Assistant, while my education would make for more in common with a girl who learned IT stuff through the Navy but never earned a degree. She could have more intelligent conversations with the male CNA while I could have more intelligent conversations with the Navy IT girl.

      What makes for good conversation has to do with the individual person. I know very intelligent and educated people who don’t like to talk. I love to talk about stuff. I am an extrovert, so I can also talk with anybody. This makes me very aware of people who don’t enjoy discussing topics in detail.

      1. 371.1.1

        Preach on, Rusty!!! I’m with you!!!

      2. 371.1.2

        Your argument is very good, Rusty. To me, having a college degree is just a minimum of information. Chances are his social background is somehow similar and that he values education. But it can be that he doesn’t value education at all and that he has a college degree because his parents push him. So things will end there. It’s like beauty. A person can have a beautiful smile, but then his/her soul is rotten. Or a person can be thin, and then they cannot even run a block. I did go out with a guy with an MBA, and the guy couldn’t articulate a darn question, had no idea about my country of origin and was the most inane man ever. There are guys who have gone into PhDs and then it seems they left all the neurons there and have not common sense or are so buried in debt that want someone to rescue them. 
        The education requirement is a minimum, then we evaluate if there is some substance. Assuming there is substance, education is like exercise for the brain. I might have no idea about condensed matter, and my partner may not know anything about medicine, but college is supposed to provide more than specific information and instruction, it’s supposed to provide reasoning tools you can apply to different  aspects of life and understand the basics of other fields of knowledge. So maybe I won’t be able to discuss condensed matter in detail, but my partner can explain to me at least something so I can have a general idea, and  I can ask questions that are not too silly, instead of staring at him like a fool. And the same goes with him. This MBA dude I am telling you was a small -town moron who had no idea what my job was about,  had never heard about my company (one of the most important ones in my city), and had zero knowledge of my country of origin. His questions were: how long is your commute? have you gone to the Oregon coast? do you work from 9 to 5? How long is a marathon? And blue collar guys from my experience don’t do much better. Sheeesh… 

  12. 372

    I’m sure this has been mentioned before . . . but:
    women use the phrase “to settle” about relationships . . . about 1000 times more often than Men.  

    1. 372.1

      Yes, as women are told to change their attitude, looks and whatnots in order to ve in a relationship. Men? Not so much, we have to take them as they are, right?
      So for me is it settling if I’m expected to couple up with someone who doesn’t show effort to become his best version whatsoever, while perfecting myself (being receptive, looking my best, leading an interesting life, making my own money, being emotionally healthy, etc.).

      1. 372.1.1

        Instead of playing the role of the victim, maybe you can look at the real world for a minute.  Men too have been told for a very long time to take women as they are.  They aren’t always as slim as you would like, or as buxom, and don’t always have a nice butt.  They don’t fight fair, have memories like an elephant when it is something we did wrong but not so much when the did something wrong.  They talk about us and gossip.  I could go on but that isn’t going to help anything.  The point is, you women aren’t perfect and yet I have never heard one man…NOT ONE…ever say he settled.  I wish I had a dollar for every woman I’ve heard say it.
        Oh, and I don’t think we men have ever felt that we don’t have to put in effort to get a decent woman.
        But I read here or on another site where a woman said that her mom had finally found a very good man and remarried, but she had to settle because the man’s education and financial status was not up to par.
        I think that if I ever overheard a woman I was with say she settled, I would leave, for good.
        It just seems to me that you women really don’t want to learn.  you are too comfortable playing the role of victim.  You think you are the only ones that sacrifice, etc…
        I’m the bad guy because I say I want a foreign woman.  Well look at it from my side?  I can have a woman who is likely to say she had to settle, or I can have a woman who thinks I’m the greatest thing to happen to her.  Not really a hard choice is it?  I would love for Western women to come around in their thinking, but in fact, if you read enough of Evan’s writings, you quickly learn that we get nowhere trying to change the opposite sex.  We can only change ourselves, or stop going after those who make you unhappy and change by going after somebody who will appreciate you and the gifts you have to offer.  I grew up loving American women.  I would love to find an American woman.  It just seems to me that too many display attitudes like this and worse.  Start appreciating us.  Stop being so critical that you think only the top 20% are above are average or above.  Most of you women are average but want to be appreciated.  You want one man to think of you as a great catch.  Why do you think men are no different?  It’s OK if the top 10% of women don’t think I’m a catch, but it would be nice if one, just one American woman did…without also saying she had to settle because of what I am not.

  13. 373

    Okay, in real life, and I’m in a male dominated profession, I never heard a woman say that she had to ‘upgrade’ but I hear men talk about it all the time – isn’t that the same thing as saying you settled?  These are men with lovely wives who would go to any lengths to please them.
    The more important thing is not what people say but what they do – are these women running off to the next PhD or CEO they just started working with?  Not at all or by any means to the extent to which I’ve seen men leave their wives and children to ‘upgrade’.

  14. 374

    Evan, you say that men just want someone who makes them feel good. Well, I am on match.com, and I have the same problem as Fiona. Very few guys with my educational and social background contact me. I’m 39 and also foreign born, but I state I am an American citizen. My question is: if men only want someone who makes them feel good, why do they think I won’t or I can’t make them feel good? But why do blue collar fellows who have nothing in common with me seem to think I can make them feel good?

    1. 374.1
      Karmic Equation

      Hi Lucy,
      Once you MEET the guy then it’s about the feeling good. BEFORE you meet the guy it’s about attraction, e.g., do they like how you look in your photos. And sometimes, people look better than their photos and sometimes people look worse. So depending on how you actually look when you meet, will determine whether the “feel good factor” ever kicks in. If you look like or better than your photos, then he’s going to start focusing on how good he feels around you. If you don’t look like or as good as your photos, then it may not matter how good you make him feel.
      If you’re looking for love, and an attractive, blue collar guy with a well-written profile contacts you, it doesn’t hurt to talk with him to see if he sounds blue collar or erudite. A guy with a degree with the same educational background doesn’t make him a man more capable of loving and adoring you than a blue collar guy. Don’t let your ego or social comparison filter out men who might make you happy.
      Of course, if you’re complaining about UNATTRACTIVE blue collar men contacting you, then your problem isn’t that they’re blue collar, but rather that they’re unattractive. Call a spade a spade.

      1. 374.1.1

        Well, I’m not a supermodel, but I am kind of cute. And you can bet the guys on match.com are not exactly Hugh Jackman, especially where I live. And the guys I expect to contact me are 38-50. Yes, I am totally aware that guys my age expect a woman younger than 35. What I see is this pattern: they click on my profile but they keep going. I don’t know if men just click on every profile they see. I don’t. If I see a picture I don’t like, I don’t even bother, so I’m probably missing a good person.
        I have shown my profile to some people and I asked them to give me an honest feedback. They all said, it was great, and that in any case I had to include more music genres in my tastes (I had only mentioned I love classical music). I have pictures of myself running and with my dog.  And then only grandpas or blue collar guys who have NOTHING in common with me are the ones who write. I never had problems dating guys with my social background in the past. I was younger and lived in other cities. But in this place with a low percentage of guys with college degrees, I wonder if guys with some education are so full of themselves that are unrealistically picky and delusional.
        I gave a blue collar guy a chance. Aside from sports, we had nothing to talk about. I was bored to death. He still asked me out for a second date… are men really interested in communication? 

  15. 375

    Lol no offence, but a guy who’s in his 30ties, earns a lot and is good looking is dating 20 – 26yr old girls… and he doesn’t care if they got a college degree or not – they just have to be hot and uhmm skilled. Someone should probably tell this the girl from the article because she’s just sooo lost and makes an idiot out of herself

    1. 375.1

      When I was 20-26 I wouldn’t have dated a guy in his 30s in a million years. What kind of wome are those guys looking for? Then the complain that women are gold diggers.

      1. 375.1.1

        Sorry, I meant “what kind of women are those guys looking for? Then they complain that women are gold diggers. And again, do men care about communication and partnership at all? How can a 20-year old girl who’s still in college can make feel good a man in his 30s?  If the obvious is the answer… well… It’s very sad.

  16. 376
    Ladd MaccAodh

    It’s worth pointing out that for about the last 15 or 20 years, women have been the majority of college graduates.  The exact number escapes me, but sometime during that period women became the majority of post-graduate degree earners.  At some point, women are going to either have to gracefully accept being with less-educated men, live alone, or start campaigning to legalize polygamy.
    The numbers get really funny once you get into the details, too.  Most of women’s dominance in higher education comes from the liberal arts and, to a lesser extent, soft sciences.  Other than law, few of those degrees can realistically pay for themselves no matter how hard the person works.  More and more women are getting into engineering, medicine, and harder sciences, but those that do tend to practice in less-lucrative areas within those fields (women doctors, for instance, or more likely than men to be pediatricians or general practitioners).  Meanwhile, men within those fields tend to specialize more, resulting in more pay after graduation (staying with doctors, men are more likely than women to choose to become neurosurgeons).  You can end up in a situation where, on paper, the woman is higher status through her education (double English Ph.D), but earns less and has higher debt than a less-educated man (Masters in aerospace engineering with a focus in rocketry).  It will be interesting to see if that pattern holds or begins to break down as women move more into specialized fields; it’s possible that a glut of new graduates would drive down wages in the specialized fields, so I’ll be curious to see which demographic is first to abandon those fields in favor of greener pastures.
    Of course, that’s all rich-people problems, and doesn’t even scratch the surface of the blue collar.  It’s beyond my comprehension why anyone would look down on a guy who has no debt, reliable income, the ability to completely separate his home and work life, and a decent shot at owning his own business one day, but apparently that looks bad on paper.

  17. 377

    This boils down to, “Where have all the good men gone?”

    They are looking to have relationships and children with women 10 years younger than you.

    1. 377.1

      Well I should hope this isn’t true for women of all ages. 

    2. 377.2

      The sad thing is that many guys don’t even want to have children either, so why they still expect a much younger woman? If I am willing to accept that a guy my age doesn’t want to be with me because I’m 39, and I am willing to date a guy who’s 48, why do 48-year old guys still expect a woman under 35?! And why do they want her, when they probably have nothing in common. Not all are like that. But it’s certainly frustrating. I’m expected to reconsider my checklist but men aren’t. Because as Evan says, they can do what they want.

      1. 377.2.1

        Its a shame Lucy, if men that are 48 really expect to get women under 35 because we don’t want them. Some guys need to face facts too.

  18. 378

    How dare these peasants presume to talk to you!

  19. 379

    I ain’t sayin’ she a gold digga…

  20. 380
    Some Guy

    I’m an engineer and an entrepreneur, with a very comfortable mid six-figure income, substantial stature in my industry, a great deal of social skill (important to how I make my living), I’m six feet tall, average looks, not overweight.  I have no difficulty at all meeting women.

    I wouldn’t touch Fiona with a ten-foot pole, because I have no use at all for snobs. 

  21. 381

    Something everyone seems to be overlooking is that the majority of men can relax with a woman and think she is the coolest thing UNTIL he realizes how much more educated than him she is when either she decides to mention it – or someone beats her to it.  Hmmm… I thought men did not care about a woman’s education?  So why should it even be a topic for discussion early on? Then things automatically seem to change – as though he is looking for the simplest reason to accuse her of something.

  22. 382

    I think that part of the problem here is a general difference in what most men are looking for versus what many women (especially young women) are looking for.
    Painting with a broad brush, most men are looking for affection.  They primarily want a woman who is sexy, attractive, loving, and makes them feel good about themselves.  Given that this is what they are looking for, the woman’s educational level and earning potential is largely irrelevant.  That’s why male doctors have no problem dating female secretaries.
    The problem that many men have is their lack of understanding that what they want is not necessarily what women want.  Thus, they extrapolate that if men are looking for affection, women must be too.  And so, their educational level and earning potential should, theoretically, be irrelevant.  But it isn’t, because what most women are looking for is not what most men are looking for.  And so, this gentleman who works in a laundry may not understand that his advances toward Fiona are unwanted.  From his perspective he is a good catch.  From hers he is not.
    Painting with a broad brush, what many (especially young) women are looking for is an interesting form of “equality.”  Some have referred to this as “hypergamy.”  It is the concept that many women want a man who is better than themselves in some way – smarter, richer, (slightly) older, more stable, more sociable, better looking.  They want this man who is “better” than them to want them and to treat them as an equal.  What they are, generally, NOT looking for is a man they consider less than their equal, because then the balance of power is all askew.  This is why female doctors do not date male secretaries.
    Given that this is what many women want, a man’s ability to be emotionally supportive and kind is far less important that other qualities she may be looking for.  The mistake that many women make is assuming that men want the same thing they do.  Thus, they extrapolate that because they find an educated, successful man attractive, men must find educated, successful women attractive – but these things are not generally relevant to men.  And so, Fiona considers herself quite a catch, but can’t understand why the men she considers attractive do not find her to be one.  She may believe they are insecure and are put off by her intelligence and success, and not understand that her intelligence and success are far less relevant to most men than her coldness and superiority complex.

  23. 383

    Jeremy and so many other guys who have said the same thing are right.  

    Men and women really are not looking for the same qualities in the opposite sex.  Society smashes into our heads every day that “men and women are the same, men and women are just people and men and women want the same thing”.  But nature is nature and that hasn’t changed in the last few decades.  This has caused so much confusion for both sexes.

    Men are trying to be what they value (sensitive, warm, supportive, understanding, physically fit, etc), only to find that it doesn’t work.  Because that’s not what women are (generally) looking for.   Those qualities are helpful, but being a successful, high-status, driven millionaire is much more helpful.

    Women are making the same mistake.   They are trying to be highly educated, career oriented, independent and driven because that’s what they find attractive.  Their results are unsurprisingly the same as the men above.  From a man’s perspective, sure, it’s a nice bonus to have a woman who brings in some money, but it’s not nearly as important as being warm, kind, cheerful, physically beautiful, and supportive.

    I sense that men are starting to see the error of their ways, (usually reluctantly) coming to accept reality, and have begun refocus to try to improve themselves in the manner that women (in general) really want.  I observe more and more men focusing less on being sensitive and nurturing, in favor of working on their self-confidence, leadership skills, and careers.  

    I could be wrong but I think western women in general are lagging quite a bit behind in coming to their own realization and acceptance of what men want.

  24. 384

    Daniel – I totally agree with you.  But why can a man be seemingly happy with a woman for 6 months and then ends the relationship abruptly as soon as he finds out about her status at work or the fact that she has almost completed her doctorate? Is she suddenly less attractive, sensitive, supportive, warm, physically fit than she was just the day before?  I thought those were the things that mattered to a man and he is not concerned about her education or career?  Then why does this always happen to my friends and I?  Or is it that we should immediately start talking about these things at the beginning of a relationship to give him the chance to walk away immediately?

    1. 384.1


      Well being a total stranger on the internet, that’s really hard for me to say.  Maybe he fears that in the future (once the initial new relationship glow wears off), you’ll be committed to your education and work, and won’t have much time for him.  

      For me personally, my wife works part time.  She brings in a bit of money and I really appreciate it.  But I appreciate it far more that she has more time and energy to spend with me.  Not to mention less stress to vent on me haha.

      I think from most guys’ perspective, a woman’s career is pretty neutral, meaning it usually makes no difference, but it can be somewhat bad and it can be somewhat good.  Just don’t think it’s an attractant like it is for women.  In your case, with that guy, maybe it was somewhat bad. 

      Or hell, maybe it was something else altogether.  Or maybe there were other issues you weren’t aware of as well.  

      I wouldn’t necessarily over-analyze specific instances.  But if you start seeing a pattern in your relationships, you should take notice.  Also, like I said, nothing is 100%, but the take-away is that in general, what women want in a man is different than what men want in a woman.

      1. 384.1.1

        In this case, I guess ‘less’ is more.

  25. 385

    Daniel, just to add to your comment, part of the problem from the male perspective is that what women want tends to change over time and with circumstance.
    The reason I am on this site is to try to get a handle on how women think, because I admit it has been something that has confused me for my entire life.  For example, I had always thought that women wanted equality in relationships.  So whenever I went out on a date, I went out of my way to listen to what they wanted.  For example, whenever we went to a video store, it would take forever to choose a video because my date would say “what do you want?” and I’d reply “whatever YOU want”, and so it would go.   I didn’t know that my dates wanted me to take charge and book reservations for us, rather than constantly discussing what each of us wants to do.  I didn’t know that women expected me to be the one to pay for most of our dates for the pleasure of their companionship, but didn’t expect to pay for the pleasure of MY companionship.  I didn’t understand why I was so much more successful than my cousin in getting dates online, when we were both students, but I was a graduate resident in orthodontics and he was in teacher’s college.
    It was only much later that I came to understand that women (generally) want a man who takes charge (gently).  They do not want equality, they want to be led!  They do not want an equal –  they want to be TREATED equally by a man whom they consider to be BETTER than their equal.  As Athol Kay writes in his blog, they want to be the “first officer” and they want the man to be the “captain.” They do not want to be the ones to treat a man equally if they consider him to be less than their equal (generally speaking).
    But in what way do they judge equality?  What qualities are they looking for?  Well, obviously this will vary depending on the woman, but also on her age and circumstances.  A young women in her late teens/early twenties will likely want a man who is hot (alpha).  The qualities she will desire at that point will be appearance and social standing (and perhaps rebelliousness, which is a surrogate for strength).  At a later age, she will want a man who is more of a beta provider.  The qualities she will look for at that point are his intelligence, income, age, and status.  And once she has had her children and her income guaranteed via marriage, what she wants will again change – more alpha and less beta, or vice-versa.
    This is why studies have found that most women don’t regret having children with the financially-stable but emotionally-unavailable man they married, even though they eventually divorced him.  He was right for them at the time, he was a good father for the children, but people (ie. women’s desires) change.
    Whereas what men want from women tends to stay pretty much the same throughout life.
    So it’s no wonder that many women find that they don’t understand what men want – if they extrapolate that men must want what they themselves want, then men must have an incredibly complex and ever-changing system of wants (which, of course, they don’t).  And of course, men who extrapolate that women must want what men want are doomed to be wrong too.
    The solution is a healthy dose of reality.  It is for women to understand the traits that men are looking for (as Evan so often points out).  That doesn’t mean they have to change who they are, but it does mean that if they are not willing to change, they should understand that they will be considered less desirable by most men.  And similarly, men should understand the traits that women are looking for, and further that these desires will likely change with time and circumstance. 

    1. 385.1

      To Jeremy and any other guy out there: Yes, when a guy plans for the date and makes all the reservations, SUCH a turn-on!!
      I had a very indecisive bf once (he had a ton of other bad traits too) and he always wanted to give me the choices even if I asked him to choose, it was v annoying. It’s not like I ever complained about any decision he made so I don’t see why he was so afraid of choosing for once;  it came across as so spineless. I was trying to get out of the rship from v early on. Men who take charge are really sexy. 🙂

    2. 385.2

      I’ve had many good relationships in my life; long term, short term, one night stands, younger women, older women, different nationalities/races, etc., even a few “lesbians” thrown in there.  I mention that only to point out that I’m not just going off a few relationships or just bad relationships or whatever.   Anyway, just going by my personal experience and those in my social circles, I agree with you.  Women want a confident leader.  That’s not to say that they want to be slaves, but they want someone who they can trust to take charge when necessary.  They want a man they can look up to.  It’s actually totally obvious just from observation, if we can block out that constant drumbeat of societal messaging in our heads.  
      As to your point about women wanting different things at different times, I will say that although women may desire more or less beta depending on their age, no matter what their age, they will always desire alpha.  A man’s “alphaness” manifests differently depending on what stage of life he’s in.  Cockiness in a younger man (attractive to younger women) is equivalent to self-confidence in an older man (attractive to older women), being socially popular in a younger man (attractive to younger women) is equivalent to high status in an older man (attractive to older women), etc.
      In general. 

  26. 386

    @Celia: I don’t think the man ends his rship with a woman purely because she’s a high-achiever or v highly educated. They probably didn’t have a great rship to begin with–the woman thought they did, but they didn’t. I’m not omnipotent of course, and every rship is different, but I’m pretty sure this applies to most rships.

    My older sis graduated with a first-class honours degree from Cambridge on a highly-prestigious scholarship, and has an IQ of 180 so she’s a downright genius. The rest of my family is intelligent but in pure IQ I doubt any of us can touch her. Fresh upon graduation, she out-earned even my dad who is a high-earner with a PhD. She married at 32 to her long-term bf who she’d always exceeded in salary–though he’s a Cambridge-educated banker so no slouch either. (She’s slowed down in her career since getting engaged, though)

    I remember once she was saying to me how they (in England) never saw their full salary which was a purely theoretical number, by the time it reached them the tax (about 40% for her) had been deducted; he said abit grumpily “I still wouldn’t mind getting what u get”, and she smiled and put her arm around him and kissed him and comforted him. It was sweet to see. Some high-achieving women can’t do that; they think they shouldn’t have to. Some men may feel emasculated in such a situation. But usually I think if there’s mutual love and respect, such a pairing can work great.

    Btw she’s not a conventional hottie either–though she has learnt over the yrs to make the best of her appearance. Honestly I think she may have gotten a proposal faster if she had been. And I doubt she’s ever dumbed herself down or tried to achieve less to be more attractive. But she is sweet, feminine in dressing, demeanor and voice, and a respectful goodhearted person. IMO ppl who say men leave them because they find their achievements/intelligence/beauty intimidating are generally making excuses. I know lots of girls who are beautiful, brilliant and graduated from LSE/oxbridge/top East Coast univerisities and went into law/finance, and they do fine in rships.

    1. 386.1

      Has your sister ever been told “Well what am I doing hanging out with you?  If I had known you (attended Cambridge, gat 1st class honours etc) I would have never started speaking to you.”  BTW I also know quite a few Cambridge grads and their stories are quite different.

      1. 386.1.1


        Well, remember that most (not all) women look for a man of equal or preferably higher status and earning power than themselves.  Years ago I read a famous study about what is generally known as “hypergamy” now.  The researchers said it is well-known that across cultures and throughout history, women have always preferred men who earn more than themselves (generally).  They hypothesized that in the modern day, with women often earning more than men, that these high-earning women would be more willing to “marry down”.  Well it turns out that in fact, high earning women still want high-earning men (in general).  And since they themselves are high-earners, the men they desired had to be even more high-earning, and thus even rarer.

        It may be changing a bit, but only at the edges.  In general, women still obey the same natural programming that has served them so well for eons.  They may feel more free to sleep around but when it comes to getting married and raising a family, they still want what women have always wanted.

        I think more and more modern day western men are understanding this (most non-western men in the world have probably never forgotten it in the first place).  

        Many men have been shot down immediately or ditched later because they didn’t live up to those standards.  Perhaps what’s going on is that you happen to have met some of these guys who are now gun shy about dating a more educated/successful/whatever woman than themselves.  They may see getting out early as dodging a bullet.  

        Maybe you are really not like that, yet you suffer the consequences of general female mating preferences.  Unfortunately, I really have no solution for you.  It’s unfair but wadaya gonna do?  Just keep trying I guess…  There definitely are men out there who don’t mind a woman being more “successful” than they are, as long as she has a good attitude about it and also has the qualities he’s looking for.  I guess if this is happening to you a lot, I would suggest trying to emphasize those feminine qualities even more. 

      2. 386.1.2

        Sorry Celia, I wanted to reply earlier but was heading overseas to visit (coincidentally) my sis and other friends in London. 
        No I don’t think my sister has ever been told that, but then she doesn’t date prats. :p One jerk may have said tt to u or ur friends, but I doubt most guys break up with women purely for such a reason. Men may be different, but they’re not insane. Im far from a successful alpha type now, but in high sch i was v high-achieving, cheerleader, rhythmic gymnast, debate team, school gifted programme, and was pretty showy of my achievements. Guys liked me, some really loved me, and didn’t run away cos i was a nerd or driven or even outshone them…So just saying u shouldn’t think many guys who are less educated will be turned off by ur achievements. The education/high income u have are assets, unless u let them become liabilities, and guys who can’t see that are, IMO, rather narrow-minded anomalies.
        If u remain convinced tt those assets will turn guys off, then yea i think u should let guys know early on tt u’re v accomplished, like within a month. It’d save u time. Or date men who are alphas like u. Btw this article was cited by another commenter; it’s about the increasing trend for marriages between partners of high education and high income.
        Like another commenter said, in general your INTJ personality might be abit more of a problem in dating. It could help if u show a softer side. Btw apart from the ‘S vs N’ component, for the other components, opposites tend to attract in dating. On avg, INTJs are one of the highest earning personality types, lucky u. 🙂 My INFP type is on avg the Lowest earning. >.<
        I think sometimes we overthink issues. Sounds simplistic, but i believe for any woman who’s gd-hearted, looks nice (and well-to-do women have an advantage here) and financially ok, it won’t be long before she meets great guys who won’t let small factors get in the way of being with her. Don’t become fatalistic in assuming many less-educ guys will be turned off. U’re a better catch than most women.

  27. 387

    Here’s the thing Marc, if a man wants a woman to THINK he’s amazing, he has to BE amazing.  This means NOT being fat, stupid, or elderly.  The road works both ways.  If women are expected to work out seven days a week, starve themselves, and subject themselves to all sorts of painful cosmetic rituals/procedures in order to be considered “dateable material”, well then the least a guy can do is get off his butt, get an education, and earn a middle-class living deserving of respect so that he can be viewed the same way.  Like it or not, the sexes are judged by different measuring sticks.  Further adding contention to this divide is the fact that 60% of college graduates are now women.  What’s worse, in this economy a lot of these college-educated women (most of the ones I know anyway) are working two jobs and six days a week to support themselves.  So, when they see a guy who is less-educated and works less they do, he appears downright lazy by comparison and they find it hard to respect him.  In fact, I’ve had a number of girlfriends dump the guys they were dating because of this.  So, instead of kvetching about women’s high standards, I suggest men raise their own personal standards if they want to keep up.  

    1. 387.1


      I think that’s exactly what is happening.   Men are starting to realize that they’ve been sold a bill of goods thinking that what women want is a sensitive new age guy.  They are starting to understand what women really want, and they are trying to become that.  Strong, secure, ambitious, confident, driven, successful, charismatic, a leader, rich if possible.

      Personally, I think women are quite a bit behind in their understanding and acceptance of what men want.  You mentioned working out and stuff.  Yeah looking hot  is important.  but it’s the personality aspects of femininity that keep a man around after the initial attraction.  Warm, kind, affectionate, gentle, happy, nurturing.  Not being a bitch.  I use that word only because it’s so common for women these days to proclaim how proud they are of being one.

      I will point out that a man can be fat and elderly and still score beautiful young women.  If he’s charismatic, rich or famous.  Most men aren’t that.  And an uneducated waitress can still score a confident, successful, rich, charismatic husband.  If she’s gorgeous, kind, and makes him feel like a hero.  Most women aren’t that.  

      1. 387.1.1

        “I will point out that a man can be fat and elderly and still score beautiful young women.  If he’s charismatic, rich or famous.  Most men aren’t that.  And an uneducated waitress can still score a confident, successful, rich, charismatic husband.  If she’s gorgeous, kind, and makes him feel like a hero.  Most women aren’t that. ”

        So we agree that these are both exceptions and that the rule is most of us will end up with a peer, someone in similar social/economic and intelligence group. I always strove to find a peer, I feel like I have but I also felt the same about the highly educated men I dated, they were peers. 

        1. Jeremy

          I interpret it a bit differently, Julia.  I think that most of us will end up with a ‘peer’ in terms of our sexual market value.  But because this value depends on different things for each gender, it will not necessarily result in men and women of similar intelligence and income getting together.  It could well mean that a high income man would get together with a kind, attractive woman with considerably less education.  Happens all the time.

          Thats the point of the comments above.  What makes people peers in the sexual market is NOT the same for men and women, given that we are looking essentially for different things. 

        2. Julia

          I’ve yet to meet a highly educted man who ended up with a woman with just a high school level education. Yes a lawyer might end up with a woman with a BA in Sociology but I still see them as peers. In my age bracket, at least, taking on higher education is beginning to be seen as a financial burden, it common for intelligent people to just work. I work in tech and most of the programmers (who do quite well) have a bachelor’s or lower. I don’t agree that education equals intelligence. However, I don’t think someone with a 150 IQ would be happy with a partner with an IQ of 105, they are too dissimilar. That’s what I mean by peers, ultimately you are going to spend more time with your partner than anyone else, if they can’t think at the same level as you it will be hard to go very far, no matter how sweet they are. I think those rich old guys with dumb and hot young wives are outliers, not the norm.

          And I have to say, I take exception to the idea that an intelligent woman can’t be warm, affectionate and attractive. 

        3. Joe

          I don’t think he’s saying intelligent women can’t be affectionate and attractive.  I think he’s saying there are just fewer of them out there than you think.  If men want [smart, sweet, and sexy] and most women are [smart, sweet, and sexy] why do they have so much trouble getting together?

        4. Jeremy

          Julia wrote: “ Yes a lawyer might end up with a woman with a BA in Sociology but I still see them as peers.”
          Interesting perspective.  But I think you will find that, if the genders were reversed, women with the law degree would NOT see men with a BA in sociology as peers.  They are certainly not peers in terms of educational level, nor are they peers in terms of earning potential (which is FAR more important, from a practical perspective, that IQ).  A woman with a law degree would not see a man with a BA in sociology as a peer because she would know that she would have to support him (or at least shoulder the lion’s share of the financial burden) in any such relationship.
          It comes down to a funny difference in perspective.  In today’s feminist society, both men and women SAY they want an equal, but neither actually do.  Women want men who treat them as equals, but are actually better than them in some significant way (someone to look up to, to challenge them, to support them, etc.).
          Men want women who COMPLEMENT them, rather than a woman who is their equal.  Most men do not want to marry their co-workers, or women who constantly contradict them or challenge them.  They want a woman who makes them feel attraction, love, and comfort.  It is not that intelligent, successful women can not possess these qualities, but rather that they are more likely to de-emphasize these qualities and emphasize the qualities that men are turned off by (but that WOMEN are turned on by – being challenging, high status, etc).

        5. Julia


          “nor are they peers in terms of earning potential” 

           Well, I suppose it depends on when you graduate. Lawyers have very high unemployment rates among younger grads and make wages similar to people who posses a BA and similar job experience. Which is exactly why I didn’t go to law school in 2008. This has made me think more about it, among my peer group all the married couples I know either have the same level of education or the wife has more education. I know some women with masters who are SAHMs (which I find baffling, waste of a huge loan) I think its probably true for women in their 40s and 50s that they want a man who is more successful or has more degrees but I don’t personally see it among couples in their 20s and 30s, where I live (liberal, Northeastern city) My experience might be very skewed but perception is reality and in my reality, its not what women are looking for and couples tend to be peers.

          If men want [smart, sweet, and sexy] and most women are [smart, sweet, and sexy] why do they have so much trouble getting together?” 

           Do they have a problem? I don’t know because I am not a man dating women. I think I am smart, affectionate, warm and yes, sexy and I have never had trouble attracting men, so obviously we exist and men like us.

        6. Jeremy

          @ Julia
          I find your perspective interesting, thanks for your comments.  My own reality/experience differs from yours, perhaps due to my different age or demographic. 
          Most of my friends are dentists/specialists, doctors, and lawyers in their late 30’s.  Most are married.  In my cohort, most of the successful, educated, high-earning males ended up marrying women with somewhat less education and significantly less earning potential, but who have job flexibility.  For example, women who are speech pathologists, teachers, school psychologists, etc.  These women are educated, but not as educated as the men.  They make decent money, but orders of magnitude less than the men.  But they make excellent wives and mothers, and tend to prioritize their kids (and husbands to some extent) above the work they do.  This is what most of the males in my cohort wanted in a wife.  These women might consider themselves peers of their husbands, but they are not.  Certainly, if the genders were reversed, they would not still consider themselves peers.  But they are COMPLIMENTARY to their husbands – each spouse fulfills a different niche in the marriage.  These marriages work because each gender’s imperative is fulfilled – the women have someone to look up to who supports them, and the men have someone to love and take care of them and the kids.
          Conversely, most of the females in my cohort ended up marrying men whom THEY considered peers.  Funny how women’s perspective on who is a peer changes when looking up vs. looking down.  When a woman has a BA, she might consider a man who has an MD her peer.  But a woman who has an MD certainly does NOT consider a man with a BA her peer 🙂
          Almost every female doctor, dentist, or lawyer I know married a man with either a similar or greater educational degree or at least similar/greater earning potential.  The ones who didn’t are mostly divorced now, and have a fairly low opinion of the man they divorced (“freeloader”, “lazy”, “unmotivated” tend to be the common descriptors they use).  And although each of these women considers herself to be warm and empathetic, these qualities were eventually subsumed in their marriages by their dis-satisfaction with the status and actions of their husbands.
          I think that men who have a lower level of education/earning potential have some justification for their apprehension of dating a more successful woman.  Statistics bear out that rates of divorce – usually initiated by the women – are significantly higher in such unions.  This is both because the men end up feeling emasculated, and also because the women end up feeling used. 
          By far the best quote I ever read about the subject was in an article in the New York times, called “Alpha women, beta men.”  They interviewed successful women who divorced their less-successful husbands.  One woman actually said “Ultimately, it gets down to pretty basic stuff. It’s hard to be the power broker every day and then be the femme fatale. I’m not going to pay the bills—I feel like his mother—and then come home and suck his dick.”
          Pretty much sums up the problem.  We each have our priorities which makes individuals of the opposite sex attractive to us.  We should admit (at least to ourselves) what they are.

        7. Daniel

          Hi Julia,
          What I was trying to say was that a man can be fat and elderly and still score beautiful women by being charismatic, rich or famous… because those are the qualities women prioritize.  It matters much less what the man looks like or how old he is.
          Similarly, an uneducated, low-wage woman can attract a confident, successful, charismatic husband by being gorgeous, kind, and supportive… because those are the qualities men prioritize.  It matters much less what the woman does for a job or where she went to school.
          I was also acknowledging the fact that most men and women do not embody those high levels of attractiveness.  My poorly expressed point was that we can/should work on ourselves to become more attractive men and women, by working on those traits that are most attractive to the opposite sex.

        8. Daniel

          And yes, what Jeremy said.

  28. 388
    Gumbril (@Gumbril2000)

    It sounds to me like Fiona is the author of her own misery.

  29. 389

    One guy who proposed to me told me “Imagine, I am a craftsman with a business and no help at home or in the office – what do you think your role would be? We should not even be discussing this.”  Now two of my classmates, a medical doctor and a lawyer are stay at home moms who stopped working when they got married.  I had a little more difficulty with the decision. I have an Eng degree, 2 MSc Degs and am about to be awarded a doctoral degree.  This guy wanted to marry me last month.  Needless to say it did not happen.  I would marry a guy with a tech diploma but I don’t see why my career has to come into the equation.  I teach in an Undergrad programme so I have lots of flexibility – and ‘vacation’. What I like best about my job is that its not a 9 to 5.  I don’t need to do the extra work I take on – teaching elsewhere and some consulting – mainly to fill my time not so much for the money. I also do a lot of volunteer work.   The way I see it a woman who, apart from everything else, earns some good money, should have the best of both worlds because finance should never be a problem in that marriage – better for both parties, and they can enjoy each other to the fullest with or without kids.

    1. 389.1

      Celia, you are right that your career should not come into the equation, however, in the marriages I have seen like that, there is a clear difference between the ones that are successful and those that are not. The marriages where the higher earning woman felt this gave her the right to wear the pants in the family, the marriages failed. One of my best friends has a great relationship because while she earns more, she also minored in psychology so she knew right away that a man wants to feel like a man. So she goes out of her way to make sure he feels that way. In fact, she told me that she let him know what she wanted from him, and it boiled down to wanting him to be the leader in the family. She let him know that she wanted him to treat her like a lady. She told him that she wanted to be respected but that she would know he respected her in the way that he would lead her. They have a beautiful relationship. He never feels she does not respect him just because she makes significantly more. He did admit to my husband once, that he did fear that would be the case, but his fears were for naught.

      She has spoken with me about it several times. She says that she is very careful to never emasculate him. They also handle finances wonderfully also. Unlike the unsuccessful marriages, she chose to do the same thing that successful married couples we know, do when the man makes more. They still allot the same amount for each person for personal spending money, and the rest goes into a joint account, and they never spend money in that account without talking with each other first. Most of the higher earning women I know did not do this. They were very selfish, and controlled the money. Their attitude is that because they make more they should have more say. But would they agree with that if they were the lower earners? No, and some even admit that, but still stubbornly continue doing the same thing. Not surprisingly, most have divorced at least once. One has gone the route of dating much younger men. What a mess that has become. Her boy toys always feel out of place at group functions. She is a hot mess of emotions too. Always on a high note when she has a new one, and always an emotional wreck when it is clear the guy is about to leave her.

      I really do believe that we women set the tone in a relationship and a man will either thrive or self destruct depending on how we treat them. But then I suppose the same is true in reverse. If a man treats us right, we thrive and if he doesn’t, we too will self destruct.

      I personally don’t like to date younger men. I have my preference set to my age plus 9 years. I like for the man to be the leader, without having to ask him to do it. Every guy, even just a year younger, always tried to initially put that on me. Even when I strongly hinted that I wanted a leader, they would still act like a puppy dog. That just doesn’t work for me. I want a strong man, a gentle leader. I just feel safer and more comfortable. Oh how I love it when a guy I am seeing just calls me up and says, “Be ready by 7:00 because we have reservations at 8:00. Dress semi-formal.” I didn’t even know we were going out, nor where we are going, so it is so much more fun for me.

      1. 389.1.1

        JennLee, I liked your comment, and I agree that most women want to be led, and most (but not all) men want to lead. My only concern about the situation you describe regarding your friend’s marriage is that it is a highly contrived and somewhat false situation.

        Let’s put it this way – the captain of a ship is the one with the most knowledge and power on the ship.  He/she is the captain because of superior knowledge and power.  But if another member of the crew actually has superior knowledge and power and simply lets the captain lead, the captains leadership is hollow, and they both know it.

        In your friend’s situation, her superior education and earnings put her in the logical position to be the leader.  But because she wants to be led, and because her husband wants to lead, she artfully contrives a situation of artificial equality, and tells him to go ahead and take the lead.  That’s fine as long as they both put on blinders and accept this fantasy.  But if either of them opens their eyes to reality, the truth will be obvious.

        I’m not saying such relationships can’t work – they can, and I know of some that do.   But I am saying that, for the most part, it’s easier for both parties if the man’s leadership is genuine, or if it is a couple where the woman WANTS to be the leader and the man wants to be led (and I know of couples like that too – usually where the men have an ‘F’ in their MBTI personality type and the women have a ‘T’).

        1. Celia

          MBTI actually says that 2 INTJs (my type) can have an awesome relationship almost second to none but I guess it takes a special type of guy to accept an INTJ woman – this whole discussion is about that.  Men prefer a woman with an F in her profile as opposed to an NT.

        2. Jeremy

          @Celia, agreed.

          I find it fascinating that, according to most MBTI studies, male INTJs (like myself) are successful, high earning, and prefer women with ‘F’ in their type ( they like their ‘feeling buttons’ pushed).  Whereas INTJ women (the rarest personality type for women) are also successful and high-earning, but largely prefer INTJ men like themselves.  This fact goes a long way to support the thesis that men and women are looking for different things – men for feelings, women for men like themselves but better…

  30. 390

    @Jeremy, yet for the rare one % of men of any type who are willing, a relationship with an INTJ woman can be the best thing that ever happened to them.  Not because of her intelligence or accomplishments, it means very little to her actually because she’s had it all her life.  Rather, because of the adventures including sexual exploration and excitement she brings to the relationship.  He will never get bored or stuck in a rut for sure.  But again, that’s what most men seem to want, just to settle down with a nice girl.  The INTJ woman likes constant evolution though (without the drama) so maybe that’s why she is attracted to INTJ men.  Interestingly, the INTJ woman, once committed, is not likely to cheat at all since she is led by her head and what she sees as right rather than her heart, whatever it happens to be saying.

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