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. 91

    Karl R wrote of women: “If you’re our equals, you should be equally capable of making a relationship work when your partner has less education and less professional success.”

    Karl, your statement presumes that whether the relationship works depends only on the woman. It doesn’t. It also depends on the man. Unfortunately, many men are not okay with their women being more educated and professionally successful than they. 

    I have to agree with LC and Liz. Certainly not all men have problems with women being more successful in a worldly sense, but I have met many who have been hostile to the notion of a woman being more successful. Prior to marriage, I had the same experience as LC: dating at least two men who expressed hostility re: my education, despite my having no problem whatsoever with their being less educated.

    At least one study from Columbia University shows that men prefer to date women who have lower intelligence and lower ambition than they. I’ve never heard of women having problems with dating men who had higher intelligence or ambition. These aren’t the same as educational attainments, but they correlate well.

    It takes two to tango. If men want relationships, they’ll need to be okay with dating more highly-educated women, given that this is already the trend in America (more women graduating with bachelor’s degrees than men). Likewise, we women could realize this reality and lower that specific expectation. On both sides, we need to overcome stereotypes for relationships to survive in this country.

    1. 91.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Your interpretation, Helen, is interesting. You conclude, “If men want relationships, they’ll need to be okay with dating more highly-educated women”. The focus is on men to change.

      Wouldn’t you agree that it would be equally valuable for women to be okay with dating men who are less-educated and wealthy, given that this is the trend?

  2. 92

    Agree with Helen and team. I practice law, and married someone for 8 years, with him 13, who had a Masters. Unfortunately it didn’t work, but we were well suited for each other. I speak on circuits, I am young enough, help run a charity, and basically run around doing stuff that makes me feel good about being a human being. I would love for someone to be like lets go out and conquer the world together, but mostly I get “wow,” followed by a weird silence once they figure all of this out by the 4th or 5th date. 

    I have been dating about a year, and I have dated from a BA to multiple Phds. I have dated someone in between jobs, and CFOs of multi-milion dollar companies. Innately its how I feel around the man I am with, do I feel safe, and is the affection honest and easy. My undergraduate and graduate work isn’t from Ivy League Institutions, nor do I expect my dates work to be. So being “open” to seeing someone seriously that is less educated than me, and less successful isn’t really a problem. Everyone gets a chance that I am attracted to, and I am not setting the bar at 6’2 and beyond handsome (but I workout constantly, take very good care of myself and to be honest I don’t feel moved by a lot of men online). But I can tell you from the trenches, that we may mirror all we want, set realistic expectations in all areas, and be the greatest, most loving, energetic and special person we can be, some men have no desire to consider Long Term Relationships with “their equal.” And I can’t really change my job, and my education. I am a complete girlie girl in every sense outside of my work, but I am still seen as someone in competition. So what is a girl to do?

    1. 92.1

      liz  I agree with you, and I hear you as am in the same boat!    I am a doctor, and I am active and fit, and just like you I don’t feel ‘moved’ by the men on-line, esp. and particularly when they are only interested in physical sex as opposed to working on something awesome and “conquer” the world and do good!
      Best wishes from a fellow single woman

  3. 93
    Karl R

    Helen said: (#95)
    “Certainly not all men have problems with women being more successful in a worldly sense, but I have met many who have been hostile to the notion of a woman being more successful.”
    Fiona said: (original post)
    “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.”

    If Fiona said the men were hostile towards her (for any reason), I’d tell her to avoid those men. But that’s not the situation she described.

    She said the men were “highly unlikely to be a good fit” because they were not “of equivalent professional or educational status” to her.

    At the event that Fiona described, there were possibly some men who would be hostile towards her (for the reasons you described) and others who would have no issue with her level of success. Fiona wrote all of them off.

    And that’s entirely on Fiona. The men had no control over her decision.

    Helen said: (#95)
    If men want relationships, they’ll need to be okay with dating more highly-educated women”

    That’s true. And as soon as those men show up saying that they want a relationship, I’ll tell them that they need to be more open-minded.

    But Fiona (and most of the women here) are here because they want relationships. So expand your sentence to encompass women as well as men:

    If a person wants a relationship, that person needs to become more open-minded about who they’ll accept as a partner.

    I got a relationship because I became more open-minded about who I would accept … and it worked … even though most women remained as closed minded as ever.

    If you want a relationship, you need to become more open-minded, even if most ment don’t change at all.

    If my dating success had relied on women changing, I’d still be single. And therefore, I feel quite comfortable telling you (and Fiona) that you’re likely to remain single as long as your dating strategy relies on someone else changing.

  4. 94

    When I think about what makes a relationship work, I sometimes think of the analogy of a car. For a car to work, all the important parts have to be functional.They don’t all have to be top-of-the range, but they have to be good ENOUGH, that the car actually goes. My ex-husband was an amazing guy in very many ways – good looking, highly intelligent, great cook, good income, common interests etc..etc… BUT our sexual relationship was hopeless – he just wasn’t really interested. In that respect, he was a like a high-end porsche with a wheel missing. End result: the car doesn’t go.

    My current man is different – he’s pretty high spec in some ways: great looking, great in bed, loves me loads, very committed, extremely trustworthy… and pretty reasonable in some other areas too- decent cook,reasonable level of shared interests and values and plans for the future,  interesting conversation, reasonably good listener, reasonably affectionate… and not quite so high spec (but good ENOUGH) in other areas – income, prospects. End result: the car goes.

    Its easy to be drawn in by a few stellar qualities (particularly if they are on our tick lists) but its how the relationship functions across the board that is important. Sure, we all want a bit of wow factor – just important to make sure that the bits that aren’t so wow are at least liveable with.    


  5. 95

    Evan wrote: “Wouldn’t you agree that it would be equally valuable for women to be okay with dating men who are less-educated and wealthy, given that this is the trend?”

    Yes, Evan, I do agree – that’s what I wrote in my second-to-last sentence in 95.

    Karl: same thing. Both sides need to expand their notions of what constitutes an acceptable mate, given the changing reality of society, education, the role (or lack thereof) of children in a family, etc.  We are all so stuck in our old-fashioned notions, maybe because of the literature we read, the movies we watch, or observing our parents and others who are older than us.  Just as there is wisdom to be gleaned from past generations, so we need to constantly be aware of looking ahead (or at the present).

  6. 96
    Dan Murray

    A man isn’t what he dose for a living, but who he is on the in-side. How he interacts with people around him, how he can bring out the best in you and your life. If you choose to look for love in professional men that’s your call. It’s sound like you need that security in your life. That’s not a bad thing. Though, if you’re turning men down because you think you’re better than them, well, think about hun. Would you liked to be judged by someone who knows nothing about you?

  7. 97

    @ Speed 83:
    “Looking at my friends’ marriages from my new perspective, they seem to mostly about changing diapers, dealing with neighborhood, job or family issues, things like that—not collegiate debates about politics or art or culture.”
    From my experience (18-year marriage), for a marriage to work, it has to be a combination of both. I will agree that human qualities come first — the two of you are going to do a lot of hard physical work together, support each other through difficult times, and generally have each other’s back. If you cannot trust your partner, if he or she consistently does not carry their weight around the house, no amount of intellect and common interests will save your relationship.
    On the other hand, you won’t be changing diapers forever. Kids grow up, move out, and you suddenly find yourself living in an empty house with a stranger. You’ve got to keep those shared interests alive while the kids are young, or else you’ll have a hard time reconnecting with each other after they’ve grown. A lot of them can be pursued together with the children, as a family. While few toddlers are interested in art, politics, or culture, many teenagers are. (As for toddlers, they are interested in learning insane amounts of new things and skills at a crazy speed. If that’s not being intellectually active, I don’t know what is!) I’ve gone to classical concerts, rock concerts, political rallies etc with my kids. Many of my friends have gone to art exhibits and classical concerts with their elementary- and middle-school aged children, together as a whole family. You don’t have to store your brain in a dusty box in the basement for 18 years till your kids are out of the house. You can still use it around them, in fact they will enjoy it. You can run a house, manage finances, raise children and still remain a well-rounded individual — again, your children will thank you for it. 
    I agree that, in our search, we need to keep our priorities straight and look for a good, kind person with integrity first. This means we’ll have to lower our expectations of intellectual connection, shared interests etc. But IMO these connection and interests still have to be there in some capacity, otherwise the marriage isn’t going to work out.
    Lastly, since my own marriage didn’t work out for both of the above reasons (lack of mutual trust and support AND no shared interests), and since I met my (now-ex) husband in college, that we both graduated from, (a top-tier school in our home country, by the way), educational credentials do not automatically mean that you’ll have a connection with a person. This is one of the reasons why I didn’t filter my candidates based on their level of education. Assuming that BS or MA on a person’s profile automatically means you’ll click intellectually, gives one a sense of false security when choosing a candidate.

  8. 98

    I have the same experience as LC and Liz.
    I find EMK’s article insulting. Evan, do you really think that we highly educated women with a good career are so shallow that we are unable to look for the things that really matter? We know our value however and we are not prepared to enter a relationship with someone who is not in our league (contrary to some men who have such low standards that they are capable of hooking up with a monkey who wears a skirt).

    I am flexible and openminded, and I have a lot of love to give. But for me it is also about how a man makes me FEEL. If he gives me the feeling that I had to settle for second choice, the relationship will not work! For the record, second choice is not necessarily about his degree or about his money but about the fact whether he can love me, education and career included.

    I once read a comment about that Lori Gottlieb’s book in which a woman said that she was unable to live in a room of which the ceiling was too low. I think this metaphore expresses perfectly why accomplished women have a number of standards. Yes, maybe we will end up single but that seems way better than being miserable in a relationship with a man that gives you the feeling you never really wanted him…

  9. 99
    Karmic Equation

    Women want status the way men want beauty. Women are shallow for status and men are shallow for beauty.
    The difference is that while men “settling” for less than a supermodel is considered “the way it should be” in most women’s eyes; women don’t expect to settle for less than the status they seek in a mate. Why is the man wrong and the woman not wrong? I don’t get this.
    I’m Ivy-league educated and make good money. I go out of my way to not seem like either when I’m out and about with friends or dates, not because I’m ashamed, but because those two qualities are pretty irrelevant to start off a relationship. A man isn’t going to love me more for having been Harvard educated. If he doesn’t know what I make, he can be himself around me and I can better evaluate whether he’s worth expending my relationship energy on.
    I don’t think the fact that you’re well-educated or have a good career are what’s keeping you single. Your tone in your post is highly unattractive. I don’t think a man educated or not would want to be with someone who talks like you do for very long. If you’re hot they might bang you before disappearing, but they aren’t going to stick around to be with someone who seems so sour.

  10. 100

    “. A man isn’t going to love me more for having been Harvard educated. ”
    I agree Karmic Equation.  I don’t really talk about my education and degrees much with men on dates, unless they ask me about these things, which they always do at some point. But making it the focus in all   convos with guys or practically bragging is useless and it isn’t necessary for forming an emotional connection with a man. Talking about work is so commonplace and mundane, it’s what they do with other guys already.  In the same way, I have my girlfriends, co-workers and professional networking to talk about such things already.  Sure most  men may admire  and   find my profession intriguing but they don’t care all that much. That’s just one part of my life, and there’s way more to me as a person than that..the same way there is way more to a man than his education and career.  Unfortunately, a lot of us women, including myself at one point, have been mislead by society to believe that men nowadays sometimes fall in love for these reasons. i.e. “he should love me because I’m successful”

    You also make a great point about how many men “settle” for non-supermodel looking women, and women  expect them to “settle” for “less than supermodel”. Yet  the same women are not willing to ditch the checklist that includes “must have a phd and make a 6 fig salary” I never thought of it that way.

  11. 101

    I use to be one of those unaware, ultra picky women. I’m in my mid 30’s. My continued failure to find the right guy forced me to critically reevaluate myself. I realized that I had a lot of insecurities and low self esteem. 
    I didn’t really want anyone to truly get to know me- so those “nice guys” who were available seemed just never good enough and those hot alpha guys who were happy to sleep with me, but would never commit, continued to cause me despair.
    I’m now in a place where I’m not bitter or frustrated by dating and feel confident I’ve found a great guy.
    So how did I do it?
    1.  I made a greater effort to look the best that I could and stopped judging men for being shallow.
    2. I started accepting dates from men whom i felt were completely not in my league.
    3. I kept my focus on whether or not the guy would accept my worse traits and who would make me feel safe to be vulnerable.
    This is why those three things worked in helping me make the shift:
    1. I actually had quite a bit of cosmetic work done by a very skilled plastic surgeon. I look young and natural.  Better diet and exercise also helped.  I accepted the fact that men are visual creatures. If you are a successful professional with the means to buy your own house, eat at fancy restaurants, then you have the means to make your self look better.  It’s a more effective strategy than bemoaning the fact that men want younger, prettier women.  BUT, it is not everything and I also had to make other changes as well…
    2. Though I looked better, I still had self esteem issues hidden under the guise of self entitlement.  I started accepting dates from:  men in construction, overweight men, men who were totally not my type, men who were shorter etc. etc.. 
    At first, it felt like wasted time. But I needed to do things differently if I was going to get a different result.  Gradually, I discovered that who I dated was not a reflection of me as an individual. I started to share my insecurities with the fat guys. I started to see that a lot of these guys had good hearts. And most importantly, I started to let go of my mental check list and was surprised to find myself having FUN with some of these men.
    These so called “men out of my league” were the very ones who help me recognized that I could be loved, flaws and all. 
    3.  Using what I learned from dating men I once thought wouldn’t be a match, I approached professional men in a totally different way.  Their credentials didn’t matter anymore, but their integrity did. And I allowed myself to be vulnerable and authentic. I no longer cared about selling my most “impressive traits”.
    The net result of all of this?  Professional men my age became more interested in pursuing me. Doctors, Lawyers, Bankers….But by this point, I didn’t care so much about status.  Eventually I did meet a guy- A Graphic Designer- and we clicked. He is a professional, but not pulling in 6 figures. But he’s cute, my age and most importantly he’s got a good heart.  It’s still in the early stages of the relationship, but I am certain I would not have appreciated him 6 months ago, when i was still chasing the “perfect guy”.
    As for Evan’s point about women being shallow, I would like to add that often this shallowness comes from insecurity issues. Until you address your vulnerability, you will never find true love.

  12. 102

    Evan, sorry to hear that the highly educated women you met were shallow. Could this evaluation of yours possibly have something to do with the fact that these women were not interested in you? Or wanted an equal relationship without having to look at you in admiration and having to stroke your ego?
    It seems to me that few things irritate men more than women who refuse to lower their standards rather than start a relationship with a man who does not appeal to them. Why this irritation? Don’t we have the right to decide on our own standards? You say: “Men do what they want. They don’t do what you want.” Why should the same not be true for women?
    Just to give a few examples of things I am not willing to compromise on and noone will convince me that these are shallow criteria:
    – a man who is honest, faithful and reliable: that goes without saying
    – a man with personal hygiene: taking a shower in the morning, using some deo, brushing your teeth. I expect a man in his 40-ies to know these basic personal hygiene principles. And yes, there are some who don’t know them.
    – a man who is free from addictions (to drugs, alcohol, porn,…): if you drink 4 glasses of wine during a Sunday afternoon date which lasts 3 hours and then get in your car, you can forget about a 2nd date.
    – a man who is in reasonable shape: I get that you no longer have the body of a 20 year old, the same is valid for me. However, although I don’t mind a few extra pounds, I am not attracted to a man who does not do any sport and does not pay any attention to what he eats. This comes from a lady in her 40-ies who is attractive and slim.
    – a man who is financially independent: I have a job with a comfortable income and having to support a man is one of my biggest fears. Why? Because I have seen horror situations where a man managed to get alimony from the woman who had been his breadwinner. I don’t need a guy who provides for me, I am very good at doing that myself. But I will not provide for a man.
    – A man with higher education: I have been with guys with less education than me when I was younger and it simply did not work. It feels like speaking to someone who has another mother tongue: you immediately limit your vocabulary. That’s OK for a 2 hours conversation but not for a life together.
    – a man I want to make love to: He does not have to be a looker but I have to want to see him naked, maybe not at the first date but somewhere along the line. And this has nothing to do with being 6 foot tall. I just don’t want him to be smaller than I am (I am 5’57 so that’s not asking for too much). When he faces my boobs rather than my eyes when he is standing in front of me then he is too small :-). 
    – last but not least: a man who loves my heart, body and brain and does not expect me to be some 2012 version of a Stepford wife! I am no Plane Jane and it is impossible to turn me into one…

    Now as for Lori Gottlieb’s book, I have no intention to read it as it is not inviting at all on the basis of the comments I read about it and the interviews I read with her. She does not come across as a positive happy person. Also, it is difficult to believe her approach since as far as she knows she is still single…

    1. 102.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Reddy: Your insults are ridiculous. But I will waste my time answering you anyway.

      1. I didn’t say that all the highly educated women I met were shallow. I said that the women who expressed themselves like YOU were shallow. That’s a small, but meaningful percentage.

      2. Candidly, the vast majority of women I met were interested in me. The ones who were not undoubtedly had their valid reasons, but that doesn’t make them shallow. What does make some women shallow (or short-sighted or difficult – choose your angle) is not their feelings about me, but rather their condescending feelings about men. Your utter lack of humility is astounding. And the reason you’ll struggle with men is not because no one is good enough for you, but because of that lack of humility alone. I mean, just typing this sentence out loud is absurd: “there are NO men who are good enough for Reddy. She is better than ALL of them.” That’s tacitly what you’re suggesting. Your list of good qualities is endless. You seem to have no acknowledged flaws and weaknesses. And you’re very quick to point out the many failings of men. We’re all clear. But don’t be too shocked if men don’t find that attitude attractive.

      3. My wife and I HAVE an equal relationship. She looks at me with admiration and strokes my ego and I do the same for her. That’s what people in love DO! I know you’re too sophisticated and worldly to do something as awful as make your man feel good, but guess what, that’s all we want out of a partner. If you’d rather tell him what’s wrong with him because you’re “just being honest”, then, once again, you can’t be too surprised when men don’t find that appealing. It’s not “Stepford” to treat your partner like your favorite person in the world. It’s common sense.

      4. I support my wife financially. So do millions of men. Why is it such a horror if you make more money than your husband? Oh, that’s right: because you want all the benefits of equality without truly believing that men and women are equal. Well if we’re equal, then you better come around to what men figured out years ago: you marry for LOVE, not for money. You marry because someone is pleasant and happy and supportive. You don’t marry for the laundry list that you posted above (even if none of it is particularly objectionable in its own right).

      5. I have no idea how educated you are, but just because you have a masters doesn’t make you smarter than a guy who has a BA – or, for that matter, a guy who didn’t go to college. Unless you’ve met all of the men on the planet, it’s pretty arrogant to say that you are, de facto, a better conversationalist than anyone who chose not to pursue an advanced degree.

      6. The irony of you refusing to read Lori Gottlieb’s book because she’s single and doesn’t come across as a positive happy person, well, I don’t really have to complete that thought, do I?

  13. 103

    I want to add this. Instead of complaining about how women refuse to settle men should maybe up their game. Steve Nakamoto says in the following in his book “Men are like fish.”:
    BECOME A BIG FISH: The path of self-improvement also applies to men. A smart man does all he can to become the kind of man that a woman truly wants. That means a man should: get a fresh start, maximize his talents, develop his game, play with more heart, and move up in class. Don’t get “thrown back” for not measuring up to a sensitive, intelligent woman’s standards.
    We women throw men back because they don’t give us the feeling that they can make us happy…

  14. 104

    @Essie: since when is mid-thirties so “old” that one needs extensive plastic surgery?
    I agree many men don’t care so much about a woman’s income and job. However, I looked at Match.com recently, and was surprised by the number of men listing an income cut-off in their profiles, as well as at least a bachelor’s degree for their dates. I think that well-educated men listing at least a college degree is quite common. And these tend to be men who are doing well financially (most made 6 figures). So I think that, for many of these men, income and earning power do matter. Despite what’s being said here, many older men do not want to be financially responsible for a partner. I’ve also dated smart men who’ve told me that they wouldn’t seriously consider a woman whom they didn’t find intelligent enough. One male friend of mine told me that was because he didn’t want to have “dumb” kids!

  15. 105

    “Alas, men don’t care if you’re taller, richer, smarter or funnier. ”
    You are right, Evan, they don’t.
    Men just care if you’re younger, thinner, prettier and physically fit. These are their main standards to determine if you are good enough to date. Women have their standards, too.
    If a woman should be willing to date a guy with only a HS Diploma when she has an MBA, then a man should be able to date a “5” when he makes $200K per year. But we know that’s not likely to happen, don’t we? A guy who earns $200K is going to shoot for at least an 8. Heck, even poor guys shoot for hot women!
    So I think it’s only fair to say that an educated woman is equally “entitled” to an educated man just as men who make a lot of money feel “entitled” to the most desirable women from a physical standpoint.
    Reproaching this woman in indirect or subtle ways by subtly implying she should simply get off her high horse isn’t fair. She can get off her high horse the minute a wealthy guy starts dating a 5.

    1. 105.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @DLR – Last I checked, this was a site that gave advice to women. As such, my advice to women is to get over their impressive bodies and credentials and realize that men will marry you for the way you make him feel inside. If I were to give advice to men, I would advise them on the same thing – get over your obsession with youth and beauty and choose a woman of character.

      At the end of the day, there are the small percentage of men who get the women who are physical 10’s and a small percentage of women who get the men who are career 10’s.

      And the rest of us need to learn to compromise. I’m presuming that you and Reddy need to compromise, just like I did. If you’d rather be alone than compromise, that’s perfectly fine by me.

  16. 106

    I do know a wealthy man who, after years of womanising, married a woman who was a single mother in her forties.  They went on to have two daughters.
    another even wealthier man (think racehorse owner) married my friend  who is a solid uk size fourteen, not plus size but certainly not thin, with severe acne scarring. 
    Reddy, you can get off that high horse. Must be lonely up there. 

  17. 107

    Ruby @110
    I had a nose job, liposuction around the waist, an eye lift and injectable fillers.  It wasn’t necessary, but it did make me look a LOT better. It’s not that I recommend it for everyone, but looking better got my foot in the door more easily.  But ultimately, if I didn’t change my attitude, improved looks wouldn’t have made that much of a difference.  At 35, I’m not that old, but looking closer to late 20’s gives me more options with men closer to my own age. 

  18. 108

    I agree with the opinion that in many cases it is perhaps more comfortable and easier for a well-educated woman to date a man who is a little less educated, intellectual, sophisticated, etc., because such a man, if truly interested in a woman, might appreciate her qualities much more than her equal and is therefore more persevering in courting her. As a result she can feel much more valued and safer in a relationship.

  19. 109

    EVAN: When has a successful guy ever been *forced* to make a *major* compromise as far as a woman’s looks and age are concerned? By “compromise” I am not saying a 10 verses an 8, I am talking an  8,9,10 verses a 5? Successful men do not have to compromise, at least not by much. Even if he gets an 8, he is still with a hot woman.  But we women have to be willing to compromise, some times to a great extent, or we will wind up alone or unhappy, is that what you’re saying? I have an MBA and I am delighted to date guys with a BA/BS who make considerably less than a six figure income. I have no have problem with a reasonable compromise. But will I date the guy with only the HS Diploma? I’ll never say never, but let’s face, probably not, just like a successful guy does not have to “tolerate” a 5, so therefore he doesn’t. And thank you for making me really think about this matter, because yes, I have concluded I would definitely be happier alone that making such a large compromise.

    1. 109.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @DLR – Show me one place in 6 years of writing this blog that I’ve told any woman to make an unreasonable compromise. Until then, you’re only arguing with yourself and turning compromise into something black or white. He’s brilliant…or stupid. He’s rich…or poor. He’s handsome…or ugly. Never said any of them. So you’re fighting with a straw man, darling.

  20. 110

    Reddy # 108:

    Sorry to say, but YOU DO NOT come across as a positive happy person either….

  21. 111

    EVAN: Implying that you might want to give give a laundry operator a shot if you are a successful woman with an advanced degree is an unreasonable compromise in my book, maybe not yours. Fair enough. Maybe you’ll go so far as to state you never intended to imply that. Fair enough, again. But it seems to me that such an argument would simply fall into the realm of semantics.

  22. 112
    Karmic Equation


    I think you might be missing a key point.

    Is a guy who has a BA/BS capable of loving you MORE than a guy who only has a HS diploma? How well and how much a man can love you is independent of his degrees.

    Are you really sure that a guy who has a BA/BS is smarter than a guy with only a HS diploma? Please, we know plenty of career politicians who have degrees who are total idiots. I personally know know a carpenter who was a rocket scientist in the army (no formal degrees…but he did work on rockets!)

    Maybe it wasn’t intellect or drive that prevented him from completing higher education. For example, how would you know if a brilliant man didn’t give up an education to take care of his family? You don’t unless you date him…And if you date a man without formal higher-education, and you find him lacking, that DOESN’T mean all men without higher-education are lacking in the same way. Higher education doesn’t equate to higher character.

    Date the man…not his credentials. You’ll be happier that way…and dating is so much less pressurized if you date with the intent to get to know someone’s character as opposed to only dating those you already perceive as worth knowing based on their credentials.

    Love is blind and oftentimes make less money than you if you are a successful woman. If that disturbs you, well, not much I say to help you there.

  23. 113

    @DLR I agree with you.  I’m fine with making reasonable compromises.  I have had relationships with guys who have a college degree and make less than me. When that hasn’t bothered them I don’t care either.  I’d love to meet someone in that range.  I don’t hold my advanced degree/6 figure standard as a minimum in dating.  But I do want someone with similiar life experiences and ability to afford the same kind of life today. 

  24. 114

    KARMIC EQUATION: If love is blind, then why do I rarely see successful men with women who aren’t very attractive? Are they dating the woman…not her age and looks?? If a woman should give a lesser education/lesser income man a shot, then a man should give a not younger/less good looking woman a shot, right? Wouldn’t we all be happier this way? I consider dating a guy who is much less educated like dating a guy who is 20 years or more older, just too far out of my range. It’s really nothing personal. The older could be a great guy, but I still don’t want to date my father!

    1. 114.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      (You’re still not listening, DLR…No one is asking you to date someone 20 years older…Stop with the straw man argument…)

      From the original post:

      “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.”

  25. 115

    K: Amen sister!

  26. 116

    I must say that I am heartened by a number of female responses here, especially marymary, who usually makes a lot of sense.

    I now feel somewhat vindicated in holding my views, despite the anger and lashback from women who will not face reality.

    Thank you to Frimmel, who provided the link to a woman who has thought through the issues (owning your shit) and arrived at the same conclusion, and indeed has gone much further.

    I am amazed at the audacity of some bloggers, who have no shame in proclaiming their sense of entitlement. Men recoil from the stench of this.

    DLR  “Men just care if you’re younger, thinner, prettier and physically fit”
    Well if this is true, surely their ability to “win” women like this will depend on their level of value to the opposite sex, which you know to be educated, wealthy men.
    BUT on your definition of equal it should be men who are younger and thinner. You know that isn’t the case.

    It therefore follows that your educational and professional attainment in no way makes you an ‘equal’ to a man with similar credentials.
    You women cannot get your head around this. Forgive the over statement, but they are WORTHLESS.
    Keep repeating until it finally sinks in.

    You are no more entitled to a successful man than a waitress is.
    You are correct, a successful man doesnt have to compromise, and neither does a young beautiful women.
    Everyone else DOES.

    And I agree with Evan, those who are more mature, will increasingly value character. I have dated obese women, and I am quite successful. 


  27. 117

    DLR @ 123
    To be honest, with the type of attitude you have, it’s not likely that a laundry room operator or a man 20 years your senior would think you are such a great catch 😉
    And in that case, you would have no choice but to be alone.

  28. 118

    Evan, although you argue that kindness is more important than intellect, as I understand it, although correct me if I am wrong., you are not arguing, as some would seem to understand it, that intelligence is irrelevant. Smart women are always going to prefer smart men – I would not say that is shallow but rather a sign of a deep desire to connect. Shallow for me would be smart women goes for cute but dumb guy and couldn’t care less about conversation.

    1. 118.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Fiona, you’re watching the act of people putting words in my mouth because they’re afraid of compromising on ANYTHING.

      No one said intelligence didn’t matter. Or looks. Or money. Or anything you think is important.

      But, objectively, if Every. Single. Thing. can become a dealbreaker, then you’re gonna have a lot harder time finding a deal.

      I compromised on what I thought I was looking for in terms of age, intellectual curiosity, religion, geography, and politics. Did I choose a woman who was 60, illiterate, goes to church every week, lives in Nebraska and worships at the altar of Rush Limbaugh? Not even close. I hit the fucking jackpot. But I compromised. I see no evidence that the DLRs and Reddy’s of the world are willing to do so, despite their protests to the contrary. Otherwise, would we even be having this conversation based on my original even-handed blog post?

      So please, stop listening to the black/white fear-based worldview that compromising is dating someone entirely inappropriate for you. If anything, it’s about getting out of your own way and recognizing that you don’t need to be with the male version of yourself to be happy.

  29. 119

    Evan, I sympathise. I think people misunderstand sometimes that things aren’t as black and white as painted. For me geography, politics (assuming we are not talking fascism or communism), religion (assuming no extremism) have never featured on my list and I am prepared to be flexible on age (give or take 10 years). I guess I am a less willing to compromise on education because in my generation university in the UK, unlike the US, was totally free of charge so it is hard for me to understand why anyone who was bright and wanted to get on in life wouldn’t have gone for it unless they were a successful entrepreneur. There are of course exceptions, but in the majority of cases, those who didn’t either couldn’t or weren’t interested. Either way, as a woman who got educated, lived and worked abroad, it is pretty hard to imagine spending my life with a guy who hasn’t been anywhere or done anything regardless of whether that is through lack of ability of lack of desire. It doesn’t mean those guy are bad guys. It doesn’t mean they aren’t loving. It does mean maybe they aren’t a good fit for me. For my faults I would probably rather date a guy from another western country that has travelled and been educated than a Brit who hasn’t.

  30. 120

    BARRY: Are you stating that my educational attainment is worthless to a man? Correct me if I misunderstand. Because after recently meeting a guy, talking for an hour about our backgrounds before agreeing to a date, I asked him what he thought based on our preliminary get to you know you conversation. His response? “TWO degrees?? … BINGO!!” As if he’d hit the jackpot or something.

    1. 120.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      DLR, I’ll jump in for Barry. Just because a man is foolish enough to agree with you that two degrees matter does not mean that they actually do. It just means he’s under the same illusion that you are – higher degrees equal better partnerships. They don’t. Selflessness, generosity, sensitivity, high emotional IQ matter infinitely more. A PhD is merely icing on the cake, not the cake itself.

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