Why Being Attracted to Smarter Men Is the Biggest Reason You’re Single


“I can’t help what I’m attracted to!”

If I had a dollar for the number of women who have said that to me, well, let’s just say I’d be writing this from Tahiti, not Los Angeles.

And I can’t disagree with you: attraction is NOT a choice.

Yet if the very thing you’re attracted to never leads to the relationship of your dreams, don’t you think it may be wise to make some adjustments?

I think so.

You’d make adjustments if you didn’t feel good about your body on January 1st.

You’d make adjustments if you were only looking for jobs on Monster.com and it never got you a job.

You’d make adjustments if you alienated your co-workers and wanted to feel better from 9-5 every day.

We’re constantly making adjustments in life.

Except in one arena.

You’d make adjustments if you didn’t feel good about your body on January 1st.

Should it be any news that it’s the one arena in which you struggle the most?

And a big reason you struggle to connect with men is because you’re so bright.

I hear ya.

Like many of you, I’m a bit of an intellectual snob. I read voraciously. I like to discuss weighty issues. I know a little bit about a lot and can pretty much hold my own in any cocktail party conversation.

You want to know something else about me?

I’m a know-it-all.

I’m difficult.

I’m moody.

I’m opinionated as hell.

I’m a workaholic.

I’m an egomaniac.

I always want things my way.

Now before you decide that you hate me, I’d like you to consider two things:

First, does that description remind you of any of the men you’ve dated in the past?

If so, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

That’s the thing about really smart guys. They live in their heads. They’re somewhat tortured. They know what they’re worth. They have enough information and ammunition to be impossible to argue with. They can be endlessly fascinating and even more frustrating.

You’ve seen this yourself MANY times.

And yet you still say you want a man who is smarter than you are.


Sounds like a pretty exhausting relationship, doesn’t it?

Sounds like the price you pay for dating a great conversationalist is pretty steep, huh?

On one side, you get a brilliant, stimulating mind, which really turns you on…

On the other you get a narcissistic, difficult, self-obsessed, coldly logical man who is much more concerned with ideas than feelings, and much more concerned with himself than with you.

Once again… Hmmm…

Before I forget, there was one other thing I wanted you to consider:

You will STILL be attracted to geniuses, but you now know that they do not make for a good fit in your life. Never have. Never will.

Very smart. Know-it-all. Difficult. Moody. Short-tempered. Opinionated. Workaholic. Egomaniac. Judgmental. Always want things your way.

Does that describe anybody else besides those brilliant men you’re drawn to?

It certainly describes my clients. And I wouldn’t be all that shocked if it somewhat described you as well.

And when two people who are that smart, that opinionated, and that strong-willed get together, it should obvious that sparks will fly — and tensions will mount.

So while I’m not judging you for being just like I am — I AM pointing out to you that if you insist that you can ONLY be attracted to men who are smarter than you, you are relegating yourself to less than 2% of the population (before we consider things like looks, height, money, religion, humor, charm, attraction, values, etc.)

Moreover, you’re relegating yourself to a man who is NOT A GOOD FIT FOR YOU.

And therefore, it doesn’t matter if you’re attracted to only MENSA men.

The key to your future successful relationships is going to come in opening up to smart guys without all the baggage that comes from being brilliant and driven.

That does NOT mean that you are going to find yourself with a man who has never read a newspaper, who has no interest in foreign travel, or who can’t keep up with you and your friends.

It does mean that you need to accept men who are not in the 98th percentile of intelligence, and recognize that there are plenty of amazing, bright, relationship-oriented men who may not be smarter than you.

It’s not all or nothing.

We compromise on things every single day.

Your job isn’t perfect. You put up with it for 10 hours a day.

Your friends and family aren’t perfect. You put up with them for the rest of the time.

And yet you still hold your boyfriend to a ridiculous standard, as if a man who went to a state school and doesn’t watch Sunday morning political talk shows is a dullard.

I know, I know.

You can’t help what you’re attracted to.

Me either.

But I spent the first 35 years of my life chasing women who were just like me — the smartest women in the room. And I put up with the same things that you have to deal with from men — selfishness, difficulty, self-righteousness and so on.

I married a woman who was smart — who gets every joke, who knows about Shakespeare and classical music, who has definite opinions about Israel/Palestine — but she’s not necessarily in the 98th percentile of intellectual curiosity.

And you know what?

It feels GREAT.

Because most of our lives are not spent discussing the finer points of Proust, or the best way to fix the 2-party system, or the science behind String Theory… our time is usually spent talking about fixing up the house, raising our daughter, planning our next vacation, figuring out what we’re going to have for dinner, etc.

Thus, my wife doesn’t HAVE to be like me — because we’re great together.

So if you believe in self-help, if you’ve read books about spirituality, if you’ve gone to shrinks and taken weekend seminars, and yet you still think your husband has to be on the exact same wavelength as you?


He doesn’t.

He just has to respect you. And you have to respect him.

My wife hasn’t done any of that personal growth stuff and you know what?

She’s happy. Better than that, she’s CONTENT.

Have you ever been with a brilliant guy who is, at heart, a miserable person?

I’ll bet you have.

And I’ll bet you’d do it again — hoping for a different ending this time.

Once again, there’s no different ending.

Brilliant men tend to be bad partners. You’ve seen this numerous times.

So, from now on, you’re going to discover the virtues of smart, kind, thoughtful, generous, easygoing, commitment-oriented men.

You will STILL be attracted to geniuses, but you now know that they do not make for a good fit in your life. Never have. Never will.

You CAN get the relationship you want; just not with the man you always thought you wanted.

Trust me, the reality is FAR better than the fantasy.

Join our conversation (239 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 1

    Great post.

    Evan if i may ask, who is the “pickier” of the two sexes? My female friends want it all, height, money, intelligence, looks, full head of hair etc…the guys i know who have it all(for the most part) are happy with a fun, attractive girl. Why is there such a discrepancy?

    1. 1.1

      I hate to say this only i have never been through this which is   very good smart comes with a brain and without a brain you can’t think because you won’t have a mind to think to never let a woman out smart you first of all never hangs around so called friends that often you something that you don’t do just like offer you a beer or liquor when you know that you never taste it before next get yourself a place to live idon’t care if your parents give you a place as a gift or you bought it yourself and next makes sure your place is bigger enough not so big that it runs up your lights bills next think before you go out get a woman pregnant because that child gonna cost you that’s where trouble begin now you gonna have child support and the children and families service on your back cook your own foods for me i learned how to cook when i was abouts seven years old because i had to i grow up without a mom’s another thing don’t go out to club’s also don’t support your favorite team by buying their name brand hat’s and clothes that’s a waste of money don’t use too lights in your house all at once don’t joy ride because you got money to spend if you meet a woman checks her background before making another move have a strong mind not to let her makes you weak if she not comfortable with that let her go she wasn’t for you in the first place that way you have saved yourself a lot’s of trouble because sex really a mind thing also with Disease out there just like AIDS and others Disease you don’t wanna be in any hurry also watch out for those kinds of people who say you must be gay ignore that because they just wanna push you on some woman’s so you can fall as low as they are never fall for that little tricky game the more money you save the more your so called friends gonna try to makes you spend so watch out for me im a single BLACK MAN ihave learn all of this from watching others people mistake so i never had a problem with this kind of stuff i never been married or got any kids or taste any liquor or beer or did any drugs before ihave a lot’s of haters out there for been a BLACK MAN they looksat us as trouble like we out to do something just like me i loves MILK so now I’m better known as   MILKMAN that’s my drink they say don’t drink and drive ha i do but not with a gallon of milk anymore just a quart of milk you can save a lot’s money if you lived alone rent free and when you eat everyone eats because it all yours also when you file your income tax return keep it in a safe place never open it until mid’s December don’t worry from the time you get it back its won’t expired until January 1 but makes sure you cash it before January 1 because it will expired i do it every year i have to be careful very careful because i don’t have much responsibility and im single without any kids or rent and lived alone only if you really want to have something you got to be smart by doing it i always heard when a guy ejaculate in his wife its a good thing so im not married so i won’t be ejaculate in disease you can’t trust sleeping with different women’s or not even your girlfriend or wife without cover yourself up im not talking a real women im talking a bout those kinds of women’s don’t mind sleeping and not thinking mostly of the time a woman see a guy with a good job nice car’s money ladies don’t fall for that because he’s probably got so many women’s that he can’t keep up with also ladies think before you jump as for me i always think before i think a bout a relationship with a woman i really take my time after all i have seen mostly my classmates died from AIDS just for a feeling of deaths also never trust a condom they are not 100% safe found yourself a woman you will be comfortable with and both of you talk a bout not cheating buy a book a bout safe sex to makes both of you afraid to sleep around you both sleep with each other no outside sex now you have it its up to you because i knew all a bout this without being BLIND because not all men’s are BLIND especially this one GOD BLESS YOU ALL

      1. 1.1.1

        This is the longest sentence in the history of the world.

        1. Jaleesa


      2. 1.1.2
        Robert Bruce

        Could you repeat that, please? I didn’t get the whole thing.

  2. 2

    @JB come on, we all know that guys who “have it all” in a woman are never satisfied with what they have. They’ll want a playmate too, who is probably her exact opposite.   

  3. 3

    “Men say exactly what they mean. Yet somehow, women still look for alternative explanations. Why? Is it because you don’t say what you mean?”

    Evan, I wanted to take issue with this Tweet. I didn’t want reply on Twitter because I don’t want all my (male) friends knowing I listen to a dating coach. And my response is way longer than 140 characters.  

    Men are not as direct as they claim to be. Now, I’m not saying you all are difficult to figure out. You’re not, once a woman has the “code” – and what you are so great at, Evan, is translating and giving that code to women. But men aren’t that direct. For instance, if a guy is stringing a woman along in a FWB situation, he does he say? “I’m not ready for a relationship/I’m not ready for a relationship right now/I’m not looking for anything serious.” Taken literally, none of those things mean he won’t or can’t or doesn’t want to eventually get serious with you. Which is why, I think, women don’t take those phrases to mean as such. If a guy were to be direct and say something like, I dunno, “[Woman’s name], you’re great and I really enjoy spending time with you, but I don’t ever see you becoming my wife” – I’m pretty sure he’d never hear from her again. And guys know that, which is why they don’t say it.  

    1. 3.1

      HAHAHA lawyerette  I love your answer. I’ve had this situation long term fwb, although ::plot twist::  neither of  us were looking for anything serious and when I (finally) vocalized that, >he< freaked out. Too honest about my intentions. Or lack there of… Also, he was an ‘experiment’ with someone of lesser intelligence, didn’t work obviously. Very happily taken by a smart man now.

      1. 3.1.1
        Robert Bruce

        Fascinating…if a man is direct, and tells the truth, he’s a heartless, cruel cad who deserves the slings and arrows, etc. And if he’s not direct, he’s a duplicitous a**hole.

        Of course, a woman can always tell half truths and lies–and these are to be accepted without condition by men because, well, because they’re women and it’s their RIGHT to be evasive, or outright dishonest. However, here we have a case in which a woman uses a mans’s body as an “experiment.” She is proud of how clever she is. She even finds it  funny to accompany her superficiality, and cold scientific use of another human being with her    “directnes,” and clearly enjoys how her lack of duplicity “freaked” someone out–and she gloats about how great it is  to be rid of him, having found someone “worthy” of her  expansive intelligence. Are we supposed to be impressed with your accomplishment? What’s next, Lucy, eugenics? And does your present beau really know what he’s gotten himself into?

    2. 3.2

      Post of the thread!

      1. 3.2.1

        “Taken literally, none of those things mean he won’t or can’t or doesn’t want to eventually get serious with you.”


        No, that’s you interpreting.


        His words: “I’m not ready for a relationship”. You assuming he may be ready sometime with you is all assumption on your part.


        You’ve just shown a perfect example of wehat Evan was talking about – a man spoke clearly and you reinterpreted it to fit your agenda/paradigm.

        1. Robert

          Wrong. That’s you refusing to string two possibilities together for your own confirmation bias.

          Let’s get something straight right now. No man and no woman is exactly alike. To think, “because I think this way, he must.” — or — “Because I did things this way, he will do the same.” is very wrong.

          No one group likes to be painted with broad brushes… Not even prisoners on death row. Nobody is exactly alike and to assume that “a man doesn’t want anything — at all, ever — is intellectual dishonesty.

          This is equivalent to a woman wanting sex, but not wanting, nor seeking parenthood.. Remember now, when women fought for abortions, they used the excuse that “consent to sex was not consent to parenthood” and thus the statement:

          Taken literally, none of those things mean he won’t or can’t or doesn’t want to eventually get serious with you.” actually becomes a factual statement.

          If one person falls out of conformity, than surely there is another….and another…. and another… We’re talking about a dynamic scale here… Not an individual paradigm such as you vs. me.


    3. 3.3

      That’s a man saying just enjoy the moment.

      Why do you need a clear and definite goal when you two are just in a FWB situation?

      Before you answer that, answer this, why are there so many single men who have clear definite relationship goals?

      1. 3.3.1

        I think that is good advice. No one has a crystal ball and knows if a relationship will last or where it will go. Put energy into creating the best relationship today, who knows what tomorrow holds.


    4. 3.4
      Robert Bruce

      What a marvelous study in the fundamentals of contradiction! A woman claiming that men “aren’t all that direct.” For years, and years, and years I have been exposed to the same thing with women–they  demand  the truth, and then hate  us  for being truthful. They want honesty, but can’t even remotely handle it.   They want a sweet, sensitive, emotional guy–then are contemptuous of us for actually having feelings (which translate in womanspeak for  “weak”). You say that men “aren’t that direct”…there might be a reason for that…like, you know, when we’re direct women have this annoying tendency  to completely come unglued?
      Case in point: “Do these jeans make my butt look fat?” If the truthful, honest answer is “Yes, actually any jeans would make your butt look fat because your butt is fat,” which of course would precipitate another  eruption of Krakatoa.  A man MUST  answer “Oh, darling, how can you say a thing like that! You know I love the way you look in those jeans, and your slender form fits into them perfectly.”
      If  men    have become adept in the art of evasion, it’s because  women have been our tutors in that endeavor. Women require us to twist our  normative behavior  of actually being  direct; the latter is something that we can do with men, but God help us if we try it with women.
      Get me?
      So, if a woman is bedding a guy with the idea that getting him in the sack is most likely the best way to get him to commit, and the sex is regular and good, but the guy isn’t interested in commitment/marriage (a condition which is practically endemic to my half of the species these days), what do you expect him to say? I thought that woman were the self-proclaimed experts at saying one thing and meaning another…are you saying now that you can’t translate a modified version of feminine doublespeak? Any woman who doesn’t have good enough intuition to know that a man who’s getting some regularly from her, and says things like “I’m not ready for anything serious right now,” really ought to reevaluate her aptitude in that arena. That, or she unconsciously knows that she’s being taken for  a ride (pardon the pun), but simply is in  denial.
      If a man says the words “[I’m] not ready for anything serious…” in a sentence, that hardly needs deep interpretation, regardless of what conditions are tacked onto  this definitive statement of fact. It means exactly what he said. Not being “ready” means “not interested,” and if he’s not ready now,  it undoubtedly  means he  loves  taking Mr. One Eye to the optometrist for regularly scheduled appointments, but doesn’t want to set up shop in the good doctor’s office on a permanent basis.  
      So, what’s it going to be? Women are the apotheosis of intuition and “reading” men? Or are in a state of denial regarding the guy they’re sleeping with, expecting him to be perfectly honest and truthful about relationship status (or lack thereof) when he knows full well that being direct  will inevitably bring about the end of the present association.
      Worse yet, does a woman really think that by sleeping with a man that he’ll magically want to take the plunge into commitment, or take the perilous walk of death down the aisle of insanity?
      It’s interesting that the word “commitment” is also associated with putting a person (usually for good and all) into a mental institution–and to be honest (being even more direct here), I see little difference between the two. There is also a reason that marriage is often called an “institution”–stately and respectable on the outside, but madness reigns within.
      You can’t spin this to blame the guy this time, lawyerette…your argument is not having a convincing effect upon the jury. Men spin things because women require them to. You can’t demand honesty, and then  forswear  it when it suits your purpose.   You can’t ask for the truth, and then be self-righteously indignant when a man speaks it.
      Women are the princesses of the duplicitous, and are not only unapologetic about it,  but  expect men to understand and accept that duplicity without conditions.  Therefore, if men spin things to fit the situation, you should be ready to accept the fact that,as men, we’ve merely adhered to your collective wishes, and learned to play the game, the rules of which you have long since established. In short, you made this bed, and you  must  choose if you wish to continue to “lie” in it. Don’t expect a straight answers from guys when,  from time immemorial,  you’ve required men to fudge the truth to accommodate your rarified sensitivities.
      Robert the Bruce

  4. 4

    WHO are these women wanting men smarter than they are? Please tell me why!!!

    Like Evan, I am an intellectual snob but I keep it well hidden most of the time. Must be my Southern Belle training, which, all things considered, has served me very well over the years in a variety of situations, not just romantic. I mean, I guess I come across as cerebral, been told I am very strong, smart, informed, well read etc. but still I think people tend to underestimate me til they know me well ’cause I don’t mouth off too much about my many opinions. Learned over the years people aren’t interested in what you have to say too much, just who you are and how you make them feel.
    To repeat, I am 58. I remember growing up with this sense from the media, society that women just weren’t as smart as men. I resented it, knew it wasn’t true. It’s why I’ve always REALLY resonated with, understood African Americans and the prejudice they have had to endure. Many are friends, and not just casually.
    But I’m getting off track here, sorry. So imagine my surprise when I start dating 3 years ago and realize, with force, that I am probably smarter than 80% of the guys I contact/contact me! Sobering. Ironic. So when on occasion I date a  REALLY smart man for a while I often get nervous ’cause I figure he can out-maneuver me every time (’cause he’s more head than heart- see comment below). Knows all the gender wars ends and outs. Will make mincemeat of me eventually.
    Still, I’m attracted to them, them to me ’cause of who we are (I am VERY into ideas, the big picture). My banner on all my dating websites reads: “Looking for a man who’s a good blend of head and heart”. ‘Cause the super cerebral types seldom have well developed hearts usually. ‘Cause Evan’s right, they DO live in their heads too much.
    I overthink things too (a lot actually), but I always  view the man as a child of God first and foremost. They seldom return the favor. If I had a dollar for every smart man who’s tried to play me, I could fly to Tahiti tonight! First class! lol

    1. 4.1

      I have always been attracted to smarter men. In my life I have dated men dumber than me, and it never worked out. I can’t respect a man I think is not smarter.

      I am lucky to be married to a very intelligent man.

    2. 4.2

      Highly intelligent are my downfall. I’m a sapiosexual for sure. I’ve always been complimented on my intelligence. Or, rather, friends, employers, men I’m conversing with or on a date with have always given me a strange “look” when speaking with me or made a comment on how intelligent they believe me to be. One man at a bar said flat out, “I think I have to stop talking to you. I think I may be too dumb to talk to you.” Granted, I’m African American, so men always seem so shocked by this woman of color in front of them or in emails with them that show a high sense of intelligence. I’ll never understand that sort of ignorance…

      Anyways, I am incredibly attracted to highly intelligent men. I’m very into ideas and the BIG picture too, and get immense delight discussing the elements that create the BIG picture. Any man who enjoy doing that with me gets my motor running. Every single one of these types of men have never worked out. Ever.

      However, you know the type of men who truly are into me? The men who always want a second date or a third or a fourth? The men who are always willing and ready to take me anywhere I want for dinner or talk about *gasp* being my boyfriend if we things work out? The not so brilliant dudes. The dudes who use “your” instead of “you’re.” The dudes who don’t know who Franz Kafka is, but really love that movie about the human fly with that Jeff guy. The ones who type scarcasm and actually, really mean to type scarcasm as if it’s a word.

      It hurts my heart every time one of them goes gaga for me. They are the sweetest men, but conversations with them are like getting my teeth drilled at the dentist. I really try to give it them a chance, but it is so difficult. And, I know the aversion and difficulty I have dating this sort of man is exactly why I am single to this day.   I am an intellectual snob and it is keeping me single.

      1. 4.2.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        If you are in the 95th percentile, try dating down to the 75th percentile. They’ve heard of Kafka and know how to spell. Promise.

        1. Kyra

          Ha! “Scarcasm.” Nice Evan.

          “Scarcasm” was a real guy, btw. He liked me and asked for my number. I gave it It didn’t work out for other reasons, but I’m trying. I trying!

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Get over yourself. Seriously. I did and it really helped. Also, consider that a man will have to tolerate your arrogance and condescension for thinking you are “above” 99.7% of people based on intelligence alone, when, in fact, you may suffer from a lack of kindness, warmth, compassion, humor, patience, etc.

        3. kek

          Most people assume that intelligence is what they think it is, many are wrong. often times left brain intellect accompanies an ego wall that not a lot can pass through their own bias. I have been very guilty of this at times but it’s something to work on for sure. I’d prefer a down to earth girl personally but i genuinely don’t care about her intelligence as long as she treats me well and i can relax around her. hell if she just listens to me ramble about something interesting to me and even if she doesn’t have a clue wtf i’m saying, gives me her time anyway because she enjoys just being around me, that’s wife material to me.

          i’ve only met maybe 2 or 3 women who had some intellectualism to them but didn’t have a stick up their ass to accompany it. Thanks to feminists pushing women to compete with men rather than saying fuck it whoever is better with math or reads more books about physics doesn’t matter, lets just enjoy each other’s company because we’re both good people at the end of the day. it’s very easy to vibe and get along with someone, if both people want to.


          either way these “intellectualism” women are very incomplete and the irony is are more like men than women, therefor very few men will be attracted to them long term once they realize that the pretty face isn’t enough to make things last. logic is the domain of the sacred masculine, emotion is the domain of the sacred feminine. the sacred feminine has been demonized and destroyed in both men and women of our society, hence we have a bunch of overintellectualizing, sociopathic eggheads with severe ego disorders.

      2. 4.2.2


        Is it about intellectual intelligence or emotional intelligence?

        When people mention intelligence it tends to mean intellectual, but for a successful relationship emotional intelligence is required.   And in men especially, it seems that it’s harder to have both (women are EXPECTED to be emotionally intelligent and even if a woman is more intellectual she will be aware of this covert expectation).

        And I do think that men have it easier in that respect.   The highly intellectual man probably prefers a less intellectual woman – less of a threat.   Because such a pairing conforms to gender stereotypes, it’s easier and more accepting of men to find a more social, grounded and less intellectual woman.

        But, as you’re well aware, it doesn’t work the other way round so easily.   As a British woman of Caribbean descent, I can also identify with the shock people show when you are well spoken and articulate; very frustrating.   I once had a white male colleague (who was interested in me romantically, not reciprocated on my part) who said that I “thought too much”.   That felt threatening to him. I just don’t think that very intellectual men are interested in very intellectual women.

        Interestingly enough, he married a woman of Mauritian woman of Indian descent who was not on his intellectual/educational level, but had a great deal of emotional intelligence, who would support him emotionally and domestically and with whom he could raise a family.

        I think that Evan has a point though.   In a relationship it is more about how you work together as a partnership, especially if you have a family and that highly intellectual discussions will go on the back burner.

        Ultimately it’s about balance.   If you are very much in your head then to balance things out you’ll attract less intellectual men. Maybe you need to shift your own internal balance to get out of your head more and in doing so attract someone on your intellectual wavelength.






        1. Kyra


          Thanks for your thoughts. I think emotional intelligence tends to come naturally to a good majority of people. I tend to not have an issue meeting men with emotional intelligence. It’s intelligence that is the problem.

          I tend to very much interest and attract intellectual men, but for nothing more than a casual dalliance. But, that’s the majority of men I attract in the dating zone, intelligent or not. As you stated, men often times find highly intelligent women intimidating or exhibiting too much dominant energy, and they tend to find  women who may not be on their intellectual level and with a great deal of emotional intelligence more attractive for long term relationships and marriage. I don’t in any way mean men partner with unintelligent women, but a highly intelligent woman in a relationship usually has an equal or an individual who may exhibit or have greater intellectualism than they. As a woman of color, I simply do not attract that.

          I talk about a relationship   I have a lot on here about a man I am very much in love with and very much in love with me, but is severely avoidant. He loves me, is incredibly emotionally and sexually attracted to me, is emotionally and sexually committed to me, but never wants to get married to anyone and desperately clings to his autonomy. I would have walked away long ago if it weren’t for the sexual, emotional and intellectual compatibility we have. I have never in my life experienced its equal. We’ve seen one another off-and-on for ten years and part of the reason we are highly attracted   and attached to one another and can’t seem to end our romantic relationship is because we are both really “in our heads”, incredibly literate and think on a very deep almost obsessive level about things. I’m not saying there aren’t others out there that are the same, but when you have an intense emotional and mental compatibility with someone it’s undeniable and (sadly) difficult to walk way from. Our conversations begin in the evenings and go into the very early mornings and we find an immense pleasure and comfort discussing the most mundane topics on a very intense, yet casual, level. I’ve known, dated, been “friends” with a lot of very smart and engaging men, but none have touched me on a deep emotional and intellectual level as this man.

          If I could find a man who shares these qualities and wants to get married, I’d be over the moon. If, as you say, I could attract men who are a bit more on my intellectual wavelength I’d trust and enjoy the (online) dating process more. As a Black woman, however, (I am sad say) there is a very big intellectual incompatibility with the men I do seem to attract, especially online.  And, it has made the online dating process extremely uncomfortable and unsatisfying for me.

  5. 5

    JB, I think many older woman (30+)  may be pickier because they may have this sense that men aren’t worth it in general, aren’t worth the huge hassle of attracting and keeping them unless they can get  EXACTLY what they want.

    My sense/experience is men are happier in general in long-term relationships than women and so maybe more willing to “settle”, especially after marriage.   Save childbearing and/or extreme loneliness, women proceed with much more caution after a certain age or give up altogether. I can’t tell you how many women I know who have given up on men and they are still fairly young.

    I am middle-aged and feel somewhat similarly except that in my saner moments I  sometimes try to find “good enough”.

    1. 5.1

      Giving up on men and losing hope of ever finding the right man are completely two different things. If you need the answer you need to go to the roots of things. start from women being the keepers of morality.

  6. 6

    [email protected]

    Women are far far pickier. It’s in the genes, they can’t help it.   Pregnancy is a major commitment, and they have only so many eggs (90% of which are gone by the time they are 30 I believe).

    As a man its frustrating, but it is what it is. Remember though that although men will set the bar comparatively low, they compare all women to an average 20 year old. This leaves women over 40 seriously compromised, and those over 50 mostly out of the game.

    I’m not sure it’s easy to compromise though. We make compromises on the jobs we have and many hate every day of it. I think I read somewhere that most people are dissatisfied with their job, but income has to be earned somehow.
    I know a guy who is married to an unattractive woman. That is all he could get. He is constantly looking for a replacement.

    I’m sure you have seen the film Shallow Hal. The film was trying to get across the idea that a short poor man is shallow in wanting attractive women who would all reject him. This is of course nonsense. If anything the attractive women were shallow in rejecting him.
    The interesting thing was that, thanks to hypnotic suggestion he was able to see a very ugly woman as extremely beautiful.
    If only that were possible in the real world.

    1. 6.1

      Speak for yourself. I tend to value older women’s input. I’ve been burned bad from young chicks. They are too busy dodging the 50 flirts from great men they tend to deem unfit, even though the majority of women have nothing to offer, in the personality department. Yes… that was an opinion, not fact.

      But… I’m as of now, asexual. I’m married to my research. OOH-RAH! 😉

    2. 6.2

      I am   a 54 year old kind, attractive, and intelligent woman. I have had very little difficulty in finding men my age or 10 years older on line dating. I have had to turn down men who wanted to continue to date me when I was not particularly interested   in them.   I think women in their 50s have a lot to offer- done with raising small children, time to travel and pursue leisure interests, done with drama,   self-confident, usually financially stable , deeper perspective and compassion. I think more men in their 50s and 60s are figuring this out. Wonen 50 + are awesome!!!!!!!!

  7. 7

    Couple points…
    1) As someone who’s currently seeing a very smart guy, and has two very smart guys (age 16 and 18) living at home, I’ve got to say that not all very smart guys are the unsufferable a-holes that you describe. Just had to say this, because if I don’t speak up in defense of very smart guys, who will? 🙂
    2) As someone who’s been around Mensa members long enough (two annual gatherings, more FB friends than I can count, etc) I have a hard time equating qualifying for Mensa membership with intelligence. Yah, these people have all passed a test that evaluates your logical reasoning and your ability to solve certain problems quickly. Some of them are highly intelligent, some are not. Some are great husbands and partners. Most will (and have) send a woman running for the hills. Likewise, one of the smartest guys I’ve known has tried taking an online Mensa test and failed. He was devastated, poor guy, but to me, the problem is with the test and not with him. It’s almost like being in the proverbial 2% is not related to actual intelligence.
    3) It’s not the intelligence that you’re born with that is important, it’s what you do with it. I’ve met enough highly intelligent men who are not interested in anything other than sitting on a couch and watching whatever happens to be on TV. Regardless of how smart they are, we won’t get along.
    Which leads me to thinking, maybe instead of saying we want intelligence, we need to stop and think about why we want it. What is the end result we want to achieve with an intelligent partner? I’d say I want someone I can respect, and have fun with. As long as he’s intelligent enough for these two things to happen, I’m good.
    @JB, I like how in your comment women want it all – height, looks, full head of hair, while men just want an attractive girl. Aren’t these two things the same? unless men don’t care about the “attractive girl”‘s height and whether she has a full head of hair! I bet they don’t care about her weight either, as long as she’s attractive 😉

    1. 7.1

      Well… I would speak up… But honestly, no one is going to give a shit about men…

      Women have an in-group confirmation bias and men favor women over men, for the pussy… So… men will never be able to objectively admit that they sell themselves out for companionship.

      But, no one listens to me anyway… Does it really matter? I hate humans. We are sucky animals…and what really sucks… is that my research? I’m not so sure I want to help humanity afterall… I think we’re better off extinct.

      Society even hates men… Hell.. Men don’t even have reproductive autonomy, nor do women want to grant men “equality”.. Wow… Such hypocrisy. So sick of society.

      1. 7.1.1

        I understand your frustration man, but I can sense the bitterness. Don’t interpret that as a jab at you. Like I said I understand, we have every reason to be bitter. Sexual selection, while remarkably successful, is cold-hearted.

        The reality is that most men and women only see their respective half of the game, not seeing the full picture. You see the full picture, but you can only relate to your half. I can’t claim to relate to both, but I just try to remember that these women that seem terribly  in-compassionate to men probably have no idea what the other side of the game is like and have never thought about it.

        Neither side invented the game, but everybody plays it. It sucks but its necessary. The blessing to all of this, is that we’re now an evolved form of naked ape that is capable of self-reflection and understanding that the game exists, and this gives us the capability to make our own rules.

        But before we can do that, the rank and file must be educated and trained to understand the game from both perspectives. Unfortunately you are correct that men can never do this, empathy for men must come from women, because men have no in-group. Men are cooperative to an extent, but that extent ends abruptly when it collides with an individual’s mating prospects.

        1. Ruth

          I feel absolutly terrible when I have to tell a man that it us not going to work out. I agonize for days. I usually want it to work out and rationalize how the relationship could work, but you have to be honest with yourself.

          You cannot have a committed relationship with 3 men at the same time so you have to select the relationship that is the healthiest and is the most sustainable for a variety of   reasons.   I know it is really hard for the man being rejected an I feel like crap for weeks or months.   I am truly sorry. However, living a lie is even more hurtful and destructive.

      2. 7.1.2

        Here’s some confirmation bias your way, and I mean that I find it very difficult to disagree with anything you said. The only reason I could be tempted, and I’m working on fixing this, is the reason you said men would favor women over men but also to add group bias coming down on me hard is an unwelcome threat as well.

    2. 7.2

      My guess from the text is that whomever wrote it had some pretty shitty relationship fed up with intelligence illusions, when the reality is that if the other person was intelligent and you were ignored like that, that means you are not as smart as you may think… Or, that person was never as Smart as you pointed out to be…

      Remember, 2% is a really low number, do not ever consider yourself among minorities on things so abstract as intelligence measures.

      Seek out people compatible with you, not Platonic archetypes that you made up to be what you like, the rality is no one really knows what they like until they get it…

    3. 7.3

      Goldie, your point 3) is great. I married a guy who’s less intellectual, although quite smart on many other vectors. The frustrating thing is that our lifestyles don’t have a lot in common. I’d be happy to find other people for smart convos—but I’d still like to feel like my husband was more than just a nice-ish roommate!

      I found this post after meeting up today with a single friend, who likewise struggles with whether to go for the smart guys she’s attracted to, or to try to dissuade her gut and social training and refocus on a guy with other strengths.

      I didn’t know what to tell her. I chose a laid-back and emotionally connected guy because we connected and he seemed to genuinely want to support my career. Yet after we’ve both made sacrifices, he’s regretting our marriage and wants to find a more low key wife back in his hometown. I understand it, but it hurts all the same.

  8. 8

    Evan, “very smart” does not equal “know it all”. In fact, most of the times the “know it all”-s are actually not smart at all and don’t really know what they’re talking about. The really smart guys with occupations in math, science, etc. are mostly geeky and type-B personalities, not assertive or aggressive or street-smart. Think the big bang theory types 🙂 I was married to a guy like that once, They’re very mellow in relationships and gladly surrender the leadership 🙂

  9. 9

    Great article, Evan.   I think it goes both ways:   if we stereotyped all men as those who wanted Pamela Anderson types – blond, size 2, enhanced with plastic surgery, and an IQ slightly above their shoe size – they would never be happy with one of us.   We rail on them for holding women to ridiculous physical standards, and yet many of us are guilty for doing the same thing to them on an intellectual level.

    1. 9.1

      Don’t forget the physical level: Initiating divorce for petty shit. MARRIAGE TAKES EFFORT!

      If you don’t want effort, don’t marry. Marriage is obsolete these days. Good luck American women finding a man that isn’t a freaking feminist pussy.

      There is no incentive for a man to marry. A man doesn’t even have reproductive autonomy to protect his own offspring. Imagine if it was up to a man, if a woman had a child or not…and then he could force her against her will and make her pay into something she never wanted..

      Yeah…women are so freaking innocent and it’s “got to be the patriarchy!”

      Usually whatever progressives say, end up projecting the exact opposite… Because you know: Actions speak louder than words.

  10. 10

    I really love your blog and follow it religiously. That being said, it feels a little weird when you say your wife was not necessarily in the 98th percentile of intellectual curiosity. To me she sounds like just the smartest woman out there, she doesn’t seem to challenge you and she seems to listen, that tells me she’s a very smart person, well above the 98th percentile… because … how often does it happen that you find a person who just “gets it” and who isn’ll all “it’s my way or no way”… the odds are pretty slim if you ask me.  

  11. 11

    There were  a few  directions you could have gone with this. Well played sir.

  12. 12
    Evan Marc Katz

    Thanks for your thoughts, everybody. And while I thought it might be obvious after my many years of blogging, but just because there are exceptions to every rule doesn’t invalidate the rule.

    @Lawyerette – who comes up with an example of men not saying what they mean. You’re right. They don’t in every single instance. But even those men will generally not say “I love you” if they don’t mean it or “You’re my girlfriend” just to sleep with you. But even this misses the larger point – women speak with nuance and subtlety. They avoid conflict. Men are blunt and callous. Once again, these are stereotypes. But if I meet a woman who is blunt and callous, she reminds me of a man. So let’s not get too focused on the fact that there are exceptions. Lets think about why women look for alternate meanings in what men say when he says what he means.

    @Goldie – you got a little too focused on the MENSA qualification. That wasn’t the point. I went to one MENSA meeting and my head almost exploded from the social awkwardness. It was just a marker for 98th percentile, nothing more. Yes, there will be many beta males at a MENSA meeting which might make for good partners, but this has nothing to do with my post about women who are attracted to very smart men *who also have looks and social confidence.

    @Stacey – same thing. Most of my readers aren’t looking for Big Bang guys (so to speak). They’re looking for the Bill Clintons of the world. Those guys are generally bad bets for peace and long-term commitment. Read the papers if you doubt me.

    @Suheil – my wife has the highest emotional intelligence of any one I’ve ever met, but she’ll be the first to admit that she’s not that curious. The fact that I married her should tell you all you need to know about what I truly value most.

  13. 13

    Hmm, i still think Evan is basically trying to tell everyone to stop being so full of yourself and adjust your outlook for a mate accordingly.

    I agree Zaq, it is much tougher for older women, but as Evan and Lori Gottleib state, women in their 20’s and early 30’s have a huge amount of men chasing them before the dropoff begins..better to grab a guy who’s an 8 now than wait for a 9 or 10 that will never settle for you. Also, guys who date models are guys who can get models. That’s maybe 2% of the population, the rest of us are more down to earth with our requirements.

  14. 14

    PS everyone: The PERFECT  movie metaphor  for Evan’s point is “Crossing Delancy” with Amy Irving and Peter Riegert. One of my all time favorite romantic movies.

    Amy plays a cerebral bookseller/agent who repeatedly turns down Peter (her grandmother’s suggestion as she is a traditional Jewish matchmaker) because he’s not smart enough, sophisticated enough. He runs a pickle stand on Delancy Street while she works in Manhattan….I won’t ruin the movie, but she slowly comes ’round.

  15. 15

    Evan, looks like both Stacey and I misunderstood your post, because the Bill Clintons (and G.W. Bushes?) of the world is not what comes to mind when I see the words “really smart guys”, “brilliant guys”, “geniuses”, “cerebral” etc. What I just listed are, as Stacey correctly said, the Sheldons of the world. That’s the category I thought you meant. Looks like, in fact, you are referring to the successful, powerful etc men. I don’t specialize in those, so apologize for my comment. It was made in reference to the “really smart guys”, whom I do know a lot about.

    1. 15.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Bill Clinton is brilliant, Goldie. Rhodes Scholar. You can’t lump him in with Bush. His intelligence IS what makes him attractive – not his looks.

  16. 16

    Interesting article, but I’ve got to come from the other side.

    “Smarter than you” does not necessarily mean genius, since not every woman who is intelligent is at a level far above average.

    Further, not every smart guy shares the qualities   (rather, negative attributes) that you listed. In fact, you’ll find many highly intelligent men who are humble, quirky, and just plain comfortable in their own skin. Not every intelligent guy is insecure.

    Lastly, I’m not sure just how many women want a man they are way smarter than. The likely result is a deep insecurity in the male, which leads to a lack of leadership on his part and an unfulfilling relationship.

  17. 17

    I’m not looking for a man who’s smarter, but one who is of similar intelligence. I can’t think of any single friend who is looking for someone who is “smarter” than she is. A guy in the same ballpark will do. As far as “narcissistic, difficult, self-obsessed” goes, I’ve met some men who fit that  bill and they weren’t necessarily all that bright. Frankly, when I’ve tried to date men who are less intelligent, it doesn’t work because they tend to feel inadequate. The best relationship I’ve had was with a guy who was brilliant and fascinating to talk to. He was also kind and responsible. If I was lucky enough to find a man like that again, I’d want to marry him in a heartbeat.

  18. 18

    I LOVE this post…

    I have been very happy with loving, sweet and relationship oriented men. And miserable with highly intelligent, moody etc. men…. What women don’t understand is the competitiveness that  exists  between two people that have many of the qualities Evan listed.

    Believe me…you will NOT feel loved if the man in your life is always trying to “one up” you.   Rather…you need someone who is secure, smart and confident in what he does that will LOVE and SUPPORT you in all your brilliance….Amazing wise advice Evan…much love….  

  19. 19

    Yet another great post. Even if i agree with you on what you said about the PROs and CONs about being in a relationship with a smart man, i have the feeling that the ‘smartness’ concept you use is rather fuzzy (and probably that’s why many people who commented here see a different side of the issue)
    Intelligence is so complex, so fluid, that you simply cant put it in a box and expect it to fit only into that one particular box. Some people are book smart, others are street smart. Others are simply wise. Some are good with math/logic, but lack social skills. Some are good with languages, but can’t read maps. And the list goes on.
    You can’t claim Einstein was smarter than Mozart or Jane Austen. You can’t compare Newton, Dickens, Bach, Kant, Picasso, Spielberg, Bill Gates etc to eachother.  
    Even psychologists agree with the fact that IQ tests are not that reliable, because there are so many other traits that are not taken into account.
    As long as you are compatible and can have interesting conversations, is the MENSA score really that important?

    1. 19.1

      You are exactly the kind of person I find attractive. Someone who understands that there are countless flavors of giftedness, and that even the most incandescently brilliant people are as dull as a household light bulb in most areas.  
      They possess a special radiance, but it only pierces through the atmosphere when it’s focused entirely through the narrow lense of their talents, which are limited in scope and only allow them to scan a limited portion of the sky.
      No matter how luminous a person is, they can never light up the whole sky.
      People who realize this have a profoundly attractive perspective. They understand that we are a species that possesses innumerable facets. Everyone is a searchlight in a special few, a light bulb in most, and a dim candle in some.  

      People who realize this are gifted with a grounding humility that prevents them from letting their heads fill up with the hot air of egotism, which raises us above others in a vessel of condescension.

      Go you, and everyone like you. If everyone was like this, the world would be a far sexier place.

  20. 20

    @ Ruby:
    “Frankly, when I’ve tried to date men who are less intelligent, it doesn’t work because they tend to feel inadequate.”
    Agree, I’ve tried it a few times too. Poor guys act so intimidated and out of their depth, I have no choice but to end their misery by telling them this isn’t going to work. Then a few weeks down the road, they’re perfectly happy with someone who’s in their league intellectually. They’re nice guys and deserve to be happy, you know?
    @ Evan #16, point taken. Can I rephrase and say that, if life is high school (come on, we all know it is), that Stacey and I had assumed that you were talking about women wanting to date geeks, when in fact your post was about women wanting to date preppy kids?

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