Sunday, January 13, 2013

What Men Think About Your Intelligence

A reader recently commented on the post Men Don't Care About Your Accomplishments.
I am a highly intelligent woman, though not a genius by any means. However, men my age tell me that intelligence is not a turn-on for them. They say that as long as a woman is "reasonably intelligent" that is what they need... This makes me think that I might be possibly too cerebral to attract men... I laugh but I'm not bubbly and I never dumb myself down for men.
Someone rightly pointed out that part of what put men off was my desire to correct things they said that were inaccurate or participate in verbal sparring (I appreciate a good debate). I've reigned that in with good results but I want a man who actually likes my intelligence.
Is this a matter of men liking different things? Does my intelligence make no difference at all? Or is it a matter of combining my intelligence with enough social leverage to not make it my main feature?
This isn't the first time this question has shown up in the comments of this blog - or in my e-mail. I have also discussed the topic at length with my sisters, their friends, and a couple of the girls I've dated. And judging from their absolute disbelief at what I've told them, there is some news to be shared here...

No woman wants to date a weak man. In fact, a man's attractiveness to women hinges on her perception of his personal strength. A man could manifest his strength in many ways: he could be financially powerful (rich), physically powerful (tall or strong), socially powerful (confident), intellectually powerful (smart or witty), morally powerful (good), politically powerful (highly positioned), etc.; but unless you respect and admire him for his strength, however it is manifested, you will not be attracted to him. Even the best-looking man in the world will be rejected by women once they realize he is weak.

Men know that their role in a relationship is to be the more powerful one, and to use their power to protect and provide for their woman and children. If you subscribe to evolutionary biology's take on history, you will recognize this as a result of the fact that women have long been the physically weaker sex, and traditionally they have needed a male to protect and provide for them and their offspring. But reasons aside, the fact remains that men want to be the stronger mate in relationships. It gives us a feeling of importance to take care of our woman and children - it gives us purpose.

Women also prefer this state of affairs, as is evidenced by the fact that women routinely choose more powerful men as their partners. Women want a man who can hold his own among other men, who is impressive to them, and whom they admire for his strength.

Now, one of the most important signs of a man's power is his intelligence. It is the most pervasive expression of power because it touches every aspect of a man's life and facilitates all other expressions of power. For example, an heir to a large inheritance has financial power, but without the savvy to invest it wisely, that power will be squandered. A man might be physically strong, but unless he knows how to fight technically, he will be beaten soundly by much smaller, weaker opponents (the martial arts demonstrate this). Or a man might have all the social confidence in the world, but unless he is smart and discerning enough to know how and when to wield it, he will alienate those around him.

Intellectual strength is also instrumental in developing other strengths or powers. A man who is smart enough to understand the biological mechanisms behind dieting is going to be a much more effective in his workouts than the stereotypical dumb jock. He will see faster and better results, and will end up being physically stronger (all else being equal). Or a man who is sharp enough to observe and understand social dynamics will eventually gain more leverage over social situations than will a stupid but naturally confident person; his presence will become more commanding. Or again - more simply - smart men are more successful at their jobs and make more money than unintelligent ones.

One of the most common comments on the post Men Don't Care About Your Accomplishments, is the suggestion that men are are "threatened" or "intimidated" by smart, accomplished and intelligent women. When a woman is smarter than a man in a relationship, it isn't necessarily "intimidating" or "threatening," but it does rob him of a large portion of the power he feels that he needs in order to fulfill his role in the relationship - that is, in order to protect and provide for his woman and children. Note that it isn't his absolute power that is important here, but his power relative to hers. He needs to feel both powerful himself and needed by her in the relationship, the two of which beliefs are intimately linked.

If this doesn't make sense, consider the same point by analogy: a man needs to feel admired and respected in a relationship in the same way that a woman needs to feel adored and desired. A woman's traditional role is to be the mother of the couple's children, and in order to fulfill that role she needs to be beautiful and radiant enough to attract her man - to make him want her sexually. A man who feels powerless in a relationship is like a woman who feels undesired in a relationship.

Alternatively, imagine how it would feel to date a man who was far more physically attractive than you. I don't mean more attractive "for a man;" I mean more attractive absolutely. Imagine he is tall, incredibly handsome, has the perfect physique and dresses impeccably. You, on the other hand, are slightly out of shape, have aged faster, aren't the best looking woman in the world, don't really do the whole "make up thing" well, and can never seem to pull of "stylish." Now imagine walking into a party on this man's arm. Heads turn from every direction as you walk in, but to take in his beauty - not yours. You are barely noticed. This is how a man of inferior intelligence (read: weakness) can feel in the presence of a woman who is much smarter than him. And this probably goes a long way towards illustrating how the feeling isn't "threatening" or "intimidating" so much as demoralizing - which is worse.

All of this is background to making the point that men want to be smarter than their woman, and they want this not because they are proud or misogynist, but in order to feel a sense of purpose. They aren't afraid of or threatened by smarter women, but their woman's intelligence can prevent them from having the advantage of power that makes them feel masculine and garners their woman's admiration.

Most women will admit that they don't actually want to be smarter than their man. While it might initially be an affront to hear that men want to be smarter than the women they date, you actually have the corollary desire. You want to be smart, and you understandably want to be given credit for your intelligence; but you know that intellectual ability plays heavily into a man's strength, and you want your man to be powerful - not only so that he can protect and provide for you, but also because you cannot be attracted to a man you don't admire and respect.

There are two caveats to this generalization:
  1. Men will feel the need to be more intelligent than their woman in proportion to how masculine they are, because this dictates how much need they feel the need to fill a traditionally masculine role in relationships. It is also true that women will feel the need for their man to be more powerful than themselves in proportion to how feminine they are.
  2. As mentioned above, there are different types of power. While intelligence is undeniably important, what ultimately matters is that the man and woman both value the same manifestation(s) of power and that the man has the advantage in that regard - whether or not this includes intelligence specifically. So, for example, maybe he and she both care most about physical power. Even though she is smarter, she will still respect and admire him for his height and physical strength; and he will be proud to fill the role as the one who is physically stronger in the relationship. In most instances, couples will put various levels of value on some combination of the different manifestations of power rather than all of it on one of them. But in the majority of relationships, intellect will play a large role.
One final and important point: intelligence is still undoubtedly a positive trait in women, so long as it does not undermine the man's strength by exceeding his. One of my favorite qualities of my most recent ex-girlfriend was her willingness and ability to talk for hours about our observations, ideas, and experiences related to a vast variety of subjects. She was always curious and often pensive. She was probably the smartest girl I have ever dated, and it might not be a coincidence that she was my most serious girlfriend.

So to conclude: a woman's intelligence is undoubtedly an attractive quality, but it has the negative side-effect of undermining a man's ability to feel powerful, and a woman's ability to admire him. The moral? Seek out men that are smarter than you, or at least, men that you still admire greatly in spite of their lesser intelligence. Keep at an arm's length any man whose overall abilities you start to question. Be cognizant of his feelings of strength in the relationship, always making sure that he feels - or rather, knows - that he is more powerful than you. And finally, smarter-than-average women: rest assured that your intelligence is not a negative in the dating world. While it is true that unintelligent men might be turned off by their own relative inability, your intelligence will be highly valued by the men you find most attractive - that is, the smartest ones.


Related Posts
1. Men Care About How You Talk
2. Men Don't Care About Your Accomplishments
3. The Analogy Between Confidence and Beauty

208 comments:

  1. Why does one person have to be "smarter" than the other..or what kind intelligence do you specifically? There are many forms of intelligence and while I might be more intelligent than some men in certain areas, there are other areas that I am lacking. Perhaps the best thing is to date someone who meets your deficiencies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "..or what kind intelligence do you speak of specifically?"***

      Delete
    2. I had a long blurb in there defining what I meant by intelligence but the post was too long so I cut it out. Essentially I mean the combination of (a) "brain power" and (b) knowledge of facts. By brain power I mean the ability to think - creatively and rationally - in both an effective and efficient way.

      There is no question that there are different types of intelligence, I agree. And if you want to break down the phenomenon to that level of detail, you can; you just need to use the same principle: whatever type of knowledge he and she both value most is the type in which he should have the advantage.

      Delete
    3. The last sentence is a very good point. I don't value knowledge though nearly as much as I do a certain inherent level of sharpness, and the ability to think out of the box, and of that existing knowledge. So men who have the ability to think in new, and unconventional ways are the ones who make me weak in the knees. But unfortunately, this is a very rare ability. Most people don't possess it.

      Delete
    4. Andrew, the words you are looking for are fluid and crystallized intelligence. Unfortunately, I would probably be turned on by a women actually defeating me intellectually, most people smile and say different versions of "I don't care", a look a pride for the argument of negligence on their own part.

      Delete
    5. Wow lol that last sentence anonymous was real good. I agree though I like to be more intelligent than the woman I am with. Not in a controlling motive (though technically it is controlling by having the intelligence advantage) but that it just works better that way for me. I know I can always out-think a problem in the relationship.

      Delete
  2. Thank you so much for this piece Andrew, it's so insightful and eye opening. Thank you heaps. How can I ever repay you for your advice?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful post, Andrew.

    I have made the same observations, so I believe what you say.
    Very useful information.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am sure there are several types of intelligence and maybe a man won't find it 'demoralizing' if you're intelligent in different aspects?
    For example, I am more well spoken than the guy I'm dating, but he is more socially skilled. I have more knowledge on arts and culture whereas he is a great businessman. We tend to gain knowledge in areas we find important so as long as he's a great financier, great with people and with high status, wouldn't that 'secure' him in a power position even if I can give a more 'intellectual' impression to people than him?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See my reply to the first comment in the thread.

      Delete
    2. Im freaked out--I'm very "girlie" in term of loving fashion, dressing attractively and being somewhat passive (im not 'macho' or super loud or aggressive or a sports star) BUT I'm not very emotional, I DON'T like children or cry over animals, I'm pretty independent, pretty brave, pretty resourceful........I also don't see myself as a genius or brag about my accomplishments (If anything I wish I was more accomplished) but I love to read about everything and watch documentaries constantly....being a super-chatty person, I tend to go on and on about ideas and aspirations and interesting facts. I don't cry over silly things and I'm just not a "mushy" tender person....I'm more eccentric and funny even though I LOOK like a typical vulnerable girl.
      Am I fucked?

      Delete
    3. Are you fucked? Don't be ridiculous. You sound like a cool person.

      Delete
  5. Wow - this is so naive! A man is never more intelligent in a relationship, except that a smart woman would never show it. If a woman does show it, she is not that smart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, your statement is very naive. It is ridiculous to suggest that all men are intellectually inferior to all women.

      Delete
    2. OP - Though I'd quibble with "never," good point.

      Delete
  6. This is a great follow up post.

    Saying men don't care for intelligent women is like saying women don't care for beautiful men. You're right, it's all relative because these traits have downsides.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Does this mean that overall there will be fewer men for the smartest girls and they will most likely be left single? So it's even more important for them to work on their looks, etc? Because obviously the smartest men would have a much wider pool to choose from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this phenomenon will become very noticeable in future years as the education gap between men and women becomes more pronounced.

      I'd say the smartest girls need to prioritize the characteristics they want in a man. I.e. if intelligence is very important then they need to forget about looking for a guy who is also hot, and tall, and funny etc. These guys can have anyone so will inevitably pick the hottest they can.

      It's a question of priorities - how important is intelligence to you?

      Delete
    2. Yes, but the same is true of women who care most about financial strength or status; they are effectively cutting out the lower rungs of men who don't have enough money or positions of power. And, perhaps more telling: the same is also true for men who are incredibly good looking - they have to select from a smaller pool of less attractive women in order to not be hotter than her.

      I don't pity either group.

      Delete
    3. Being a very attractive woman, I know that I can get a very successful man. I'm constantly surrounded by extremely successful men as well. So it's hard for me to settle for someone who isn't as successful, even though I fell madly in love with one recently, who I had relegated would just be a fling...it's hard to give someone a chance who isn't that successful, when you know you can get some of the most successful men out there. But then again, successful men can come with a price to pay as well. Catch 22 :(

      Delete
    4. The highest ranking men generally have more time to play the field. So as a hot girl, you have to play your cards right because with every passing year, your options will decrease, while his will increase. Also, the more alpha the male, the more likely he is too cheat, and then you will end up single again at some point in the future, with few prospects for landing another alpha. Unless you are very young and a "10", it's almost pointless to set your sights so high. A compromise of sorts is a good long term strategy. I always thought that a moderately successful smart guy, still on the younger side and attractive is better than the smartest, most accomplished and ambitious man.

      Delete
    5. I would like to set the record straight on demand for aging men and women.

      Both men and women encounter a reduction in attractiveness. However I think that you will be pleasantly surprised. People get divorced or widowed every day. If a man is 50, a 25 year old may look attractive (see: Elan Musk) but there is something to be said for a female outlier who takes care of herself and is not easily distracted by 30 year old MBA's.

      This isn't about your mother. This is the CEO's wife. I turned the clock off a very long time ago, and many of my dates pull in 6-7 figures.

      Delete
  8. This is a long overdue post and very spot on. I love the examples about beauty, I hope that drives it home for some women who are too blind to see this.

    There is only one area that I thought you would add that I think it's worth stating: Men aren't turn off by intelligence itself, but some women wear their degrees and corporate climbing on their sleeves and believe that to be "intelligence". This is what turns men off. It doesn't intimidate men..not real strong men anyway...but it's a turn off because those women dumb down their attractive traits such as giving, loving, flexibility, sweetness and think that having an MBA should make her a good catch.

    Then they write it off as men being "intimidated with their intelligence" and that is simply is just untrue and complete denial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think a lot of women don't realize that what they see as 'intelligence' is actually interpreted by men as 'masculinity'.

      Delete
    2. "There is only one area that I thought you would add that I think it's worth stating: Men aren't turn off by intelligence itself, but some women wear their degrees and corporate climbing on their sleeves and believe that to be "intelligence". This is what turns men off."

      Agreed. I think when men say they're "turned off by intelligence", they're thinking of the ballbusting type of woman who feel the need to one-up the man and try to make him feel inferior. This is actually not a sign of intelligence, but insecurity. If a woman is smart and educated, but also has a sweet and agreeable personality, in my experience most men will find her intelligence charming rather than off-putting because she isn't using it to compete with them.

      Delete
    3. When you are highly intelligent, it's hard not to point out when someone is wrong. If their logic is faulty, you can't help but pick up on it because your mind is sharp, quick, and always analyzing. To mute that part of one self is essentially having to dumb yourself down, to look the other way. I have to dumb myself down anytime I'm "acting" agreeable. When you're very cerebral, and your mind slices through information in an advanced way, there is definitely something aggressive about that, and off putting to men who cannot handle that their idea of themselves, their masculinity is challenged because they feel inferior in your presence. Please, do not make it into something it isn't. This is real, and an unfortunate thing to have to deal with in the world as a smart woman.

      Delete
    4. "When you are highly intelligent, it's hard not to point out when someone is wrong. If their logic is faulty, you can't help but pick up on it because your mind is sharp, quick, and always analyzing."

      No. Speaking as a cerebrally-oriented woman with multiple advanced degrees, publicly picking people's flaws apart is just RUDE. It's not a sign of intelligence; it's a sign of insecurity and a lack of class and humility. The most brilliant people I've met - world-renowned scholars - have invariably impressed me with their graciousness and willingness to treat others as equals in spite of their flaws. If you believe behaving like a decent human being is tantamount to "dumbing yourself down", it's not your superior intelligence that's driving men away. It's the fact that you're sort of a pompous asshole.

      Delete
    5. Okay, as I said I will point out when someone is exhibiting faulty logic, and things of that sort. I never said that I publicly pick people's flaws apart, that's getting personal, and yes, to simplify, it is "rude". I said I will point out when someone is wrong about something, such as in this case, with not picking up on the distinction that I was stating. I am very sweet, and get along with most men, but let's not delude ourselves here. If I were to have conversations with people, and they say something that is incorrect, it would be helpful for me and them to be honest about such an occurrence. To ignore it, IS dumbing myself down. There is a clear distinction between putting others down, and having to hide your accelerated level of awareness, observational capabilities, and the sharpness of your mind, as not to hurt others' feelings. And degrees do not equal high intelligence. A good deal of people can get advanced degrees. It's not something of the same caliber as an extremely high IQ. Also, I do not "pick apart people's flaws". I would never do that. In fact, I do the opposite extreme, I dumb myself down. But let's not make it what it isn't, because it's exactly that.

      Delete
    6. I work in a profession where I have to interact with people of varying levels of intelligence, sophistication, and education, on a daily basis. I have to always keep in mind what the purpose of that conversation is and respond accordingly. My focus is never on my intelligence or capabilities. I know what I have and see no need to show it all the time. If I have to point out every time someone is wrong about something, I will be out of breath by noon.

      Delete
    7. So do I. But we're not talking about work environments here, we're talking about romantic interactions between men and women. I guess I didn't explain myself clearly. I do not actually point out every time someone is wrong about something but I certainly do notice when they are.

      Here's the thing, I notice that when I know a man is smarter than me, I am able to be myself, and show my real level of intelligence. In other words, I can cut the act out, and stop dumbing myself down. Running in to these kinds of men is really rare, to be honest, but when I do it is very refreshing, and lovely. But for the most part, most of the people I meet are not this. So here is the significant realization. The smarter a man is, the less he feels threatened by me. Because unfortunately for smart women, intelligence denotes competence, which is fairly usually regarded as a masculine trait. If a man picks up that I'm smarter than him, whether I've displayed this to him or not, it's emasculating. That's why intelligence, in and of itself, regardless of an attitude or not, is unfortunately, a turn off. So what I'm saying is, even without an attitude, a woman's intelligence is a turn off to a man who is less intelligent than her.

      Delete
    8. "But we're not talking about work environments here, we're talking about romantic interactions between men and women."

      Romance is about emotional connection not intellectual. So if you're looking to display your intelligence in a romantic setting, you may be "book smart" but "socially dumb". The point of romantic interactions with men is to discover their values as human beings; are they kind, thoughtful, do they respect women, do they love animals, etc. If you're so sure that men are turned off by your intelligence, then you're just in denial that something else is the problem. Perhaps you're not very attractive? Maybe you're needy/clingy? Maybe you have bad bo, or maybe you're too self-absorbed, whatever. Examples, not trying to insult you.

      If you are truly secure, you don't need to put your intelligence on display. It will shine through when you converse, without your having to find and communicate fault with the other person. I would suggest instead of spending time showing off your intelligence on a date, try instead to look for qualities you admire in your date. Not only is that more genuine, it's a better strategy in learning whether your date is a "good" and "worthy" man with whom to have a relationship, or at least a better way to secure another date if you can't figure out by the first date. And what is a relationship, but an unending series of dates with the same individual?

      Delete
    9. I completely understand where Anonymous is coming from because I went through a similar situation with my now ex-boyfriend. A highly intelligent woman can also be the sweetest woman in the world but still be seen as a threat to her boyfriends masculinity for the very reason you described Karmic Equation. Their intelligence comes through naturally. Because of my tastes, knowledge of a variety of subjects and my career goals they ultimately proved to be too much for our relationship. I went out of my way to show how much I cared and loved him, even went so far as to "dumb" myself down as soul crushing as that felt, but it didn't work. Sometimes even just being yourself can prove to be too much for the man your with if he doesn't feel he can match or overpower you.

      Delete
    10. This I sexist bull. The lie that women are weaker than men is exactly that, regardless of how many times our outdated history books, which I might add, ARE WRITTEN BY MEN. In some regards men on average may be stronger than women on average, but in some regards women are stronger. Women are the ones who biologically carry on life, and the inner strength they utilize to not only bring forth life but protect that life with their own, even if it means their own death, is a formidable force.

      I wouldn't give your "advice" a second thought even if I was still single. However, as hard as this may be for someone like you to be capable of believing, I am in a very happy relationship with a guy who specifically admires me for all the traits you stereotypically claim are male-inner strength, ambition, wit and decisiveness, talent, strong opinions and strong will. And I like him because he is gentle and kind, and most importantly doesn't make me feel guilty when I am being myself-which in this male dominated society is sadly rare. I feel sorry for allthe women out there who are forced to put up with men who need to hog the spotlight or repress a woman's natural strength and character. And don't give me all that hog wash about how women prefer men who dominate (yes, that is the accurate term; don't give me all that fluff and flotsam about "protection" and "leadership" what you really mean is domination). There's a reason why it used to be common for woman to poison her husband's food.

      Delete
  9. Hi Andrew. I'm curious about something... it's not exactly the same topic but it's along the line of dating men that I perceive to be dominant. You mentioned it briefly here:

    "What ultimately matters is that the man and woman both value the same manifestation(s) of power and that the man has the advantage in that regard - whether or not this includes intelligence specifically. So, for example, maybe he and she both care most about physical power. Even though she is smarter, she will still respect and admire him for his height and physical strength."


    I haven't ever given thought to my intelligence or anyone else's because, as far as I know, very stupid people are rare and most people have their own personal strengths so it's unusual that intelligence is the reason some women are unsuccessful in the dating market. I doubt I could ever intimidate anyone. More likely, it is due to the girl being a braggart, poor social skills, personal appearance, etc. However, I spend a LOT of time thinking about physical strength because it's important to me and it's not exactly something I can overlook because I would see it every time I looked at him. With different levels of intelligence, you can compromise very easily as long as you treat him kindly and with respect BUT you can't make a guy feel powerful when he's objectively weak, can you? Could that kind of dynamic ever work?



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A man will be stronger than a woman ninety percent of the time.

      It's relative, not absolute, remember.

      Delete
    2. Oh, sorry. Maybe I didn't explain myself properly. Most men are stronger than me. I am aware of that (and I think it's hot!) but I meant that I compare men against each other so my thought pattern is slightly different but still very typical for a young woman. It would be absurd for me to compare myself to adult men when I'm not even an equal match for my teenage brother!




      Delete
    3. It sounds like you value physical strength very highly and don't value intelligence very much.

      If you're only going to be attracted to strong men, date strong men.

      If you're looking to open up the pool a bit, redefine your expectation. If the guy is significantly stronger than you, then maybe his strength is enough to make him attractive.

      But, honestly, it sounds like your talking about a hot body, rather than actual strength.

      If so, select for that.

      As far as making a guy feel powerful, that is a matter of confidence and self-concept, not physical strength. His problem, not yours.

      Delete
    4. "With different levels of intelligence, you can compromise very easily as long as you treat him kindly and with respect BUT you can't make a guy feel powerful when he's objectively weak, can you? Could that kind of dynamic ever work?"

      To start, I disagree that a woman can compromise when it comes to intelligence - if that is what she really values most. While she treats him kindly and with respect, she will know in the back of her mind that she could do the family's taxes faster or more effectively. Or she might defer to his decision about which school is best for their children, but in the back of her mind she will know that he didn't recognize the head master's subtle but strong disdain for the liberal arts, or the undertone of apathy among the teachers. She will always KNOW she is stronger, just like you can't deny when a man is objectively weak.

      So I guess my point is that no, you can't overlook these things.

      I agree with Vicomte: filter out the weak men from your dating life. If you can't attract strong men, improve yourself until you can - or accept some compromise with reality.

      Delete
    5. I do value intelligence but I don't think it is something to worry about because then we are talking about outliers. The most intelligent men are often much older or antisocial if they are young and the unintelligent are too unusual to address. The middle ground between genius and barely bipedal can accommodate my hypergamy very well.



      As for attractive bodies, it is an important factor now and, when I started out, the exaggerated hyper-masculinity of it was THE main factor then but you soon learn to disdain the curls only collective. Strength, flexibility, endurance, power, it's all just competence by another name.


      > As far as making a guy feel powerful, that is a matter of confidence and self-concept, not physical strength. His problem, not yours. <


      Point taken! Thank you for the insight. I have a lot to think about between what you and Andrew have said.







      Delete
  10. I have a very high IQ, do you suggest playing it down?

    AnonymousLilly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. That would be inauthentic.

      But don't show it off either. Instead, play up the strong points of your personality. By analogy, this is like a man who could spend a few hours each day polishing himself until he looks like a male supermodel. Even though he could, would you want him to show that off? No, instead you would want him to let his intelligence or physical strength show, not his beauty or "polish."

      Be who you are.

      Delete
    2. IQ doesn't matter. It has nothing to do with intelligence.
      There are many forms of intelligence, and nobody is extremely intelligent in absolutely every way.

      Delete
    3. Andrew, the other night I went out with a guy friend. After lots of fun socializing at some parties, he told me at the end of the night that I have a very "big" personality, and that I'm smarter than most of the club girls he meets. It was hard to figure out if this was meant positively, or not. I can be very outgoing, and personable. Sometimes I wonder if my friendliness, and confidence is actually a turn off? I also am not afraid to show my intelligence, or street smarts. Do you think this is a turn off as well? It's hard for me to reign this in, and be more subdued, or reserved, but I wonder if it would make me appear more feminine if I did so, and if any of this is making me come off as masculine in a bad way?

      Delete
    4. I don't think so, no. The same theory as described in the post applies: as long as he has the advantage of power and can still feel like you NEED him, your confidence and attraction are good things.

      Your friendliness is always a good thing.

      Delete
  11. Thanks for this post Andrew. Makes a lot of sense the way it is written.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This reminds me of a conversation I once had with a male friend of mine. We were commenting that when you see a couple where the girl is much more attractive it make people think that the guy must be very smart or powerful or have some great quality but when people see a couple with where the guy is much more attractive than the girl it makes you wonder if there is something wrong with him. Like he doesn't know he's attractive or something.

    Kind of in the same ballpark of this theme of powerful or beautiful by association, it might actually make a guy seem smarter than he really is if he foes out with a very smart woman. People will assume that if he is intellectually stimulating enough to keep her around, he must be pretty smart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's an interesting point. I agree that whenever I see a man who is with a woman less attractive than himself I tend to think that he must be unintelligent and therefore socially awkward. It is certainly true that a man becomes more attractive in the eyes of women when he is with a very attractive woman. This discussion has highlighted for me just how much of an impact your partner can have on your life.

      My husband's friend married a woman right out of University. He is by far the better looking of the two. The strange thing is that he is also more socially confident and ambitious than her. Without insulting her too much, I believe that this relationship had a lot to do with where they met. The school that they attended had more men than women and the females that they did have were below-average.

      This couple seems to be happy. She is loving and compassionate and he is a great choice for a husband. The reason I'm telling you all of this is to explain that this guy will forever be scrutinized for his choice in a wife. Of course, there is far more to life than a sexy-looking wife. However, his power will always be underestimated by those who meet the couple because he married a frumpy woman. The person you settle on will most certainly reflect on you from society's view of things.

      Delete
    2. "the person you settle on will most certainly reflect on you from society's view of things."

      Who cares what society thinks of who you 'settle on'? Surely you would be happy for your husband's friend and stop judging the poor woman!

      Why do people still care about what others think? Aargh!

      Delete
    3. makes me think of the coined term "reacher" and "settler" in a relationship, but so long as both are happy.

      Delete
    4. Because what others think matters. Maybe not always, but it is the height of naive idealism to claim that one should live their life without regard for others' opinions. Granted, it is probably a bad move to choose a wife based solely on how she will reflect on you; but it is also short-sighted to ignore others' opinions completely.

      Delete
    5. Yeah unfortunately people do care what others think but I for one am fighting very hard to stop giving a shit because I think its easy to waste your life doing what you think others will approve or be impressed with. It is very sad when people dump someone they truly liked/loved because of what others would think.

      Delete
    6. I would disagree. When I see a very attractive man with a less-attractive woman, I assume that the woman has a killer personality and the man has more depth to him (since he is overlooking beauty, which is rarer (IMO) in males).

      Delete
    7. @ last anon, reminds me of a curb your enthusiasm episode where Larry David judged men by the kind of wife they married. It was a hilarious episode but the short of it was that he viewed these attractive successful men who married lesser attractive women as trustworthy and less shallow and someone capable of doing business dealings with. lol

      Delete
    8. lol that's awesome.

      Delete
  13. Birds of a feather flock together.

    It is best to be equally yoked to your partner.

    Attracting and dating people is one thing, a life partner is totally different.

    The qualities people look for when younger change.

    Eventually, you might want more than just your genitals stimulated and that takes a man with intelligence.

    Don't dumb yourself down and don't settle...ever

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are a woman? Are you 30+? Are you single? If so, we dont need your advice. We are here for Andrew's advice.

      Delete
    2. Wow! This comment was written by a man for sure.

      Delete
  14. Wrong.

    Being smart or being smarter then your GF isn't the problem.

    1) A girl being smart is a positive. However, being smart can often correlate with being "educated", which in the modern phrase means being SWPL, feminist, and having other bad habits.

    2) A girl being smart is a positive, but any smarts that go into career/education are a negative. Doesthe fact that your GF worked in a cubicle farm damaging her soul make her a good partner? Do her student loans make her a good partner?

    3) A smart girl is better then a dumb girl. And certain kinds of learning (the kind they taught in finishing schools) are good.

    Working spouses, after taxes and expenses, generally contribute very little to the family. A smart girl could homeschool your children very well, which would be a very good use of her smarts. Much better then career.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When comparing two items, use "than" not "then." Use "then" when placing things in order.
      Examples:
      I read your post, then made a reply.
      I like chocolate more than vanilla.

      Delete
    2. all you said is that you'd rather marry an uneducated woman.

      Delete
  15. "Seek out men that are smarter than you, or at least, men that you still admire greatly in spite of their lesser intelligence."

    This is key here. I have a high IQ, and have pursued higher education throughout my life (I come from a family of intellectuals and high-powered professionals, so "stay at home and make babies" wasn't even an option growing up.) Realistically, I haven't met many men who could verbally best me, and those who could tended to be eggheads with other unattractive personality traits.

    So quite simply, it wasn't an effective strategy to seek out a "smarter" or more educated man since that was such a small pool to begin with. Instead, I sought out a man who was better than me in other ways that I could admire. My husband isn't much of a bookworm and has no interest in advanced degrees, but he is very masculine, has great business sense, and is good with money - all qualities I sorely lack. So I admire him for his ability to protect and provide for me. On his end, he's confident enough in his masculinity that he sees my innate nerdiness and verbal acuity as cute rather than threatening.

    My advice to truly intellectual women is not necessarily to seek out a smarter man. Just find a man you can look up to in some way - maybe he's physically strong or athletic, or has some other skill you can admire. That way he's still the "man" in your eyes, and you don't have to pretend to be dumb - which may work on dates, but isn't a good strategy in a long term relationship.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a great case study, thanks.

      Delete
    2. ...in other words, settle?

      Delete
    3. No, her point was that going for a man who isn't a genius ISN'T settling in some cases (like hers).

      She is pointing out that going for a guy who has the qualities you want is more important than going for a man with intelligence. Similarly, some men are perfectly fine dating a woman who isn't a ten because they are so attracted to her warmth of personality. It isn't settling, it is a matter of recognizing your priorities.

      Delete
    4. Thanks Andrew, I don't mean settle (I'd only give the "settle" spiel to women with unrealistic, diva-like expectations.) I just mean look for somebody who complements you by being strong in areas where you're weak. Every man possesses some admirable qualities, and seeking them out rather than looking for ways he doesn't "make the cut" makes it easier to find love, and just makes you a nicer person in general.

      My husband and I very much view ourselves as an unbreakable TEAM, and any positive quality either of us possesses (his business smarts, my book smarts) is a net asset to the team. The main problem arises when women view men through the lens of competition rather than cooperation. That's when your intelligence starts to become a "turn-off", because trying to one-up the people around you isn't actually a sign of intelligence - it's a sign of insecurity. Men sense that and back away, because aggression and insecurity are inherently unfeminine and unattractive qualities.

      Delete
    5. What a refreshing example of an "ideal" relationship. There are many facets to intelligence. The ability to be a lifelong student and form opinions based on experience and research is the hallmark of intelligence. I do have a base level of intelligence I expect in a woman I would want to be with. It centers more on their overall world view and how they arrive at their opinions/conclusions. They may be corporate MBA wizards, creative artists, superb caregivers, sophisticated child raisers, etc. The balanced blend is the "ideal".
      Since academic degrees and corporate rank are so easy to see (and display) that is what passes for "intelligence" in modern day society. So if a woman has spent the considerable energy and time to achieve in those areas I can see how they view men who aren't proficient in those areas as not as "intelligent". Intelligence comes in many forms, if you preclude all non CEO's from your potential dating/relationship Universe I would say you're in for a long and lonely haul!

      Delete
  16. What about this idea
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3Pwl8jTLK8

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Finally, some REAL science. I should just shut down this blog and post a link to that video.

      Delete
    2. You're being sarcastic right?

      Delete
    3. haha I guess it's not as obvious when it's written, but yeah - as I am sure the commenter was too.

      Delete
  17. I disagree with your presumptions about women, in this context. Many women want security but not dependency and adoration doesn't bring security -- it brings romance, a very volatile, if enjoyable (like lust) thing. If a woman feels weaker -- having no negotiable power, as a partner in a relationship -- she will become insecure. If a man refuses to be vulnerable (sharing power) he will not commit to their bond. From the way you put it, men and women are fundamentally incompatible creatures because their needs are violently in opposition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The way I put it, men and women are fundamentally COMPATIBLE creatures because their needs are violently (if somewhat idealistically) complimentary.

      Delete
    2. Andrew-I often disagree with your views, but I think you're right. I have two post-graduate degrees and the worst thing on earth I find when datins is a man who is unable to stimulate me intellectually. I need the challenge because I do want a man who is capable of doing a good job with me putting myself in his hands. And it's not just that...even with things I enjoy like sports. If a guy can impress me with his knowledge and insights into things, it's a HUGE turn on. It translates into great sex too :) Afterall, what good is a guy who is clueless about what the third law of thermodynamics is? :)

      On a serious note. I do need a man and I need to get laid. What I need is a boyfriend. I'm good looking and get hit on my men fairly regularly. They tend to be successful, attractive, outgoing, athletic, but just not always able to impress me with their intelligence. Am I expecting too much by hoping for someone smarter than me, or should I just dumb it down and end up being miserable?

      Delete
    3. Play UP your personality instead.

      Delete
    4. Methinks you contradict yourself, Andrew. You advise women to make a conscious effort to cultivate traits, looks and mannerisms that will entice a man to make himself vulnerable, by pursuing them as conquests. Then you say that proper development of these "skills" might lead to a man falling in love -- the ultimate in vulnerability. Yet, you claim that what all men want in a relationship -- more than anything, barring sex and affection -- is to feel powerful. But you shift the definition of "power" on a dime and in ways that makes it applicable to both a feminine or masculine experience.

      Well, which is it? Is vulnerability power or is the ability to make someone vulnerable, power? If they are both some kind of power, wouldn't well-suited partners be, in fact, power neutral to each other? Wanting to be together, not needing it (as a dynamic of dominant vs. dependent is based on need and dependency?)

      Delete
    5. I've never said that the practical advice I give is supposed to make men vulnerable. It is to make women attractive, not to make men vulnerable. And I have always advocated working with your look or personality such that it brings out your true look or self. When I've advocated "faking it til you make it" it has been to achieve the ultimate result of bringing out the best in a person, not in masking her true self.

      Maybe I don't understand your question...

      When someone is truly vulnerable, they become powerful, in the same way that someone who is willing to be physically hurt is more dangerous in a fight.

      Delete
  18. great personality works to attract rich, smart and handsome men ? how do you explain it Andrew ? I hope you will make a post about what attracts rich men if the women aren't rich but beautiful, smart and has great personality

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes please cover this.

      Delete
    2. I fucking love curb your enthusiasm - and Seinfeld.

      Delete
    3. They are my favourite American TV shows. The dating scenarios in them are wonderful, like how Jerry Seinfeld rejects women for the most ridiculous reasons. haha :D I like Californication too.

      Delete
    4. We have the same taste in TV - I loved Hank Moody's character. Talk about living vulnerably...

      Delete
  19. Times like this I yearn for the olden days when matches were arranged and not based on personal choices. Case in point - my grandfather was a very stupid and weak man who was matched to my grandmother who was a very sprightly and intelligent woman. Their marriage was unhappy but they stuck it out due to the conventions and laws governing divorce in those days. They ended up having two very intelligent kids and three kids of average intelligence. Left to their own devices, my grandfather would have married a woman more stupid than he was and ended up with even more stupid kids. There would be a growing disparity in the population in terms of intelligence, rather than an averaging quality.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but how sad for people like your grandmother who had to suffer with mismatched partners for the greater good.

      Delete
  20. This answers all my questions! Thank you for taking the time to write such a great post, Andrew!

    ReplyDelete
  21. An absolute great post Andrew. First time poster. As a young mid twenty something female lawyer who is about a 7-8 in looks, I was in a very long term relationship ( more than 4 years) with a man who was a 9 in physical looks but was relatively less intelligent and kind of the stereotypical dumb jock (although he was street smart). We both started dating in our early twenties and I was just starting law schoo; he was never interested in going to college. At first we were both crazy young in love and none of the intelligence stuff mattered even though after about two years in, it became glaring that we never had much or any "deep" conversations, we were still so much in love, so we continued our relationship...he even proposed at one point. By the time I graduated, the lack of conversations about ideas, beliefs etc began to take its toll on me and him as well. He confessed to me shortly before our break up that he felt inadequate regarding my intelligence and never felt so insecure about anything. We mutually ended the relationship knowing that long term, this will definitely be a problem. We are still friends, he was an amazing guy, cannot lie, but ultimately the absence of mutual intelligence in our relationship and its derivitive manifestions broke us up. Eveything Andrew posted was dead on regarding the later stage of our relationship.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome, and thanks for providing such a concrete example.

      Delete
  22. I know few people will feel sorry for me, but I just want to say that as an exceptionally beautiful and exceptionally smart woman, dating is so hard! I feel completely screwed. Men constantly pursue me, telling me I'm beautiful, but they're just as quickly repelled once they begin talking to me and realize I'm smarter than they are. (I don't even try to flaunt my intellect, they can just tell. Or they'll ask me where I went to college and I have to tell them Harvard, which is always a big giveaway).

    It's just as well, I suppose, since I'm not interested in men who don't challenge me intellectually, but even in cases where I might be willing to "settle," the men just seem to be intimidated by me. Even when dating men I consider smarter than myself, it seems like they are then intimidated by my beauty. Do you have any advice for women in this category? The obvious answer is to look for a man who is equally intelligent and handsome, but A) they're rare and B) when I find them they already have girlfriends or are complete player a-holes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't you hate that (the college thing)? I can't even imagine Harvard, I go to Cornell, and some of the reactions I get at bars are still ridiculous. Like, "Ohhhhh wowww you must be so smartttt" in a rude mocking tone or something similarly stupid. It's so frustrating...how am I supposed to respond to that? I'm just hoping it gets better as I get older.

      I'll be interested to see what Andrew says about your situation. I assume it would go back to the main suggestion, try to find someone who is perhaps handsome, of less intelligence, but makes up for the intelligence in another way, etc. But I can't help feeling you'd have to settle. Good thing I'm not that pretty, haha.

      Delete
    2. It might be a good idea to realize that your complaints are exactly the same as most other women, only different in degree.

      Most people everyone wants to date are rare and taken.

      Your advantage is not a handicap unless you make it one in your own mind.

      Delete
    3. I have a similar problem to you Anon 3:09. But I moved to Los Angeles, from New York, and being in the entertainment industry, you're not going to be constantly running into smarties. When I went back home some of my girlfriends had started playing a game, Lumosity, which helps raise your IQ. I explained to them that it was hard enough for me in the dating world with the level of intelligence I currently have, that I did not want to raise it. They thought that was silly. But statistically speaking, smarter women have a harder time getting married. Although I value intelligence, education, and intellectual pursuits, I value getting married, and having a family more. I watch girls who aren't as smart as I am with envy, as they can be happier with many more options. For me, someone who would fulfill my requirements, is hard to come by. Also, being beautiful raises your stock again, so the pool of men that you want narrows even more. It's hard to go for less than what you know you can get, even if it is rare. You know it's out there. I think most men who are intelligent, and good looking would prefer a dumber girl. They're easier to maneuver. The woman has to be willing to cater to him significantly, and smarter women would be harder to keep in check.

      Delete
    4. Anon 3:09,

      While I don't doubt that your brains are limiting your dating options (as I discussed in the post), something about your comment makes me wonder if this really explains what is going on - because your intelligence shouldn't turn men off as quickly as you described, or be as big of a deal. You maybe beautiful (in my experience women seem to be fairly well in touch with how attractive they are, though some do exaggerate slightly), but I wonder if you are attributing to your brains something that is actually caused by your behavior...

      I might be stepping out on a limb here, but I have a hunch that you usually test men when you date them. You know you are a high value woman so you immediately filter out the weak or stupid ones by displaying your confidence and intelligence openly. Try reeling that in a little bit - not because you should hide those things, but because you are probably turning off men who ARE strong enough or smart enough for you, and would gradually reveal that to you, but also have plenty of other options with women and don't like your "attitude."

      Think about it. E-mail me if this seems accurate and you want to discuss more.

      Delete
    5. Ivy League education doesn't necessarily mean the person is exceptionally smart. My ex has Mensa level IQ and hold degrees from an average university & graduate school. He was and still is the reserved, bookworm type (think electrical engineer). I am sure there are men out there who are highly intelligent and gorgeous, I just haven't met one yet. :)

      Delete
    6. (Anon 3:09 from above)
      Interesting, Andrew. The post you linked to is spot-on. You might be right: I think I do do this "testing thing" you're talking about! It's not really on purpose, but I meet and date so many eager men (most of whom are far below my league) that I almost have this unspoken attitude of "here I am, think you can measure up to this?"

      I exaggerated a bit: it's not that I actually scare off all men (in fact, tons of them pursue me relentlessly), but I just never feel a spark with virtually any of them. About once a year or so (when I'm single), I'll meet a really amazing/smart/attractive guy and spend a few passionate months or years together, until the relationship doesn't work out for timing/different backgrounds/whatever differences. I'm generally good at reeling in the select men that I find attractive (temporarily, at least), but I just worry that I'm fishing in so small of a pond (with high-value men who have limitless options) that I'm ultimately doomed.

      I'm early 30s but still look very young, so I figure I still have some time to settle if that's what I end up having to do. In the meantime, I'm holding out for Mr. Incredible for a little while longer. The more I read these magazine articles, though, and look at the older single women around me, it seems that today's "spinster" or "old maid" is a woman that is (or was in her youth) actually quite attractive, smart and ambitious. A triple threat to men, it seems.

      Delete
    7. The last guy who broke my heart was a genius whom I considered to be smarter than me, but I don't think he felt very secure in his cognitive superiority. He really wanted to play me in chess, but our relationship seemed to take an unrecoverable turn for the worse when I beat him in the first two minutes of our first (and only) chess game.

      Lesson learned, ladies: always let him win.

      Delete
    8. I know that sounds contradictory--that my beauty-and-brains simultaneously scare off and attract many men. I think what I mean is that I tend to only attract the seriously high-value and the seriously deluded (cream of the crop and bottom-of-the-barrel). More middle-of-the-road guys (with whom I might actually have good relationship potential) are instantly scared off.

      Delete
    9. Anon 3.09
      "I'm early 30s, so I figure I still have some time...I'm holding out for Mr. Incredible for a little while longer"

      Unfortunately Mr. Incredible won't think you are Ms. Incredible for much longer. He will be looking at women in their 20's because he can get them. Your biggest problem won't be your brains / beauty / ambition, rather your age. Fertility doesn't care if you look young (if Mr. Incredible wants children he will ignore you).

      I'd say act (settle) now.

      Delete
    10. "about once a year or so (when I'm single)"

      You should read this post: Don't Let a Man Waste Your Most Eligible Years

      If I were you I wouldn't settle, but I would maximize your chances by not getting into committed relationships with men until you get a really good impression that they could be the one.

      Delete
    11. By "the one," I don't mean "The One" - but one you could marry.

      Delete
    12. "Lesson learned, ladies: always let him win."

      Correction: Lesson learned: date smarter man and don't compete with him.

      Delete
    13. I know this sounds harsh, but if you were REALLY in the top tier of beauty and intellect you'd have rich, successful men vying with each other to fly you around the world. You sound like the typical Harvard chick who doesn't realize she actually turns men off with her over-inflated ego and dizzying self-absorption. All apologies if you're the one exception, but I've worked with WAY too many of them and heard this spiel WAY too many times.

      Delete
    14. Oh wow, I just now read your above post where you talked about being in your early 30s and still holding out for Mr. Incredible. Yup, DEFINITELY the typical Harvard chick. I graduated from Harvard, could not STAND the prevailing attitude of bratty elitism there, and married the man of my dreams who (shockeroo!) didn't even go to an Ivy League school! Honey, it's not your beauty or your intellect that's scaring men off. It's your attitude.

      Delete
    15. I should clarify what I meant by "early 30s." I just turned 30 last month. So yes, I understand that the fertility window is rapidly closing, but I still feel that I have a couple good years left to play around with, particularly since I honestly look better now at 30 than I did at 25.

      But still, you guys are right: in 2-3 years (when I'm 32-33) then yes, I'll definitely have to make the choice between settling or being a spinster.

      Or, there's always the option to freeze my eggs and effectively hit the snooze button on my biological clock.

      Delete
    16. Rule of thumb: Men, at least high value men, are not "intimidated" by excessive beauty or intelligence. Quite the opposite; men are hunters by nature. If they see something of objectively great worth, they WILL chase it and try to possess it. The only thing that will put them off the chase is either outright rejection, or evidence that the "prize" isn't going to be worth the trouble - and that's not intimidation, just a simple cost-benefit analysis.

      So if you're claiming you're TOO beautiful or intelligent to attract and extract commitment from a high-value man, I politely call bullshit. Unless you're solely looking for men in an anxiety disorder clinic, that's extremely unlikely. There are two FAR more likely options:

      1) You're not as hot as you think you are (i.e. you're reaching out of your league)
      2) You're projecting an unattractive quality that you're not aware of (i.e. bitchiness, high maintenance, selfishness, overbearing ego, lack of femininity or a combination of these) that makes men pursue you at first, but then realize it's too much hassle and eject.

      For the record my money is on #2, since denial is far more attractive than truth for most people. So you might want to take a long hard look in the mirror, and decide what it is besides your excessive awesomeness that might be driving men away from you.

      Or, like you said, get to freezing those eggs.

      Delete
    17. Oh and one more point: let me present a close friend of mine as a cautionary tale. I use her because we're both similarly attractive (in fact, she might be slightly prettier than me), same intelligence level, similar ages, and both have advanced degrees and successful careers in our respective fields. Yet I am happily married with two beautiful kids, and she's now over 30, unhappily single, with no prospects on the horizon.

      What's the difference between us? Basically, I got lucky. I had a "red pill" mother who taught me how to be sweet, gentle and feminine around men. Her main complaint is the same as yours - that men are intimidated by her intelligence and looks - but when we go out together, it's painful to watch what's actually going on. When she meets men she immediately starts bragging about her credentials and accomplishments, and generally prides herself on being sarcastic, bossy, verbally aggressive and even downright rude with men. Somewhere she's gotten the idea that being sassy and independent is more attractive than being soft and kind-hearted. I watch man after man, interested at first, slowly recoil. And she has literally no awareness of how she comes across and won't take even the gentlest advice in that direction. I'm not sharing this to be catty; I genuinely care for her and want her to be happy, but it's frustrating to watch her sabotage her own chances at happiness.

      This might not be exactly your situation. But 99% of the time when women I know complain about men being "intimidated" by them, there's something unattractive and unfeminine they're projecting that they're not aware of. That's why if you're serious about not dying alone, some extremely harsh yet necessary self-assessment is in order.

      Delete
    18. Spiral, make sure you share this post and thread with your friend. :)

      Delete
    19. You don't sound very sweet gentle or feminine to me. Maybe you are not that happily married?

      Delete
    20. The tone and language in her analysis here, on a discussion forum, is most likely not the type she uses around men (her husband, more specifically).

      Delete
    21. About the eggs, I was under the impression that freezing them does not stop the clock. When we age, our reproductive organs also age. Even if technology helps keep a frozen egg as fresh as a newly ovulated one, there are other factors that might lead to complications. Besides freezing the egg, make sure that your equipment is in top notch condition. :)

      Delete
    22. "When she meets men she immediately starts bragging about her credentials and accomplishments, and generally prides herself on being sarcastic, bossy, verbally aggressive and even downright rude with men"

      people turn off when meet someone like that, not just men


      Delete
    23. Spiral, congrats on getting married, and your two beautiful children. But plenty of people get married, and have children. And eventually, most people will get around to doing that, so I don't see that as a huge accomplishment, even for a woman. Although I do see your point about your friend, as I have a similar friend like this, but maybe she's not willing to settle, and you did. We don't know all the contributing factors to your situations to compare them accurately. Did you end up settling a lot? Can you be honest about that? High value men are rare in general. So if they have several minuses, it's not going to be easy to just find another one, while of course, there is an abundance of average men, and less than above average men out there.

      Delete
    24. "Did you end up settling a lot? Can you be honest about that?"

      No, because I never had a checklist of expectations in the first place. I wanted to be with someone who I loved deeply, who loved me deeply back, and who lived his life with honor. Someone I could implicitly trust to be on my team through thick and thin. A GOOD man. And that's what I found. So no, I did not settle. I passed over a lot of "high value" men who looked great on paper but didn't have the strength of character I was looking for in a life partner.

      As for the women who "refuse to settle" and decide to hold out for the 6'3" Oxford-educated billionaire GQ model neurosurgeon or whatever they feel they "deserve" based on their entirely subjective, self-assessed awesomeness - good luck to them. I hope they find what they're lucky, but they'll likely either end up settling later for much worse than they could've gotten now while they at least had fertility on their side, or they'll end up alone. And loneliness is an increasingly crushing force the older you get. Up to you though.

      And for the person who said I don't sound very sweet or feminine here, that's a deliberate choice. There's a lot of delusion and denial from women in this comments section and I'd rather just state it plainly when I see it. Maybe somebody will listen and not become one of the casualties I'm starting to see in my own social group.

      Delete
    25. Spiral has some good points,I read a lot of comments mentioning high value men,usually the value part is a looks and highly paid profession combo.Character,kindness and the way a man treats you and the efforts he makes to win you over are waaay more important if you are looking for marriage.Wake up sisters!

      Delete
    26. Watch the film version of a play, called "Big Time", by Jan Egleson. It might settle this problematic relationship you have with...relationships.

      Jerks tend to conjugate around and propagate in well-established, "brand name" institutions and prestigious, high-paying occupations. Once you muck through the suffocating layers of narcissism and privilege, you'll build your own primer, helping you to notice who is worth your time, who are the diamonds in the rough and who are just empty rocks.

      Take some time off from the dating game to really develop some personal character; considering your other attributes, once you've solved the character issue, your love problems should be solved!

      Delete
    27. How come my comment was deleted?

      Delete
    28. I noticed the same. Some of my posts were published, then they disappeared when I checked back and reappeared the next day. I don't think Andrew deletes comments, this is probably an issue with Blogger.com.

      Delete
    29. I delete comments only VERY rarely. Unless you made some outlandish statement attacking another commenter and added nothing to the discussion, it must have been Blogger.

      Sorry about that. I am investigating switching to another platform.

      Delete
  23. Funny, I go to Dartmouth. I'd be interested to know what percent of total readers attended/attend ivy leagues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Harvard girl over here! And I have a friend at Penn who reads this blog (although she's not an overthinker and thinks it's dumb haha)

      Delete
    2. I went to Yale class of 2012!

      Delete
    3. I went to Harvard and Harvard Law School. Unfortunately, I agree that this is not a dating plus. I have been with a guy for a long time who also went to Harvard and very much values the fact that I went there. However, while many educated guys might be "impressed" that I went to Harvard in the business world, I do think it's mostly a turnoff in the dating world.

      Delete
    4. Why would attending such a prestigious school be a turn off?

      I didn't go to an Ivy League but I went to a top 5 university in Britain. ha not sure that counts but I hope you guys own your intellect. :)

      Delete
    5. NYU Tisch, but in a committed relationship and reading this to observe how the other half lives. NYU is the Harvard of New York, and exactly as difficult to get into and graduate from, and apparently there, we women are smart enough to know when not to rub our intelligence in the face of a male.

      Think about it. Would you want him lifting your sofa then constantly bragging about his upper-body strength?

      You're obnoxious and therefore single. I learned humility. I am not single.

      Delete
    6. I really hate to be an elitist about education, but I just had to comment on this one. NYU is the Harvard of New York? Perhaps you've never been uptown before, but there's actually a little university called Columbia that is definitely more comparable to Harvard in terms of difficulty and selectivity than NYU is. It may not be that you are smart enough to know when not to rub your intelligence in the face of a male—perhaps you just aren't as intelligent as you think you are.

      Delete
    7. Agreed with above. To say that NYU is the Harvard of anything is like saying McDonalds is the le Bernardin of the Midwest. An insult to all parties involved.

      Perhaps when NYU Tisch learned humility, she dropped the ball on reality?

      Delete
  24. "Honey, it's not your beauty or your intellect that's scaring men off. It's your attitude"

    so it is when people say personality wins against beauty dan intellectual, when people amaze if high class men marry usual women with great personality


    ReplyDelete
  25. There are different kinds of intelligence, though. I prefer to date men who are good at things or understand things that I'm not good at, and these same men are often less formally educated than I am and usually in more "masculine" professions. Anyone with sense with a college or advanced degree knows how little that actually counts for in real life. I would consider a mechanic more intelligent (in comparison with me) than, say, a college professor in a humanities field.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, though if you want to get down to that level I think the principle still applies; the man should have the advantage in whatever type of intelligence you and he both value.

      Delete
    2. Ultimately we tend to admire attributes and qualities that we do not possess as well as traditional values such as kindness and honesty etc.I prefer a man who complements me, rather than competes with me.

      Delete
    3. Yes I'm the same. It's about dating someone who complements you otherwise I see it leading to a stale relationship. I'm quiet but I don't want to date a man as quiet as me. I'm neurotic and definitely don't want to date a neurotic man. I have done and it was unbearable.

      But I do take a good look at myself and work to develop some of the traits I seek in others, in my own person. It's important to do that otherwise you can't appeal as well to the type of person you profess to want to date. I like intellectual men so I'm developing my intellectual side further. I like men who want to keep fit so I make sure I do that myself.

      I have come across people who want to date an open, friendly and warm person but aren't so much like that themselves. haha that was me and I was still puzzled as to why I wasn't attracting the men I liked!

      It's also important not to find yourself aiming lower because you don't feel that you qualify for what you really want. I decided several months ago that if I ever feel like that, I won't date until I am confident about my potential.

      Delete
  26. I think the moral of the story for both sexes: don't get a bloated ego! There are women that hide behind the money ego (e.g. Paris Hilton and Snooki), the intelligence ego (e.g. Suzy Orman and Nancy Grace) and so on. The same applies to men with the money ego (e.g. Donald Trump and Hugh Hefner) and the intelligence ego (e.g. Congress). So I think to put it simply, as least it seems to me, is to be humble about all of your talents, and recognize your weaknesses or deficiencies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suzy Ormon is gay, so maybe...luring heterosexual men, for romantic reasons, is not relevant for her?

      Delete

  27. My IQ was tested when I was child in the top 1%, I have never done very really in school since I have dyslexia and add. I am also super funny, I currently taking impprov classes after my friends encouraged me. Since I am posting anonymously will will admit that I have bipolar, it is completely under control the last time I was in the hospitable was 11 years ago. Many of my friends don't know that I have bipolar.The reason I mention my issues is because I feel like they make me wired differently then other people so that I am not compatible to dating most men. Many men I have gone on dates with bore me to tears not that they are dumb, just not smart enough for me to be attracted to them. I also think when the novelty of my eccentricity wears off they lose interest.

    Many of my friends are surprised I have never had a boyfriend (I am 25) because I am pretty and smart. I could benefit from losing little weight working on it that right now.I lived in Chicago for a couple of years and Men where always buying drinks for my best friend and I, so I took that as I sign I am at least not homely LOL. I never know how to tell a guy inserted in me that I have never had a boyfriend, It is a great way to scare someone of I guess so is the bipolar. I guess they main reason I have never had a boyfriend is that I did not want one for most of my adult life, I also thought it would be unfair to be in a relationship in till my mental health was solid. Now that I am entertaining the notion of a boyfriend I feel behind.

    ReplyDelete
  28. So basically smart women must also be beautiful if they want a lasting relationship. Average-looking but smart women should focus on their careers and not expect to get married.... Unless of course a smart woman acts dumber than she is and settle..... Really, it would be better for all women to just be dumb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, you are exactly right ! It's a curse to be rich, smart and beautiful, what the hell.

      Delete
  29. "A woman's traditional role is to be the mother of the couple's children, and in order to fulfill that role she needs to be beautiful and radiant enough to attract her man - to make him want her sexually."
    First, this is a mother's role, not a woman's. If a woman can't bear children should she be doomed to never being loved? More accurately, woman's role in a relationship is to be the moral support and emotional guardian of a man. The idea that a a man should be more powerful and more intelligent than his partner is the mark of an immature man.
    In Native American culture, women were actually expected to be equal to their partner in physique and prowess but superior in intelligence. Native American Chiefs called women the moral backbone of their society. The men saw the women as the strength and consistency in their own lives. This is why they protected them and went to wars and confronted dangers in place of them. This way of life worked magnificently for Native Americans generation after generation after generation. Social conflict was rare within their tribes, because everyone respected the many different roles each person played. Andrew, I suggest a book entitled Wisdom of the Native Americans, and be sure to get the version with the speeches of Chief Red Jacket, Chief Joseph, and Ohiyesa. It will reveal a lot to you about the true nature of humans that goes way beyond the "women are weaker, less intelligent mothers, men are superior protectors" mentality.

    P.S. The highest I.Q.s ever recorded belong to women. I doubt any of them would pretend to be stupid to please a man.

    ReplyDelete
  30. You're probably not still monitoring this thread, Andrew, but I have to ask anyway; what if a woman has a crazy, stupid-high IQ? Like, in the +130 range? There's no way to dumb that down (it'd be like asking a person of normal intelligence to fake being learning-disabled). What's a girl supposed to do in that situation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can have a 130 IQ and Have learning disability a learning disability is different then an intellectual disability. If you have to dumb yourself down then the guy is not a good match.

      Delete
    2. I had an IQ test a very long time ago, and mine was in the 130 range, and I dumb myself down. It's pretty painful. Find someone who's a better match. You can't have intimate relationships with people you have to dumb yourself down for. The best marriages are with men you only have up to a 10 point IQ difference with.

      Delete
    3. IQ doesn't matter. It is only relevant if it is dangerously low. IQ is not intelligence. It has no relation to how "smart" you are.

      Delete
    4. I am female, and my IQ is 135. That puts me in the gifted, but not the genius range. Most of my friends and BF's are very bright. Maybe it's a cult thing, but that is where the comfort level is.

      I have tried dumbing it down, but as Andrew would say, I am not being authentic, and there are consequences. I have surrendered to being a smartass.

      I don't flog it, and I'm not nasty. I watch Jerry too. But some men are threatened, and even out and out rude. That's okay. Here's why.

      A man who is more intelligent than I am is the ultimate turn-on. This means that I am only interested in the top 1-2% of the population, and that means kissing a lot of toads before you find a prince. But then I remember that I am only looking for one.

      Delete
  31. She 'reigned it in'? LOL. Intelligent.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Andrew, I'm learning so much! Thank you for sharing and educating!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I have a question:

    I have this "uncle," who was married to my Aunt for 30 years, but she died about 10 years ago. For the past 2 years, he been attending my university under a discounted price for senior citizens.

    He would often takes me out to lunch or invites himself over to my place. On several occasion, he had hit on my 20-something college friends. He would flirts with them and thinks that their friendliness means that they are dating.

    The problem is that he has neither youth (he is 72), wealth (lives on social security), intelligence (never got a BA), or the personality (wants a submissive girl). He tells me that finds women near his age unattractive, and pursue only college girls.

    How do I tell him that:

    1) He will never find an educated college girl that will submit to him and be his caretaker

    or

    2) If he does want a submissive, educated young woman that will be his caretaker, what should he do or behave to obtained one?

    I really just want my friends back, and for him to go away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha wtf is this for real

      Delete
  34. I would like to said that you are right about a man dominating a woman be it beauty, smarts, wealth, or whatever.

    So how does my Uncle sees his mistake or he must change to get his prize.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Evan Marc Katz talks about this at length and gives much better advice. To him, its not that a man needs to feel powerful its that he doesn't particularly care about how intelligent you are as long as he feels good around you. I would add that any many who shys away from a woman because he feels she is more intelligent is probably a man who is insecure and you don't want him anyway. Likewise, if a man goes out of his way to date women much less intelligent than he is its also probably due to some insecurity.

    If you are a very intelligent woman you should not hide your intelligence but you shouldn't beat a man (or anyone) over the head with it. If you are constantly one-upping a man and trying to make him feel dumb he won't want to be around you. I know I wouldn't want to be around a guy who did that to me.

    But I feel for the OP. If you are an intelligent woman, your pool of men to date is much smaller but its not so shallow that you won't attract a man you are well suited to. I found a man slightly more intelligent than me and we argue about many subjects but he always kills me because he's a lawyer and uses lawyer trickery in arguments! I make sure he knows that and he appreciates the feedback. You see, you don't need to dumb yourself down to make a man feel great about being with you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Evan Marc Katz is a sharp guy. I have been reading his blog recently and find that I agree with most of it. In fact, from what you've said HE says about this topic, I don't disagree with him here either. I think in many cases there is more than one mechanism at work. We might disagree about which of these mechanisms (enjoyment vs. pride) is the primary one here, but I think both have an effect.

      Delete
    2. A man (or a woman) won't want to be with someone who hurts his pride. Parts of us are different but both men and women ultimately want to be happy.

      Delete
  36. I know that this is an older post, but I find it prompting a response anyway...

    While I don't disagree with your observations about relationships and power, Andrew, I do find that they highlight a major problem with our gender socialization in general - the idea that men can and should be more powerful than women. More, if they do not feel more powerful than a woman, than that woman is not attractive to them.

    Whereas power may have a certain place in society - business, sport, etc. - it should not play any role in personal relationships, especially intimate ones.

    These relationships should be based on balanced equity and respect. It does not demonstrate respect for women when they are expected to hide or downplay their intelligence, nor does it demonstrate respect for men. This would assume that men are not capable of respecting and admiring AND desiring intelligent women who may occasionally call their beliefs/behaviors into question. I think that men can be better than this.

    As a woman with a very high IQ and many personal and professional accomplishments, I am aware of how this can be a barrier in relationships where I wish it were otherwise. - I also know, though, that there are amazing, confident, and mature men out there who not only are attracted to intelligent women, but eagerly learn/grown through knowing them.

    - It is this that should be expected, a partnership where each individual's experience, knowledge and skill is recognized and celebrated, resources through which you can learn from each other, teach each other and grow together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "While I don't disagree with your observations about relationships and power, Andrew, I do find that they highlight a major problem with our gender socialization in general - the idea that men can and should be more powerful than women. More, if they do not feel more powerful than a woman, than that woman is not attractive to them."

      Coincidentally, I skipped some of the last few comments in order to make a point which just so happens to directly relate to the comment immediately preceding mine.

      1. Has nothing to do with "gender socialization in general", has to do with gender roles period.

      2. Has not as much to do with "that woman (being) attractive to them" as them realizing that they will not long be attractive to that particular woman. Certainly not in any mutually satisfying way.

      3. As far as these "amazing, confident, and mature men out there" being attracted to intelligent women, the answer lies in the phrasing. Women suggest that men are "intimidated" based on the fact that women are not only not intimidated, but drawn to those who are stronger, smarter, etc. due to the fact that they are women. Suggesting that men who don't think like women don't think like women hardly seems like a earth shattering proposition. I'm not in favor of women dumbing down, but no man will accept the submissive position for long without acting out in some way.

      As for my original comment.

      It's all about the sex....or at least a substantial part of it.

      Whether it be intellect, physical strength, mental acuity, or some other characteristic which is recognized by both parties as being relevant, the man wants his sex from the standpoint of respect for his superiority in that area..does he have a say in when, where, and how....or not? .....otherwise, it's just pity sex.

      Women tend to think of themselves....

      Aaron Inv

      Delete
    2. Aaron,

      I am unsure whether or not your comments were directly related to mine. Although you quoted me, you seemed to not understand anything that was said...

      1. Gender roles are dependent on the ways in which we are socialized.

      2. The article and the comments explicitly detail how men are "turned-off", so to speak, by intelligent women. These comments don't state 'more intelligent' women, just intelligent women who may, at times, challenge a man's own sense of power and superiority.

      3. I never said that men are intimidated by intelligent women. Nor is it my experience that intelligent women are intimidated by intelligent men, -- and most definitely not that they are drawn to said 'superior' men.

      The point of my comment was that these power-plays do not belong in intimate relationships and it is unfortunate that they continue to be played out so frequently. Especially unfortunate that men must feel superior for sexual satisfaction. It is this and similar beliefs that perpetuate not just gender inequity, but gender violence... Thankfully, I know men who are much more evolved than this - and that is super sexy.

      Finally, does she have a say in when, where, and how... or not? Is it your experience that you do not have a say in these things regarding sex with women? Or is it just that women don't always agree to your when, where and how?

      If it is the first, I wouldn't call it pity sex, I'd call it sexual assault. If it's the second, I would say that is her right, just as it is yours if you don't like what she has suggested...


      Delete
    3. "I am unsure whether or not your comments were directly related to mine. Although you quoted me, you seemed to not understand anything that was said..."

      I thought I was pretty clear. Although the direction of my comment had already been determined, it was fortuitous that your comment happened to proceed mine. This happy coincidence allowed me to specifically address some of your thoughts while at the same time providing mine. Having said that...I understood what you said, I just disagreed with much of it which is a completely different thing.


      "1. Gender roles are dependent on the ways in which we are socialized."

      Not in the final analysis.

      2. The article and the comments explicitly detail how men are "turned-off", so to speak, by intelligent women. These comments don't state 'more intelligent' women, just intelligent women who may, at times, challenge a man's own sense of power and superiority.

      I disagree. I reread the article and still disagree. I suggest you do the same. Whether it be the thoughts expressed in the quote provided in the body of the article, or the thoughts of the author himself I would suggest neither one supports your point of view. I admit I did not reread every comment, but feel free to provide enough examples which would suggest that your claim is valid. I would suggest you are reacting just as many "gender experts" would predict.


      "3. I never said that men are intimidated by intelligent women...."

      Great.

      "...Nor is it my experience that intelligent women are intimidated by intelligent men,..."

      Can't really disagree, nor did the article or those who made comments.

      " -- and most definitely not that they are drawn to said 'superior' men.""

      Ah, here is where we would completely disagree.


      "The point of my comment was that these power-plays do not belong in intimate relationships and it is unfortunate that they continue to be played out so frequently. Especially unfortunate that men must feel superior for sexual satisfaction. It is this and similar beliefs that perpetuate not just gender inequity, but gender violence... Thankfully, I know men who are much more evolved than this - and that is super sexy."

      I'm sorry, but could you direct me to the book from which this came?? In other words, I'd have to suggest that the first part of the comment is meaningless and I have serious questions as to whether you conduct your life according to the same premise.

      "Finally, does she have a say in when, where, and how... or not?"

      Sure, but does he have the right to look elsewhere if he disagrees, while maintaining an "exclusive" relationship with her at the same time?

      "Is it your experience that you do not have a say in these things regarding sex with women? "

      No, but than wouldn't that negate everything you are claiming?

      "Or is it just that women don't always agree to your when, where and how?"

      Which would mean?? That you would suggest that women should be the gatekeepers of when, where, and how?

      "If it is the first, I wouldn't call it pity sex, I'd call it sexual assault. If it's the second, I would say that is her right, just as it is yours if you don't like what she has suggested..."

      Speaking of a lack of understanding.....


      Delete
  37. I guess it comes down to 'nobody likes a showoff'. A basic humility is necessary for life and for a relationship, I guess. I wouldn't mind a guy who is cleverer than me but I would mind a guy who would rub that in my face every other second.

    The only difference between braging men and braging women is that when men brags he just becomes an egotistical arse who doesn't understand why their behaviour resulted in breakup but when inevitable breakup happens after women's brag, women would feel that their partner found their intellectual ability a 'turn off'. I don't think women's intellectual ability emasculate men, but they way they portray their strength is off-putting for all regardless of gender.

    ReplyDelete
  38. The type of man you describe sounds sexist and insecure. A woman's best bet is to be very intelligent and accomplished to scare this type of idiot away.

    ReplyDelete
  39. In general, men do not mind smart, accomplished women as mistresses, concubines, or girlfriends, but we're not wife material for them. For a wife men don't want a dumb woman per se, but they don't want to talk politics, Shakespeare or x+y with you, they just really want a good cook and someone to do their laundry, and of course, sex.

    Smart women are the reason kings had mistresses back in the day-- the mistress was for intellectual companionship and the queen was for heirs. It's still like that unfortunately.

    Don't get me wrong, there are a handful of men who don't mind smart, accomplished women, but I have learned the hard way as a woman with a genius IQ and smooth political acumen they are few and far between and the odds of finding one are slim to none. I am tired of being the concubine or mistress and would like to be the wife but the reality is I likely will not ever have that ring on my finger. As much as being single sucks though, it's better to be single than lied to cheated on (or with!), disrespected or abused and I'd rather die alone than live and pretend to be stupid to catch a husband. That's just how life is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. how right you are. Sad part is that smart and intelligent (socially and academically) are hard to find because they are either confirmed bachelors or in relationships all the times. I think these men never have to find their partners on dating sites when they could find their matches where they work or within their reach easily.

      Delete
    2. Yet, there are far more women of average/below average intellect who are relegated to mistress/FWB/concubine status. The difference between them and you is they do not have to "men dont like/cant handle smart, intelligent, confident, successful" meme to use as a crutch for their personal failures.

      My experience is different from yours. A man can respect a smart/successful woman but its not an attractant. The reason women who are "successful" dont marry as often (if that is even true at all, I have yet to see a stat) is because they prioritize success at the expense of marriage. The only men who seriously hate on smart/successful women, IME, are usually the less intelligent and unambitious types, ie the men smart women dont want anyway.

      Delete
    3. Don't date men who are married. I don't think that the mistresses were historically the more intelligent ones since the wives had to manage the household while the mistresses only had to look pretty.

      Delete
    4. Glad for your responses on this. The thing is though I have found most men dump me saying 'You're too smart!' Y, glad your experience has been different.

      I would like success and a happy marriage. Sorry to sound sad and bitter, I have just found this to be true for the most part.

      Delete
    5. I'm a guy and I basically agree with "Y". I think you ladies are misunderstanding something important.

      It's not that men don't like intelligent, successful women. It's not that men are threatened by them. It's not something that men are actively trying to screen out. It's that men don't care either way.

      You can be intelligent and successful. That's totally fine. It doesn't usually actively attract men, but it doesn't usually actively repel men either. It doesn't make us like you any more or any less. It's just not really a factor one way or the other, except at a tertiary level.

      How you deal with your success/intelligence may matter to us though. For example, if you're condescending, or brag a lot, or use it as a weapon, or give the impression that you are so into your career that you won't have time for a relationship, etc. Obviously those characteristics are less than appealing.

      Bottom line is, don't worry about it. Just understand that your intelligence and success are NEUTRAL. Don't make the mistake of thinking that intelligence/success will HELP in attracting men. Men aren't women.

      Delete
  40. I just broke up with a guy who said that I think I'm better than him. Which I never thought. I loved his strenght and power. I think he was alittle intimadated by me because he was not working and I paid for everything. He was working when we started dated and lost his job. He also would say things like Ms. College girl and that I always used big words. This really bothered me alot because I didn't feel the way he did. I loved and respect him. I use to talk to him about looking for another job and encourage him but I never put him down. I was always supportive. But on the flip side I think I was an enabler to him because I picked up the slack until the day we broke up.

    ReplyDelete
  41. The reason women became more educated and independent was due to the collective pain of being exchanged for another woman, partner, career, hobby, and / or addiction and who knows what else. It is natural for a woman to want to be taken care of and when those needs are not met, not only spiritually but also biologically, she will find a way for those needs to get met. And independence is one of those ways her needs are met. But men also have needs which is to take care of his woman. And as the woman has become more independent, his biological needs become threatened. He becomes fearful that she will leave him (emotionally) for another man, woman, career, hobby, and or addiction. I think this battle of the sexes is bullshit. Both genders all have fears of abandonment. The fear may come in different costumes but when you take the mask off of the two monsters, it’s ironically the same monster.

    ReplyDelete
  42. The conclusion "Seek out men that are smarter than you" can take its place beside other common assumptions, such as to find a mate that is taller and wealthier, as a good way to promote higher average loneliness among heterosexuals. Judging from statistics, it's working. Biology may have engineered greater average centimeters for men, but their educational and financial advantages have all but vanished.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Her being intelligent is fine.

    Being a sanctimonius, pedantic, grammar-nazi-buzzkill is not.

    Also, women are Much more likely to be delusional about their own level of competence; and by 'delusional' I mean, 'Dunning-Kruger multiplied by Chernobyl'.
    -Or reads-one-article-on-HuffPo-starts-lecturing-entire-world-about-the-issue-because-she's-now-an-'expert'.
    -Or "I am very clearly on the same level as Theodora or Dido, how could you possibly disagree?"

    Most of the super-high IQs are still male, and just because she shoots off her mouth doesn't make her smart; it makes her a jackass.

    Besides, I'd be astounded if any woman under the age of 42 uses the left part of her brain.
    Women debate/think by herding up a clutch of their homies and expressing an Emotional Consensus on the issue,

    -instead of, you-know, using actual Reason and Logic,...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Out of curiousity, how many women have you actually talked to in your lifetime?

      I find that whenever there's groupwork to do, if anyone becomes sanctimonious, pedantic, and condescending, it's the men. I can vouch for this firsthand. I apparently look androgynous enough to pass as either, depending on hair length. If they know I'm a guy, my ideas and comments are listened to and considered. If they think I'm a woman, I'm constantly interrupted, and the other guys will occasionally attempt to teach me the basics of my own major. My ideas are ignored until a guy with a deeper voice repeats exactly what I said, at which point he's praised for his creativity.

      I've also seen many guys attempt to explain to women that contrary to what they experience on a daily basis, sexism actually no longer exists.

      True, many of the exceptionally rarely bright are men. Many of the dumbest Darwin Award winners are also men. Ignoring the fact that society encourages women to dumb themselves down, do we really want to start talking about how extremes prove our point? I guarantee that when you read a story about some piss-drunk thong-clad genius running through the local Mini-Putt course armed with a soup ladle and three live badgers, 99.99999% of the time, this genius turns out to be a man.

      Delete
  44. i find this article to be utterly bizarre, to think a woman's primary want from a relationship with a man is to desired sexually or desired in anyway. yes of course it is important but i would much prefer to be respected and admired by my partner than simply desired.

    ReplyDelete
  45. If I wanted to have an intelligent conversation I'd talk to a man.
    The more intelligent women I know do not approach the intelligence of random men I know. There are a handful of professional female scholars (D.M. Murdock, Wendy McElroy) who are quite intelligent, but that's a superminority.

    The reason I am a celibate general misogynist has to do with what I dislike about womens' personality (herdishness, obsession with moralizing and social norms, possessiveness and the desire to breed ugly little human larvae). I don't like these traits in men and they are even stronger in women. I also don't like/talk to non-intellectuals at all, I just don't give a shit about anyone else's emotions. I also dislike how most women expect you to entertain them - get a fucking hobby, woman.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clearly you either don't know a lot of women, or you live in one of the many cultures where the 'ideal' woman shuts up, defers to men, and strives for nothing other than motherhood.

      The human brain is conditioned to warp its memories to suit its opinions. If you're preconditioned to expect women to be stupid, smart women you encounter are "exceptions" and stupid ones "prove your point". Women are also given much less leeway in terms of proving their intelligence. If a man does something stupid, it's because he's stupid. If a woman does something stupid, it's because women in general are stupid. If a man does poorly in logic, it's because he has little skill in that area. If a woman does poorly in logic, it's because women are irrational emotion-driven beings and it's likely reflective of her intelligence in every area.

      It's hard to compete when you have to jump through so many more hoops just to prove yourself 'competent' at the level men are assumed to be by default.

      Delete
  46. Oh, thank you so much for your article. It helped me understand a lot of things.
    I was a way more smarter than my ex-boyfriend. He was always wrong on stupid fact, culture and general knowledge.
    I was happy to know the answers so I would correct him all the time, which was terribly bad. I will know for my next relationship.
    My man had the financial power and the physical power. But then he became fat, and I started to notice a change. He was always telling me I was the smartest woman he knew, even smarter than him. But then suddenly It wasn't fine anymore. He was mad at me for always being right and have knowledges. So he broke up with me. We are still friend, but now he is going out with a girl with very doubtful intelligence.
    I guess I will follow your advice and look for smart before sexy man, since intelligence matters more to me aparently.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Jesus, this article creeps the Hell out of me. I don't want to be in a relationship wherein I'm assumed to be the smart one based on my crotch. Maybe I'm crazy, but when I'm writing finals, I find I rarely (if ever) consult my dick for answers.

    In a relationship, I don't want someone who automatically agrees with me about everything, be it from lack of intelligence, presumed gender roles, or a desire to stroke my ego. I want to be challenged. I want to know that when we debate a decision, the outcome is based on which side had better arguments. If my wife were to turn out to be better with cars than me, excellent. It'll be all the funnier if some dishonest mechanic tries to try to bullshit her.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I believe that this article is moot because:

    1) Intelligence is hard to measure and compare between two people. Two people with a comparable cognitive disposition will never use and express their cognitive skills in the same way, so how could an intelligent woman *ever* threaten a man's sense of power in a relationship? For instance, if a woman shows signs of being highly gifted in logic (i.e. having a higher interest in exploring that cognitive skill), how is that going to trump another man's giftedness in communication and abstract thought (again, by virtue of his interest in those cognitive fields)? The former person might be a mathematician, while the latter might be a skilled salesman, and even though the woman even has a higher hierarchal status in this example, it would still be fairly hard for either person to over- or underrate each others' intelligence (assuming that both are two healthy and confident individuals).
    2) Being a know-it-all or trying to challenge or correct people (as the e-mail sender stated that she does) is a very, very, very unattractive trait. I'm a highly intelligent person myself (IQ-wise) and I used to do the exact same thing, but what I later realized was that this had nothing to do with my intelligence, and everything to do with obsessively annoying people by trying to flaunt my oh-so-fantastic analytical skills by poking holes in their statements. Nowadays I'm quite happy listening to people, and I never crave a "good debate" (as is so commonly stated by the kind of people I just described). If I want to challenge my intellect, I look up someone intelligent or knowledgeable and HUMBLY ASK THEM QUESTIONS. Debating is nothing more than putting on a show for one's own sake. Wanting to truly learn and understand is what intelligence is all about.

    Short version: Women need not fear being intelligent. Just make sure that you're a humble person and not an annoying smarty pants, because that's unattractive regardless of gender. Of course, that's assuming that the woman isn't dating a guy half her IQ, in which case he might most definitely feel threatened (as would anyone, I assume).

    And my apologies to the author for arguing against the entirety of the article. You're doing a good job on a larger scale I think. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd like to add that there's nothing wrong with dating someone half your IQ. I'm just saying that that's the area in which an IQ difference might actually matter, but I think that people are quite proud of whatever skills they have and will probably not mind dating someone more intelligent, regardless of gender.

      After all, human beings are quite good at protecting their egos. =)

      Delete
    2. Also by "might most definitely" I mean that there is definitely a likelihood that such individuals exist, even though I think that most people are fine.

      Delete
    3. Yep, I totally agree with what you said. Great write up! I have transitioned from your second point as well. I find that it doesn't really bother males or females that I socialize with. Everyone has something to contribute.

      As far as dating, I find that it often is more of a concern for the lower IQ person. Obviously, if you use your logic, the higher IQ person shouldn't have issues. But the lower IQ person eventually realizes that you are just humble and starts making a big deal of it. Then, you sometimes run into the issue of feeling as if you are idolized. And this is a problem for both genders. As men don't want to idolize their woman's smarts. And woman would rather be put on a pedestal for their beauty.

      In the end, while it isn't an issue. It becomes more of a factor of settling. Another guy talks to you with such insight and high intelligence. Then you start to wonder why you never get that from your significant other. And it breaks the relationship. This is speaking from woman's perspective though.

      Delete
    4. Thanks for the response, and interesting read.

      I have no experience dating someone who is more intelligent than myself. At best, I've dated someone who "understood" what I was talking about but who didn't initiate any thoughts or ideas herself.

      However, you stated that inferiority complex goes both ways, but I've never experienced this with any of my past girlfriends. In fact, I had a long term relationships with a woman who was probably half as intelligent as I was, and she merely admired and complimented me for being smart. It made me feel good about myself, and she, of course, had many other wonderful qualities that made me fall in love with her.

      Not saying that you're wrong because I've only had a handful of long term relationships, but I felt I should throw that in. =)

      On a side note, I'd be interested in knowing what it feels like for a less intelligent guy to date a more intelligent woman. I really cannot imagine this being a problem for most guys, since intelligence isn't the only quality. In fact, I think I'd personally find it a bit exciting. I'm curious as to see what kind of issues that might arise.

      Delete
    5. Well, I thought that I placed too much emphasis on the guy's intelligence until recently. In the past, I was starting to get into a serious relationship with a guy, when we had to break it off. We were both starting graduate school. Long distance wasn't an option with our busy schedules and lack of income. The distance was too far to consider it an actual relationship.

      And then he seemed worried about my drive. The 'how is one supposed to raise a family with both people being super motivated?' kept on coming up. Not sure if it was a proper thing to ask, but a lot of guys had that concern. They find it exciting, yet challenging. And then, when it doesn't work, they go for a less intelligent woman. She idolizes them like I never would. I think IQ should be appreciated, but never placed on pedestal.

      After all that, I tried my hand at dating less intelligent men. It started out great, but then it began to bother me. I didn't want to be constantly complimented for being bright. I would rather be complimented for being pretty, but be equally knowledgeable or less. I would ask him about his day, and he would dumb it down to being nothing compared to mine. Or he'd say his opinion and I wouldn't feel enlightened. I didn't feel like I was growing. And I guess I wanted that after having had that before. He would always say that he was 'doing nothing'.

      Or I would talk to some guy that would give me advice. And it was just sad that it was a deeper conversation than I had with my date. Though I don't know, I guess I didn't like him enough too.

      So, I don't know if guys mind it. I find it is easier to get a date when you are more intelligent. And guys tend to take you more seriously. But I think the lower IQ woman have an easier time settling down. Some men find them less work. Others prefer that dynamic. Or perhaps they are less picky. They have more time to cater to a guys needs too. Not sure.

      Delete
    6. I'm pretty sure that a lot of low-intelligence women play looks as their strength, and therefor feel like they need to settle down as quickly as possible. This isn't necessarily a good thing, as I suspect that this happens for fear that they'll have no options once their looks fade. :(

      Delete
  49. Wow this article really hit home.

    My boyfriend of seven months just ended our relationship. He was fun, very attractive, social, hard working and in all honesty the best boyfriend I've ever had - caring, attentive, loving. However, there was always something missing and something a little off.

    By no means do I consider myself an Einstein but I definitely have made a point of developing myself intellectually and have a lot of interests. Several months into the relationship, i started feeling like i needed someone who can challenge me, someone who can talk about topics deeper than the plans for the weekend or personal lives of our friends. As soon as I began feeling (not talking about it) our relationship dynamics began to change. Being that he was very attentive, he started sensing that something was wrong and compensating for it by making extravagant plans and being a fantastic boyfriend - all of this at expense of his own confidence. The more he did to compensate the less confident he became. I had all the power without wanting any of it. Although everything was great when we spent time together, I knew he was no longer happy and started feeling unsure of himself. This was very difficult for both of us since we cared a lot about each other. Last thing you want your man to feel is "weakness" because whether you like it or not you start viewing him as being "weak" and when that starts to happen, respect fades.

    So we went our separate ways, it's not easy, but knowing that someone will make him feel like a million bucks for all the great qualities he has makes me really very happy :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is why you talk about things.

      Delete
  50. I'm glad that u are honest about this and though many women may throw stones at me, I agree with you. A woman should know how to make a man fell like one, too. That is her strength, that is intelligence, that is ability. Intelligence isn't always about comparing intelectual acheievments o showing how you can handle something better than someone else.

    ReplyDelete
  51. great article but remember:
    smart/ intelligent people do not need to say they are intelligent.

    for me, a girl being clever/ smart/ intelligent is sexy because, sometimes you can loose your life if you get caught with a dumb woman...

    sagacity and wanting to learn/ know more will always turn me on on a woman, so it is normal for that to turn a woman on also.

    Intelligence is sexy, and yes even millions of years have passed, we still find it sexy as cave woman found it ;)

    ReplyDelete
  52. You've written a fair deal about how a man wants to feel superior physically and intellectually. But not so much about the financial aspect.
    My experience, without exception, is that men are uncomfortable dating someone with more wealth than they have.
    I'm young, but I have a lot of family support. Most of the time, men who approach me are well off themselves. But on a few occasions I have been on dates with men whom are from different backgrounds to me or have average paying jobs. Once they realize the difference, they start asking a lot of questions, refuse to let the subject go and can even be sarcastic and make me uncomfortable. It is clear that it is an issue to them.

    Women often get a bad rep for filtering out men on such grounds. But my experience is that even if a woman IS attracted to a guy who's hot, funny, confident and all that, a financial gap in her favour will be a problem for him.
    The experiences I've had actually tells me that I should discriminate on these things in order to have a well-balanced and good relationship (I'm most comfortable with a dominant man).

    Are you planning for a post on this?

    ReplyDelete
  53. Who cares about any of this, all that matters is that you make each other
    happy and that you want to be with each other.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Women should be smarter than men as they hold the great responsibility for life itself and just about everything. Women are perhaps the most important figures in all societies. Every single human being in this world has been brought up by a woman and ( with a few very small exceptions of course) has spent it's crucial first years attached to a woman. The world has never been a male one it's been a female one all along. For every failure there is in this world a dumb woman is responsible. It's time for women to realize the power and thus the great responsibility they have.

    ReplyDelete
  55. My advice to men: avoid dumb women like the plague. Forget about your own ego for a moment and think about your offspring. It will be a woman who will educate your children. Your native language for example is called "mother's tongue" for a reason.

    ReplyDelete
  56. everyone is intelligent in their own ways and this is shit actually men do like intelligent women because they are sick of dumb girls.
    men don't like their women to be too needy and want them to be able to do things themselves not rely on someone all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I found this post fascinating, and it reminded me of a video I saw recently (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKfaqg6zCRg&feature=youtube_gdata_player). Perhaps men are also intrinsically aware that highly intelligent females are less likely to be interested in procreating. Thus, avoiding women that are obviously intelligent is best suited to their own primal drive to propagate.

    ReplyDelete
  58. It does seem like the overall point that you are making here is that a woman should not be more intelligent than a man because it would emasculate the male in a sexual relationship.

    I will cut to the chase here and say that in my experience, as an intelligent female with strong academic background and strong scientific career, no male has ever been "put off" by my conversation, opinions or strength of character. In fact, every single man I have ever come across has found this to be something highly, highly attractive and this has resulted a lot of attention. I spend my days with very intelligent men and women and every *highly* intelligent man that I know would be in absolute disagreement with your article. I can actually guarantee that they would find it funny. Every intelligent man that I have met wants or has a life long partner who is either of equal or higher intelligence - and if she is of higher intelligence, he would quite simply adore her ever more and respect her for who she is.

    Women are human beings in precisely the same way that men are and therefore a female human being is capable of being less, equally or more intelligent than a male human being. To suggest that a woman should not be 'too intelligent' because they may not be able to get a sexual partner is to take a step backwards in the development of the human civilisation. Do you think that a woman should squander her intellectual abilities so that a man feels secure in himself? A woman has as much right to make her mark on this world via intellectual discoveries and ventures. To suggest that women do not have this right is destructive for this reason: intelligent and strong human beings drive the evolution of humanity and the more people we have to take part in our progression, the more we will evolve. This is the natural way.

    I absolutely do not think that you speak on behalf of all men and I think there is a deeply concerning lack of respect for both men and women here. You have generalised and characterised both sexes and you also speak about the historical oppression of women as if it is "okay" and "natural" and talking about the way that men want "their women" to be as if the woman a) belongs to the man and b) has a primary role of massaging a man's ego. These attitudes are deeply sexist and these are the attitudes that underpinned the historical oppression of women.

    Men and women naturally share many of the same characteristics - such as intelligence - and therefore if what you say is true and men are emasculated by intelligent women, then it is the attitudes of those men and the underlying social pressures that need addressing - but certainly not the behaviour of women.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Any time I read stuff like this I thank my stars I am not an American. Like the Jewish men used to say "Thank you God, for not making me a woman" I say thank you for not letting me be born in the USA. A world where dating has, instead of being about people, with all their wonderful varieties, become about a set of rules. Where people are rated by numbers on their looks. Women especially. Where, incredibly, women are considered past it by 25…in my country that's not even a start, you are still enjoying your travelling and fun and developing career. And where a woman has to pretend to be stupid: if she goes to a good uni, that's used as an insult. In my country it would make you more valuable andin my adopted land even more so. here (HK) men will boast of their smart wives and even say things like: "she's the one with the smarts!" The only ones anything like you mention are a handful of psychopathic bullies (I think you might call them alpha) whose wives are usually bored, frightened and miserable. The USA has come to worship psycopathic bullies and some women aren't seeing this for what it is. It is far better to be single, always, than marry any man who would be so insecure as to mock a woman for going to Harvard. Or a man who needs to be "admired'. The fact Andrew can even state that, shows the US male is an insecure child, and that is due to the dreadful child-raising of the US where boys are shamed for crying even if they are hurt and where babies are left to cry in dark rooms til they cry themselves to sleep. The USA is fucked from the moment it is born. Here in HK, babies are kept with a person all the time, so they always see a face when they wake, always. They have someone sitting by them til they sleep up til the age of 5. They are cocooned in love. And Chinese men are the most secure, relaxed, courteous and easy to talk to men I have ever met. They are also suddenly becoming tall and broad shouldered (more protein). Girls, forget these men. Just leave the US and find a European or a Chinese. They will love you for your intelligence and you don't need to 'admire' them.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Bullshit.

    Being intelligent is only a drawback if you are dating idiots. Find smarter men.

    ReplyDelete
  61. In fact, if you are reading this blog, you are doing it wrong. Don't degrade yourself by chasing men. Focus on realizing your own goals and you will end up attracting men that will value your intelligence and are not intimidated by it - rather than common neanderthals.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Women must know that despite her strength they must not engage in senseless battles always correcting a man’s statement to prove her worth. It gets on a man’s nerve when she come across so aggravating to him. Keep in mind he enjoys your intellect but not to be used against him or to show case his intellectual cracks.

    ReplyDelete
  63. This is just sick. If this is what men want then I don't want THEM. Fortunately, I know plenty of men who don't care whether their partners are smarter than them or not - I'm even married to one. He does not get his sense of 'power' from having 'one up' over me. The only 'power' he desires is that which allows the two of us to take on the world as a partnership. A relationship is not a competition.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Oh, and if the writer has dated 'countless' women - that says something in itself about his attitude toward them!

    ReplyDelete
  65. This article is carp poop!

    You sir, are a person over-saturated with concepts of generalization and old thinking! Your perception of gender, as well as the gender-roles you have internalized are far too traditional for the changing times!

    I am basically saying your opinion is not a productive asset to society.

    You know what, you must think of relationships as alpha/beta, or dom/sub, with ALL women being subs by default, since you like generalizing so much.

    I bet your so insecure and obsessed with the need to be macho and validated as such, that your partner dumbs herself down for you out of PITY for your fragile self-esteem.

    Because that's what you're ultimately saying right? That you perceive men to be so delicate that they cannot have a healthy self-esteem unless they feel intellectually superior or dominant in their relationships.

    Also, what makes you think women don't have the natural need to be respected and admired, or desire to stand equally beside the one they love, hand in hand as not dom/sub, but as PARTNERS.

    You know what, funk you, and go stuff your one-dimensional head with more of the disintegrating carp poop that inspired this article, until you become so full of it that even the most biased and delusional will tune out their ears to you.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Hmmm enjoyed this wrestling and learned a lot.

    ReplyDelete