Why Smart Women Really Have a Tough Time Dating

Dr. Alex Benzer, author of Tao of Dating and Other Wastes of Money has written a relatively uninsightful piece for the Huffington Post about why smart women have a tough time dating.  While I don’t think he gets anything wrong, his piece is just pretty bland, uninteresting and superficial.  Of course, you can’t expect to get the truth about dating published with the Huffington Post.  So, as a supplement to “Dr.” Benzer’s piece, here are five more reasons smart women have trouble dating.

1.  They Want to “Date Up.”  Many women insist on “dating up” in two categories, education and income.  They want a man who is at least as well educated as they are, and who makes more money than they do.  Well, smart people tend to be well educated and make more money, so this narrows the fields down pretty quickly.  And to worsen the problem, smart men will generally consider a wider range of education and professional backgrounds.  Smart women restrict themselves to a smaller pool, but the men in that pool don’t feel obligated to stay in it, so we date women outside of it and there’s not a whole lot left in the pond.

2.  They want to “Date Up.”  Yeah, we’re still on this.  Like I said, most women want to date up, but there’s another reason why this is particularly problematic for smart women.  When smart women look for someone as educated as they are and who makes better money, they come across as much more superficial than other women.  For the most part, they look at only doctors, lawyers and bankers, and when that’s your pool of potential mates, you look like a gold digging bitch.  It might not be the case, but that’s how you’ll come across.

3.  They come across as insecure about their smarts.  Many smart women are in jobs that are, or traditionally have been, dominated by men.  Whether real or imagined, they often feel a need to prove themselves, which includes proving how smart they are.  As they say, a rich man doesn’t need to tell you that he’s rich.  Same goes for smarts.  If you’re intelligent, it will come through naturally.  Making an effort to show how smart you are shows you’re insecure about your intelligence; you don’t trust it to show on its own.  Not only is insecurity unattractive, but you’ll come across as a try hard and frankly, not that smart.

4.  They’re not actually smart, they’re just educated.  Going to an Ivy League school does not necessarily mean you’re smart.  You can memorize facts and definitions and kill the SATs and even graduate with great grades from a top school but still be dumb as bricks when it comes to things like adapting to a new technology or figuring out that the guy with a wife and a mistress isn’t interested in you.

Education is just a paper in a frame and a line on a resume.  Being smart is about observation, analysis, adaptation and innovation.  If you were actually smart, you wouldn’t need a psuedo-doctor to tell you what you’re doing wrong.  You’d have already figured it out and fixed it.

5.  They have a rod up their ass.  Benzer gets it right that many smart women don’t play up their feminine side, but ignores the darker part of this.  They often are incredibly obsessive about finding men who want them for their intelligence.  On the other hand, men don’t really care why a woman is attracted to us (unless it’s for money); we just want a woman who is genuinely attracted to us.  The why doesn’t matter.

What makes this one particularly bad is that intelligence on its own is not really that attractive.  If your intelligence makes you more able to hold an interesting conversation, or enjoy the nerdy things we like, or suggest a book we’ll love, then it makes you more attractive.  But, intelligence can also make you a mindless drone.  It’s not raw intelligence but how you apply that matters.

Wondering why there’s a picture of Amanda Bynes in this post?  She’s definitely not the model of feminine intelligence.  Nope, just a gratuitous hottie.  You’re welcome.

PS: If you think of Dr. Benzer as a real doctor, you’re not that smart.  He’s a freaking hypnotherapist and neuro-linguistic programming practitioner…meaning he’s just a super-cheesey wannabe pickup artist who calls himself a doctor.

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10 Responses to “Why Smart Women Really Have a Tough Time Dating”

  1. Points 1 and 2, pretty well illustrated here:

    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/01/06/sl-letter-of-the-day-marry-the-man-today

    My favorite response has to be: “If she’d only be happy with a guy making more money than her, then let her try to find that guy. You can point out that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to do this (especially considering more women graduate from college these days), but so what? If she can’t find such a guy, then whatever genes lead to her preferences will die out. Either way, it’s win-win.”

  2. The letter doesn’t say she want him to make money, just to be settled in a job; it might be code for making bank, but it might not be. Major life changes, such as starting college, graduating, or beginning a new career can have major impacts on your life and eventually your personality.

    People undergo a lot of change and (hopefully) growth during these times. But that means there’s a good chance that the person you know and love won’t exist in a few years. Hopefully the new person is also someone you love, but it might not be. Or, you might still love that person but just not be compatible.

    As for the genes dying out, it won’t happen the way marriage currently works. As women make more money, yes, there will be fewer men who make even more. But, those men have children with multiple women. I’m not talking about bigamy or cheating. They have children with many women through serial monogamy, getting married, divorced, and remarried to someone new. Rich women could outnumber rich men 3-1 but still end up all having legitimate children with a rich man.

  3. I don’t have nearly enough space to tell you all the things you don’t know, about women or relationships.

    I was a smart girl who hid my smarts, went to a mid-level college then got a dream job writing legislaton for the largest state (back then) in the nation. They wanted smart, trainable people who’d work for peanuts. I fit in for the first time in my life until all the married guys with less experience made more, because they have a family to support and I only work 16 hours a day!

    Next week we’ll celebrate our 7th anniversary, and I was in my early 40’s before I got married. Yes, he’s a genuis. We have a lifetime of conversations before us, he was out of work when we met (no gold-digger, moi) and has been since due to dot-bomb and banking industries.

    A guy like you might like a bimbo, go ahead. There are really smart gals out there who have no use for people like you. If you want to marry for looks or sex, you’ve a long life to live with nothing. I have a best friend who challenges me personally and intellectually and know enough about him to help him with his resume and finding jobs.

    Last, tech types tend to fall for kindergarten teachers or nurses or other nurturing people. My husband got a smart girl as well.

    • You went to a mid-level college and then got a “dream job” of working 16 hour days making less than your coworkers? Yeah, that sounds like a smart person to me.

      I’m sorry you missed who this post was talking about. It wasn’t about girls who think that being of average intelligence means they’re smart, it was about girls in the top 10% or so.

      As for tech types, there are two different types of tech guys. There are the nerdy, socially awkward tech guys who don’t go specifically for nurturing types, they go for whoever will take them (maybe teachers and nurses are the only ones who can tolerate them). Then there are the tech wizards who go on to become programmers or quants at i-banks, make a gozillion dollars and marry either a B-list actress or some sort of fashion editor.

      Last, yes, I don’t mind “bimbos.” Just because a girl is beautiful but not intelligent doesn’t mean she can’t be a joy to spend time with. There’s nothing about having a high IQ that means you’re going to be kind or generous or fun.

  4. Bitter, too. I left when I found out a colleague was given more than me, became a lobbyist in Manhattan and made twice as much as any of them.

    I am in the top 10% but don’t shout it from the rooftops and my husband is a tech wizard though I don’t act or run a fashion house. Kind, generous to a fault, and fun and able to converse with practically everyone but you, I fear. Let’s leave it at that, shall we? You showed up uninvited on MY blog. Regardless of your humorous reasons not to go to law school (I decided not to) your pinups and attitude toward women are obnoxious. Consider that when you fall in love, marry and have kids.

    • I’m gonna guess that if one of us has an obnoxious attitude towards women it’s the one who calls them bimbos.

      • There are really dumb, sometimes cute guys out there. I wouldn’t marry one. I was more concerned with your attitude, through pictures and text, about women as solely sex objects. Very few women are Hollywood starlets or Victoria’s Secret models. I’m guessing you don’t date one, because otherwise you’d be posting photos of the two of you skiing, or bowling, or at your engagement party instead of scantily clad poster girls, all alone.

        I respect women and men who have a sense of self and self-worth, and who after age 18 take responsibility for themselves, who they choose as friends, and whom they choose to date. If you’re old enough for law school you are in the big leagues now, where there’s more to life than hooking up for a night. No, I’m not your mom, (heaven forbid) but I can ask you to watch who you’re hurting out there with your cavalier attitude. I hope with all my heart that when you meet Ms. Right you’ll know it and give up the childishness.

      • Please point to one instance where I say that women are nothing but sex objects. I actually have dated models, and I don’t post pictures about it because I’m not a braggart.

        And, sorry to burst your bubble, but even professional women with advanced degrees still enjoy a night of sexual escapes with no consequences.

        So really, who am I hurting with my cavalier attitude? I have never lied or intentionally mislead a girl about my intentions with her. If all I’m interested in is a one night stand, the girl knows that going into it. If I want more, the girl knows that too.

        Sorry you think the girls are so weak that my open, honest attitude about my desires will harm them. I guess you think honest isn’t the best policy.

  5. Finding Jobs…

    […]Why Smart Women Really Have a Tough Time Dating « BL1Y[…]…

  6. social authority…

    […]Why Smart Women Really Have a Tough Time Dating « BL1Y[…]…

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