Do men have lower standards than women?

29.  I was single from January 1, 2002 until November 12, 2005.  That’s 46.35 months.  After that, I realized that I don’t know if I can trust anyone who doesn’t know what it’s like to be alone.  I think being able to stand yourself for any amount of time is key to being mature, and self-reliant enough to bring something to a relationship.  But then, I’m hardly an expert on relationships.

This idea has been bouncing around in my head for a while.  I even wrote a big post about it, but it didn’t save, so I put it on the back-burner for a few days.  In the meantime, I began asking people, usually women or professionals of some sort, whether they thought that their ideal partner would have to be ejukated.

The conclusion: a good number of women thought that intelligence was an important quality in their ideal mate, with this section being heavily biased toward more educated women. 1  Women used a lot of ‘share’ language when it came to talking about their ideal mate.  The men I talked to did not.  In fact, I think men think about it differently.  Men seem to only want an outlet.  For a lot of guys, a good life consists of a job, friendships, and a relationship which, when totaled, satisfy all of their desires.  It’s an odd thing to process and I’m not at all sure if it’s universal.

But what that says to me is that women would have a harder time finding someone to ‘share’ their life with if their life consisted of things very few people were interested in.


Take the sad case of Eleanor Abernathy, a Harvard and Yale M.D. and J.D. (respectively). Abernathy was a very good doctor and lawyer, but was unable to meet men as a result of her professions.  She devoted all of her attentions into her pets and eventually became a notorious cat hoarder.

Presumably, this is typical of women who get over-educated.

I am, of course, talking out of my wazoo.  I have no credible evidence that this is the case and can only resort to common experience.  But it seems like it is at least the case for some people.

What do you think?  I know most of my audience is women, so I’m interested in seeing what place intelligence has in selecting a mate.  How important is it?  Inquiring minds want to know.

  1. Then again, I don’t know how much of this was confirmation bias. []


  1. Wait a minute…this sounds strangely familiar… Shouldn’t I get some of those chocolate pips for contributing to this post? Give me a few. Three of my cats really like chocolate. 😛

  2. Moira,
    I don’t know what you’re talking about. I came up with this by myself while in the shower in the house where I’m squatting. You must be going crazy.


  3. I’ve never quantified or listed what I look for in a man, but intelligence would definitely be one of the top important things.

    Hmm maybe I should make a list of top-10 things that are important in a man I date.

  4. Intelligence is definitely important. But then you find out that there are apparently many different kinds of intelligence. At least that’s what it seems like to me when I compare myself to my husband.

    And I’m one of those who did not reach the point where I was comfortable being alone with myself before I got married. I seemed to have always been on a quest to get married. Luckily I didn’t jump in and marry the wrong guy. I was engaged to the wrong guy, but eventually married the right one. Whew. Way too much information or what? 😉

  5. intelligence! yes! i have dated men at my general educational level, and i have dated men below it, and the relationships with fairly similar education levels are so much more fulfilling.

    but i have to stop there. my head isn’t working well enough to say much more.

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