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Happy Sunday, all. It’s Day 26 of 30 Days of Dating Advice for Intellectual Badasses. Some time ago I wrote a post about what to do when you’re smarter than you’re date. If you’re an IB, it’s going to happen at some point. Today, I want to talk about what to do when you’re the bright one… and female. Yes, it’s different if you’re a woman.

I’m not going to go all feminist on you. That’s not what I’m about. But, like most of you, I recognize that men and women are different in some ways, and there are different social expectations for each sex. To get to the point, I’ve observed the following:

  • Dating and relationships are easiest (and most satisfying) when the man and woman share reasonably similar intellectual abilities.
  • If there are IQ differences, it works better when the male is the smarter one. The larger the difference, the truer this is.
  • If the woman is much smarter than the man, one will lose interest in the other. In my experience, the man will lose interest first.

Generally speaking, a woman doesn’t mind a smarter man in the same way she doesn’t mind if he out-earns her. If she’s not especially bright or accomplished, she may prefer a smarter and more accomplished man, with the reasoning that he can “take care” of her. In our culture, men don’t want or need to be “taken care of,” so a woman’s high IQ or income, while admirable, is superfluous. Oversimplified? Perhaps. But you get my point.

Are there exceptions to this? Sure. A man who isn’t especially bright or educated will do well with a bright woman if he’s got practical, worldly knowledge that has proven useful in his life – i.e. he’s “street smart.” This kind of confident man doesn’t need a high IQ because his own brand of intelligence serves him well. This is important – after all, how many bright people do you know who are great in school or at their jobs, but “dumb” in other important areas of life?

If you’re a bright woman, do I recommend you date smart guys? For the most part, yes. It’s usually easier. And, you will find that most bright men will prefer you over other women. BUT, there are several caveats to this:

  • Don’t confuse education with intelligence. I know women who refuse to date men with less education. They fear encountering men who are threatened by their education or intelligence. But every field requires a different level of education. And these days, anyone with money (usually from Mom and Dad) can go to college.
  • Don’t confuse income with intelligence. It’s easy to assume people with money are smarter than the rest of us. Not the case. People with lots of money, assuming they earned it themselves, are smarter about MONEY.
  • Don’t confuse charm with intelligence. Charming men seem smarter, but they aren’t. They’re usually good people-readers and have good social skills, which is why they succeed with others. Make sure there’s substance (intellectual or otherwise) to back up the charm.

In other words, don’t judge a book by its cover. You won’t know if a man is a intellectually compatible with you until you get to know him. Many times, you’ll find that smart men will gravitate toward you and men who don’t match your smarts won’t. And if you do meet a great guy who isn’t as intellectually heavy-hitting as you are? As long as he’s confident in himself and you’re compatible in other ways, give him a whirl. There are different kinds of intelligence and you can learn a lot from one another.

This is the first time I’ve written on this topic. Would love your input….


Some useful links:

Recap: 30-Day IB Campaign

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