Is Dating Harder if You're Smarter?

Back by popular demand! You loved this article about why being smarter can make your dating life more difficult.
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Is Dating Harder if You’re Smarter?

Back by popular demand! You loved this article about why being smarter can make your dating life more difficult.

-Carrie Seim

Is dating harder for smart women?

You can solve complex calculus equations, expound on the relevance of the Battle of Thermopylae and diagnose enigmatic blood disorders (without the help of WebMD).

You’ve more than earned your smarty pants.

Just one problem – you have a hard time slipping out of those smarty pants and into the arms of an inamorata. (That’s smarty pants talk for lovah.)

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Why is it that men and women who are the most educated, most accomplished and most intelligent seem to have the hardest time dating?

As one of my brightest friends, a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University, recently lamented, “I guess I just want the best and have a hard time overlooking the things about people that annoy me! It is really starting to settle in, however, that I am likely going to be single during my time at Cornell.”

According to Dr. Alex Benzer, author of The Tao of Dating books, brainy folks may be too smart for their own good when it comes to matters of the heart.

In an article for The Huffington Post, Benzer posits that “the smarter you are, the more clueless you will be, and the more problems you’re going to have in your dating life.”

So why do intellectual whiz-kids fare worst romantically?

First, Benzer says, smart people often grow up in families focused on academic achievement rather than relationship building: “Time spent studying, doing homework, and practicing the violin is time not spent doing other things — like chasing boys or girls, which turns out is fairly instrumental in making you a well-rounded human.”

This describes my family – and lack of early dating life – precisely. But I’m glad my parents prized intelligence over dating triumphs. It saved me a lot of wasted time wooing teen geeks. And made me an interesting person worthy of wooing adult geeks.

As Tina Fey said in a May 2008 interview with Marie Claire: “You know what? Let the boys practice on other girls. Let them treat other girls like crud, let them learn how to French kiss for, like, 10 years, let them give some other girl a bunch of crappy Valentine’s Day gifts, and then you just move in when they’re fully formed.”

But Benzer says fully formed brainiacs can have a tougher time with romance than young smarties. He says as adults, smart people often limit themselves to dating other high IQ individuals, thus eliminating 95 percent of the dating pool.

But wait – isn’t it true that smart men will date dumb women, as long as they’re hot?

“They won’t tolerate it after about seven minutes,” says one Ivy League grad I spoke to. After a brief pause, he added, “Okay, they’ll tolerate it long enough to have sex, but then they get bored.”

“My really smart female friends, in general, are less willing to tolerate stupidity in the name of sex,” he says.

Sounds numbingly familiar. So what are we clever lonely-hearts to do?

Well, there’s always Mensa. That’s right, in order get to the bottom of this dating dichotomy, I called in the big brains.


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0 thoughts on “Is Dating Harder if You're Smarter?

  1. Fern says:

    This explains a lot … ha!

  2. deborah says:

    I’v always felt that it is mor difficult for SMART women to find men. Whether we like to admit it or not, traditionalist caveman still exists: MAN – smart, WOMAN, not.

  3. dustyleelou says:

    OH yeah! It’s very difficult for smart women to find intelligent men, half the guys I’ve spoken to barely read a book, really pathetic!

  4. Carolyn88 says:

    I know dustyleelou! What is up with men and reading? If it’s not a comic book or Maxim forget about it.

  5. sencerre12 says:

    Exactly! More like Playboy, and they always have the same stupid comment, “I read it for the articles.” Cracks me up every time!

  6. jensyen says:

    I don’t think being “brainy” has to eclipse one’s personality…if you are not a snob about it. Brains can bring wit and compassion to a relationship…just think about it! (smile)

  7. lotsowritin25 says:

    hahaha i like tina fey’s approach – date boys when they’re trained well!

  8. Fern says:

    Seriously — Tina got it rightt.

  9. CM-JJordan says:

    Totally love Tina’s quote and this one by Elissa – “You really have to know yourself before you can get to know somebody else. Having an IQ doesn’t necessarily mean you know yourself any better than a person with an average IQ”. Well said!

  10. MaryMack says:

    Dustyleelou and Caroyln88, I have found that men prefer not to read because they like to “do.” Rather than read about adventures they prefer to make the adventure. When they do read, it is usually something that contains information they can use–how to fix or build something, great fishing spots or techniques, what women like, etc.

  11. Fern says:

    Good point, MaryMack — men are very action oriented. NOw let’s use our smarts to get them action oriented toward us!

  12. JeffD says:

    I am a married, Mensan male friend of Michelle. Reading through these comments, I’d like to tell you I know several single Mensans that are looking for ladies that are smart and intellectually stimulating. They are out there. In fact, one friend even said reading was one of his hobbies. I don’t mean to recruit too much, but if you want a smart guy, consider joining Mensa or starting an intellectual hobby like a book club. In fact, that was my advice to him as well. Just my 2 cents.

  13. neyshan says:

    I think if you are a smart women with certain interests its really easy to find good men. I am a college student that lives in a house where it almost entirely really high achieving men and women, mostly computer science and math majors. The women have their pick of any guy they want because we are the minority in those fields and the men tend to have trouble finding girls that are intelligent or share any of their interests.

  14. SNOOKY61 says:

    Not really! It’s very difficult to find “intelligent” men who can carry on a conversation about a whole array of subjects and not just sports!

  15. vdub4 says:

    GREAT article! I refuse to compromise on intelligence! I’d rather be alone than with someone who is STUPID… I’ve been down that road! He was great in bed, but couldn’t hold a conversation to save his life…so, out he went!

  16. VERUKA says:

    Hey, Mary Mack, men prefer not to read cause they are lazy, and they like to “do”? That’s a good one, I needed a laugh!

  17. bryony1 says:

    What I find difficult is explaining to someone who hasn’t a clue about something that is obvious to me. I get irritated. I’ve been with both smart and not-so-smart guys and I have to say one thing on behalf of the latter: they are usually proud of having a smart girlfriend and they brag about you. That’s a real plus.

  18. vdub4 says:

    Great advice! I read in a recent poll taken of young women, that they would give up knowing how to read if they could be famous! What a sad commentary in our celebrity obsessed culture… My mom always taught my sisters and I that celebrity stuff was just for fun, and it was silly…but what really mattered was the kind of person you are…kind, smart, funny, with good hygiene…what can I say, my mama is a child of the 50′s…but she’s RIGHT. A person (male or female) should just be the best at who they are, be happy, and they will attract the same kind of person. :) Great stuff, as always, Carrie Seim!

  19. wakorb89 says:

    I’m in college right now and I can totally relate to this. I am so focused on my academics that a relationship seems insignificant. I also agree with Tina’s quote, I’m just going to wait for a few more years ;)

  20. MensaMale158IQ says:

    I think there are many women on this page spouting their ill-views of men in general. Alot of these views are generalized, and if read without bias, actually equate to sexism with an undertone of gender supremacy.

    I will not quote a single poster, but it is unwise to use common phrases – or share the views of the rest of the 98% of the population. Also, you may believe you are intelligent, but until you actually get the Mensa membership ; or a membership from another accredited body – sadly you cannot prove this.

    I found it very Ironic to meet a woman who seemed to believe she was more intelligent than me; she spoke condescendingly towards me and when it came to take the mensa exam, she scored an IQ of 135, I however scored 158. She too believed she was more intelligent than me – before being tested. Therefore please girls, do not generalize guys – because it may be you who is the less intelligent one, no?

  21. mothermeryl says:

    I guess sometimes book learning isn’t the only measure of intelligence!

  22. Catca says:

    There are all kinds of different IQs, this emphasis on being in Mensa or not is plain silly. The truth of the matter is that the older you get, the harder it is to meet someone, and I think in a way, the more self aware you are the harder it is as well. What I mean is that the more self aware you are, the more you really know what you are looking for and as a result, consciously or subconsciously, limit your dating pool.

  23. Sreyr says:

    I’m not sure that being smart is what turns guys off, but when they ask me what I do and I tell them that I’m a microbiologist, they definitely start scanning the room more often than not. I’ve found that dumbing down my position (saying I work in a lab rather than specifying my title) sometimes helps. Sadly, they usually assume I’m an assistant of some sort. Eventually they’ll ask what I do, as in my day-to-day activities, but hopefully by then they will have seen that I’m more than just a boring science geek! It is a sad fact that many men are intimidated by smart women. I’ve even met men who come out and say, “Wow, that’s intimidating.” Sometimes I have fun with it and see how long I can torture them by talking about my job, sometimes it does get sad and frustrating!

  24. gigashadowwolf says:

    @ #4,5 I read the articles in Maxim and Playboy far more frequently than looking at the girls. That saying is not bullshit. Most of the articles are remarkably similar to the ones here. If I wanted to look at hot pictures of girls I would do it on the internet. Those magazines SUCK for “spank material”. Maybe you should pick one up and read it sometime. I also by the way am a Mensa member and I am working on my Masters in quantum physics. I majored in Film Production and Minored in Computer Science. I scored 40 points off from perfect on my SAT. I go for “smarter girls”, but what they say is right, “smarter girls” tend to lack certain social skills and often don’t know how to be sexy. Many of them never even pleasure themselves. How do you expect me to please you if you don’t know how to do it yourself? What is hard to find is the girl who knows how to do both.

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