Why dating smart women frightens men and crushes their fragile egos
Men say and do the darndest things ...
In theory, dating someone more intelligent than you is a treat — they're someone who can challenge dusty world views and ready a partner for intellectual battle into a more informed arena. It’s like having a personal life-guru, who you also get to see super naked and do adults things with. There's literally nothing wrong with that.
"Do not want!" says over a hundred men in a recently published study, however. In it, the subjects only claim to desire someone smarter than they are, but go after the less intellectually thrilling ones when the reality of actually dating them strikes.
In the study, titled (Psychological) Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, researchers from the University at Buffalo, California Lutheran University and the University of Texas (published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin), take 105 men and read aloud various scenarios in language easy enough for their clouded minds to understand. Using certain hypothetical situations, they give the group options to say either, yes, they would date a woman who just outscored them on a test, or no, they would not. "Men formed favorable impressions and showed greater interest in women who displayed more (versus less) intelligence than themselves," the study concludes.
But the game switches when the men are put into a situation where they actually have to converse face to face and interact with the smarter women.
In the second portion, the men are given a phony intelligence test and then told they are going to meet a woman who had just scored better on the test than they did. The study finds that the dumbasses are less about that life and distance themselves from the smarter subject. They are also less inclined to exchange contact info and make plans to do something later.
What this means is that some men are frightened of dating intelligent women, suggests the study's authors. “Feelings of diminished masculinity accounted for men’s decreased attraction toward women who outperformed them in the live interaction context,” they write.
The study is also quick to caution that this case includes only 105 men, so taking it with a grain of salt is almost necessary to build anything productive out of it. Much more research is needed to make any definitive conclusions out of the findings, but as NTRSCTN points out, the study does mimic similar studies, such as a 2013 report in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, which finds that men are psychologically threatened when their wives or girlfriends make more money than they do.
Women needn't worry about this small blip in the evolutionary process though, it's completely feasible the world can continue without men even existing on this planet anymore.
Gentlemen, looks like our work here is done.