How Do You Know What Your Dating League Is?

Name: AP
Age: 38
Story: I haven’t actually seen this covered in your blog, but how do you discern “leagues”? As a woman, how do you determine who is and who isn’t in your league? I’m attractive & very fit by most people’s standards, do well professionally, extroverted/sociable, but I am also in my late 30s. I bring a lot to the table, BUT I know my age is not as desirable as a 20 year old. So help me understand this concept?
City: New York
State: NY

I asked a few friends to define leagues. This is what one male friend said:

Yeah, that’s a tough one for women.  You can’t go by the guys you can pull because guys will date “down.”  You can’t ask your guy friends because they always have some agenda, even if just to protect your feelings.  You can’t ask your girlfriends because they’re either protecting your feelings too, or otherwise clueless or saboteurs.  The only answer is prove the negative.  League is a “ceiling.”  If you’re chasing after guys who don’t seem available (regardless of the reason they tell you), then they are “out of your league.”

If you’d like a basic definition, then go by the type of responses you get from your online dating profile. Gather up 10 or so responses from those men, look at their profiles, get an average read on their age range, body type, career level and attractiveness. That’s your type, with a little wiggle room.The reason I use online dating as a barometer is because all the basic stats are right there, presented for the other person’s approval. Leagues are defined by superficial criteria. Not depth or substance. Despite that, they still factor in to who we date and why. Everything from how we look to what we do and where we live is considered. A 45-50 year old i-banker or lawyer is not going to date me seriously. Maybe if I were really hot. That might make up for my very modest lifestyle, wardrobe and income. But I’m not. Could there be one or two bankers that look past that? Maybe. But I’m not going to beat my head in to a wall trying to find that needle in the haystack.

Like my male friend said. Prove the negative. If you have to heavily pursue or “chase” someone, they’re out of your league. The question you seem to be asking is the one hardest to answer or define. In my opinion, the “leagues’ as we used to know or define them don’t exist anymore.

I think a lot of women focus on age and think that that is a large contributing factor for men. I disagree. I don’t think it’s about age as it is about the degree of difficulty. As recently as a few years ago a man might dismiss a woman “of a certain age” because he feared she would be on the marriage or baby track. As we discussed the other day, those aren’t necessarily the priority of many men and women anymore. Some, of course. Many. But I think – and this is just my opinion – the number of men and women seeking marriage and kids are much fewer these days.  Life is just too unsteady now. Nobody knows where they’ll be in a year or two. They’re erring on the side of caution and not taking on that level of added responsibility. So age isn’t as big as a factor anymore, in my mind.

As for men, since they no longer are the primary breadwinners and so many women are making just as if not more than they are, they no longer have an income bracket to justify their “league.” Most women aren’t looking for men who can provide a lifestyle. Those women are providing it for themselves. In a sense, what men used to bring to the table – namely a sense of security and financial stability -is no longer as eagerly sought. So their stock has taken a hit. What those men – and they make up a big chunk of the single male demo, I’d bet – seek is someone with lower expectations.

And therein lies the problem.I truly believe the biggest hurdle that single people face is something they develop all on their own – their expectations. That, in a nutshell, is what a league is. It’s a caliber of person we feel we deserve or are entitled to.

The bottom line, for men at least, is that the external and superficial things you bring to the table will eventually mean nothing if you’re a great big pain in the ass. Drama queens need not apply. You could be 25 or 45. Doesn’t matter. Eventually, the clock will run out on his patience. Women, on the other hand, appear to tolerate a whole lot of crap for much longer simply because the guy looks a certain way or because they’re in some unspoken competition with their single girlfriends. Women also seem to expect a certain kind of treatment simply because they are women. Those kind of expectations are what get us in to trouble more often. We want to be treated equally.

So men treat us as equals and treat us as though we think the same way they do. That’s where men screw up. They expect us to approach situations the same way they do, and if we don’t, we’re all “nuts.”  Well, many of us don’t have the same takes or perspectives. That doesn’t make us irrational or crazy. It just means some of us think differently.

I think the older a man or woman gets, the higher/greater/more unattainable their expectations become. If they’ve chosen to stay single for this long, then why “settle” now? If they can find someone who is easier to deal with, why tolerate what they perceive to be drama? Why bother getting married when most marriages fail?

This whole “leagues” issue was much more simple when the only options were single or married, if you ask me.

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64 Responses to “How Do You Know What Your Dating League Is?”

  1. Vox Says:

    I define the OP’s league as being the men out there who actively pursue her, and then date her in a respectful manner. For instance, my league looks pretty high if I find it acceptable to be dated 1-3 times, shagged, then blown off. Hot guys (or high earners) are willing to “date” me like that because as Moxie’s friend said, men will date down. Those guys just don’t view me as serious dating material, and therefore they are not in my league. My league is down a few notches from those guys, that’s the truth. I never wonder whether the men in my league are going to call me after a date – they always do. When I dated outside of my league, I found myself hoping for a text, and being elated to get one.

  2. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    If you want to be technical, I would start with Vox’s baseline but then aim a little bit lower, the idea being that some guys who are “out of your league” will date you AND be respectful but still not want to be serious with you.

    The whole league discussion is another way of saying that people should have realistic expectations. If your expectations are reasonable and realistic, you will not be disappointed (as often.) If your expectations are too high or unreasonable, you will be consistently disappointed. It’s really impossible to teach someone how to be reasonable — usually, they either are or they aren’t. And, as difficult as that is generally, it’s most difficult when trying to convince someone to be realistic about their own attractiveness, physical or otherwise. People are really insistent about themselves and their good judgment (and, as I’ve said before, they’re especially wedded to even their worst past decisions and seem destined to repeat them.) Trying to actually define someone’s “league” is a futile exercise.

    • Elle Says:

      I agree with the comments where dating a guy who is actually pursuing you is someone who is in your league. But it is hard to judge by looks, money, and personality whether a guy would be in your league or not. I have gone out with guys who I thought were just not attractive or whose personality I didn’t really care for just for the sake of being a long term relationship. Unfortunately those very same guys that I was not interested in have either dumped me or pulled the disappearing act. However, right now I am dating someone whom I never thought would ever want to go out with me. He is way more attractive than me, smart, and has a big heart. It has been five months and still going strong which I never expected. Sometimes life will surprise you. I don’t think you judge a book by its cover. Or maybe I just found my needle in the haystack.

      • whosyourdaddy Says:

        I hate to break it to you pumpkin, but us men have these things called “c*cks”. We like to do things with them, like do the helicopter, whip them out in public and yes, bang doable chicks with them. Yesss ahaha that includes women below our standards.

        Want to know how we do it? We have to pursue those women. So we can get the pooty. It doesn’t mean that we want to date you, or put a ring on it silly. If I am an 8 out of 10, and I pursue a 6 out of 10, does it mean that I want to date her? No, most likely I’m looking for a good Saturday night. Or Wednesday, if shes into that.

        Women, women, women… tsk tsk you ladies think that every time a guy hits on you, he is yours forever… You will sleep with hotter guys and think “oh maybe if we have sex with him, he’ll like us or something?” No it doesn’t work that way. If you go out of your league, the only person who scores in the end is US GUYS. You ladies just strike out… again… and again… and again. And then you blame us and Cosmo magazines and your malfunctioning hair curler for why you are 30 and single.

  3. Saj Says:

    Leagues are tricky because are leagues defined on who attracts the greater number of people? The woman could attract the serious attention of a greater number of men then he does woman but still only want him because he’s her type.

    I wouldn’t chase after doctors due to them being spazzes and lawyers for being arrogant pains in the ass (ignore my generalizing) but I wouldn’t consider them in a higher league but many women may want them strictly for the paycheck so they seem more desirable.

    Type trump leagues I think.

  4. Mike Felber Says:

    It is useful to know realistic tendencies of who folks tend to attract based upon their “goods” But we need to rebel against seeking & judging folks based upon the largely materialistic aspects sought-status, money, power, a conventionally “hot” look. Also defining our type more narrowly than we need to is self defeating. We need to be able to feel attraction & passion, though especially for woman that can develop & be tied to other things. And there are practical considerations, but we hurt ourselves in a few major ways be looking for the material over other stuff.

    1) We miss out on tons of people we might have something good &/or lasting with.

    2) When relationships become largely about jockeying for & retaining status/wealth/influence or other material things, the relationships are less likely to succeed & be happy & healthy.

    3) We retard our own personal or spiritual development, acting more from greed instead of love & respect for the person. In extreme cases it is all about the agenda, & dehumanizes both parties.

    4) I speculate that while it may be hotter for some to have “scored” that alpha male or model woman, likely in the even medium run the sex & excitement is less than seeing & caring for the real person, while still admiring them, & for deeper reasons.

    Again, not all “aspired” to is negative. If, say intellect is a priority, maybe you seek a smarter type, & they may be highly accomplished & well off,, or a modest academic.of unremarkable prestige & means. But so much or seeking “leagues” is more like 20,000 Leagues Under, aka, a horror of Ego that sinks True Love.

    Every time I will forgo the fancy &/or attitude laden “beauty” or high powered, attitude laden one absent other significant virtues over a lady who is not a conventional stunner, but I find her really endearing & sexy, maybe especially absent makeup, & in part due to her warmth, passion for something non-material like the Arts, simpatico & loving values, & sense of wonder + self insight.

    The type who is beyond most games & materialism, yet still humble. Admittedly I have tended to be somewhat of a caretaker to those who have much of this, but lack great emotional stability. My instincts to help & social service background.

    • Doctor Who Says:

      I’ve never met a nurturer/caretaker type who was extremely egocentric. Their desire to help comes believing they are more enlightended and superior. They are staples at 12 step meetings, group therapy sessions and support groups.

    • Saj Says:

      Lol and I’m an unstable artist who attracts caretakers. Now we are going beyond leagues and into something more pathological on what attracts what that is far more complicated then who appeals to the mass market.

      Some women may place a jerky lawyer as a 9 but she may find parts of his jerkyness appealing (arrogant, confident, must prove herself to him, good lifestyle) while other women may find that repulsive and list him as 4. Because more women may like the jerky traits would that put him in a higher league?

      People are RARELY honest or objective on their overall attractiveness so they can’t self assess the best.

  5. M Says:

    I think leagues do exist but would define them differently. I’d say your league is essentially the opposite sex version of you. I find that online, lots of people go after someone better than them. I have a good job, a nice house, a nice car, a Master’s, an average body and I think slightly above average looks. The typical person who emails me on these sites has a job that pays maybe half of what mine does, the probably dont own, their car isnt comparable to mine, they have some college or maybe a bachelors, and are overweight with below average looks. I dont think you can use that to define league. If you have

    • Vox Says:

      I’m guessing you are a female? What you list here attract women to men, but don’t really attract men to women, at least not much. A man with a good job, nice house, nice car and a master’s degree would be just as happy – maybe happier – to date a kindergarten teacher with a bachelor’s degree and a rented apartment, if she is cute and he enjoys her company. Why would he care about her owning a house, when he has his own house? Why would he care about her having a nice car, when he has his own nice car? Women date resumes, men do not. Your body and your looks count for far more than the rest of what you have listed.

      The typical person who emails you IS your league, that is why they are emailing you instead of the men with the great resume and great looks. I know, it sucks! But such is life. The sooner you accept this, the better off you will be.

      • M Says:

        The funny thing here is Im not female. So basically, you just validated my point. YOu basically said that all the positive things I can list about myself should help me attract women, but apparently, they arent. So if my resume is so great, why am I still single? Where does that leave us?

        As far as leagues, I dont much care. Im just saying. As a guy, yes, I would happily go out with a kindergarten teacher as you described and I wouldnt care about all that other stuff. Honestly, of the things I listed, I would only care about her looks/figure. I would like her to be smart, but a degree doesnt necessarily verify that.

        • Kurt Says:

          You might want to try eHarmony. Most of the women who are active on that site seem to be fat, but there are a few attractive ones on that site.

          • M Says:

            I am on there and have found ti to be as good any any other site. Because their system relies on matching, if you get an attractive match and you email her, you know not every guy is emailing her too. Yes, there are some overweight women on there, but I dont think more than anywhere else. I have to say though that I dont get many matches the type I describe above.

        • Vox Says:

          But what you list DOES attract women – you said so yourself. They just aren’t the types you want. The unattractive, overweight women who want you? That’s your league.

          • M Says:

            If you think that’s my league, can you please explain to me how the people you claim are in my league, in any other setting, whether it be social, professional, or whatever else, I would have nothing in common with. If I dont have anything in common with them, and I wouldnt even be talking to them, how can they possibly be my league in an area where the standards are upped for everybody? If we dont have enough in common to hang out as friends, there’s no way we would have enough in common to start a relationship. See, its not just about the weight and the looks (which are linked, BTW). Its that these people, if they even have jobs, have the kind of job that anybody can learn to do in a day, or at most, a week. Let me put it another way: they are dumb. They are unintelligent. I am not. This is a big problem for me. Are you suggesting I go out with anything that moves? I look for 3 things in a girl, and if you think I should overlook intelligence too, you’ve just eliminated 2 of the 3.
            Let me put it another way: unless these are really nice, friendly people (and they dont strike me as that type), these are people with NOTHING to offer. I have lots to offer. Look at my original post for a list, and that’s only the tangible qualities. Looking at the whole thing from a different angle, the girls I email are getting emails from guys like me, so then that’s their league right? They should go out with guys like me then, because I am their league right? This is why I made my original point: your league is essentially an opposite sex equivalent of yourself in terms of what we have to offer. If you look at it your way, its just one big chain and nobody except maybe those at the very top are satisfied.

            • Vox Says:

              At the end of the day, you are dealing with the same issues many of us have to deal with, which is not being able to pull the “type” we want. All you can do is accept it, or hange yourself in such a way that better entices the ones you want.

              I don’t know why smart women aren’t attracted to you, nor do I know why dumb women are. Maybe you arent as intelliegent as you think, maybe its your looks, maybe your personality sucks, maybe you are short…I have no idea. I’m still trying to fire out why Bradley Cooper isn’t trying to date me. My best guess is, in his mind he can do better. I can either dig in my heels and wait for this terrible injustice to end, or I can accept it and get on with my life.

            • Trouble Says:


              Do you wait on girls to e-mail you, or do you contact people online, as well? If/when you contact more attractive women, what is their response?

            • Speed Says:

              As has been run down here many times before, everyone selects from their available options. The people who contact you, or respond to your contact, are your options (or league or whatever).

              It does not matter whether you desire them. What matters is whether they desire you (in the way you want)—irrespective of how you match “on paper.”

              It is sometimes possible to expand your league/options through improving your looks, fashion sense, income, character, etc. but that takes a lot of self-investment so it won’t happen overnight.

              In any event, online services create an illusion of options. Unless you are amazing, only a fraction of those people online are truly options for us. And, paradoxically, truly amazing people don’t need to online date in the first place. That is what drives so much frustration and disappointment online. But, as Vox rightly noted, that is the reality.

              I wouldn’t automatically write off people who are “dumb.” This was a very bad mistake of mine in the past. To overuse a cliché I know recognize as a truism, everyone has something to offer. A person can have nominal academic credentials but have great common sense, strong determination, honesty, resilience, work ethic and dozens of other great character traits that you can only learn over time in personal—not through an online profile.

              On the other hand a person can have great looks, education and background but be the worst partner imaginable.

            • Angeline Says:

              After talking about this post, my boyfriend and I just spent some time looking at profiles on POF. Agreed that POF is one step above Craiglist, but that’s the one I used and it’s free, so our experiment didn’t cost us anything to browse around and actually receive and read emails without upgrading. I re-posted my profile, and we made one for him, and checked out the “Viewed me” slide show, and waited to see who would get an email first. He had zero experience with online dating, and really had no idea what it’s like out there. His first take: “My God. It’s Hell Dating.”

              One thing I was brutally reminded of – how sketchy and sloppy people’s profiles are – Jeez. No effort at all. Not just the men, the women, too. Txt spk. Awful photos. A couple of barely thought out sentences (how many of you just immediately click to the next profile when you see “I really don’t know what to right (sic) about myself” or “Wow this is really hard to talk about yourself” blah blah blah. Yep, it is, and everyone else managed to put that effort in.

              And how amazingly illuminating it was, even to someone who spent some time at one point critiquing and improving dating profiles, to watch someone new to the sport check it out. What he noticed. What he ignored. What made him laugh. Obviously, that’s a test bed of one, but still informative.

              M, if you want to know what you need to do to punch up your profile, find your most sensible, blunt, “on your level” friend, and sit there while she browses profiles. Ask her to comment, as bluntly and brutally as she can, what’s wrong and what’s right with the ones she comes across, searching for your age and general characteristics. Don’t show her yours, and tell her you won’t show her yours, so she will be as honest as possible without fear of hurting your feelings.

              I’d guess that somehow your profile, your photos, or your emails are putting off the women you want to attract. If the site you’re on has forums and you’re active on them, perhaps what you post there is putting off the women you want to date (I know that’s the first thing I’d check after looking at their profile, to try and get a sense of the person).

              Or, your profile is so innocuous and generic it doesn’t even register if you get someone you want to attract to actually see it. If your assessment of yourself is accurate, then you must be putting the ones you want off somehow. Not trying to be hurtful here, just offering a possible reason, and a possible path for changing it.

        • Mark Says:

          You bring up the low quality of people emailing you. If you’re a male, then you should not be at all surprised that the women who email you on online dating sites are of lower quality than you. Quality women on those sites expect men to be emailing them and are getting plenty of emails from men already and don’t even need to email anyone. It’s fairly traditional for women to expect guys to make the first move and I’m actually kind of surprised that you expect to sit there and have your female equals email you. I’ve seen statistics about who mails who on online dating sites and it’s mostly men emailing women. Statistically, on online dating sites about half of guys don’t even get any emails from women at all. The fact that you are getting emails as a guy show that you do have things to offer. Your league is actually the average woman who responds to your emails, not the average woman who initiates emails to you.

      • grace Says:

        I disagree wholeheartedly that men don’t date resumes. Every single man I know who has gotten married in the past several years dumped their former girlfriends to marry women who were better educated and made more money. One guy actually said that his fiance was a good person to marry because she is ‘a partner at a law firm’ and comes from a family of doctors. This guy is a multi-millionaire director at a hedge fund.

        Also, as I mentioned once or twice on this blog before, I obtained my law degree later in life. Now that I have a law degree, I find that more men on online dating sites who are professionals contact me than they did when I had a bachelors degree, but was younger.

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          “Now that I have a law degree, I find that more men on online dating sites who are professionals contact me than they did when I had a bachelors degree” I suspect that’s because you, as a professional with a presumably higher income, present less of a financial risk now.

      • Bruna Says:

        We all date characteristics whether it’s a woman or a man. While women don’t care so much about looks, they seek other attributes such as income and education level. Men on the other hand have a tendency of searching for measures such as looks. So stop saying women date resumes – truth is we all do.

        • Lucy Says:

          I think both sexes also realise eventually that you’re not looking for someone with bragging rights or is a trophy on your arm, but someone who treats you well and is a good partner. Obviously you still date someone who is attractive to you but you look at it more holistically. At least this is how dating has evolved for me.

    • Steve Says:

      That’s because there are more men than women online. Ive posted numbers on here before; there are generally 1.5 to 2 times as many men on match, depending on age bracket and location. Just supply and demand at work. Finding someone at a relative equal is difficult. Plus the women on match tends toward being more perfectionist in finding someone than those you’d meet normally. Add to that when you scan the photos, what do you do? Probably what I do, is scan the few dozen you can see, and click on the ones that have the prettiest, most youthful looking faces, then you click next page. Well that’s what all the other guys are doing too, top 20% end up getting 80% of the views.

  6. SB Says:

    I can’t speak for guys; I think it is important that guys date someone they find visually appealing. Anything just seems fruitless, to me, since biologically speaking that is the most important attracting trait for a dude. My post applies to women:

    I can’t believe we are even discussing leagues at this stage. many of you are older than me, but this discussion seems very high school, imo. What happened to dating to get to know someone who seems nice? Just because you go on a date, that doesn’t mean you have committed anything – you are free to say yes or no to more. What is wrong with using a date or two to get to know someone who may have potential (newsflash: almost everyone does unless they are truly hideous or there is some “deal breaker” you hold for whatever reason that is true of them).

    Dating resumes does not often yield good results. The men I have dated who think they have good resumes for getting women (good job, dress nice, nice house, nice car, etc) tend to think that is ALL they have to do and usually turn out to be either jerks or just extremely boring. I’m sorry to the guys who may be great and also have that “resume” for dating, this is just my own experience.
    I prefer to get to know any guy who seems interested in me or that I may be interested in (if he is up for it) by hanging out – walks and chats are free, btw – to determine if there might be potential.

    “leagues”? Please. You are just shooting yourself in the foot. Had I believed in and adhered to “leagues’, I never would have met my amazing boyfriend.

    • Kurt Says:

      I agree with what you wrote about dating resumes. A lot of guys seem to think that women care a lot about their professional success and money, but most women could care less. A lot of women would rather date a greasy bartender over a successful lawyer or doctor for reasons that elude me.

      Maybe being professionally/financially successful makes a man marginally more attractive, but it doesn’t seem to add that much. The women I meet who like me seem to like me far more because of how I look or my personality rather than any professional/financial success I have attained.

      • bill Says:

        It isn’t the men being more professional in success and money that makes them more attractive. It is there personalty traits. Generally the men who have more success /professional/money are also in sales directly/indirectly. They learn to sell; take chances, and they learn to close; the most important part they learn how to impress.

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          Personality traits or other factors may matter more to women than money, but anyone who thinks money doesn’t matter at all is just plain wrong.

          A study a few years ago asked women to rate men’s physical attractiveness (from one to ten) based solely on a photo. Then they were shown the same photos again with an income figure below each. The high-income men were rated an average of two points higher in the second round than they were in the first, and lower-income men two points lower. Note that the women had been specifically instructed to ignore the income figure and rate each man solely on physical attractiveness, and afterward every single one of them claimed to have done so as directed.

          When the same survey was in reverse, there was no statistically significant difference between the two rounds in how men rated women. So, men really don’t care about a woman’s income, despite numerous claims to the contrary.

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        “A lot of guys seem to think that women care a lot about their professional success and money,” That’s because, until women had similar educational and career opportunities, their financial security and social status depended on the man they managed to catch. Many of us, both men and women, were indoctrinated with that model growing up and, no matter how much we try (and many don’t try very hard), it’s very tough to shake such fundamental beliefs.

        “A lot of women would rather date a greasy bartender over a successful lawyer or doctor for reasons that elude me.” True, but are those the women you want to date? I suspect not, so you should be thankful they’re not interested in you–and taking other guys that might be competition for some other woman out of the picture.

  7. Mike Felber Says:

    “Better than them”. Sad paradigm there. Many do not use this is shorthand for what is considered more desirable by society,/conditioned like a lab rat,, & what biology surely encourages, the varying unconscious strategies that Vox alludes to that is sex related strategies for producing viable offspring/passing on your genes. We need to take those genetically & culturally influenced preferences & run them through some critical thinking & Heart & Soul tests.

    Because too many actually believe that these people who have these often mindlessly desires traits are their betters. Thus look for love largely motivated by covetous & less than fully humanized impulses. So their connections will tend to be more bereft of deeper feelings & more satisfying lusts. Let alone less love.

    • Vox Says:

      Please do not put words in my mouth. There is nothing unconscious about what i wrote my post. Men consciously pursue women they find physically attractive, and women consciously want men who are at least their financial equals (if not their betters). I didn’t introduce unconscious, biological reasons because I think it’s often a bunch of hooey.

  8. bill Says:

    Your league will never be determined by the guys online. Your league is determine by the people in real life. Who will approach you, ask you out on a date, and court you.

    Too many guys online will give women the attention for a long time, while waiting for that girl.

    • Kay Says:

      Leagues? I have an advanced degree, am a professional and model on the side. However, the men who approach me are usually uneducated and unintelligent. The men I would deem ‘in my league,’ do not approach me; they look, they smile, they gawk. Does that mean that the men who do approach me, the ones unable to form an intelligent sentence or at times, are hygienically challenged, are in my league?

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        Men don’t care about degrees, nor would that be something they know just by looking at you. So that isn’t a factor. They also don’t know what kind of job you have or at what level. So scratch that. Looks certainly play a part. But if you give off an air of entitlement or just seem unpleasant, then that’s why they don’t approach you. They either are intimidated by you or just don’t like you. Maybe the guys unable to form an intelligent sentence aren’t socially awkward but nervous. Not sure what hygenically challenged means. Is it as bad as they don’t bathe…or do they just not dress the part? Two different things. Those are the guys who don’t have an accurate perception of themselves, something women are equally as guilty of. Both groups hit on anybody.

        Age is also a factor.

        • Jamal Says:

          We don’t care about degrees? Myself and most of my friends will never date a woman without one, so that’s not true.

        • grace Says:

          In whose world don’t men do care about degrees? The uneducated men I know ALWAYS pursue women with degrees. The educated successful men I know ALWAYS look for women who are on par with them in terms of their success and credentials.

          • Mark Says:

            I dated a woman of below average attractiveness on an online dating site who had a PhD and was a highly paid successful research scientist. She told me she had been on the site for a year and I was the only guy who had ever emailed her. She also told me she had emailed a hundred men and didn’t get a single response. I’ve heard similar stories from other highly successful women I met there. I went on another date with a very attractive woman I met online who never got past high school and worked in a nail salon. She told me she was getting twenty emails a week from guys. So in my experience the average male doesn’t really seem to care much about income or career success in women. They just want her to have some kind of job. Intelligent men do like intelligent women because they are able to have interesting conversations with them and are more likely to share interests with them. When I went out with the female research scientist, I didn’t ask her out because she had a high income. I just thought she would be an intelligent, interesting person and she was.

            • grace Says:

              The Ph.D is BELOW average attractiveness. The nail salon girl was/is very attractive. Hello!!

            • Mark Says:

              Huh? You said uneducated men ALWAYS pursue women with degrees. I don’t see that at all. What planet do you live on?

              • Jim Says:

                A study commissioned by OkCupid found that women are mostly likely to lie in their online dating profiles about their age and weight and men are most likely to lie about their income and height. If the experience of most women was that having a higher income would get them increased attention from men, then they would lie about income. They aren’t doing that according to this study, so obviously that is not the experience of most women.

      • Ceer Says:

        If you are talking about liking men who have a difficult time approaching, I suggest learning to approach them yourself.

        Take the link. Read the main post and comments. Good info in all of it.

  9. Bill Says:

    My way older friend said this before. The people that end up together look like brother and sisters generally. They look very a like. They are generally in the same age group, body size, shape, education, and etc.

  10. Mike Felber Says:

    I was unclear Vox, sorry. I did not mean to suggest either that men & woman do not consciously choose certain priorities, nor that you labeled them as such. I should have said that these strategies or preferences are driven by factors that are biological tendencies that folks are not conscious of, & separate that from you defining just the sex differences.

    But there is tremendous evidence that there are many dramatic differences in sexuality between the sexes. Does anyone still think that in the chicken & egg question, there is no natural average differences, that it is all nurture? One way to properly test that is to look at many disparate cultures across time & space. We see large distinctions in what is valued most, & they are very consistent with what strategy will produce offspring that can pass on your genes. Natural selection operates both between & within a species.

    This is not a value judgement, just what is. Just like strength is not even, & there are AVERAGE distinctions on what men & woman are better at (such as woman at verbal skills & dexterity & social relations/reading faces, all selected for, especially in infant care), variation in test results even in differing phases on a menstrual cycle…

    The misguided PC answer used for many progressive folks, for example, was that boys & girls were carte blanche/the same before conditioning. Dead wrong. Testosterone shapes the brain even in uterine-in fact ALL fetuses are female before the Y chromosome triggers this. So even as infants & tiny kids, years before the pubertal wash of hormones, boys are verifiable as usually significantly more restless & rough, girls more relationally inclined & calmer. Hence boys are much more often hyperactive, & learn better kinetically & hands on.

  11. joe-f Says:

    The problem with determining leagues is that it is one-sided while dating is two-sided. I might have responses from ten similar women but the current one I am after might think I am below her. A few weeks ago, there was a female poster who was embarrassed to date someone similar to her because she lost her job. As a guy with buildings in lower Manhattan, the car, master’s degree, above average looks and whatever else another poster pointed out, I would date her. Also cute, young or both doesn’t trump personality.

    My advice is stop trying to determine what league you are in. Go out and date. The guys in your league will work with you and dating will be easy to you. Also to make sure you are not dating below you, the right guys are not pushovers and they won’t stand any princesses behavior. To find out, as an example, ask them to throw away their porn collection now that they have you. The ones out of your league will be hard to work with and it is like climbing Mount Everest to date them. In the process you will learn a lot about men and yourself.

    • Trouble Says:

      Your league is the people who clearly want to date you, who reciprocate your interest, and who see a longterm future with you. If the majority of people you are interested in don’t reciprocate your interest, you’re dating outside of your league.

      If they will sleep with you, but won’t date you exclusively, you’re “dating” the wrong kind of guys. If you don’t know what your league is, I’d avoid having sex with guys for a while. See who shows interest in you when you don’t sleep with them. The guys who pursue you for more than sex are your league.

      • grace Says:

        Yup! A woman I know dated a guy in an ‘open’ relationship (at least on his part) for more than a decade. When he found a woman who he felt was more ‘in his league’ he dropped his long-term girlfriend like an old, plastic shoe from Payless Shoe store! It always seemed clear to me that he didn’t think much of her, but she insisted on calling him her boyfriend eventhough he was doing the do with other women.

        • C Says:

          yep. me too. i have a friend who was proud to have his assortment of women for a dozen years since the divorce. the entire 15 years he had a really cute girlfriend and argued that theres no reason for him to be exclusive. about 6-7 months ago he met a tall, pretty 20-something blond and last i talked to him, he said he is thinking of replacing ‘quantity with quality’. in my never to be humble opinion, both the long term girlfriend and the new girl are out of his league, but thats where the whole concept of leagues breaks down.

          both of those girls are cuter then me but i’m not remotely attracted to my friend and fail to see what those hotter girls see in him. conversely, i promise my boyfriend wouldnt want those girls. they are attractive and sweet but they would bore the life out of him.

          i see this often enough to say its not an anomoly: the ‘i know why he is with her but why is she with him?’ or vice versa. theres just no way to know who will value what. does the guy with the great looks value looks or brains in a partner?? does the girl with the education, degree and professional success value career/money or sex appeal and personality? the answer to these questions depend on the individual.

          also what you want and value changes as you age/mature and the life experiences you have. when i was in my 20s, most of the guys i knew were really into being with accomplished and cute girls regardless of age. around 30, i suddenly noticed that the guys i knew were all dating younger and the older the guys i know got, the more facinated focused they became in dating younger women with all other qualities becoming secondary.

          similarly, it seemed that when i was young, te same girls who were interested in either looks or brains/achievement at 20, were far more interested in personality and sex appeal at 40.

          i wouldnt call it maturity, its more a matter of being in a different place in life.

      • Lucy Says:

        I see it kind of like you look at his previous girlfriends, and if at least one of them is more attractive then you then you know you don’t have a chance. A guy will always try to optimise.

  12. Ceer Says:

    There is a simple test that requires real thought on your part. As a woman, you will tend to have a number of real-life male friends. These men will typically vary in attractiveness. To perform the test, make a list of all of your male friends who are single, unhappily married, or divorced. Count only ones older than you. Ignore men who are married, do not seem friendly, or you don’t know well enough to call them friends.

    Pretend for a minute that you are interested in each of them. List only the qualities that you like. Rate their physical attractiveness. You could ask to post their pics on some websites that will rate the attractiveness for you if you feel you can’t be unbiased. Assemble the top 5, listing attributes in 5 profiles, including job, physical characteristics, and personality.

    Your sex rank should net you at most, a man similar to one of the top 5.

    • Kurt Says:

      Your method is illogical. You seem to be assuming that a man who is friends with a woman would also be willing to date the woman. However, I personally have been friends with many women during my life whom I didn’t want to date because I was not physically attracted to them. I am certain that other men are in the same boat.

    • Brad Says:

      It’s not a bad test, but you should do it with your ex-boyfriends (guys 3+ months), not with your friends.

      It does highlight one funny aspect of the modern single woman – most will privately express jealousy that their friend(s) is/are getting married. But when you ask ‘would you marry that guy?” they look at you cross-eyed and say ‘of course not’.

    • bill Says:

      and remove the guys that like to talk a lot because that is me.. lol

  13. Horace Says:

    There are only 3 leagues:

    1) The Ugly people. And you know there are some. Not subjective-ugly, but really ugly.

    2) The Beautiful people. And you know there are some. Not that in-the-eye-of-the-beholder type beauty. You know when you see someone and you’re like “Shit, that’s a beautiful person.”

    3) The oh so average, everyone else.

    Some people in one league are better or worse looking than others in the same league, but everyone one is generally “capable” of getting anyone else in their same league.

    • Lucy Says:

      Since you are a man, and I’m addressing this question to other men here as well, do you think the same woman can elicit a varied response from different men depending on what their ‘type’ is? By that I mean, her rank on the 10 point scale can be really varied (obviously discounting the model beauties at the top). The reason I ask this is that I have varied responses from men who are probably all in the same league as me but some are more into a certain of woman so they are not into me (fair enough) but then there are certain guys who have really gone for my “look” and body type. Other guys who might not go for one girl, might go for another woman is objectively not more attractive than the other but is more their type. It’s something we women do too. For instance, I probably find men with dark hair more attractive than blonde guys…

  14. Breebree Says:

    My thing is this…if you attract all sorts of people from various backgrounds and ethnicities and cultures then how are you supposed to know what your league is?
    What ever happened to finding a good person who will love you right and treat you right?
    This is why so many folks are unhappily single..because they seek these “superficial” things in others and look for this “superficial perfection” that is unattainable.
    I think single folks need to have a lot of in depth and Real conversations with folks who have been married for more than 10 years.
    Because in a marriage leagues don’t mean a damn thing….you could marry someone in your league and they still work your last nerves and be times when you don’t want to deal with them at all and folks who marry people in their leagues get divorced all the time.

  15. Lord Nazh Says:

    There are no leagues any more; it’s all the numbers :) if you are a 6 (1-10) then you can date up to an 8 (8.5 if you have money or a great personality)…

    You can always date under your number; but if you go to far down (from say 6 to a 3) then your number will drop for everyone else

  16. Constance Says:

    I don’t agree with the answer here AT ALL.
    – Age matters. Both in terms of attractiveness (looks declining), compatibility (men want a younger woman than themselves) and fertility. Some older women also get cynical as they get older, they might be too career-focused and there is a larger chance they’ve racked up a number. On the other hand, women in their thirties have more life experience and are (often) more socially skilled. So it isn’t all negative, but overall, a good-looking 25 year old is higher ‘league’ than a good-looking 35 year old. Adding to that, a 35 year old has a smaller pool of available men. Those she should be dating will be around 40, which means the good ones are married, and the rest will never marry. If you find an attractive and well-off 40 year old man who IS looking to marry, he still has a shot will younger women, hence you lose out. Your best bet is to look for divorced men (although they might have children from a previous marriage). It would be cute and lovely to say “your age has no effect on your attractiveness”, but I think you’re doing women a disfavor when saying that, as they need dating advice they can use.

    – Money matters (for men). Money gives financial power, power attracts women. It can come in many forms, but women will always seek towards men with more power than they have. A political movement/feminism does not change human nature. Just observe they things actually are. Rich men do better with women, even if the women in question have money themselves, whether it’s from family or their own careers. It’s like saying women can protect themselves, own a gun or have a great alarm system, so they don’t like tall, well built men anymore. It’s plain silly – attraction cues are what they are. Women look for men with money and social status as much as men look for feminine women with slim bodies and symmetrical features. It’s silly to say otherwise. Men with money and status do better than men without it, and it will in most cases compensate for lack of height or looks.

    Your best bet for determining your ‘league’ is simply by learning and doing. Make yourself as attractive as you can be, pick venues for meeting men carefully and make sure you meet new men as often as you can. Only say yes to those you’re really interested in. I’m guessing at 38, the poster already has this experience. Overall, what is the league of the men you’ve dated? What level are those (or the one) who’s been willing to get exclusive with you? Yes men have sex with women below their league, but they rarely let it go too far. If you’re of what’s considered “marriable” age (25+) and you’re clear about what you want, you can rely on the men committing to you to be your league. Of course there is also the chance of dating below your league, but hopefully that hasn’t been the case the entire way.

  17. Jane Says:

    I don’t know what to say about this. For me, I have always dated best friends. My last bf, and hopefully fiance, is handsome, well educated, kind, great personality, moral, etc., the perfect man. He has women throwing themselves at him all the time — typically sleazy gold digging bimbos.

    I get men throwing themselves at me all the time. Probably 99 percent of them at not in my league. I am a well educated, beautiful, kind woman, but a nerd. I don’t dress or act like a nerd, but talk to me for any length of time and you will see that I am a book worm, not a party girl. I am well educated and accomplished and only date men with a similar level of background.

    When I am out and about I get approached by everything … low skilled immigrants who don’t speak a word of English, dirty old men, holy rollers (who think since I’m a Christian and therefore a “good girl” Jesus ordained me for them.), players, self-loathing Asians who want to date a WASP, a guy out of a coma,…pretty much every day I so much as said boo too…seconds later decided I was the one for him.

    I had no interest in any of these guys and yet they all thought they were in my league and aggressively pursued me. I had nothing in common with any of them, nor they me.

  18. Lucy Says:

    I’m going to be honest here. I’m not the hottest girl out there, nor am I the worst looking. I just look normal. I don’t have any offensive features. Where I get let down is my figure. I’m not as skinny as I could be. Not every guy goes for that. I don’t really want to know what my true league is or how attractive I really am. I just want to find a guy who genuinely thinks I’m beautiful. I don’t want honesty. I want some romance.

    I’m not meaning to sound self-pitying. I’m more trying to say that at the same time we women are encouraged to be more than just what we look like, still much of our worth as people is defined by our looks. This isn’t a male patriarchy thing at all – it comes from both genders. Sometimes women are competitive with each other. Personally I will never deride another woman’s looks because I want to support other women. But I’d be lying if I pretended I didn’t worry about my looks. This doesn’t make me any less of a feminist by telling the truth.

    Ultimately I’m not going to judge a man by unfair standards which I myself can’t live up to. I don’t expect every man to be attracted to me and vice versa. This is more chemical attraction than looks per se, but of course that is part of it.

    • Lucy Says:

      I also want to tell you guys about an inspiring lady from the UK (I’m British myself). Her name is Katie Piper and she was disfigured in an acid attack perpetrated by her ex boyfriend. After all the surgery she had, she was able to date again but it took her a while to find her match as many of the men she found herself dating weren’t in her league before the attack. She eventually did fall in love with someone. She is still beautiful I believe and presents herself well. She also comes across as a happy person. I think all these qualities count a lot towards a person’s league. It goes to show that you can not look ‘perfect’ and someone will see something in you that just clicks. I have dated men myself who many would say were not attractive but I was charmed by them and genuinely though they looked great. Although looks are important, I don’t think men are incapable of thinking in that way as well.

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