Does Your Partner Need to Be Your Intellectual Equal?

Here’s an interesting article where the author defends her decision to break up with a man that did not go to college.

As we’ve discussed before, I think women place far more importance on the need for their partner to hold a college degree than men do.

My father took advantage of the GI Bill when he came home from serving in the second World War. He pursued not just one but two degrees thanks to the government and by working multiple jobs.

I think I’ve told the story before of how my father encouraged my step-mother to pursue her GED at 50. Not because he wanted an intellectually equal partner but because he knew she always felt inadequate because she never finished high school. My step-mother thought she was too old. My father dismissed that notion, saying that someone was never too old to get an education. He was always learning and reading, well into his eighties. He even got my step-mom to take a computer course in her sixties simply so she could learn a new skill. To my father, there was no excuse to not get any form of an education, be it a degree or certificate or trade program. He placed value not on the level of education achieved, but the desire to improve.

Personally, I place education high on my list. When I was in my twenties, education was important because – in my mind – it was indicative of status and intelligence. As I got older, I met many people that made it quite clear that some of the most stupid and ignorant people hold high degrees. I used to be so impressed by where someone went to school. I thought it was a sign of character. It’s not. I can remember meeting someone at the gym a while back who came from a  fairly wealthy part of Massachusetts. He went to UMass undergrad and then Columbia Law School. Yet now he was working in the membership sales area of a gym. Something was a miss. He said he had worked in law for a couple years and then quit the field saying he hated it. Maybe that’s true. I never pushed for more info because that was all I needed to hear. To spend that kind of money (clearly not his) and time pursuing something so difficult just to turn around and quit spoke volumes to me about his character. He may have had an education. But he didn’t value it.

What I don’t agree with in the original article is this need to have intellectual conversations with your partner about abstract topics like art or literature. To me, that is elitist. I like to engage in intelligent discussions. But something I’ve learned by dating in NYC is that, despite having gone to a fairly prestigious school, I wasn’t much of an intellectual.  The more people I meet, the more I’m reminded that I’m really not as smart or interesting as I think I am. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a barrel of laughs and can hold a conversation. But listening to some of my close friends talk to me about articles they’ve read and places they’ve seen, I realize just how sheltered and woefully lacking in knowledge I really am. Listen, I’m wicked smaht. (Sorry, Boston accent, y’all.) But I’m not an intellectual. I’m more perceptive and intuitive. But that doesn’t seem to hold as much value with some people.  I can remember being on a  date once several years ago with a college professor. His line of questioning made it abundantly clear that he was looking for someone with whom he could engage in intellectual discussions. He looked utterly bored at most of what I said until I mentioned a Philosophy group to which I belonged at the time. Then he was all ears.

The man I dated last fall/winter had his PhD is psychology and sociology. He’s, well, rather brilliant. I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t one of the things I loved about him. To this day, he reviews pieces I write and offers insight and feedback, and praises me when he feels I’ve made a solid point. He encourages me. He doesn’t talk down to me. The disparity in our education level has never been an issue. I’ve never felt “dumb” around him. We rarely had talks about books or politics or social issues. If anything, it seemed like he wanted to turn off that side of his brain.

I tend to think that’s how most men feel. They don’t need to be with someone who shares their love of talking about the latest New Yorker article or Wall Street Journal piece. It’s a bonus, for sure. But it falls low on the list of must haves. It’s usually women who make that a requirement. I don’t believe it’s necessarily because they enjoy having such talks. I think it has more to do with their desire to demonstrate how intelligent and well-read they are because that’s something feel is important.I tend to believe that,  as long as she’s not as dumb as a box of rocks, most men don’t really care what a woman’s IQ  or education level is. Feel free to correct me if you disagree.

So, my dear readers, I will now ask you….do you need to be with a partner that is your intellectual equal? How important is education to you and why?

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40 Responses to “Does Your Partner Need to Be Your Intellectual Equal?”

  1. Snowflake Says:

    In my culture, education is unfortunately a status symbol, where you went to school, what you studied etc. It is as you wrote above an indication of where you stand socially, financially etc. My family unfortunately (or fortunately for me) failed miserably to drill that into me. From my late teens onwards I did not regard anyone who went to whatever prestige uni/post grad as anyone but just a person. Unless they could show me they have personality, good character, a sense of humanity I would not give a dam where they were schooled. It was mainly because I saw from a young age that paper does not make you a decent human being (I think that was something my dad taught me). I have met some pretty highly educated people who are absolutely clueless about life, life experiences, and the simple fact of being a human being. A paper education does not make you a good decent person.

    Do not get me wrong, I value the education my mom gave me. Be it she chose the field, picked the schools she sent me to etc. (I wanted to be a Marine Biologist, she chose Accounting). I have learned to accept my field because it was her hard earned money spent on me. It took a while and big dose of maturity to grow into this. Anyway I digress.

    You are right, it is mainly women who place such emphasis. That is the first question they ask me about the men I date. Oddly so… the men I date have to be able to have a conversation, not just grunt and nod or shake their head. Be in the know about whats going on in the news at the least, not necessarily world affairs (that would be a bonus) but the news in and around our city. Sports is a must (again thanks to my dad). That is something he ingrained in me, current affairs and sports. (My dad finished his A’ Levels – college British based education system, my mom has her O’ Levels – high school).

    In a nutshell, to me personally, you do not have to come from some prestigious school, you just should have the love to learn, read, soak up knowledge like a sponge and be of the mindset that you learn everyday, you are never too old to learn.

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    • Howard Says:

      It’s more about the person being your equal, emotionally, the values you have, and the way you communicate. I have a a graduate degree from a a ivy league school and my honey has a high school diploma, and it really doesn’t matter. My, grandma and my mom never went to college and they are amazing women.

      This is another area where so called educated women have to get things clear. Men, despite all the villanizing, are still way ahead of women in this department.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  2. separatedguy Says:

    I used to be a victim to this sort of thinking. I used to think that the only way a partner could understand me is to be as smart as I was. That led to a really bad marriage. I have since found that a partner doesn’t need to be able to appreciate every thought I have in order to appreciate me as a parson.

    Intellectual stimulation is an important part of my life, but it is something that doesn’t need to be fulfilled by my partner. I’m not trying to say that’s the right choice for everyone. What I think is right for everyone is to understand what you want out of life and which of those things are important to get from a partner.

    For me, it doesn’t need to be intellect, or accomplishments, or anything from a specific list, but I do need to see attributes I admire in my partner and I need to feel the same.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

    • Joey Giraud Says:

      Yeah, being with a woman is not about the ideas, thoughts, theories or literature, it’s about the feelings.

      ( I used to be the same way, wanted a mental sparring partner. Too bad the first one was the only one. )

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  3. novelty718 Says:

    “He said he had worked in law for a couple years and then quit the field saying he hated it. Maybe that’s true. I never pushed for more info because that was all I needed to hear. To spend that kind of money (clearly not his) and time pursuing something so difficult just to turn around and quit spoke volumes to me about his character. He may have had an education. But he didn’t value it.”

    - How do you know that he didn’t value it? How do you know his current job was just that…his current job? Yeah it sucks that all that time and money was spent but if you aren’t happy doing it why keep doing it.

    That being said, I didn’t finish college so I really don’t measure people based on the type of degree they have. I do want someone that has been exposed to the world and has an interest in learning. And the learning doesn’t have to be done in a formal classroom.

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  4. Saywhat! Says:

    No it’s not. I didn’t complete college but the only person I tend to be hard on is myself. I don’t know why though since I hold a good job which I got by showing my employer on the interview I was able to hold a conversation and had an attitude to learn and improve. I’ve managed to supprt myself and live on my own without anyone. With the intellectual thing, it seems, unless you work for a corporation with the same policies that require you to have a education from a prestigious school, you’ll be fine. I don’t judge others nor look at anyone smarter than me. Like I said, I am probably my own worst critic if anything and put enough challenges on myself to try and better who I am. I sometimes think those who never had the formal education sometimes have a more practical, survivor type personality. They know where and how to go about things to get the job done without running to mommy or daddy or freaking out uncontrollably over minor things. That’s not the case for everyone though. It really does come down to ones character and what they make out of life. You could have a super smart guy who chose to drive a bus because he throughly enjoys it, big deal. As long as you keep up doing the things you enjoy you will always be smart because with every new thing we learn it keeps us busy and it keeps us vibrant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  5. rick Says:

    having a college degree doesn’t make you particularly “intellectual”. as a man, i do think it is important that my mate be able to discuss issues intelligently (like politics, for example). as a corollary to that, i don’t understand the obsession amongst a lot of women with celebrities and reality tv. is that really important to you? if so, that is a problem for me. but as far as having a college degree I can’t remember the last time I met a woman without one- so it is not an issue at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  6. LostSailor Says:

    Being an “intellectual equal” isn’t how I would put it. Rather, I’d say that intelligence is not the most important thing I look for in a woman, but it’s definitely on the list. And to emphasize Moxie’s point, don’t confuse intelligence with education. Some of the most intelligent people I know never finished college, and some of the most credentialed people I know are overweening, pretentious, blithering idiots. But they’ve read a lot of books and think their smarter and better then their “intellectual” inferiors. As an example, a friend who went to Harvard remarked to me that the most difficult part of Harvard was getting in; once you were there, they had a huge incentive to make sure you got through. A large percentage of people go to Harvard for the name and the network, not necessarily a thorough education.

    I don’t care how many damn degrees you have; I only have a BA. But I do care that you can carry on an intelligent conversation, have at least a passing knowledge and interest of current events, etc. I can have deep philosophical conversations or passionate political arguments with my guy friends. It’s fine if the woman in my life has the intellectual heft to join in, but a relationship is not a debating society.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  7. Mr. R Says:

    When I was looking, I did want someone who a) had a college degree, and b) could be able to keep up with me intellectually.

    Why? Because I didn’t want to feel like I had to dumb down my thoughts, ideas, and words. I wanted to be me, the real me, with my significant other. You know, we’re going to spend a long long time together.

    I didn’t think having a college degree is important for the IQ part – it is more important for the “I finish what I start” part. Plus I think college teaches people certain life skills that they don’t get in other places, or are not easy to come by in other places.

    Interesting story about me – I had a full scholarship inclding room and board to college, but blew it. I was a college dropout. Most people would find that a strike against me. But I turned my life around, a few years later I went back to school at nights, and 3 years after that I got my B.S. And now I’m a third of the way through grad school, and I plan to get a PhD after my MBA.

    It is how you handle failure that really defines a person.

    Something else that having a smart wife gets you – smart children. Intelligence primarily comes from the mom. Good thing too – my wife is a doctor, and we just our first child last week – a boy.

    Yep, my son will be handsome like daddy, and smart like mommy. Good times. :D

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  8. joe-f Says:

    I don’t need the same level of education for my partner. Life is a long journey and some people place too much emphasis on the school’s name or current employer. Some of the smartest guys never finished college. Others started off slow but worked their butts off after college so they are now managing the guys who went to the ivy leagues schools with big titles. Like Chris’ father, you have to learn continuously.

    The category of women who I can’t stand are those who makes a decision based on the prestige of school, job or career trajectory. I understand you need some financial security but if the guy can take care of himself or has a plan, why would you reject him after ten seconds? Even if I have the education and career that meets their criteria, I know I won’t be able to stand their snobbishness given it is not the name of the school or job title that maintains a relationship but rather how much we like being with each other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  9. Craig Says:

    Being an intellectual and being highly educated are not necessarily the same thing. Being intellectual simply means learning, in addition to informed and critical thinking, are your mental focus. It’s a term strictly associated with reason and thinking. Thus you can be an intellectual without achieving a great deal of formal education. Michael Dell and Bill Gates are the foremost American examples of intllectuals who lack college degrees. Their intelligence despite lacking high educational achievement is obvious.

    That said, I do not require a woman to have a lot of formal education. I do require at least a high school diploma, because you basically have to do little more than show up to get one, and if you can’t even get through high school that’s troublesome to me. I also do not require a woman to be my intellectual equal. But I do expect her to be somewhat intellectual. I’ve never required a lover to be an equal in any one thing – just a good fit in most things. Many women care about level of education more than men because they tie it to affluence and how “elite” their man is – it’s their social proof. Men care less about that and more about appearance because the degree of hotness of the woman on our arm is our social proof. To the ladies I would advise being so strict about requiring college degrees as long as the guy demonstrates drive and intellect. I wonder how many women out there are kicking themsleves for having passed on Michael Dell and Bill Gates back in the day.

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    • Craig Says:

      That second to last sentence should read: “To the ladies I would advise against being so strict about requiring college degrees as long as the guy demonstrates drive and intellect.”

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    I will date anyone who’s company I enjoy (of whatever intellect and social status) but true friendship requires some intellectual compatibility. So, I’d guess for me, its really important for anything but fooling around.

    To the other point, educational pedigree is not a perfect proxy for intellect and character. But, its a huge stretch to say its totally irrelevant. Where you went to school, where you work, what you do with your time, where you travel are all about choices you make. I would question the judgment of a supposed super-intellect that chose not to go to college. (Yes, believe it or not, not every decision Bill Gates made is a good one. I’m sure some of his success is in spite of some really poor decisions)

    I went to an only moderately good college but went to a very prestigious top-ten grad school. So, I’m uniquely situated to put this controversy to rest. The students at the grad school? Smarter. They just were. And, by that, I mean more academically driven, curious, with interesting backgrounds and ambitions, in addition to natural talent. So much so that I had to up my game to compete (and my college wasn’t that bad). That’s not even including the incredible advantages going to a prestigious school gives you. I used to think it didn’t matter either. It does. Those grapes are not sour.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

    • sj Says:

      Concur on the college / grad school thing. I went to a big name undergrad school, on a free military scholarship (the only way it was EVER going to happen). A few years later, I went to a solid, well known regionally but certainly not nationally prestigious State University in my hometown for my MS.

      There was *no comparison* in the students, or really even in the faculty. The undergrad institution was a vastly more challenging place, and the students and faculty reflected that in much the same way DMN relates. The degrees, fields of study, and curriculum may have been the same, but the atmosphere and culture of the two places was worlds apart.

      I agree…it really *does* matter, at least in some specific cases.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  11. John Says:

    A degree in and of itself is not a requirement. Unfortunately, I have noticed that those without degrees are usually the ones who write the poorest profiles and terrible emails. Not that the content is bad, but their grammar and punctuation has mistakes all over the place. If I look past that, then what usually rings the dealbreaker alarm is when they pronounce the word “ask” as “aks” when talking on the phone.

    Once that happens that hot prospect goes by the wayside. So if you dont have a degree but can write at a 10th grade level and can speak in English as your first language then fine. But if not, then forget it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  12. Abby Says:

    I don’t see too many women placing an emphasis on their potential mate having a college degree where I live. What I observe are women demanding a show of respect from their mate (whether they actually deserve it or not). But I’m from the rural, blue collar south, so it’s probably a demographic thing. That said, I have a degree from a Div I school; not Ivy League, but well known, and my husband does not. I don’t care. I only care about his common sense, of which he has plenty. The dealbreaker for me though, was a guy, well-educated or not, who had to prove that he knows everything about everything. Mr. One-ups-man. Irritating and tedious. Just my two cents.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  13. Joey Giraud Says:

    Guess it depends on how lonely you are.

    Curiosity, and an interest in the world, these are the touchstones. Degrees and bragging knowledge aren’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    • LaRubia Says:

      In the words of Dorothy Parker: “There is no cure for curiosity.”

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. Christina Says:

    My family was full of blue-collar, intellectual men, so I definitely value the ability to think critically and be curious about the world and its workings. The degree is definitely less important, although I seem to get along best with men who have at least some college education. I don’t care about earning potential- there are guys in blue-collar jobs who do very well. My college-degreed husband is a truck driver earning six figures. What I do love about what came with his education is that we can talk about some pretty deep topics for hours at a time- something I can’t do with a whole lot of people. While it would be okay to do that with a few friends, I really value the ability to communicate at that level with a mate.

    I think some of it is that a lot of women are pretty excited about getting a degree, since we’re only the second generation where it’s really the norm- and since women tend to want to date and marry up in status and finances, they look the equivalent or higher in a mate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  15. Badger Says:

    “He said he had worked in law for a couple years and then quit the field saying he hated it. Maybe that’s true. I never pushed for more info because that was all I needed to hear. ”

    This seems unusually cruel, judgmental and status-chasing…So you want people to carry out the sunk-cost fallacy – he should do something he hates because he’s previously invested in it? I applaud the guy for getting out, life’s too short to work a job you hate if you can help it.

    http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/03/25/the-sunk-cost-fallacy/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Of course it’s judgmental. People form judgements based on their preconceived opinions and biases. Based on other things he told me, it was pretty clear that his parents paid for law school. Which is fine, no judgment there. But I wonder if he’d have had a different reaction had *he* paid for it. There are a lot of different things he could have done. He chose membership sales at a gym. Lord knows he had far better options. I couldn’t give less of a fuck what he did for a living or how he paid his way. ps? he wasn’t even doing that.

      This is what critical thinking is about. It’s about challenging assumptions and questioning the evidence in front of us instead of ignoring it. Someone spends three years of their life and god knows how much money on an education and then walks away from it a year or so later? Uh uh. Either there was more to the story or he simply didn’t give a shit that his parents (or maybe even he) invested so much in him. Either way, that one decision raises eyebrows and puts his judgment and how he values money into question.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        For me, again, it’s about choices. Why is it not okay to evaluate people based in their choices. As a moral issue, I think it’s MORE appropriate to judge people for their choices (recognizing that such choices are often constrained, and people make mistakes) than judging people for things they cannot help, like how tall or beautiful they are or how rich their parents are- which most people find perfectly morally acceptable. Around here, at least.

        There are many things one could do with a law degree from Columbia. You don’t HAVE to work as a big firm corporate lawyer (nor do you even have to practice law) so there is no basis for this explanation – “I hated my job so I became a gym membership salesperson.” To my point above, if you’re talanted and capable enough to get into Columbia Law – and there is no doubt that is, in fact, an accomplishment, it is demonstrating extreme lack of judgment or some other serious character or mental flaw to not be able to convert those talents and capabilities into something more productive than selling gym memberships.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  16. M Says:

    As a guy, intelligence is one of the 3 most important things I look for in a girl. However, it can be hard to identify in a potential date, especially if its someone from online. This is where the degrees come in – having a degree is a sign of superior intelligence, and the higher degree, the smarter they are. With that said, its not a foolproof system. My best friend is an intelligent guy, but he has no degree. He started college just like I did, but in his junior year, he decided his major was not taking him in the direction he wanted to go in, so he quit. He has a good job despite this. Likewise, I can remember someone from my masters program who was dumb as bricks. She probably graduated and probably did so with a GPA that I would have been envious of in my more difficult undergrad program. I dont require a girl to have a degree, but at least some college is at least required. I also look at someone’s job to try and determine things about them. All this is in an effort to determine someone’s intelligence level. I look at the people I know who have no college at all, and they are not the people I would be at all interested in dating.

    So the degree is more about proof of one’s ability to get into college and use your brain than anything else. I dont care where a girl went or how many degrees she has. Really, I just want someone I can talk to about anything. If I want to talk about politics or the situation in Syria, or the global economic crisis, I want my partner to be able to understand what Im talking about. Thats really all Im lookiing for – someone who can speak intelligently on topics that do not directly effect them, someone who is capable of independent thought who is not just going to repeat back to me what the media says (though I guess that’s better than not being able to say whats in the media at all). Finally, Mr. R raises a good point – a baby’s intelligence is partially determined by each parent AND the mother has a greater “say” in determining a baby’s intelligence. Both of these are also reasons why I want a girl who is smart.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  17. Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

    test

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  18. Amy Says:

    The older one gets, the less it matters how they spent the years between 18-22. So if you’re 28, your life isn’t developed yet, so what you’ve done earlier in terms of education may be used as an indicator of the future. However, if you are 45, you’ve had over 20 years SINCE the college years to become who you are and write some of your life story. I would assess someone by the way they have spent THOSE years, not the ones right after high school.

    I come from a family who prizes (worships?) education, ‘good schools’ etc. To me it is insufferable B.S. My dad went to Harvard at 16 on a full scholarship. He is brilliant by anyone’s assessment. He is now 84, so it is safe to say his career days are behind him. And he had a totally lackluster career path, never really using the advantages of his education, advancing much, making much money etc. So you never really know how things are going to turn out. But having seen his choices/life story, and those of other family members, I would never judge by what school someone did or didn’t attend.

    Agree with Mox though about the law school guy. Pass!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • M Says:

      I agree with the good school/bad school thing. It really means almost nothing. Im more impressed by what school someone can get into than I am by what school they graduated from. For my undergrad I went to a good school. Four years later I graduated and couldnt find a job. My first job out of college was a temp job that paid less than I made as a temp the previous summer before I graduated. After a year of trying to find something, I went to grad school. I went to an average school not known for academic excellence. I didnt even finish my first semester of graduate level classes before the companies that had rejected me after college were chomping at the bit to interview me (and, as I understand it, willing to pay about 70% more). I learned a lot more in my field in grad school than I did as an undergrad, but even then, did I still really know that much? No, because I have no experience in the real world. My point is education is worthwhile and important, but a lot of its value and how it’s value is perceived is just arbitrary.

      Also, by 28, I’d expect someone to have done something. Even if you dont really know what you want to do, just pick something and go with it until you come up with something better. You are wasting your life if you decide to sit around for 15 years post high school working meaningless jobs just waiting for that light to turn on and tell you what you want to do for the rest of your life. Also, Its that guy’s choice if he wants to practice law or not. Maybe he thought he’d like it, but it turns out he didnt. What’s he supposed to do – spend the next 40 years of his life in a field he hates because his parents paid for him to get his law degree? I agree with everything else Moxie said though

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  19. Jayla Says:

    I think simply put women place more importance on a man to have a college degree because of what it represents. College degree = a good job and a six figure income. That is what women want. Financial security. Even women who have degree’s themselves and make six figures, it’s important to them because they do not want to be the ones shouldering all the financial burden in the relationship and/or marriage. They also don’t want to have to financially take care of a grown azz man like he is her child. This takes away from the mans masculinity. In most women’s minds she equates how much of a man he is by not just how much he makes but by how well he can take care of her and how well he can secure their future. This is seen as the mans responsibility, not the womans. I think a small part of it has to do with wanting a companion they can talk with who is on their level intellectually. The other part is if the woman is from a certain pedigree and socializes in certain upper class and elite circles she wants a man who won’t embarrass her publicly and can hold his own in conversation at social events.
    It was kind of foolish of her to dump a man because of his lack of education. But considering the things I listed above if those were applicable I can kind of understand her reasons why.
    At the end of the day you have to choose the person u feel your most compatible with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  20. offensivedan Says:

    This law school guy could have a drug problem or committed malpractice. People just don’t walk away like that from a career.

    Anyway, yes, I prefer women with not just a college degree but an advanced degree. In my experience, down here in the shithole South, these tend to be the most liberal, open-minded and intelligent individuals. Also, here where I live, most people who have a college degree are still pretty stupid and narrow-minded.

    Also, while it’s nice to be with an attractive woman, if she does not have the intelligence to go with it, it kills it for me. I once went out with this good looking blonde that just had a high school education. However, while she was great for having a good time, she was dumb as dirt and I could not take it.

    On the flip side, I have run across intelligent and accomplished women, who have gone to name schools and are insufferable. They think they are better than anyone who went to a State school and, frankly, did not have the same resources they did. These girls tend to be socially stunted, too.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  21. billy bob Says:

    I think it doesn’t take much intelligence to have a happy relationship if so how would there be so many people? But for those who are truly capable artists, or musicians, or writers, or leaders, scientists, mathematicians, whatever the case may be, true genius seeks out other forms of genius and brings out the best in everyone. The cream rises to the top. If a desire to improve yourself is not present, how can you help your spouse or children find peace,happiness and fulfillment? Does this mean you have to be brilliant at chess or scrabble or host fantastic dinner parties or play an instrument? Not necessarily…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  22. Robyn Says:

    The real kicker here is:

    “Duke had never had a job, and he wasn’t particularly interested in getting one—his mother kept him supplied with enough food and cash to squeeze by. ”

    THAT is the real reason this gal dumped him. A degree wouldn’t have made an iota of difference with this guy. The fact that he was totally unwilling to do the hard work to support himself independently of hand-outs from family/friends etc. (much less be able to support some one else or a family) is what makes him an unsuitable partner.

    Kinda reminds me of a guy I know who has great looks (6ft 4in tall, movie-star look-alike) ,a close-to-genius level IQ, a Law degree from NYU and a Masters in English Literature from Stanford…..

    Sounds like a great catch on paper…. (or when you read his online dating profile).

    Well, the truth is that he’s on permanent disability, living in public housing, because he can’t hold down a job due to mental issues, struggles with various addictions (alcohol, painkillers, gambling) & since his rich family disowned him, he has to get the women in his life to support him because his disability check barely covers his basic living expenses.

    Even if some one has a degree, it’s what they do with it – and their life – that is important.

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  23. DC Phil Says:

    When I was younger (and more insecure about myself, my abilities, and my place in the world) I compensated by trying to become an “intellectual,” and got pissed off when I couldn’t find people who were willing to discuss the same kinds of topics I was interested in: e.g., classical music, philosophy, history. I had very high standards, and few people were meeting them. So, I just went my own way.

    Over the years, I mellowed considerably. Now, I’m not so hell-bent on finding someone who’s intellectually compatible. This being said, however, I’m more lenient of a woman who isn’t like this than a man. Why? Because I’ve found that most American men are still a bit too hung up on sports, beer, etc. Women have their own subject on which they like to prattle on — and this is a symptom of our culture in general. I like to consider myself well-read and cultured, but I also find that some of my European friends are much more up on this sort of thing than Americans. Again, not to say that Americans are stupid, but that they could use a bit more well-roundedness and less indulgence in pop culture.

    Now, when it comes to the woman, I’ve met both women who were highly educated and who, somehow, lost their feminiity in the process (especially climbing the corporate ladder). I’ve met women who didn’t hesitate to mention that they had a current subscription to the New Yorker or The Economist, who listened to NPR, who attended concerts regularly, etc. Fine and dandy. But, some of the women were rather prissy and “old-maidish” too boot. Not my cup of tea. I’ve also met women who obviously weren’t well-educated or cultured, and who liked to brag about it, thinking they were some kind of Everywoman and who were better at “street smarts” than anything else. Again, not my cup of tea.

    For me, it’s balance. I don’t expect the women to know much about, say, classical music, but an openness to learning more about it and developing an appreciation for it is essential. Same goes for literature, etc.

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  24. Lynne Says:

    My ex husband was someone who went to college with my encouragement…he had dropped out and started again as a freshman at 22. I was always pursuing further education. Ultimately, he never understood my need to better myself educationally or professionally. He wanted a stay at home wife and mom which I was not. After the divorce, I dated a variety of men but I felt more comfortable with those that pursued graduate degrees. I don’t care where someone went to school or what there degree is in, as long as they appreciate education. My current boyfriend has graduate degrees and appreciates the work i’ve done in my schooling. He also likes that I am constanly looking to improve myself in my field.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  25. myself Says:

    Intelligence yes. I’m quick witted etc (or so I’m told) and intelligent, it’s nice to have someone that can keep up with me, however, I don’t require they have a degree etc, that’s just garbage. The two most intelligent people I know (one is a member of MENSA) didn’t graduate from high school (did do GEDs afterwards though) let alone go to university. Conventional school was boring to them. Hell, it was boring to me but I was too frightened of my parents to not at least complete college.

    By the same token, some of the least intelligent people I know have a degree. So, for what it’s worth, I like someone to be smart and quick witted, but please, a degree is definitely not a requirement.

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  26. Steve From the City Next Door Says:

    This weekend I went to mixer put for the interns and recent hires (I still barely qualify for that one). Well, it was almost all interns. Of course, what college are you from is a big topic. I thought it was funny how so many had no idea about the schools rankings. I mean there was quite a few from one particular big name school and so many of them were awed by that. OK, here is the funny part – that school does not rank well in my employer’s business line – which likely most of them are in. As in, not in the top 25.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    • dimplz Says:

      Rankings are crap. I work in Institutional Research and apart from the school having bragging rights, the methodology behind rankings is so fucked up that’s it’s not the best way to judge a school. Talk to the students – that’s the best way to find if a school is right for you.

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      • Steve From the City Next Door Says:

        I agree that the rankings are that great of a measurement. Still I think they are better for a particular degree than the school’s overall reputation.

        My point was that several of the attendees — particularly the women — seemed very impressed with these guys simply because they attended Big Name U even though the degree they are likely working (based on they are interning at my employer) is one of the schools week points. The name is what is important.

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  27. dimplz Says:

    The person who wrote the article didn’t seem to make the connection that her boyfriend was a bum. It had nothing to do with the fact that he didn’t go to college. You can be a college graduate and still be a bum.

    As far as what I value in a man, shared beliefs, attractiveness, common sense, hard work, and kindness. If it happens to come with a degree that’s fine, but a degree isn’t going to help you unclog the toilet and cut the grass.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  28. flamebait Says:

    I want my kids to be very intelligent. Intelligence is probably the most crucial genetic trait nowadays – so yeah, if a woman’s not of above average intelligence that’s going to be a dealbreaker eventually.

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  29. Bubbles Says:

    My problem is not that I need a man to be my intellectual equal, but that I personally feel like an outright bore with anyone who does not share my interests in art, music, psychology, science, medicine and philosophy. I have nothing to say about the latest reality tv program or sports….I would be very quiet indeed during that kind of conversation. I know I seem absolutely stupid. I do not know what the rules of any game are – even though I was a soccer mum for years!

    Unfortunately, the man who is pursuing me the hardest at the moment is half my age and, though not dumb, not nearly as well educated (and self-educated) as I am. So I find myself wondering what he sees in me. I don’t talk about art or politics or philosophy or science with him, so I figure it might just be physical on his side. Luckily, or unluckily, I’m an attractive woman that it seems most men find appealing, just because….but for me that alone doesn’t cut it.

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