Dating smart guys
“And it was right after that that he told me that he had to go.” Sara is a scientist with several advanced degrees. But I’m also used to guys outside of work being intimidated by what I do.” When she was younger, she had gotten used to guys rejecting her as a possible girlfriend because they thought she was too serious, too scholarly, or too smart. Years ago, Sara’s mother told her, “If you want to find a husband, don’t be too smart.” Sara had discounted the advice as old fashioned, and anti-feminist.
Her previous long-term boyfriend not only did not seem bothered by her intelligence; he seemed to enjoy it.
In a different study, the researchers put male college students in a room to take a test with a college-aged woman who was, in fact, a “confederate” or “plant” of the team.
This young woman was supposedly taking the test with the students, and made limited small talk before the test began.
In those tests, male participants were asked to evaluate their sense of masculinity in the situations in which they had been outsmarted or outperformed in front of a woman who might have been a potential romantic interest.
Park and her colleagues concluded that there may be something about being in physical proximity to someone who is outperforming oneself that decreases a man’s sense of his masculinity.
In three separate studies, the team found that men were attracted to such women .
In one study, male undergraduates were asked to read about a hypothetical situation in which a female student in their class outperformed them, or underperformed them, in either a math or an English class, and then to imagine how they would think, feel, and behave in such a situation.
He didn’t mention getting together again, and that was the last Sara heard from him. There are many possible reasons that John might have decided not to pursue the relationship further: He may simply have decided he was not attracted to her after all, or that she was not as interesting as she seemed in her profile.
She was attracted by his profile, which made him seem smart, thoughtful and interesting.
He liked how she looked in her photos, and also thought she sounded fun, interesting, and smart.
“He knew what I did for a living, because I listed it on my profile.
But he made a comment about something in my field, and I responded with some information from a research paper I had just published,” she told me.
Everything went smoothly—until they met in person for a cup of coffee.