THE BLOG

Love And Marriage: Are We Settling to Settle Down?

02/16/2012 11:48 am ET | Updated Apr 17, 2012

As a woman who has made a career out of dating men beneath her, I can honestly say that when I read the NY Times Op-Ed this past Sunday in which Stephanie Coontz suggested to smart women everywhere the ticket to happily ever after could be pairing off with dumber/poorer/less socially adequate men, I kind of threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Has the rate of divorce in this country and the preponderance of Lifetime movies about women who kill their husbands not taught us anything? We're smart women. Have we not accepted the truth about ourselves? The fact is, finding love will always more be difficult for us.

A woman who is intelligent, smart and independent has, and will always have, a harder time finding a mate than a woman who is not. And the very reason is -- very few men like smart women.

Generalization yes, but show me a man who relishes in the fact that he's dumber, uglier and less financially fruitful than his wife.

For women, there are definite advantages to dating someone beneath you. First of all, a guy who is beneath you will probably be very good at being there. To the author's point, he will probably want to please you any way he can because he's so lucky to have you (which may include taking out the trash). And that will suffice for a while (especially if he takes out the trash). But pretty soon, because we smart women are so smart we need to feel stimulated by more than sex and chore completion, we will eventually leave the relationship. (I once dated a model for a record minimum of two weeks. Every time I'd make some sarcastic comment, he'd say, "Ha." Awkward smile. Pause. What?)

Women aren't turned on by feeling smarter, superior, or being able to provide. We want someone who loves us -- in that indescribable, can't live without you kind of way -- and also someone who challenges us.

Now I don't claim to know what it is that men truly want or how they think. I'm too smart for that. But in my experience, I do know that no man wants to go through life feeling like a jackass. And that's exactly what dating a smart woman makes him feel like.

You'll rarely hear a man say, "she just wasn't funny enough," or "she's just a waitress, what future can we possibly have?" Why? Because most men place a greater value on oral sex and household chores than women do.

I'm not saying that's ALL that men want. But again, in my experience, I probably would have held on to a few more relationships if I could take one more chore.