The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

The Intelligence Factor

I recently had a Twitter discussion with a couple of my followers regarding how women are attracted, or not, to intelligent men. My Twitter followers are a good bunch but skew towards the younger age demographic. This means that their life experiences and observations are through the lens of relative youth.

The Twitter conversation started thusly with this Tweet from me:

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Based on my research and experience, I have found that women are attracted to intelligent men. There’s an important caveat here: Intelligence without social skills and charisma is useless on its own when it comes to a man’s attractiveness. Illimitable Man (IM) came back with this Tweet:

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He might have a point. Ed Latimore chimed in to support of IM:

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Ed might also have a point. I made the point about age.

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Of course, these are younger men. As we get older, there are changes in preferences regarding attraction to the opposite sex. Of course, there are consistencies as well. Men still desire women who are feminine in looks and behavior. Women still want masculine men who can also provide resources. For women, this ratio changes over time. IM made this point with a subsequent Tweet in the discussion:

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As the years go by, a woman’s desire for masculinity wanes and her desire for security grows. This happens even if the woman has her own resources. Of course, the man has to provide even more security than she can provide. Hypergamy doesn’t care how much a woman has. Just know that charismatic masculinity always trumps boring security.

Because women are thoroughly obsessed – relative to men – with their financial, emotional, and physical security, it makes sense that they seek intelligent men because brains are a good proxy for the ability to provide. It’s not a 100% correlation, however. Yet, it’s close enough.

As well, a post-divorce woman with independent kids, in or out of the house, is thinking about her later years when she re-enters the world of dating. Sure, a silver-haired, charming Lothario with money is her first priority but she’ll take an intelligent, if boring, guy who can squire her to fancy dinners, swanky vacations, or just paying a mortgage. Even if the guy is a complete asshole, his intelligence has led him to the ability to be a good provider. Frankly, his assholishness is not necessarily a bad thing because at least he’s not boring. No woman at any age puts up particularly well with a boring guy.

It’s important not to conflate intellectualism with intelligence. There are plenty of smart guys who understand people and business but who lack any shred of intellectualism. These smart guys have succeeded over the years so they can provide sufficient security to a woman. If he has sufficient charm and charisma, he has plenty of options regarding women. Intellectuals too often lack social skills. Their conversations might be interesting to other men. But to women? Meh.

Some years ago, I watched a BBC documentary about the science of attraction. The presenter made the point that a man’s intelligence is his most important attraction point. Well, consider the source, a BBC presenter, a middle-age guy in this particular documentary. Of course he’s going to empathize intelligence because that’s what he brings to the attraction table.

For post-divorce guys, here are some lessons in all this:

1. Lead with your brains, preferably through charisma and charm. Social confidence and social skills are often perceived as overall intelligence, rightly or wrongly. Emotional intelligence also fits well here.

2. Be keenly aware that women might be after your ability to provide security, not your overall desirability. A woman over a certain age will trade true attraction for the promise and/or delivery, even if vague, of security.

In closing, I’ll refer to Briffault’s Law regarding the relationship between men and women.

[If you liked this blog post, support me through my Patreon. Many thanks.]

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26 thoughts on “The Intelligence Factor

  1. I think the range is wide, I’ve met women of 50 who have the same mind set they had at 19, only now they are bitter, they only go for the providor guy because the Tingle’s guys no longer are attracted to them. I’ve met girls of 20 who had it all figured out after dealing with just a couple of Cavemen that’s not what they wanted, marreid by 24, but blew up at Menopause to go alpha/badboy crazy….

    I found myself single again at 56 and in the last four years of dating have found the only women really interested in “Intelligent Men” of limited means are ones that have not been able can’t snag anyone else since their divorce.

  2. “As the years go by, a woman’s desire for masculinity wanes and her desire for security grows.”

    My experience says otherwise. Older girls still like masculinity by the bucket. They just typically can’t get it and therefore say that they don’t want it. Mrs. Gamer is post-menopausal and she likes it better the more masculine I act. Security, meh.

    • But you’re already in a relationship so you come from a different perspective, that’s cool. I’m speaking of attraction and dating. Once things enter an exclusive relationship, I can offer nothing more in the way of advice.

      • I still need an abundance mentality–even if the relationship is exclusive. Attraction still matters. Flirting still matters. At home and when not at home. A man who has options is attractive. A man without options is unattractive. Being in an exclusive relationship doesn’t change this dynamic.

  3. Fabulous article. Enlightening twitter comments. I’m still stuck in the distracting loop considering the distinction between people and ‘b*tches’ in one of the comments; the inferred meaning being someone is either one or the other. Can you hear the hamster wheel spinning? It needs grease.
    But, I digress. I did register at the Patreon website. Your contributions are every bit worthwhile to support. Looking forward to your next article!

  4. Dash Riprock on said:

    Intelligence is usually clustered with being charismatic and witty. Not to mention financial success and/or social status. So maybe it a lead signal to a women that these other desirable features are likely present in a man as well.

  5. GeminiXcX on said:

    Because women are thoroughly obsessed – relative to men – with their financial, emotional, and physical security, it makes sense that they seek intelligent men because brains are a good proxy for the ability to provide. It’s not a 100% correlation, however. Yet, it’s close enough.

    An important missing factor is the socialist/welfare state that has skewed the above logical conclusion.

    Unwed mothers are the prime demographic, especially in the black community. So many of these badboy thugs are candy-ass weaklings who need an illegal gun (and bigger numbers through gangs) to get ‘respect in the hood’. And they can’t be very smart, as so many are easily caught and jailed.

    Also, when you hear a lot of them talk, or look at them, you can tell there’s not much going on behind those eyes. They’re not charismatic, they’re just dumb and violent.

    Women, regardless of their ethnicity, who produce bastard spawn, contradict the assertion in Italics. Condemning your offspring, or entire communities, to poverty (think Detroit) is counterintuitive to the assertion in Italics.

    Get rid of social programs, “Betas” become “Alphas”, and vice versa.

    Damn, our civilization is screwed! 😀
    Enjoy the decline, boys!

    -GXcX

  6. I’ll pass. Marrying for security is too high a price to pay.

  7. Catalyst on said:

    I’ve worked in STEM for 15 years. What I’ve noticed is that the attractive, smart women who go after intelligent, sensitive guys tend to settle into stable relationships and get married VERY young (mid-20s). That leaves mostly the unstable and crazy ladies who are still single into their 30’s. I’ve seen this scenario play out dozens of times by this point. You gotta get the good ones while they’re still young. Or, possibly catch them on the rebound.

    • “Sensitive guy” is code for BFF girlfriend.

      “Stable relationship” is code for “I’m really giving it to the Harley McBadboy down the block and my AFC husband is clueless about it.”

      • Stable relationships that grow work. I think a lot of people cop out on living passionately by distracting themselves with drama.

      • Yeah, stable relationships with BFF girlfriends are so passionate. 8-D

      • 95 percent of the happiness (or lack of) that you’re going to experience in life is going to be determined by the person you select to share your life with.. What makes a relationship work are things in common. Shared values, goals, dreams. and desires. People like people who are similar to them. So, yeah, friendship. This fulfils a basic human need for certainty. We need it in order to open up and connect.

        Passion is created by uncertainty and honouring differences, Drama creates uncertainty by undermining trust or playing on our partners insecurities. Passion creates uncertainty through growth.

        Most would choose drama. It’s safer.

      • JV, let’s take a knitting class together–and maybe Zumba, too, to see if we’re compatible. And we can chat about accessories like purses, shoes, and jewelry. Cosmetics, too. I draw the line at discussing feminine hygiene products. I think.

        We can play World of Warcraft and go raiding together. Then you can go on hunting and fishing trips with me and my buds. Lots of guns, loud shots, killing, blood, butchering, beer, beans, and farting. Raunchy sex stories. Group pissing while standing up.

        Good times!

        Yeah, things in common. Right.

      • Asd Gamer said: JV, let’s take a knitting class together–and maybe Zumba, too, to see if we’re compatible. And we can chat about accessories like purses, shoes, and jewelry. Cosmetics, too. I draw the line at discussing feminine hygiene products. I think.

        What, no social dancing?

      • Ok, but no creepy dirty dancing.

      • No dirty dancing? You strike a hard deal.

      • A loft with floor to ceiling windows and a view of the city overlooking the river. Rich Brazilian ironwood floors. The scents of sandalwood and cedar waft in the air. Paella is on the stove and escabeche is on the grill. Indirect lights are low.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUVT1NZtZPo is on the stereo. A man and a woman dance rumba thigh to thigh…naked.

        Aesthetic, erotic, and…private.

    • I wouldn’t even consider marrying someone that wasn’t also my friend.

  8. Well, you can lock down the smart, attractive ones in their early 20’s and get 20 years of a decent marriage in, but all bets are off when they hit their 40’s and peri-menopause kicks in. The urge to merge with Harley McBadboy and Billy Bassplayer resurfaces in many cases and boring old hubby get’s the heave ho..

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