Would You Rather Be Smarter Or Hotter Than Your Partner? It Depends On If You're A Man Or A Woman

Men like to joke that women can be hard to understand, and women seem to think it’s pretty simple. The truth is, there are distinct differences between the two genders, and that’s an advantage in our relationships.

By Hannah Leah2 min read
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When scoping out a potential partner, there are various factors that determine if we’re interested in pursuing things further. But what you might not be surprised by is that men and women tend to look for different qualities or value different things more highly. There are a couple of studies that focused on these preferences, and they just go to show that there are fundamental differences between males and females. We’re just wired differently, and in my opinion, it can make the relationship all the more fulfilling and balanced.  

We All Want To Be Attracted to Our Partner

Is love truly blind? It turns out that answer is no. Whether man or woman, both want to have a natural attraction to the person we’re in a relationship with. In a study conducted by Columbia University, 392 men and women were invited to participate in a speed dating event for singles. During the event, each person rated the attractiveness, ambition, and intelligence of the people they met on a 1-to-10 scale, and decided if they wanted to exchange contact information to potentially see someone again. 

The researchers found that both men and women placed major importance on the attractiveness of the opposite sex. For men, a 1-point increase in a woman’s attractiveness rating increased the chances that he would see the woman again by an average of 14%, while for women it was 12%. 

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Men Value Attractiveness More Than Intelligence in a Partner

What was interesting about this study was that the men participating indicated it was more important that a woman be attractive than super intelligent. This is not to say that there was no desire for intelligence in a partner, but rather men didn’t consider intelligence as important to them in comparison to beauty and attraction. 

The study showed that the importance of intelligence was more about the women matching their intelligence, and there was negative feedback when a woman surpassed the man’s intelligence. Another study from the University of Chicago confirms this finding, as it showed that when women earn more than their husbands, divorce is more likely and marital satisfaction tends to be lower. So, what can we conclude from this? Men want to be providers and protectors, so when women outearn them (as is generally the case when they are more intelligent), they feel less in charge and demasculinized.

emma harriet beauty temper

The Columbia researchers also found that women care about intelligence almost twice as much as men. For men, an increase in a woman’s intelligence boosted the probability of meeting again by 2.3 percentage points, but for women, it was 4.5%. It seems that women prefer a man who has substance and knowledge more than a man who is simply attractive.

Though women consider intelligence slightly more important, men still found value in sharing a lasting relationship with someone who matched their intelligence. In 2019, more research was done on this with an Australian study. The study concluded, ​​”For men, women who were less intelligent than themselves were more desirable for a short-term relationship than a long-term – suggesting straight guys do prioritize intelligence when it comes to getting serious with someone. Women preferred men who were as smart or smarter than themselves for long-term relationships.”

men of sense do not want silly wives

Women Can Be Pickier Than Men 

Studies found that, across the board, men are pretty consistent with their preferences, no matter how big the dating pool. But for women, the more potential partners they had as options, the pickier they became. The study showed that men have a better chance of getting another date when the women have fewer men to pick from. There is a stigma that men are the ones who have a hard time committing, but are women much different?

bring on the men

Closing Thoughts

Are men and women really all that different? Well, yes. But the good news is, both genders find similar qualities important in a relationship, though at different levels. A relationship takes two to tango, so the lesson is that putting in the effort externally and internally is what’s going to make the difference in dating. 

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