The Myth Of Wealthy Men And Beautiful Women

In one illustrious study of love (“human sexual selection”) in 1986, psychologists David Buss and Michael Barnes asked people to rank 76 characteristics: What do you value most in a potential mate?

The winner wasn’t beauty, and it wasn’t wealth. Number one was “kind and understanding,” followed by “exciting personality” and then “intelligent.” Men did say they valued appearances more highly than women did, and women said they valued “good earning capacity” more highly than men did—but neither ranked measures of physical attractiveness or socioeconomic status among their top considerations.

People, though, are liars. Experiments that don’t rely on self-reporting regularly show that physical attractiveness is exquisitely, at times incomparably, important to both men and women. Status (however you want to measure it: income, formal education, et cetera) is often not far behind. In real-life dating studies, which get closer to genuine intentions, physical attractiveness and earning potential strongly predict romantic attraction.

While people tend to prefer people similar to themselves in terms of traits like religiousness or thriftiness, when it comes to beauty and income, more is almost always seen as better. On these “consensually-ranked” traits, people seem to aspire to partners who rank more highly than themselves. They don’t want a match so much as a jackpot.

The stereotypical example of that is known in sociology as a “beauty-status exchange”—an attractive person marries a wealthy or otherwise powerful person, and both win. It’s the classic story of an elderly polymath-billionaire who has sustained damning burns to the face who marries a swimsuit model who can’t find Paris on a map but really wants to go there, because it’s romantic.

All you need is money or power, the notion goes, and beautiful lovers present themselves to you for the taking.

When Homer Simpson once came into a 500-pound surfeit of sugar, his id instinct was to turn it into fortune and sexual prosperity. “In America,” he said—half dreaming after a night spent guarding the mound in his backyard—”First you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women.” That’s an homage to Scarface (in the movie the quote was “money” instead of “sugar”), and it’s where both Simpson and Tony Montana went emphatically astray.

University of Notre Dame sociologist Elizabeth McClintock has done exhaustive research on the idea of people exchanging traits. Her work waspublished last month in American Sociological Review, looking at data from 1,507 couples in various stages of relationships, including dating, cohabiting, and married. “Beauty-status exchange accords with the popular conception of romantic partner selection as a competitive market process,” McClintock wrote, “a conception widely accepted in both popular culture and academia.” She referred specifically to the gendered version, “in which an economically successful man partners with a beautiful ‘trophy wife,'” as commonplace.

But McClintock found that outside of ailing tycoons and Donald Trump, in the practical world it basically doesn’t exist. Where it does, it doesn’t last. The dominant force in mating is matching.

What appears to be an exchange of beauty for socioeconomic status is often actually not an exchange, McClintock wrote, but a series of matched virtues. Economically successful women partner with economically successful men, and physically attractive women partner with physically attractive men.

“Sometimes you hear that really nice guys get hot girls,” McClintock told me, “[but] I found that really nice guys get really nice girls. [Being nice] is not really buying you any currency in the attractiveness realm. If the guys are hot, too, then sure, they can get a hot girl.”

Because people of high socioeconomic status are, on average, rated as more physically attractive than people of lower status, many correlations between one partner’s appearance and the other partner’s status are spurious and misconstrued.

“Women spend a lot more time trying to look good than men do,” McClintock said. “That creates a lot of mess in this data. If you don’t take that into account then you actually see there’s a lot of these guys who are partnered with women who are better looking than them, which is just because, on average, women are better looking. Men are partnering ‘up’ in attractiveness. And men earn more than women—we’ve got that 70-percentwage gap—so women marry ‘up’ in income. You’ve got to take these things into account before concluding that women are trading beauty for money.”

The study concludes that women aren’t really out for men with more wealth than themselves, nor are men looking for women who outshine them in beauty. Rather, hearteningly, people really are looking for … compatibility and companionship. Finding those things is driven by matching one’s strengths with a partner who’s similarly endowed, rather than trying to barter kindness for hotness, humor for conscientiousness, cultural savvy for handyman-ship, or graduate degrees for marketable skills.

At least partly because physically attractive individuals are treated preferentially by the world at large, they enjoy improved school performance, greater occupational success, and higher earnings. So these variables can be hard to isolate.

“It would be very hard to separate out class and attractiveness,” McClintock said, “because they’re just so fundamentally linked. I can’t control for that—but I don’t see how anybody could.”

Past research has found that both physical attractiveness and education “help a woman achieve upward mobility through marriage (defined as marrying a man of higher occupational status than her father),” McClintock noted in the journal article, “and help her marry a man of high occupational status, in absolute terms.” But these studies regularly excluded any evaluation of the men’s physical attractiveness, and so didn’t address the simple fact that it might just be two attractive people being attracted to one another, probably in attractive clothes in an attractive place, both perpetually well slept. Any “exchange” was an illusion.

McClintock has also found that the pervasive tendency toward rating higher-status people as more attractive seems to perpetuate itself . “Because of that,” she said, “there’s a bias toward seeing women who are married to high-status men—who are themselves high-status—as being more attractive. It creates this self-affirming circle where we never even stop to ask if we perceive the man as good-looking. We just say she’s good-looking, he’s high status—and she’s good-looking in part because the couple is high-status.”

“Assuming that the importance of beauty and status is gendered may cause researchers to overlook men’s attractiveness and women’s socioeconomic resources,” Eli Finkel, a psychologist at Northwestern University, told New York magazine, praising McClintock’s work. In so doing, scientists misidentify matching as exchange.

“Scientists are humans, too,” Finkel claimed, “and we can be inadvertently blinded by beliefs about how the world works. The studies that only looked at men’s (but not women’s) income and only looked at women’s (but not men’s) attractiveness were problematic in that way, as was the peer review process that allowed flawed papers like that to be published.”

“Controlling for both partners’ physical attractiveness may not eliminate the relationship between female beauty and male status,” McClintock wrote, “but it should at least reduce this relationship substantially.”

Even as its pervasiveness in popular culture is waning, the gendered beauty-status exchange model is harmful in several insidious ways, McClintock said. “It trivializes the importance of women’s careers in a social sense: It’s telling women that what matters is your looks, and your other accomplishments and qualities don’t matter on the partner market. The truth is, people are evaluating women for their looks, and they’re evaluating men for their looks. Women are as shallow as men when it comes to appearance, and they should focus on their own accomplishments. If women want an accomplished guy, that’s going to come with being accomplished.”

So this is just one more place where upward mobility is, it seems, a myth. But in this case, no love is lost. Within the gendered beauty-status exchange model, physical attractiveness “might enable class mobility for women,” yes, McClintock wrote, but not without ensuring the women’s economic dependency on her husband and anachronistically ignoring her valuation of his physical attractiveness.

“It also sets up this idea of marriage being mercenary,” McClintock said, “which doesn’t fit with our usual conception that we kind of like our spouse and we want someone that we get along with. It’s not just this trade of his money for her beauty, and he’s going to dump her as soon as she starts to get some wrinkles around her eyes.”

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*Article originally published on The Atlantic.

Things Men Just Don’t Do Anymore (But They Should!)

8 Things Men Just Don’t Do Anymore (That They Should!)

The Feminist Movement along with several Beyonce songs turned Suzie Homemaker into Ms. Independent. And in today’s generation, there are at least 8 Things women just don’t do anymore (that they should!). But the independent woman didn’t just affect women. Naturally, it changed the way men did things in relationships too! The chivalrous gentleman is rare, if not, non-existent because women claim they can do things on their own. But maybe there are a few things that men used to do, that they should bring back.

Open doors & pull out chairs

Open doors & pull out chairs

Young men used to be raised to open the door for a lady. Especially the young lady you’re courting. Now it seems like some young men aren’t taught that at all. And some of those that were taught that, have stopped doing so because women tell them they don’t have to do all that. There was a time when a woman’s hand did not touch a door handle! But that is not the case today. And maybe it’s not necessary to go to the extreme  today, but the gesture is still nice. Maybe it’s too far for you to get both sets of doors if they are back to back (like in a mall). Maybe you get the first door and she gets the next for you (instead of waiting there wasting time and looking crazy. But just because a woman can open the door for herself and pull out her own chair, doesn’t mean you should stop. She will appreciate that you were brought up with good manners. Watching a man run to hold the door open for an elderly woman is just so sexy!

Pay for date

Pay for meals

Men used to pay for all of the meals. But now it’s a complete toss up if the meal will be his treat, her treat, or dutch. There is nothing wrong with a woman paying for the meal. And there’s nothing wrong with going dutch! There is, however, something wrong with the man that never pays for a meal. Some men take the independent woman thing way too far and use it as an excuse to get free meals. Especially if she usually cooks at home, it would be nice to treat her to a night out on the town every now and then.


Bring home the bacon

Men used to be the primary breadwinners. According to the Pew Research Center, women are the primary breadwinners in 40% of households with children under the age of 18, up from 11% in 1960. The family dynamic is changing and there is nothing wrong with that! There’s nothing wrong with men being stay at home fathers. There is nothing wrong with women making more than men. The issue comes in when a man does not want to work and is not willing to contribute to the household at all.

Related Article: Why women should date men in suits.


Fix things around the house

Men used to be able to fix anything around the house, put anything together, and then change the oil! Maybe you don’t have to be the handyman, but you need to be useful around the house. At the very least, you should be able to put things together with her (for all of those trips to Ikea). Every man should have a screwdriver (a phillips and flathead), a hammer, and a basic ratchet set. If you own a car, you should know at least five things about how to fix it. You don’t have to know everything about car maintenance, but it would be nice if she could have a man’s opinion every now and then since mechanics typically tend to take advantage of women.


Court her

Back in the 50s there were so many levels to the dating game. Nowadays, guys just text back and forth and then one day you get “hang out” or “watch a movie” text. And that pretty much sums up the dating process. Maybe you don’t have to go so far as the Duggar’s (waiting to hold hands), but maybe there should be some levels to this stuff. Maybe you should take the time to treat her like a lady.

Related Article: Men: Learn how to plan a date.

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Stand when a woman leaves the table

Stand when a woman leaves the table… walk on the street side when you’re walking with a woman… There are a few chivalrous things that used to just come naturally to men. Now it’s so rare that it’s noticeable when men actually do do them. But those little things, that may seem small, are the little things that demonstrate how much you love and respect and are willing to protect her.

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Surprise her

Men used to do things just out of the blue. Surprise her with flowers, just because. Run her bubble bath. Plan a weekend getaway. Some men still do these things, but it’s very rare. You’d be surprised how much it means to her. Even the woman that says she doesn’t likes surprises loves thoughtful, romantic surprises.


Ask for her hand in marriage

Asking for her hand in marriage used to be step one in the proposal process. Before you even buy the ring, you needed to make sure it was okay with her father. But nowadays, the marriage process has become less about involving the parents and more about whatever the couple wants (since they’re more than likely paying for it). But perhaps asking for her hand in marriage is one tradition that shouldn’t be tossed aside. Even though you may have talked about marriage together as a couple, it’s still a good idea to talk to her parents before you get down on bended knee, if nothing else, as a sign of respect.

Related articles: How to wait on the ring.


*Article was originally published on Examiner.

Men, It’s One Thing To Ask Me Out On A Date, It’s Another Thing To Plan The Date

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I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked out by men who have no idea where to take me on a date. While I appreciate the opportunity to have an equal say in where we go & how we spend our time together, I would appreciate it even more if a man took the time to actually plan our dates on his own.

Just to be clear, I’m only talking about men who have no specific plans for our 1st, 2nd or 3rd date. Once we get comfortable, I am more than happy to share in the responsibility of planning our dates. But in the beginning (especially our very first date), the words “What do you want to do?” should never come out of a man’s lips. Okay, maybe if the guy is new to the city or something like that but otherwise, why not take the time to plan a nice evening or a fun activity for us to do?! As the man, you saw fit to ask me out in the first place surely you don’t think your job ends there, do you?

I hear that some men like to take a woman’s suggestions into consideration before deciding on where to take them. That’s all fine & good but you should still provide her with options. That’s like going to a car dealership and asking the salesman what type of car you should buy. Or walking into the grocery store & asking the clerk what you should buy to eat. Who does that? Before going to a make a purchase your decision should have already been made. No woman wants to date a man who can’t be bothered to do some research ahead of time. All I’m saying is that we women would like you to have a plan before taking us out.

Not sure what to do on a date? If you’ve done all the research you think you can do, here are some ways to get more ideas:

  • Try asking one of your friends (male or female) for some suggestions – surely you’re not the 1st person to EVER go out on a date
  • Check your local community listings for low-cost and sometimes free events around town
  • Go to Ticketmaster – it seems like 99% of concerts, plays, etc. go through this website to sell tickets. If you don’t want to use them, try or
  • Do something outdoorsy – This is a great way to get the blood pumping and shows that you can think outside of the “1st date box”
  • Find out what your date likes to do or eat & plan an evening around that. During your first few initial phone calls with her you should have figured out what she likes to do, so just go from there….
  • Show your date the kind of things that you like to do & plan an evening around that. It’ll probably be one of the best ways for her to get to know you
  • If all else fails, hit up the internet. You can always find activities, events, shows & more ideas on there

These were just some general ideas to get you going. Still not enough? Not to worry, I will write a post with specific date ideas later on. But if you do happen to use any of the suggestions I mentioned above, let me know? Let me know; I’d love to hear what worked & what didn’t……

Date Plan

When Does Being Single Become My Issue Instead Of Everyone Else’s?

I was talking to a friend earlier today about how I don’t think most people are willing to change until they meet someone worth changing for and not a moment before. He tried to convince me that women need to “fix” themselves first if they wanted to attract the right man. Specifically, I needed to fix the things that aren’t right with me or at the very least the things about me that haven’t worked in the past before starting a new relationship. The problem I have with his argument is that if I haven’t met anyone I want to be in a relationship with, why on earth would I want to change now?

Of course, the argument could be that I might not meet a man I want to date until after I “fix” myself. But unless I was a pathological liar, highly unattractive or just plain crazy, I don’t think that “fixing” myself will help me find a good man any faster. I look at everyone I know who is married & they all have plenty of flaws! They just found people that could deal with them all. It seems to me that having flaws shouldn’t prevent anyone from finding a good mate; after all, how many people in this world are perfect?!

I have no problem bettering myself. I have no problem acknowledging my flaws & working on them. I don’t even have a problem listening to others tell me about my flaws (I may not believe them, but I’ll at least listen). The problem I have is making a bunch of changes that aren’t necessary. Would you throw away a completely delicious meal just because it wasn’t perfect? Or would you allow someone to taste it first, see if they like it & then make improvements only IF they didn’t like it? Well, that’s how I feel about relationships. Why correct anything until you know it needs to be corrected?

I know I’m not perfect – I don’t have a lot of patience, I’m not the best housekeeper & I like my alone-time a little too much to be in a relationship sometimes – but these are the types of things that I don’t  necessarily think should be changed. A lot of people struggle with not having patience. Not saying I shouldn’t work on it but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. I’m not a good housekeeper, but so what? Isn’t that what maids & housekeepers are for? Surely, a man wouldn’t get rid of a good woman just because she leaves a few clothes & shoes lying around the house. And yes, I like my alone time but that just means I’m not clingy, which I thought most men don’t like anyway. My point is this – why should anyone “fix” themselves when what they’re already doing may work for the right person that just hasn’t come along yet?

My friend argued that as long as I wasn’t working to fix myself then being single will continue to be my problem and no one else’s. I can’t blame being single on not finding a good man because when I meet him I wouldn’t be ready anyway. I can’t blame my ex’s for things not working out because I didn’t do what it took to make myself a better girlfriend. After all, men want what’s already fixed not what’s already broken.

I’m not saying I should never strive to be a better woman, but what should that motivation be? A man shouldn’t be the reason for me to change who I am, so if I am comfortable in my own skin then why change? My future husband may be perfectly fine with me not cleaning so why bother changing that about myself? He may not care how tidy our house is and would much rather pay a housekeeper than to have me stressed out over cleaning up all the time. Because I don’t know what my future husband will & won’t like about me, I prefer to stay as I am.

So, is my friend right? Should I “fix” myself first & then concentrate on finding ‘Mr. Right’?

Or do you agree with me? Should I stay just the way I am and not worry about changing myself until I meet a man worth changing for?

Please share your comments below -

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Seeking Love ‘Single Style’

Whatever do I mean by that?  Well, Seeking Love Single Style means that you are looking for love, but, more importantly you are enjoying your single life immensely.  You don’t NEED someone, you WANT someone.  There’s a big difference.  I was recently asked if I never met the one I was looking for would I still be happy.  After giving it a moment’s thought I said YES! Of course I would still be happy.  Why? Because I am fulfilled in every aspect of my life – physically, mentally and emotionally.  Would I prefer to be with a partner? Yes, of course I would.  When men say “you seem great, why are you still single?” I tell them “I am still single because I want the right man, not just any man”.  That should be the case for every single person.  No settling, just holding out for the right one.  Be true to you.

Single Isn’t a Bad Word

More often than not, people see being single as a death sentence.  You know the deal.  You see all your friends in relationships, getting married, having kids and you feel like the only person in the world who is single.  We’ve all been there.  The older you get the more this is a reality.  I know personally, I find it hard to get together and relate to the lives of my closest friends because they are in a different place in their life, and, forget about trying to arrange something to do, especially if they have children.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for them.  It’s just that where they’re at isn’t where I’m at.

Single really can be fun.  It’s all about perspective.  This whole “finding my second half business” is incredibly damaging to the single psyche.  You don’t need a second half! You are whole on your own.  You need to be proud of who you are and confident about what you have to offer or else your dating life will be a disaster.  Being with you should be a privilege for the other person, not the other way around.  Remember, 1 + 1 = 2, it doesn’t equal 1.  That’s what “seeking love single style” means.

Seeking Love Single Style

So now you know what it is, then how do you do it?  Seeking love single style means doing your own thing and letting love come organically, don’t force it.  Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Be happy in your own skin without worrying about what others think and how they perceive you.
  • Always put your best foot forward wherever you go and with whoever you meet.
  • Be confident, not cocky, in who you are and always walk with your head held high.
  • Take care of yourself physically, emotionally and mentally.
  • Keep your schedule full of activities that you love to do and with people who love to be with.
  • Do things on your own like eating at a restaurant and travelling.

If you are happy alone you will make a great partner for someone else and they will be in your life because you want them there, as a companion, not because you need them there to make you whole.  You are whole without anyone else.  Now go out there and begin seeking love SINGLE style!!


*Originally published on Single Dating Diva

18 Ugly Truths About Modern Dating That You Have To Deal With

1. The person who cares less has all the power. Nobody wants to be the one who’s more interested.

2. Because we want to show how cavalier and blasé we can be to the other person, little psychological games like ‘Intentionally Take Hours Or Days To Text Back’ will happen. They aren’t fun.

3. A person being carefree because they have zero interest in you looks exactly like a person being carefree because they think you’re amazing & are making a conscious effort to play it cool. Good luck deciphering between the two.

4. Making phone calls is a dying art. Chances are, most of your relationship’s communication will happen via text, which is the most detached, impersonal form of interaction. Get familiar with those emoticon options.

5. Set plans are dead. People have options and up-to-the-minute updates on their friends (or other potential romantic interests) whereabouts thanks to texts & social media. If you aren’t the top priority, your invitation to spend time will be given a “Maybe” or “I’ll let you know” and the deciding factor(s) will be if that person has offers more fun/interesting than you on the table.

6. Someone who hurt you isn’t automatically going to have bad karma. At least not in the immediate future. I know it only seems fair, but sometimes people cheat and betray and move on happily while the person they left is in shambles.

7. The only difference between your actions being romantic and creepy is how attractive the other person finds you. That’s it, that’s all.

8. “Let’s chill” & “Wanna hang out?” are vague phrases that likely mean “let’s hookup” — and while you probably hate receiving them, they’re the common way to invite someone to spend time these days, and appear to be here to stay.

9. Some people just want to hookup and if you’re seeking more than sex, they won’t tell you that they’re the wrong person for you. At least, not until after they score your prize. While human decency is ideal, honesty isn’t mandatory.

10. The text message you sent went through. If they didn’t respond, it wasn’t because of malfunctioning phone carrier services.

11. So many people are scared of commitment and being official that they’ll remain in a label-free relationship, which blurs lines and only works until it doesn’t. I’ve said it many times before, I’ll say it again – “we’re just talking” is opening the door for cheating that technically wasn’t cheating because, hey, you weren’t together together.

12. Social media creates new temptations and opportunities to cheat. The private messaging and options for subtle flirtation (e.g. liking of pictures) aren’t an excuse or validation for cheating, but they certainly increase the chances of it happening.

13. Social media can also create the illusion of having options, which leads to people looking at Facebook as an attractive people menu instead of a means of keeping contact with friends & family.

14. You aren’t likely to see much of someone’s genuine, unfiltered self until you’re in an actual relationship with him or her. Generally people are scared that sincerely putting themselves out there will result in finding out that they’re too available, too anxious, too nerdy, too nice, too safe, too boring, not funny enough, not pretty enough, not some other person enough to be embraced.

15. Any person you get romantically involved with you’ll either wind up staying with forever or breaking up with them at some point. These are equally terrifying concepts.

16. When dating, instead of expressing how they feel directly to you, a person is more likely to post a Facebook status or Instagram a Tumblr-esque photo of a sunset with a quote or song lyric of someone else’s words on it, and while it may not mention your name, it’s blatantly directed at you.

17. There are plenty of people who’ll have zero respect for your relationship and if they want the person you’re with, they’ll have no qualms with trying to overstep boundaries to get to ‘em. Girl code and guy code are wishful thinking and human code isn’t embedded in everyone.

18. If you get dumped, it’s probably going to be pretty brutal. People can cut ties over the phone and avoid seeing the tears stream down your face or end things via text and avoid hearing the pain in your cracking voice and sniffling nose. Send a lengthy text and voilà, relationship over. The easy way out is far from the most considerate.


*Article was originally published on Thought Catalog.

A Man That Is Easy To Please Is Hard To Be With

It’s always refreshing to meet a man who is easy to please. One that doesn’t require much, has low expectations and who is okay with me just the way that I am. On one hand it makes me want to do more so that he’ll be even more impressed with me and on the other hand, it makes me want to do less because what I was already doing was probably more than enough! It’s good not to have high expectations, but what if they’re too low?

If someone doesn’t expect too much from me, is that a good thing or a bad thing? Someone who has low expectations may cause me to get bored with them or worse yet, breed resentment for not expecting more (or better) from me. Think of it like a student who is not being challenged in school – if getting straight A’s comes too easily, then that student will get bored and may potentially find themselves distracted with the wrong things outside of the classroom. In the same sense, if a man is satisfied with me doing the bare minimum, I may get bored and look for a distraction or some excitement outside of our relationship.

Besides, how am I supposed to be a better woman when the man I’m with likes me just the way I am? There’s no incentive to be better, do more for him or work harder in the relationship when what I’m already doing works just fine. It’s good that I don’t need to change but who couldn’t stand to be improved, even if it’s just in some areas? Why should anyone be happy with the way they currently are? Or be happy enough to stay the same? Why wouldn’t you work to improve who you are, the way you look or the way you treat your significant other? We should all want to be better, not stay just the same.

So what do I want? I want a man who is going to push me to be a better woman. A man who sees the potential in me to do more than I could’ve done without him.  Someone who doesn’t want me to stay the way I am & expects more from me. I don’t want him to be pushy or too demanding about it, but I just don’t want him to be okay with mediocrity. If I’m not okay with it from him, why should he be okay with it from me?

At the end of the day, I don’t want a man who is okay with me ‘just the way I am.’ I think I have so much growing to do & if he’s satisfied with the way I am now then things may not work out for us in the long run.

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