How important is similar level of education in your partner and experiences?

finalpsychyear

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I don't have the statistics but my gut feeling is the closer the educational level is between husband and wife that may correlate to a better marriage overall?

I am asking because i have spent my whole life only dating doctors, lawyers, dentists, and 1 IT person and recently started dating someone with only a bachelors degree with hopes of getting a masters. There are several variables to dating of course I know; but in this day and age my gut says it is super important more than ever before?

Again, I don't mean to offend anyone who's partners have significantly less education then them, of course it can work very well, i am just asking from your guy/gals experiences of your overall experiences in this day and age.
 

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Last I saw, the research shows that same interests are negatively correlated with marital satisfaction.

For higher earners, lower spousal education is associated with lower levels of divorce or infidelity, I forget which.

Some occupations are associated with higher levels of infidelity. Bartenders is one.

There are some geographic stuff too. If you're looking for options and you're in Darrien, CT, or the Gold Coast of LI, or Hidden Hills, CA, Silicon Valley, or wherever , you'll see higher earners. If you're looking for other options in like, Nebraska, you're probably in bad shape.

Anecdotally, the super achievers I know would not be able to do what they do without a lower achieving spouse who takes care of them. Even when you take out the chores, they need someone to provide the emotional work for them. Whether that is taking care of the family, or listening to a spouse who hasn't talked to anyone besides business in a week. Or dealing with someone who is so ridiculously high achieving that deciding if they are a narcissist is hard because they are really that important. Or having the space to fly off to the Caribbean when they want, because there are not two hard schedules to mesh.

Also: Send me the names of the single lady doctors and attorneys.
 

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I don't have the statistics but my gut feeling is the closer the educational level is between husband and wife that may correlate to a better marriage overall?

I am asking because i have spent my whole life only dating doctors, lawyers, dentists, and 1 IT person and recently started dating someone with only a bachelors degree with hopes of getting a masters. There are several variables to dating of course I know; but in this day and age my gut says it is super important more than ever before?

Again, I don't mean to offend anyone who's partners have significantly less education then them, of course it can work very well, i am just asking from your guy/gals experiences of your overall experiences in this day and age.
I have a Ph.D and my wife has a bachelors. Never been an issue. love, empathy, faith, morals/values, temperament/personality is all we really considered.
 
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I don’t think similar level of education is a good measure. I think similar level of intelligence is a better gauge. People capable of studying medicine don’t always become doctors.

It’s probably very hard to be in a serious relationship with someone who is much more/less intelligent than you.


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Bro this is so variable that the data are meaningless, if you are asking out of curiosity thats one thing but if you’re asking to get support to date or not date a specific person based on their education level, I refer you back to the question asked in the other thread you started about spending money “why do you care about what other people think/do?” This is a personal decision and is based on many many factors of which sure education or intelligence may be one but certainly not among the most important. I’m a high achiever and my wife is a lowly pre school teacher, she does everything around the house and is extremely supportive, being with another doctor or “high achiever” is an absolute no go for me personally.
 

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I don't have the statistics but my gut feeling is the closer the educational level is between husband and wife that may correlate to a better marriage overall?

I am asking because i have spent my whole life only dating doctors, lawyers, dentists, and 1 IT person and recently started dating someone with only a bachelors degree with hopes of getting a masters. There are several variables to dating of course I know; but in this day and age my gut says it is super important more than ever before?

Again, I don't mean to offend anyone who's partners have significantly less education then them, of course it can work very well, i am just asking from your guy/gals experiences of your overall experiences in this day and age.
You're going about this in the wrong way. Education does not correlate with intelligence. Ever. Compatibility in a spouse has nothing to do with similar education unless you're the type to feel resentful or get hung up on income and how much you both bring home. My spouse has only a Bachelor's, makes 1/3 what I make, and is 100000X smarter than I am.
 

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I can't find the link right now.. . . but from memory.
1. get married after the age 21 and both with college degrees.
2. Both have jobs and make at least 30k/year
3. Don't co-habitate before marriage
4. at least a 6 month engagement
5. Don't have babies before marriage
6. have in debth, pre-marriage counseling. Figure out finances, family, religion, children.

If you check all the boxes, the risk of divorce is very low. Less than 20%.

My wife has "only" a bachelors, but she is smarter than me. If she wasn't spending more time raising a little chillins. . . . she'd probably out-earn me in a few years.
 
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I can't find the link right now.. . . but from memory.
1. get married after the age 21 and both with college degrees.
2. Both have jobs and make at least 30k/year
3. Don't co-habitate before marriage
4. at least a 6 month engagement
5. Don't have babies before marriage
6. have in debth, pre-marriage counseling. Figure out finances, family, religion, children.

If you check all the boxes, the risk of divorce is very low. Less than 20%.

My wife has "only" a bachelors, but she is smarter than me. If she wasn't spending more time raising a little chillins. . . . she'd probably out-earn me in a few years.
I can think of a number of likely confounders that probably explain 3, which likely also tracks with 5.

From the last time I reviewed this stuff, it's really 5. Values, preferences, expectations, communication which include those topics and more.
 

hamstergang

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3. Don't co-habitate before marriage
Did you write this one backwards? I'd imagine cohabitating before marriage to be protective against divorce (or lead to break up before marriage and hence no divorce).
 
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NITRAS

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Lots of data shows living together before marriage increases your risk of divorce.

Marriage isn't just living together. Its combining lives and goals. When you co-habitate, you really need to have His, Hers, and Ours, which is bad habits for marriage (which should be just Ours). Look it up.
 
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Lots of data shows living together before marriage increases your risk of divorce.

Marriage isn't just living together. Its combining lives and goals. When you co-habitate, you really need to have His, Hers, and Ours, which is bad habits for marriage (which should be just Ours). Look it up.
Admittedly, I didn't do any research on this and don't know/care what the numbers are. I think this is absolutely wrong. Living with someone is a BIG deal and some people are just incompatible. You need to live with someone before marriage to know if you can live with them for a lifetime.
 

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Admittedly, I didn't do any research on this and don't know/care what the numbers are. I think this is absolutely wrong. Living with someone is a BIG deal and some people are just incompatible. You need to live with someone before marriage to know if you can live with them for a lifetime.
The guy you quoted says that he has researched the question and found that living together before marriage is a risk factor for divorce, why then are you saying, after admitting you haven’t done any research on the topic, that the gentleman who did do his research is wrong? Lol...
 
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The guy you quoted says that he has researched the question and found that living together before marriage is a risk factor for divorce, why then are you saying, after admitting you haven’t done any research on the topic, that the gentleman who did do his research is wrong? Lol...
I never said the research is wrong. I said I think it's wrong, as in I disagree with the concept.
 

Crayola227

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Last I saw, the research shows that same interests are negatively correlated with marital satisfaction.

For higher earners, lower spousal education is associated with lower levels of divorce or infidelity, I forget which.

Some occupations are associated with higher levels of infidelity. Bartenders is one.

There are some geographic stuff too. If you're looking for options and you're in Darrien, CT, or the Gold Coast of LI, or Hidden Hills, CA, Silicon Valley, or wherever , you'll see higher earners. If you're looking for other options in like, Nebraska, you're probably in bad shape.

Anecdotally, the super achievers I know would not be able to do what they do without a lower achieving spouse who takes care of them. Even when you take out the chores, they need someone to provide the emotional work for them. Whether that is taking care of the family, or listening to a spouse who hasn't talked to anyone besides business in a week. Or dealing with someone who is so ridiculously high achieving that deciding if they are a narcissist is hard because they are really that important. Or having the space to fly off to the Caribbean when they want, because there are not two hard schedules to mesh.

Also: Send me the names of the single lady doctors and attorneys.
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Did you write this one backwards? I'd imagine cohabitating before marriage to be protective against divorce (or lead to break up before marriage and hence no divorce).
I’d imagine a lot of these are correlational. You’ll probably find people who value commitment a lot higher, on average, when they’re the type of people who don’t cohabitate before marriage. Same for kids before marriage. Lots of exceptions, but these introduce a large selection bias that would have varying outcomes if divorce is the variable of interest.
 

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Admittedly, I didn't do any research on this and don't know/care what the numbers are. I think this is absolutely wrong. Living with someone is a BIG deal and some people are just incompatible. You need to live with someone before marriage to know if you can live with them for a lifetime.
I guess I’m confused on the “need to” component because I have so many examples of life-long marriages, new marriages, and everywhere inbetween that included no cohabitation. I think it’s fine to have an opinion, but the above statements are wrong.
 

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Did you write this one backwards? I'd imagine cohabitating before marriage to be protective against divorce (or lead to break up before marriage and hence no divorce).
The cohabitation data have changed over time. Initial data from the 70s and 80s linked premarital cohabitation with higher rates of later divorce. That association has disappeared in more recent data. I believe I read that there is now a drop-off effect, where short periods of premarital cohabitation are associated with more stable marriages, but long periods are associated with higher divorce rates.

My understanding is that when cohabitation was rare, the people who engaged in it were less bound by convention and therefore also less influenced by social stigma against divorce. As premarital cohabitation became more mainstream, it lost its importance as a signifier of liberal attitudes towards other social conventions.

Now, when people cohabitate as an intentional step in a series of increasing levels of commitment, it's beneficial, but doesn't last long because it either progresses to marriage or demonstrates incompatibility. Versus the extended cohabitation which I guess can signify that either there are ongoing problems in the relationship that prevent it from progressing, or at least one partner is a commitmentphobe. Neither of which bode well for the fate of an eventual marriage.
 
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Admittedly, I didn't do any research on this and don't know/care what the numbers are. I think this is absolutely wrong. Living with someone is a BIG deal and some people are just incompatible. You need to live with someone before marriage to know if you can live with them for a lifetime.
If two people choose to make it work and treat each other well, anyone can be compatible and make it

No one “needs to” live together first
 
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I agree with all that was said about overachievers marrying people with lower educational level. because lower educational level means they won't have as much student loans to overwork their ass off, their job hours might be more flexible and they would be more able to clear their schedule on your behalf, understanding that we have more hectic lives.

Many doctors I know. (the ones putting in the good hours and making the real money) usually have a housewife, who takes care of the kids, and provide the emotional support needed when and/if they are home and those wives were people with a very submissive personality. I'm pretty sure it can be seen the other way around as well.

And in my personal experience, after dating those overachievers residents, when I have a lot on my plate as well,and having them ask me to be more "submissive" and be there for whenever the time was suitable for "them" to provide the attention, communication and among other things you should have in a healthy relationship. I knew it wasn't going to work for me. At least not with workaholics.

I do believe men in position of power (doctors, lawyers) are appealing to us, probably future power females as well; under the illusion of making a "power couple" or maybe only "evolutionary theories" but I don't know in reality how achievable it is. ( it would become a threeway with your relationship and each other careers in the middle, and that's without counting the fact of the kids and all of that) everyone in the relationship would need to be understanding and meeting each other requirements in terms of (time, communication, emotional needs) without hindering the other person ability to be the best they can be in their field so no one would have regret later...
 

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I have no idea on the data. If I were to place a wager before a large current study is done that I would say that education means nothing.

Positive factors to avoiding divorce would be: similar expectations of each person’s expected role in the family, similar morale values, and good communication skills.
 

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I don’t think similar level of education is a good measure. I think similar level of intelligence is a better gauge. People capable of studying medicine don’t always become doctors.

It’s probably very hard to be in a serious relationship with someone who is much more/less intelligent than you.


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The idea that similar levels of intelligence are important to a relationship doesn’t sound that different to me than suggesting that similar skils in mountain bike riding are important in a relationship. I doubt that matched abilities in any skills, talents, or abilities, whether innate or learned, have much intrinsic value to a relationship, with the possible exception of emotional intelligence.
 

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The idea that similar levels of intelligence are important to a relationship doesn’t sound that different to me than suggesting that similar skils in mountain bike riding are important in a relationship. I doubt that matched abilities in any skills, talents, or abilities, whether innate or learned, have much intrinsic value to a relationship, with the possible exception of emotional intelligence.
I think intelligence stands out to me more because it seems that intelligence is correlated with personality traits, I don’t think mountain bike riding or juggling are correlated with any specific personality traits. I’m sure there’s research done on all of those things though lol.

I also don’t think it’s far-fetched to imagine that a person with a 140 IQ would have trouble dating a person with a 90 IQ. Both of them will most likely have poor communication with one another and lack common interests to say the least.


Edit: grammar (low IQ problems)

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I've noticed MDs in general tend to be more dissociated. E.g. they're more distanced, detached, and narcissistic.

I told my wife for this very reason I was if anything turned off to being with another MD. Of course not all MDs are like this but I see these personality traits in MDs more much more often.
 

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I've noticed MDs in general tend to be more dissociated. E.g. they're more distanced, detached, and narcissistic.

I told my wife for this very reason I was if anything turned off to being with another MD. Of course not all MDs are like this but I see these personality traits in MDs more much more often.
If anything, I'm the more detached, distanced, and narcissistic one in my marriage. My MD wife is pretty much the opposite. We're a good complement in relation to personality stuff.
 
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The idea that similar levels of intelligence are important to a relationship doesn’t sound that different to me than suggesting that similar skils in mountain bike riding are important in a relationship. I doubt that matched abilities in any skills, talents, or abilities, whether innate or learned, have much intrinsic value to a relationship, with the possible exception of emotional intelligence.
That probably depends on whether those skills/talents/proclivities are core identity elements for the people concerned.

It also really depends on the expectations for the partnership. In many cultures, and in the past in the West, there was an expectation of economic and childrearing partnership, and of sexual access. If that's the expectation, shared passions are no big deal.

But in the modern West we now have a cultural expectation of all that stuff, plus romantic love and deep friendship. That's a tall order, and shared passions are likely to be an important ingredient.
 
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Crayola227

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There's plenty of research I've come across that talks a lot about how, more for women than men but true for both, and I could explain theoretically why, absolutely prefer to mate with someone of similar intelligence levels to their own. And the word mate can mean a lot of things here, actually.

That said, intelligence and education are not the same.

People absolutely want an equal when it comes to intelligence, on the whole. How important is that? Well it depends. It is important, but what does that mean?

Evolutionarily speaking, I find it quite plausible people are geared this way and that it has some evolutionary benefit, although it is not clear to me exactly what that is or how it plays out.
 
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Crayola227

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Forgive me, but just pointing out that it does not really need to be that complicated/intellectual. And perhaps, a different view compared to what has been discussed already...

Catechism of the Catholic Church - The sacrament of Matrimony
OK, usually I'm all for defending the underdog that is Christian marriage, but seriously?

I think it takes more than vows before a priest and obedience to have a good marriage. The idea that marriage itself is some sort of sacrament that is going to wave a wand over a relationship if only people pray and read the Bible hard enough, is SUCH a disservice. Maybe more than thinking you both need a uni degree.

Like, if you just love Christ enough, your marriage will work out. Um, but as much as each person can try to be like Christ, newsflash, neither of you is actually married to Christ. Er, it's not just Christ in the marriage. That's the problem.
 
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erg923

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OK, usually I'm all for defending the underdog that is Christian marriage, but seriously?

I think it takes more than vows before a priest and obedience to have a good marriage. The idea that marriage itself is some sort of sacrament that is going to wave a wand over a relationship if only people pray and read the Bible hard enough, is SUCH a disservice. Maybe more than thinking you both need a uni degree.

Like, if you just love Christ enough, your marriage will work out. Um, but as much as each person can try to be like Christ, newsflash, neither of you is actually married to Christ. Er, it's not just Christ in the marriage. That's the problem.
All this shows vast ignorance of the Christian view of marriage. And your last paragraph of interpretation and statements is simply bizarre.

If you’re really that unfamiliar with Christianity, there’s probably no point in us discussing this further.
 

michaelrack

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One of the ideas of Christian (and some other religions) marriage is that it's not a private act between 2 individuals but that it involves the whole community with support for the married couple from the community etc .....
 

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Personally I believe the reasons my long term marriage is still intact include similar level of intelligence but more importantly having the same baseline core values and financial philosophy. We have had plenty of insignificant spats but have never disagreed about what is appropriate behavior or our spending habits even when our finances were tight.
 

Crayola227

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I am familiar with Christianity, that is my issue.

I am fine with religious marriage, arranged marriage, and I agree with michaelrack's point, and I agree with many others speculating on how religion or Christianity might be positively associated marriage success. Believe it in fact. One reason among a few, that I broke off my previous engagement, was religion. Probably one of the more difficult things I've put myself through.

I completely agree with everything said since that post. I'm just saying that, suggesting that in lieu of compatibility on fronts like intelligence, interests, education, that marriage as a sacrament can keep a marriage together....

I think a lot of people get married thinking the marriage, the intentions, the vows, the spirituality - will be enough to keep them together. Quite a few newlyweds and divorcees say something similar.

Plenty of religious people get divorces. Almost as much as anyone.
 
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There's plenty of research I've come across that talks a lot about how, more for women than men but true for both, and I could explain theoretically why, absolutely prefer to mate with someone of similar intelligence levels to their own. And the word mate can mean a lot of things here, actually.

That said, intelligence and education are not the same.

People absolutely want an equal when it comes to intelligence, on the whole. How important is that? Well it depends. It is important, but what does that mean?

Evolutionarily speaking, I find it quite plausible people are geared this way and that it has some evolutionary benefit, although it is not clear to me exactly what that is or how it plays out.

The egalitarian style of marriage you are referring to is called "peer marriage", as termed by Pepper Schwartz. There are both positives AND negatives associated with this style of marriage in the evidence base. Lack of sex is a bigger complaint in this style of marriage, which was reported in the classic "I feel like a roommate" type of thing.

In humans, there is a difference in short term vs. long term mate selection and some gender dimorphism. There is also evidence of differences in what we say we want, vs. what we actually want.

The Wisconsin study showed that there was an association between wife attractiveness and husband's IQ, but not the other way around.
 

Crayola227

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The egalitarian style of marriage you are referring to is called "peer marriage", as termed by Pepper Schwartz. There are both positives AND negatives associated with this style of marriage in the evidence base. Lack of sex is a bigger complaint in this style of marriage, which was reported in the classic "I feel like a roommate" type of thing.

In humans, there is a difference in short term vs. long term mate selection and some gender dimorphism. There is also evidence of differences in what we say we want, vs. what we actually want.

The Wisconsin study showed that there was an association between wife attractiveness and husband's IQ, but not the other way around.
When you say other way round, do you mean no association between wife intelligence and husband's attractiveness? Because I wouldn't expect that.
 

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When you say other way round, do you mean no association between wife intelligence and husband's attractiveness? Because I wouldn't expect that.
I highly doubt there are NO correlations. Just not significant ones.

You should see the negative correlations between women's earnings and mate availability. Makes zero sense to me.
 
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PsyDr

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Not sure why it makes sense to some people, but it makes sense to me.
1) Can I interest you in psychologist houseboy?

2) What's your theory? Many of my super successful female friends date HILARIOUSLY low achievers. Two even had literal "van down by the river" boyfriends.
 

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2) What's your theory? Many of my super successful female friends date HILARIOUSLY low achievers. Two even had literal "van down by the river" boyfriends.
I’ve actually noticed this as well with my high-achieving female friends... not dating low achievers necessarily, but people not at their level.

I’ve always wondered if high-achieving women face:
1) a problem finding someone at their level who isn’t already taken, a narcissist, or someone who wants to slow them down.

2) simply don’t consider achievement (degrees, money, prestige etc...) when they get into relationships because it would severely narrow their options.





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Did you write this one backwards? I'd imagine cohabitating before marriage to be protective against divorce (or lead to break up before marriage and hence no divorce).
Admittedly, I didn't do any research on this and don't know/care what the numbers are. I think this is absolutely wrong. Living with someone is a BIG deal and some people are just incompatible. You need to live with someone before marriage to know if you can live with them for a lifetime.
The research actually does show that co-habitation before marriage is more highly correlated with divorce. I wanted my wife and I to move in together before getting engaged to make sure we could live together, but both her parents and her were insistent we get engaged before moving in together (and her parents didn't even like that). I think there are probably more confounding factors that were poorly addressed, but I did look this up after my wife's family brought this up, as it seems incredibly counter-intuitive to me.

I agree with all that was said about overachievers marrying people with lower educational level. because lower educational level means they won't have as much student loans to overwork their ass off, their job hours might be more flexible and they would be more able to clear their schedule on your behalf, understanding that we have more hectic lives.

Many doctors I know. (the ones putting in the good hours and making the real money) usually have a housewife, who takes care of the kids, and provide the emotional support needed when and/if they are home and those wives were people with a very submissive personality. I'm pretty sure it can be seen the other way around as well.

And in my personal experience, after dating those overachievers residents, when I have a lot on my plate as well,and having them ask me to be more "submissive" and be there for whenever the time was suitable for "them" to provide the attention, communication and among other things you should have in a healthy relationship. I knew it wasn't going to work for me. At least not with workaholics.

I do believe men in position of power (doctors, lawyers) are appealing to us, probably future power females as well; under the illusion of making a "power couple" or maybe only "evolutionary theories" but I don't know in reality how achievable it is. ( it would become a threeway with your relationship and each other careers in the middle, and that's without counting the fact of the kids and all of that) everyone in the relationship would need to be understanding and meeting each other requirements in terms of (time, communication, emotional needs) without hindering the other person ability to be the best they can be in their field so no one would have regret later...
Personally I believe the reasons my long term marriage is still intact include similar level of intelligence but more importantly having the same baseline core values and financial philosophy. We have had plenty of insignificant spats but have never disagreed about what is appropriate behavior or our spending habits even when our finances were tight.
The bolded is something I think most people don't realize until they're well into the marriage. When one person is financially conservative and likes to have a solid emergency fund while the other is a spendthrift who uses shopping as their primary form of therapy, it's not a a situation conducive to a successful marriage.

I’ve actually noticed this as well with my high-achieving female friends... not dating low achievers necessarily, but people not at their level.

I’ve always wondered if high-achieving women face:
1) a problem finding someone at their level who isn’t already taken, a narcissist, or someone who wants to slow them down.

2) simply don’t consider achievement (degrees, money, prestige etc...) when they get into relationships because it would severely narrow their options.
I think there's a few dynamics at play there. @BellaPinhaMD mentioned the idea of "power couples" earlier and I think they are typically unrealistic for a few reasons. In order for a power couple to work, you either have to have 2 individuals who understand that career is important and are okay with understanding that they will be sacrificing some emotional connection for career. I would think these would be the more detached/distant individuals who are fine with having a companion that is okay with a more detached/distant partner. I don't think these are great relationships, as it takes a pretty high level of understanding and trust that both will remain loyal. The other possibility is two extremely well-adjusted, organized, high-functioning, and driven individuals who can legitimately make time for both career and their SO. I'd also guess that these would typically be individuals who either don't want kids or are willing to delay their career pursuit until their kids are older.

As to the reason high-powered women would end up with low-achieving males, I think it has to do with power dynamic. High-powered women are more likely to be more of the Type A, driven personalities. This can be both intimidating to men and inconvenient for those wanting to have a family. Additionally, if the woman wants to start a family, she'd have to find a man who is willing to make major sacrifices in their careers to put the family first while the wife brings in the money. I'd guess that many of these women who end up with low-achievers do it out of convenience. It's easier to find a submissive, Type B guy who isn't much of an achiever and pursue their careers than it is to make a relationship with everything they hope for with another high achiever without making major sacrifices themselves. There's also the idea that some women end up with scummy guys because those guys can talk the talk and superficially give her what she needs while just coasting themselves.

This is a lot of speculation and talk and I don't really have data to back it up other than the few irl instances I've seen. Also, I those dynamics go both ways as well and can be seen with many high-achieving men as well. I think that historically though, the submissive house-wife has been an accepted societal role for women and is seen as a form of success for women. Whereas the submissive role for males has typically been seen as the male being weak or a failure, and I think there are fewer of the "well-adjusted" submissive males who are willing to just be house-husbands than the Type B females willing to take on the family care-giver role. There's been an obvious shift in societal expectations in modern times, but historically I think this still has an impact in these types of dynamics.

Edit: Sorry for the ramblings, that ended up being much longer than expected...
 

Georgit

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. I wanted my wife and I to move in together before getting engaged to make sure we could live together, but both her parents and her were insistent we get engaged before moving in together (and her parents didn't even like that).
What do you mean with "engaged", like a formal promise of marriage?
It sounds pretty old-fashioned, in italian we do not even have a world for this.
 

Stagg737

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Jul 2, 2013
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What do you mean with "engaged", like a formal promise of marriage?
It sounds pretty old-fashioned, in italian we do not even have a world for this.
In the US you traditionally get engaged and then married at a later date. Basically, one person (traditionally the male) asks permission from the other to get married, and if the answer is yes it's basicallya promise that they will be married. Sometimes engagement lasts a few weeks, sometimes years, sometimes they get broken off. Varies a lot today.

So yes, a formal promise of marriage, most traditionally in the form of the male presenting a ring to the female and asking her to marry him.
 
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