How far "down" should a woman aim?

I am told that "women date down" if they want the relationship to be a success. Equal or greater value (looks & personality for men ... looks only for women) relationships end with the man leaving for a better looking woman.

So how far down should a woman aim? I'm not just talking superficial attributes in men, its like any good quality in a guy means he's worthy of a better looking female.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • I've actually never heard this advice before... Kinda interesting, if a bit doom-and-gloom: "Aim for lower-quality guys, because higher-quality guys will eventually reveal that they're lower-quality guys anyway."

    Your assumption seems to be that any guy will always jump ship the moment an available hotter woman shows up.

    Looks are certainly what initially attract men. But it's personality and overall compatibility that keep a guy around. A woman's attractiveness will remain important to a guy until the day he dies, but once hooked, other factors increasingly start to matter. Factors that emerge from who you are, and how you two get along together, rather than just the initial factor of you being a generic "hot babe" who can still be ranked against other, potentially hotter babes.

    Once these "you factors" have a chance to build up, collectively they are what becomes the bond that's holding you together, and your visual appeal winds up being just one strand of the cable. If a guy leaves just because somebody higher up on the hot-babe scale shows an interest in him, that implies that these other factors, these other diverse strands of the cable, have never really built up between you two. Every bond starts off shallow, but building it up strand by strand into something more robust is the whole basis of a relationship, as opposed to a hook-up.

    I'd suggest rather than settling for a guy you don't so much want, in the hopes that nobody else will want him enough to offer him a better "hot-babe strand" than yours, instead find a guy you actually want and who seems to have potential for more, use your hot-babe strand (as it were) to connect with him, then consistently try focusing on strengthening and diversifying the strands of the bond between you.

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    • As I said in another place, I don't necessarily think my understanding is right ... I'm just really confused. I also needed a catchy title to draw lots of perspectives.

      Maybe I just don't get what the other strands are. When I ask guys what they like about women, its usually superficial things causing them to have "feelings." Her smile makes me feel like the best guy in the world; She is so small and delicate I feel like a real man; She is so beautiful that I feel lucky to date her. Etc.

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    • Doesn't it take guys a lot longer to feel those things?

    • I wouldn't say it takes guys _longer_ than girls to feel them. Guys are admittedly often pretty oblivious about these things so it might take longer to _realize_ they're already feeling them...

      It's going to take some time to build a connection, whatever the case.

What Guys Said 14

  • I think the question is a little imprecise and I'm having difficulty understanding it a bit.

    I guess this has to do with being told that attractive women "date down", as in they date below their league?

    I don't think you should be aiming down, per se, but finding someone with the right attributes. Of course there's plenty of scumbag men who will leave someone for a better looking woman just because they're, well, just that. Jerks.

    I need a little bit of clarification in the question. Otherwise, I don't know if I can really give a good answer.

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    • Agreed, though - could you elaborate a little on your opinion of why men actually leave women? I mean, if the woman is attractive and is "out of their league" - wouldn't that give them more reason to pursue "Her"? I understand about jerks and leaving their current S.O. for a better looking one; however, what if the scenario changed (is what I'm asking)?

    • I am talking about the men who leave women for one that looks better just because they can. That there's no value in the relationship itself to them and they simply want to "upgrade". It's different when your significant other and you just don't mesh anymore and you break up. But when they leave just to get the more attractive woman, it's very scummy to me.

  • I'm of the belief that you shouldn't aim "down" at all; that's quite silly. I don't know who told you what, but the notion that women should "date down" is founded on false premises and unreliable data. Relationships are connections between two unique individuals, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there's no accurate predictor of whether and how long a relationship will last. However, if a potential girlfriend were to seriously take the "aim low" approach to her dating life, I'd hope for her sake that she'd aim way below my level, because I don't have the time to put up with her foolishness. Best of luck.

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  • This whole thing is BS. Complete and total BS. What else did the editors of Cosmo magazine tell you?

    In any case, anyone who says there's established "rules" to dating or how things should work should go take a long walk off a short pier, because all they're doing is complicating the process.

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  • That's so selfish to think of yourself as superior to your guy. Don't aim down. Don't even think in terms of a hierarchy.

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  • Face value - or nothing at all.

    Accept the situation for what it is, if he is real with you (not being phony) then his personality will be at surface level.

    Best regards,

    ArtistBBoy

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    • I'm not sure I understand your answer.

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    • If I see an attractive guy, of course I think he's attractive ... but I don't base my dating decisions on who is the hottest I can get. I guess I'm under the impression that a guy can like your personality and feel connected to you, but will bounce the moment a woman who is better looking shows interest because a female's looks are the #1 factor. Since looks & personality draw women to men, his good qualities of any kind are likely to attract better looking women.

    • While that can be true- it's not for individuals like myself. Just recently I had a party at my house (I can give you a link referring to the OP) where a girl which was a model, drew on my face in immature ways. I moved on from her to a less attractive woman with more composure.

      After a while of the headaches, guys start to grow up- because dealing with the drama isn't entertaining at all ^_^

  • aim for the person your atracted to..plain and simple... iff you don't you will not be happy in the long run..

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    • Women can't do this .... the more desirable the guy, the harder he is to keep. I think women need to learn to put the relationship above her personal desires.

    • Women shouldnt settle and neither should men, you need to aim for the person you interested in and if you can't get them look for someone else your interested in and learn from the last time. otherwise your relationship with the settled person will be one of frustration.

  • Date down? In my experience, women with an ego like that should be grateful that any man puts up with her. Thinking of it as dating down might make you feel better, but the reality is you're settling for the best you can get.

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    • What I mean, is, how can a woman know if a guy is out of her league and not to even try? - A minute ago

  • I think that you're going to get a variety of answers to this question because it's a matter of perception, reaction, and general behavior.

    Most people seem to be of the opinion that if you go into a relationship believing you are superior, you are more likely to behave with a superiority complex, which can jeopardize the relationship. But, you might also be less inhibited by fears of unfaithfulness, etc., which could less your chances of exhibiting maladaptive reactions to potential "bad behavior" by your guy.

    Conversely, if the guy perceives himself as inferior, he could develop an inferiority complex, question why he is in the relationship, or even be scared off. OR, he could really appreciate his "catch" of a woman and work hard to keep her. I've seen BOTH reactions from the same guy in the same relationship with my lady friend (although he is a jerk to the rest of us because of his insecurity).

    It depends on the people involved, no matter what.

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  • Wow... they need to publish that article more often. I'm single... "call me." Guys use the word "doable". I'm not sure about girls though. They tend to have higher standards for success and popularity than they do looks... but they're equally as shallow.

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  • I don't believe in dating down, but I do believe in trading off the unimportant in exchange for the important. If a girl is funny, freaky, and easy to deal with, I can get past a lot.

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  • uhhhh I think this "aiming down" phenomenon is a bit misguided, a guys personality is what dictates wether or not he cheats on you, not how attractive he or you are

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  • thats terrible that this girl thinks a girl should "date down" I would jsut go for the guy you like, whether others think he is below your standards or not

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    • What I mean, is, how can a woman know if a guy is out of her league and not to even try? - A minute ago

  • You know what, I know that my answer won't be chosen as the best answer or whatever but who the hell cares, a guy needs to come on this mother effer and tell the truth. This whole dating down and ish is stupid. It's a cop out for stuck up bit*hes to think they can get any effing guy they want. I am 5'10 175 pounds, 12% body fat but I have some facial acne and I don't have the straighest teeth although they are white and I only have 1 small cavity, and I have a 6 pack. I'm 24 and I have averaged $45k a year since I was 18. Does that sound good? who cares! Women are shallow. Girls that are 6 think they can get a guy that is an 8, and I've straight up laughed at girls in bars that I've offered to talk to that were busted and I only approached them because I thought it would be a slam dunk versus the ol 3 pointer, and they looked at me as if I shouldn't even be there. Yeah I sound frustrated but this question is moronic. So I tell you what, to answer your question. Since you are the worlds hottest girl with no flaws and your pu**y never stinks or discharges and your bOObs are perfect and you have like 10% body fat and great abs and a tight butt and you got laser done so you didn't have to shave or deal with razor burn and bumps, why don't you dumb yourself down to Danny Devito lookin boy and get on with it?

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    • .... if you weren't so great then you'd think the "slam dunks" were 3-pointers, right? you show more respect to girls who are hotter, even in your question -- proving my point. but you prove a point in my question too ... you very well can be super hot, but I'd trade a less hot guy who isn't as angry!

    • Haha

  • If anything a guy(anyguy) is lowering his quality to be with if you don't think you look good enough for a guy to stick around because all guys want a pretty girl. If you are looking for a good quality guy aiming down ain't gonna do it. Aim for the mark. A good quality man would not leave you for a prettier girl, and if you are truley a woman then whatever girl he goes to you can for sure bet he will end up with you, if you play your cards right.

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What Girls Said 8

  • whoever gave you that advice was one of the most ill informed person. The advice is absurd.

    What you are referencing is that a woman should "settle" if she wants the relationship to be a success. This is exactly what not to do. If a woman settles or "dates down" she will eventually resent her partner because she knows she is dating down and can do better and will end the relationship herself. Or the man will find out she is dating down and dump her because he feels she is dating him because she wants to just "settle."

    What makes a relationship work isn't if they have equal or greater "values." It is how they are together, and the way their personalities connect- in which case both people need to have great personalities.

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    • Aka "Settling" = "Pitying" = WRONG!

      +1 M.M.K.

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    • Your perfectly correct MMK. This perception, which may be stereotypical, is correct. Though here is the catch 22 - The "hot guy" generally has the cocky attitude - which is unattractive to a mature "hot" female. So the guy would need to know- not to maintain his cocky attitude, but to simply be himself.

      Women can do things also to get "hot guys" - it would be sexist to think otherwise. I've met a hot girl that was outgoing - and she can compete with those guys- ANYDAY

    • To the question asker-

      ive never heard this advice.

      women can do more than just be "hot." in order to get men or have a successful relationship. They can be funny, witty, smart, fun and interesting, and date someone of the same caliber.

      why would a woman date a guy with fewer good traits?

  • Nope this doesn't work. I know from personal experience that it doesn't. If the relationship is going to be a success then it's up to the two parties involoved- nothing to do with looks.

    Without being bigheaded, I'm a pretty attractive girl who can get pretty much any guy I fancy, but my now ex boyfriend still cheated on me and left me for someone not as attractive. He is not at all physically attractive either- I went out with him simply for his personality and because I believed someone like him would never dream of cheating on someone like me.

    Fact is- looks have pretty much nothing to do with relationships in the long run, it's whether you're emotionally compatible or not.

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  • I think that any ambitious human, male or female, does not want to 'settle'. While there may have been studies or surveys proving that beautiful women are more confident with less better looking guys (it's 'apparently' true google it!) I believe it is still a superficial approach to take. To say that one is 'dating down' implies that they have a superior status to their significant half. That's a terrible mindset to take ! And you're wrong if you think that only good looking guys walk away from pretty women. Average looking guys are just as likely to walk away from feelings of insecurity, inferiority or pressure to maintain a good looking woman. I don't exactly know what makes a guy 'worthy' of a hot chick, it should be the other way round; what makes a 'hot chick' more worthy of a guy than any other chick? I mean I know there is an obvious answer (status, desire, vanity), it's stupid. Perhaps don't date 'up' because you would be belittling yourself. Likewise don't date down because you belittle someone else. Looking for equality is my way :)

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  • Quote - "So your asking "what to look for in a man" in essence. What I am saying, is that instead of looking for certain traits specifically, to look at the mass of people and find someone you like - that isn't being fake. "

    This is by far the best advice I've heard all day.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

    Rachel

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    • I guess its more about finding a filter: he's too good looking, too successful, too charming ...etc. How to count people out before you invest any feelings of hope.

  • i don't believe in aiming down but I do realize that the guy I'll end up with won't be totally perfect.

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  • I would say to go for the guy you like, not the person who is "ranked" higher or lower than your or other's standards. :)

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  • First off I think that most women date down, in a sense that most women are not shallow. But when it comes to qualities , personalities, and your expectations , no. You should not be dating down, or else your gonna be in a unhappy relationship. Any ways if your having problems with guys leaving you for better looking women , your already dating down.

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  • I'm a fairly attractive girl and the guys that I'm dating aren't equal in appearance. But they have other qualities that I look for, ie a good personality and they have their life together

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