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” (I was breezy about it, I swear.) As one of my male friends put it, the general consensus was: “The smarter and more successful, the better!
There are no limits.” I’d then hear about a doctor, nearing thirty, who was about to give up on dating because she didn’t feel like men valued her brains. So now I was confused by the research, the real-life relationships around me, and the response from men—gaps, gaps, gaps between all these pieces that seemingly did not fit together.
After looking into the mating preferences of more than 5,000 men and women by way of survey, researcher and biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph D, writes that we are seeing a "Clooney Effect" in this country-a nod to the recent marriage of America's favorite bachelor, actor George Clooney, to human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin.
According to Fisher's numbers, men desire smart, strong, successful women; 87 percent of men said they would date a woman who was more intellectual than they were, who was better educated, and who made considerably more money than they did, while 86 percent said they were in search of a woman who was confident and self-assured.
I have also watched these same smart, independent women struggle in bad relationships or fly solo for extended periods of time, despite their best efforts to land a good guy. If 87 percent of men were actively looking to couple with them, why were they still single?
Plus, the ladies of my friend circle who were actually in healthy relationships did not exactly fit the description laid out by Fisher.
He acted entirely secure in himself—but off the cuff, when I casually brought up the question of whether he would be intimidated to date the quintessential accomplished woman, he was quite candid.
The Science of a Changing Landscape I finally did what any skeptical journalist would do: I kept my eyes open for more research.
In late 2015, an intriguing new study emerged in the , which had further clues into all the holes I was seeing firsthand in this new theory of dating.
(And, eventually, my real life as a dater.) Modern-day dating dynamics, in a world where women can do and be anything, are so layered and fascinating you’re likely not even aware of some of the phenomena in play.
I began finding connections in every new data set I encountered, and on every date I ventured out on.