Upward Mobility is It Still Important for Dating and Marriage?
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Upward Mobility is It Still Important for Dating and Marriage?

Okay so most of us know the research on what attracts the opposite sex to each other. Men are first attracted to the physical features of a woman before they engage in a relationship. Though women tend not to date anyone that is physically repulsive to their sensibilities, the emphasis on choosing a partner is not based on physical attraction alone. Sometimes physical attraction is the least important thing on their list.

Okay so most of us know the research on what attracts the opposite sex to each other.  Men are first attracted to the physical features of a woman before they engage in a relationship.  Though women tend not to date anyone that is physically repulsive to their sensibilities, the emphasis on choosing a partner is not based on physical attraction alone.  Sometimes physical attraction is the least important thing on their list.

There are several reasons for this.  First of all women are often marriage conscious and even at the dating stage they are looking for something permanent.  Sociologists have longed held that the survival of humanity depends upon the female to choose the right mate.  Of course virility is important as reproduction is at the basis of survival. However, other factors are important too, such as; intelligence, and good career. These are key components to allow for a man to provide well for the wife and family. 

A good personality is also important and considered a key component for women when judging if a man will be a good father.  Of course besides being a good father the male must also be a good partner in marriage. This concept is called upward mobility and women have traditionally sought out men who could raise their station in life.  

Now with changing times, this upward mobility is not always the same.  Some women have reached the pinnacle of success in their careers and often make more money than their male counterparts. However, they tend not to marriage men with lower incomes and as a result are waiting longer to marry. 

For the couples where the main breadwinner is the woman, the marriage is not always rosy. It becomes a dilemma for both the men and women who are stuck in this relationship.  According to Stephanie Coontz, the Council on Contemporary Families women reseach director, women are torn between their enjoyment for being so successful and their desire to leave the main as the highest wage earner in the family.  

On the other hand, men often feel resentful of the fact that their spouses make more money than they do.  Even though a man does not necessarily think of marriage on a first date, many men shy away from a woman who is more successful than they are.  They are intimidated by their success. 

Furthermore, men often feel inferior when the couple actually take the plunge and marry.  

Marissa is a friend of this writer who is more educated and has a better job than her husband.  In order to keep the peace she admits to pretending to be less intelligent than she really is; often asking him questions about things she knows the answer for, but asks him to boost up his ego.

Upward mobility seems to work with women, but role reversal is not that easy even in this day and age.

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Comments (11)

Carol, is this the correct link for Stephanie Coontz? Also, I can't get the inferior men link to work at all.

very nice discussion with practical tips.Thanks.

Ranked #2 in Psychology

yes for the first one, but I changed the inferior suggestion, I hope it works

Ranked #2 in Psychology

thank you Rama

Thanks carol for your article, how upward mobile can women in their 60s when it come to dating if they have teenagers still at home?..voted

Ranked #2 in Psychology

Francina I can only offer an educated guess, given that the marriage pool is diminished at that age, I would say not very good odds.

I would hope not for dating, thanks carol.

Ranked #2 in Psychology

well you can date but dating but marriage is harder the more children you have, then if you want upward mobility that narrows the playing field even more. Never give up though there is a man out there for you

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