How to Date Someone Out of Your League
Notes from the Podcast:
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When we think of our ideal partner, the list often includes being highly attractive, intelligent, possessing a great personality, and solid values. Essentially, we’re seeking perfection. This desire drives us to aim high, sometimes even out of our league, aspiring for a partner akin to a celebrity or supermodel. But is dating out of our league a realistic goal?
What is a ‘League’?
The concept of ‘leagues’ in dating is rooted in ‘Mate Value,’ a term from evolutionary psychology that describes a person’s overall attractiveness or desirability as a romantic or sexual partner. This isn’t just about physical appearance; it encompasses fertility, personality, social status, interpersonal skills, and compatibility. It’s rare for someone to score high in every category, leading to inevitable trade-offs.
Does Dating Out of Your League Happen?
Contrary to popular belief, dating out of one’s league is rare. Research supports the ‘Matching Hypothesis,’ which suggests people tend to pair up with partners of similar social mate value. For instance, someone rated a ‘7’ out of 10 in mate value will likely end up with another ‘7.’ Such matches tend to have longer, more fulfilling relationships.
What You Want Vs. What You Get
Studies show that while people may aspire to date more attractive individuals, they often choose partners closer to their own mate value. This mismatch between desire and action can lead to frustration and unrealistic expectations.
Strategies for Navigating the Dating World
#1. Be Realistic:
Acknowledging your own mate value honestly is crucial. This self-awareness helps make realistic choices and avoid the pitfalls of mismatched relationships.
#2. Diversify Your Dating Targets:
It’s okay to aim high, but also focus on those within your league. Think of it as a portfolio approach: date mostly within your league, with a small percentage aimed slightly higher or lower.
#3. Focus on Personal Growth
Instead of solely seeking physical attributes, look for partners who possess qualities you aspire to develop. This approach encourages personal growth and leads to more meaningful connections.
While the allure of dating out of your league is strong, the reality suggests a different approach. Focusing on personal improvement, realistic aspirations, and seeking partners who offer growth opportunities in non-physical traits may lead to more satisfying and enduring relationships.