Article Requests · Meeting Women · Relationships

Notes on Assortative Mating

I was asked to write about my views on assortative mating, and also expand on the following aspects:

Furthermore, does genetics and/or upbringing influences the choices we make in assortative mating with regards to future and/or current mate suitors, and the type of mating strategy we choose to pursue (short-term or long-term)?

Is there such a thing as opposites attracting each other for the short-term casual hook up and how assortative mating influences this dynamic?

Explaining Assortative Mating, in Practical Terms

First, in case you are not familiar with the term, “assortative mating” is fancy way of saying that people select sexual partners based on similarity. This similarity has a biological as well as a socioeconomic aspect. To put it simply, if assortative mating is generally the case, we would observe that romantic couplings are based on similar levels of attractiveness as well as social standing. By and large, I think this is the case. It is quite obvious to see why: ceteris paribus, you would prefer to date or be in a relationship with the best-looking woman you can get. Probably, you would also prefer if the woman was of a similar socioeconomic background.

If it was up to men, and they could pick their partners freely, they would all want to bang the hottest woman. Yet, this is not how society is structured. There is intense competition for sexual partners, and women obviously also have a say, and always had a say, albeit to a lesser extent in the past. What happens then is that men start with wanting the hottest woman and if the hottest woman is not available, they adjust their selection criteria downward until they have figured out what caliber of woman they can get. A key aspect is missing, though: to whom are we attracted to? According to research, we are attracted to people who look similar to us. With regards to the problem of social status, it is quite obvious that women are putting up barriers. Women want to marry up, not down. There may be exceptions, like Jeremy Meeks marrying (and later divorcing) the daughter of a British business mogul but normally, you are not going to be able to sustain a long-term relationship with a woman who sits noticeably higher than you on the socioeconomic totem pole.

With women, the limiting factor are normally their looks, so there is the aspect of age. After all, younger women are simply more attractive than older women and are in greater demand in the sexual marketplace. A woman who is able to plan ahead a bit will readily forego a decade or more of raunchy partying and instead put herself in front of men who either already are successful or who have a good chance of being successful in life. The social circles she has access to will determine what kind of guy she can meet, and she normally is not going to hang out with a crowd she considers to be beneath her. There is the more recent phenomenon that women would rather stay single than lower their standard. In the not-too-distant past, however, they would simply lower their standards a bit or go for an older guy. As long as her husband is able to provide at least the level of financial comfort she has gotten used to due to her upbringing, she will be happy.

I should probably address the issue of race as well. There is the leftist wet dream of all races mingling, so that whitey is going to disappear. This is definitely not happening, no matter how many black man/white woman pairings they put in movies or advertisements. The default is that men and women seek out partners of their own race. There is limited mobility, i.e. quite a few white men consider East Asian women to be more attractive than white women and happily go for them. Similarly, if a white man is willing to date down and consider non-white, non-East Asian women, he may be able to do better in terms of securing an attractive mate. This does not seem to happen a lot, but I would argue that a white guy who can only get a white female 7 may be able to score a Latina who is an 8, but let us ignore the issue of them aging or fattening up relatively quickly. Among men, regardless of race, white women seem to be the most attractive, but such men would need to bring a lot to the table. This is arguably why you will normally only see tragic pairings like white-trash women shacking up with black men, or outlier cases like Heidi Klum marrying Seal. In that particular case, though, I wonder what she thinks when looking at her daughter Leni, which resulted from a tryst with Flavio Briatore, and compares her to the mixed-race children she has with Seal.

The Role of Genetics and Upbringing

I think genetics and upbringing very strongly determine what kind of woman you go for, and this applies to both sexes. We know about the mating behavior of women with “daddy issues”, and your relationship with your mother also influences what kind of woman you find attractive. Of course, if you do not have a good relationship with your mother, you may also make questionable mate choices. A very common case is that single mothers emotionally abuse their sons, using them as replacement husbands. Sons who see their mother getting involved with one guy after another may furthermore develop somewhat negative views on women overall.

I addressed the issue of (genetic) similarity and attraction earlier already, but let me go deeper on the issue of upbringing, with a focus on the question of how to improve once’s access to potential mates in the sexual marketplace. For a man who had a decent upbringing, roughly middle class, his success in dating will depend on his success in the real world. Men from the upper class move in their own circles anyway, so we can ignore that case. I do not think that it pays off for a family to heavily invest into providing access to a higher stratum of society for sons, i.e. sending your kid to Harvard or putting him on the lacrosse team, at great cost to family finances. The impact of social connections is overstated and just because you were good friends with some dude in college for a while does not mean that his dad will give you a VP position in his company. This does not mean that the brand-name of a college does not pay off. It certainly can. The question is simply if it is worth it in terms of return-on-investment, in particular if people are starting to doubt the quality of higher education, with its DEI nonsense. The US ivy league is infected by it, and so are Oxford and Cambridge. The latter two have even slipped from UK ranking tables as a consequence. For a guy, your bets ticket is probably hard work, gaining skills that are applicable in the real world, and some luck.

For women, the situation seems a bit different because men are willing to date down in terms of socioeconomic status. I think it could pay off quite well if parents managed to prepare her daughters for a somewhat higher social status. This may mean paying for better schools as well as certain activities like playing golf. I went to a selective university and saw this approach work out well, i.e. some ambitious women with a middle-class background managed to snag guys far above their station. For most this did not play out, but I do not think there is a better way. Some women think they get a rich husband if they work as a waitress in a VIP club. I doubt that this is a winning strategy because those guys are not stupid and are normally able to plan a little bit ahead. Besides, guys in the upper middle class and upper class probably all had wise fathers who paid for hookers to make sure junior does not fall in love with some ditz just because she gave him great head in his Porsche.

I am not sure that short vs. long-term mate choices meaningfully change what I wrote above. Generally, a lot of men do not mind lowering their standards somewhat, or possibly even a lot, if a woman is willing and available. This does not mean that they have any long-term interest in such women. On the other hand, women normally do not lower their standards much for a quick romp. In fact, casual relationships are a lot riskier for them because they tend to form wrong conclusions. The hot guy from a lower social class she would never date somehow sets the minimum threshold for any guy who wants a serious relationship with her. Similarly, the rich guy who bangs her once because she was so eager to have sex with him would never date her. Yet, she thinks that if she could get such a guy once, she should also be able to reel him into a relationship.

Opposites and Attraction

I do not think that opposites attract each other. It contradicts research on assortative mating, too. In a limited sense, this could be seen as true. For instance, you could say that when a tall guy gets into a relationship with a short, petite woman, it is an example of opposites attracting each other. However, the looks of men and women are assessed differently. Height is very important in men, but women normally look more feminine when they are shorter. They tend to have the most attractive proportions, and waist-to-hip ratio is a key fertility indicator. Thus, a tall man and a short woman both exhibit prime health.

If opposites really attracted each other, we would see men with a great physique lusting after fat women, rich women getting into a relationship with hobos (and not just in their fantasies), or university professors dating retards. This does not happen. Even less extreme examples you will not easily find. If it is indeed the case that the man and woman in a short-term relationship seem mismatched then it is simply due to the guy enjoying some effortless sex. Besides, it is not that uncommon that the woman thinks she is in a serious relationship whereas the guy only considers her a fuck buddy or, if we are talking about a Chad-tier player, a mere side piece. Looking at recent numbers, you may wonder why a lot more men than women say that they are a in a relationship. Maybe the women are lying about it, unwilling to admit that they are single, or they think that the rich guy who fucked her three weeks ago and ghosted her is kind of her boyfriend, but simply did not have the time yet to text her back.

6 thoughts on “Notes on Assortative Mating

  1. I think that the attraction of opposites is more aptly described as compensation.
    For instance, shorter women place much stronger emphasis on man’s height, while taller women are okay if a guy is at least as tall as them but has some other attractive qualities. Guys on the burlier side prefer skinny women while asthenic dudes prefer thicker women.

    1. I agree. While the idea of opposites attracting is wrong sometimes (as an absolute) it does pan out that way a lot for the time. I think it’s more accurate to say that the main goal is complimentary matching, which quite often does result in seeking an opposite.

      For example imagine this… a guy is really strong at systematic thinking and working hard, but can’t socialize as well because he’s too stuck in his head. She on the other hand is really good with people but can’t focus on one thing at a time and be systematic.

      They can both be equally successful and reach the same amount of status, albeit in different pathways. They are in that sense opposites (as in complimentary) and any offspring would benefit from the mix.

      Same with naturally skinny guys, I’ve definetely noticed they’re more obsessed with curves. No, not fat girls, just girls who aren’t skinny. And naturally stocky guys seem obsessed with super skinny girls.

      To take a different example we can look at how shorter girls are OBSESSED with taller guys. Sure all girls care about height, but short chicks are fucking OBSESSED. To a much larger extent than chicks of average height.

      Obvisly this last example isn’t an example of opposites attracting because taller guys are not obsessed with short girls. So I guess it’s more accurate to say it’s about complimentary genes, i.e. what you are missing genetically.

    2. I agree with Alex Novy. Short girls are more obssessed about tall guys. This especially true in the US.

      But my impression is that girls around 1m65 finds me attractive from time to time. I am 1m75 so I likes girls of that range.

    3. For example imagine this… a guy is really strong at systematic thinking and working hard, but can’t socialize as well because he’s too stuck in his head. She on the other hand is really good with people but can’t focus on one thing at a time and be systematic.

      That is an interesting hypothesis. It could be selective attention on my part, but I’ve also noticed that there seems to be a correlation between woman’s attractiveness and her preference for a provider type. Of course, all women like money, but my interpretation is that very attractive women already have the looks part covered so they are less inclined to go looking for a side-dick, and having a stable relationship with someone who can provide resources for a large family is higher on their priority list.

    4. Of course, all women like money, but my interpretation is that very attractive women already have the looks part covered so they are less inclined to go looking for a side-dick

      Ditto on this one as well. Me and all of my friends noticed this same thing over the past 2 decades. Note that all of my friends are either redpillers or ex-pua, so they’re constantly aware of/thinking about this stuff and sexual dynamics and making observations.

      Basically, we all noticed that it seems the prettiest girls aren’t as bothered about a guy’s looks, it’s less of a factor for them.

      They do end up with richer/older men, which (as you said) one might hypothesize is because heck, who doesn’t love money… but it seems with prettier girls money/status/success/intelligence is more of an attractor, simply because looks isn’t a big deal to them (so that leaves more space for other things to take over in priority).

      And again why aren’t looks as big of a deal to them? Because they already have them. They don’t need to bang a pretty boy to have pretty offspring.

      Whereas you’ll notice ugly sluts (who might be hot, but not pretty) tend to be the most obsessed with a guy’s looks. Again, it’s about what genes you’re missing.

  2. Since stumbling upon the SeductionMyth website a decade ago, I’ve always thought of assortative mating more in terms of facial similarity than about universal beauty standards and/or socioeconomic backgrounds, though of course the latter has always been a major factor for LTR’s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.