Shopping for Boys

Long hours at the office, plus no energy when you’re NOT at the office… these are not the great markers of a lively social life. If you’re not already attached to someone, it can be a nightmare for a young professional woman to try to meet someone intelligent — which means that online dating, a.k.a. shopping for boys, is the default plan for many. There are a variety of sites out there that pander to intelligent women, so, with Valentine’s Day breathing down our necks, we thought we’d review a few… Admittedly, it’s been a few years since we’ve been out there, so if you have any new sites or methods to recommend please write in!

right-stuff-300x276 Right Stuff Dating. If you’re a bit of an elitist (hey, nothing wrong with that), then this site may be great for you — its members must prove that they are graduates (or faculty members) at a select group of “excellent schools.” Most medical schools and law schools are included, as well as the usual Ivies and near-Ivies. While the site is a bit from the Cro-Magnum era, any man who signs up for this site is definitely looking for a smart woman.

If you’re too busy to even figure out what kind of guy (or girl) you like, may be for you. Anthropologist Helen Fisher and her team of scientists have designed an extensive “personality profile” for you to fill out; it matches your personality and needs with other people who have filled out a similarly complex profile. The pros: you know the guy is serious about finding a long-term relationship. The cons: set aside 45 minutes or so for the introductory profile section. DC readers: note that they seem to have a special section just for dating in Washington, D.C. (Note that this is similar to the eHarmony matching process, but without the Christian bent.
We never had good technical experiences with these sites, but you may want to check them out as well:

We’ve never tried these either, but they also have a targeted audience:

Similarly, another classic dating venue for intelligent folks that we’ve never tried (although plenty of our friends have): It’s Just Lunch.

Real life venues (whaaat)?:– the “under 40” clubs for local museums, charities, and even libraries — the membership may cost $75 to $1000, but you and a select group of other young folks can attend seminars, dinners, and even balls. For example, in New York, check out the Young Lions of the New York Public Library, or the Junior Council of the American Natural History Museum.- gallery openings and other artistic fare. If you’re in New York, Chicago, Miami, or L.A., check out GenArt — with packages as cheap as $75, it’s a great way to get out and about.

– trivia quiz nights at bars — try Googling “trivia nights” and your city and you’ll come upon plenty of bars; NYCers check this posting on Yelp or this post

Further Reading:
– In the New Dating Scene, The Attraction is a Beautiful Mind [WaPo]
– No Ordinary Love [Atlantic Monthly]


  1. sillyputty :

    Speaking of Helen Fisher — I think she’s brilliant. If you don’t have time for a dating website, she has a quick personality quiz that helps identify your best partner/match:

    My guess is lots of lawyers and businesswomen fall into her “director” profile and should be looking out for a nuturing, empathetic man (or woman, if that’s how you roll) to balance them out. Just a thought!

  2. Good to learn about these online dating alternatives. I am stable 37-year-old hetero male in Boston who has used for a while, occasionally gleaning a friendship now and then but no long-term relationship. Match appears to be getting a bad name because of a purported abundance of men simply trolling for women. eHarmony’s many gateways test the patience, and Chemistry seems a little overpriced for what it is. So there’s room for a proliferation of a few new online dating vehicles — just as much for the busy professional women who read your site as for the men who haven’t found bars a terribly fulfilling route to meeting a date….

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