Online Dating for Smart Women: Apps, Advice, and More

online dating for smart women2018 Update: We’ve entirely updated this post on online dating for smart women, including rounding up all the latest dating sites and apps catering to smart people. You may also want to check out our more recent discussions on love, including dating advice for career-driven women.

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 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, I thought we’d round up a few… Admittedly, it’s been a few years since I’ve been out there, so if you have any new sites or methods to recommend please write in!online dating for smart women - image of a tree

Option 1: Online Dating Sites for Smart Women

The following sites focus on elite qualifications, resumes/schools, IQ, and more. (We’ve totally updated this list as of 2018…)

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

Option 2: Real Life Venues for Meeting People (whaaat?)

  • If you’re under 40, 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. 2018 Update: We originally mentioned GenArt as a good option in 2009, and as of 2017 it looks like they’ve relaunched their membership options; if you’re in NYC and/or LA it’s worth checking out.
  • trivia quiz nights at bars — try Googling “trivia nights” and your city and you’ll come upon plenty of bars
  • say yes to every invitation you get — parties, networking nights, charity nights, and so forth!

Further Reading on Online Dating Advice for Smart Women

  • 9 Best Dating Apps For Busy Young Professionals [Bustle] [2016]
  • Sapio, the dating app that wants to help smart people hook up [Mashable] [2017]
  • Smart, Busy Women Finally Get Their Own Dating App [Elle] [2014]
  • The Best Dating Sites for Geeks and Nerds [PairedLife] [2016]
  • LinkedUp: a dating app for the most professional of networks [The Guardian] [2014]
  • “Be Picky and Have High Standards”: New Dating Apps Cater to the Elite and the Rich [The Guardian][2015]
  • In the New Dating Scene, The Attraction is a Beautiful Mind [WaPo] [2007]
  • No Ordinary Love [Atlantic Monthly] [2006]

2018 images (heart tree) via Stencil. 


The dating scene can be really tough for smart, professional women -- so we rounded up the best dating sites catering to smart people, people with high IQs, people with specific degrees, and more. (Updated 2018!)


  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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