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…)

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A Marriage Mindset, Overachieving Chicks, and the Patels

Marriage Mindsets, Determination, and More2018 update: We still stand by these thoughts on having a marriage mindset, but you may also want to check out our more recent discussions on love, including dating advice for career-driven women. Check out the latest discussion among readers about the marriage mindset here!  

I recently watched Meet The Patels on Netflix. (I recommend!) The romantic comedy documentary talks a lot about “marriage mindset,” and I thought it might make an interesting discussion over here. If you haven’t seen it, 30-year-old Indian-American actor Ravi Patel agrees to do everything he can for one year to find a wife the way his Indian parents want, including biodata, online dating, Indian weddings, and even attending an Indian marriage convention. His parents accuse him throughout the documentary of not having a “marriage mindset” — of going into the thing with doubts and hesitations and expectations that are too high. (Here’s a nice NPR article about it, and here’s the trailer on YouTube.)

Of course, in case it needs to be said: marriage is not essential to happiness or success, either in an “official document” kind of way or a long-term relationship (“LTR”) kind of way. In fact, for my own $.02, I’ve always had the mindset that I’d rather be by myself than with the wrong person.  In my teens and 20s this meant I didn’t date a lot and wasn’t in too many LTRs — I had other stuff to do, was happy with my life, and didn’t see any urgency to finding someone. Looking back, I think I saw a lot of girlfriends spend too much energy on the wrong guy (sometimes to the detriment of school and career), and unconsciously stepped back from the whole arena, with the idea that I would welcome love if it happened, but I wasn’t going to put myself out there and force something.

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Dating at Work

Dating at Work2018 Update: We still think this was a great discussion on dating at work, but you may also want to check out our more recent discussions on love, including dating advice for career-driven women.

Ladies, what are your thoughts on dating at work? Have you ever dated a coworker? What do you think are the rules for dating officemates? With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought we’d have a nice open thread about the pros and cons of dating at the office. (For those of you already happily coupled, let’s hear how you met, whether at the office or beyond!)

For my $.02: I never dated a coworker, although I had crushes on a few of them over the years — at the time I was very worried about being viewed as someone who saw the office as a dating pool. Looking back, this was probably silly — in Big Law so many people churn through the lower ranks it’s almost like another grad school, and there are always more people to work with if a relationship ends poorly. Indeed, I know several happily married couples who met as coworkers at BigLaw — although all of them kept it a secret, even from good friends, until the relationship was pretty serious. (In fact, a number of readers noted in our last open thread about dating at the office that they had dated at work, and discretion was the name of the game, as well as paying attention to the “don’t date assholes” rule that, you know, is a pretty good one for dating in general. I also agree with the other little rule that readers noted in that thread, though: Summer associates or interns should not date at the office.)

As for how I met my husband — I went through a phase where, fighting my introverted ways, I said “yes” to pretty much any activity that would take me out of the house. For about a year and a half I went to political fundraisers, soccer games, and trivia nights — and I also joined museum groups like the Young Lions (at the New York Public Library) and the American Museum of Natural History’s Junior Council. And just when I was about to give up my little “dating project,” I met my husband. We met at a friend-of-a-friend’s birthday party in a bar on the Lower East Side; Mr. G also did not know the birthday girl well and in fact had to be dragged to the party (by our future best man!). Our circles really didn’t intersect at all, so it’s really lucky that fate took us both to that party.

All right, ladies, over to you — have you dated at the office? Share your stories (and your rules)! If you’re happily coupled, how did you meet your partner, whether at work or beyond? 

Psst: we’ve also talked about finding time to date when you’re busyhow to date a really busy guy, and how to date someone with more time or less money

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Guest Post: Online Dating for Professional Women

online dating for professional women

2018 Update: We still think this is a great guest post with tips on online dating for professional women, but you may also want to check out our more recent discussions on love, including dating advice for career-driven women.

Online dating is something we’ve discussed from time to time on Corporette, such as when we asked you for your favorite online dating sites for smart chicks, as well as discussing how to find time to date when you’re busy, when to break it off, how to date a busy guy, and how to date a guy with more time (or less money) than you. I’ve been off the market for a while, so I asked reader Kryss Shane to guest post — she is a dual licensed psychotherapist who also does life coaching, and offers private Skype sessions for self-pay clients.  Welcome to the blog, Kryss!

As Kat tells me, when she was last single, there were a few main online dating sites for smart women, each known for their own crowd (one full of Christians, one just for those wanting to hook up, etc.).

A lot has changed since then. Now the web gives us some generalized dating sites (OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, Match.com, etc.) as well as options for those who are seeking a partner with shared religious beliefs (JDate, ChristianMingle) or for those in a specific demographic (OurTime, for people over 50; BlackPeopleMeet; InterracialMatch). There are sites for cougars, for those looking to date a prison inmate, for wine drinkers, and animal lovers. There are sites for fetishes, for preferences, for moods, for just one night, and for those looking for forever. Add in the apps for your cell (Tinder, Grindr, etc.) and it can certainly feel overwhelming!

For professional women, dating can already be tricky enough; some are turned on by our power, others feel competitive or resentful of it. We question whether to add our job titles to our profiles, we debate whether our photos should indicate what we do, we wonder if someone who looks but doesn’t message was turned off by our professional status. In short, we’re women who live in a society that teaches us in so many ways that we are doing what we shouldn’t: being self-sufficient, educated women.

Rather than attempting to break down the pros/cons for each of the major dating sites, let’s focus on the shared goal of trying to find the right match(es). With hundreds of thousands of people on these sites, how can a person with limited time properly narrow down the options? (Pictured: Schattenpaar, originally uploaded to Flickr by Benni.)

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Kat’s “Time to Break it Off” Test (and other Dating Thoughts)

Pink and Red Hearts Cupcake, originally uploaded to Flickr by Zen Cupcake.2018 Update: We still stand by this “time to break it off” dating test; you may also want to check out our more recent discussions on love, including dating advice for career-driven women.

How do you know when a dating relationship isn’t worth pursuing?  How do you know when to break it off with a romantic interest?  I thought this might be a fun topic for today, in part because I was just reminded of (and thankful for!) one of my “it’s time to break it off” tests for relationships, and in part because it’s been far too long since we talked about dating.  (Pictured.)

Let’s say you meet a person, either through a friend, or an online dating site, or maybe even the office.  Things are going great! Then, five or six dates in, things start to take a turn for the worse.  Maybe your phone stops ringing quite so much — or maybe it’s ringing too much for you.  Maybe the conversations you’re having leave you with niggling doubts.  This is all the normal start of a relationship, right? It takes some time to get used to another person in your life!  No one is perfect; everything is a compromise… right?

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Open Thread: What Are Your Favorite Ways to Meet People to Date?

ways to meet people to date2018 Update: We still stand by this advice on the best ways to meet people to date — but you may also want to check out our more recent discussions on love, including dating advice for career-driven women.

We’ve talked about dating a bit on this site — how to squeeze dating into your busy schedule, how to date someone who’s extremely busy, and how to date someone who is far less busy than you.  But it’s been a long time (4 years!) since we talked about the actual mechanics of dating, and I thought now might be a great time to do it.  So for today’s open thread:

– which are your favorite online dating sites? (OK Cupid? How About WeeHarmonyChemistry? Match?) Has anyone had any luck with specialized dating sites, such as Right Stuff Dating or Good Genes (for grads of top schools)?

– how many sites do you use at any given time?

– what are your tips on writing a great profile?

– what other venues do you use to find dates – e.g., memberships at museums, running clubs, church functions, other matchmaking groups, etc… ?

(Current image (coffee and heart) via Stencil. Original post image (2012): Two of Hearts, originally uploaded to Flickr by Scott5114.) [Read more…]

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