intellectual match is less important as you get older, according
to new research.


When you’re on a dating website like or idly
swiping on Tinder, generally you’re more likely to match with —
and also speak to — someone who is intellectually similar.

However, this doesn’t stay true as you age, according to new
research. Apparently, we’re more willing to let our standards
slide as time passes, as the study found that people get
less fussy about finding someone who has the same level of
education as they get older. 

The study, published in the journal Personality and
Individual Differences
, analysed the online dating
interactions of over 41,000 Australians between 18 and 80 years
old from the dating website RSVP. Matches and conversations were
looked at from four months in 2016, to find out whether people
stayed picky or loosened up a bit.

“Selecting a mate can be one of the largest psychological and
economic decisions a person can make and has long been the
subject of social science research across a range of
disciplines,” said Stephen Whyte, a behavioural economist at
Queensland University of Technology, and lead author of the
study in a statement.

He said that traditionally, humans search for a partner who is
similar to them in physical attractiveness, personality,
culture, education, religion and race. This meant people used
to often only meet and end up dating people who were similar
to themselves. 

However, the internet has dramatically changed this
process, and has given us access to more partners than we know
what to do with.

“The internet has completely changed how people choose dating
partners to find love,” Whyte said. “Cyber dating permits
multiple partner choices in real time, which allows for a
significantly greater available choice of potential mates.”

The pool of people we can potentially hook up with has
dramatically widened, and this includes partners with lower,
similar or higher levels of intelligence to us. It might not be
such an important part of dating as previously thought, as how
much participants in the study cared about their
matches’ intelligence or education level depended on what
stage they were at in life. 

“The more educated cohort tends to care less about matching the
same level of education as they get older,” Whyte said. “Older
women in particular have a greater likelihood of contacting
potential partners who are less educated than themselves but
conversely, younger males fall into this category as well.”

Surprisingly, some psychologists suggest that men are
more likely than women to end up compromising as they get older
because there are gender differences in these kinds of

For example, Dr Aaron Ben-Ze’ev wrote in Psychology Today that women are more
likely to make compromises on their partner at a young age,
rather than when they’re older, because they’re concerned about
settling down and having children.

Men, on the other hand, he said should generally compromise more
in older age, when they’re afraid of being alone. But that’s just
one theory, and with so many different personality traits, it can
be hard to nail down what exactly it is you’re compromising on
and when. The reasons behind why people choose others to be
romantically involved with are complicated to say the least

Either way, dating apps and sites have changed things up. Whyte
said more research is needed to “have a better understanding
of the impacts of cyber-dating on individuals and relationships
as well as the psychology employed by people when using the