Your Call: How Can I Find Women Who Are Hot AND Smart?

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We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section. 

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Dear Em & Lo,

About five months ago I broke up with my girlfriend of two years and have met someone new. The other day the new girl and I were talking about various things, ideas, etc., which led me to discover that this new girl is significantly dumber (like really stupid) compared to my previous girlfriend. My problem is that I’m really worried about having a relationship with her, because my ex was extremely intelligent. I go to a top school, I have a high IQ, and I value intelligence. I like to make fun of dumb girls. I feel really disappointed (since the new girl is hot, like a 9 or a 10, which I also value) and I know that my ex set a really high standard. Am I bad person for only liking girls who are extremely smart? Why can’t good-looking girls come with their IQs tattooed onto their wrist or something? The problems and surprises that would solve.

— Intelligentist

What should Intelligentist do? Let him know in the comments below.



  1. I feel like a lot of the women posting here are giving you very typical 21st century, 4th-wave feminist type answers. Bullshit on all that, here’s a man’s perspective. It’s hard man! Welcome to my world, and I’m sure the many smart and attractive women who no doubt find it hard to find their equal in a man. If you find a girl who you’re really attracted to and that you also find pretty, you stay with that girl. It ain’t a combo that comes around a lot. A no ladies, a person’s insides alone cannot make you sexually attracted to them.

  2. To find a woman who is both beautiful and hot stop being so critical. You come off as a total tool in this letter with the whole rating women on hotness and making fun of dumb girls gambit. Beauty is defined as not only how a woman looks but who she is and how she treats people. It is entirely possible to find a woman who is both beautiful and intelligent but you will be better positioned to find her if you drop the whole superiority complex you have (that would turn off the women I have known over the years who fell into both of these categories.) If you’re not into the girl you’re currently dating, then by all mean dump her. I would suggest thinking about what your passions are. A college campus is a great place to pursue diverse interests and hobbies or find new ones. Is there a place where you could volunteer related to an interest of yours or a professional organization that you could join? Beautiful, smart, hot women are out there but you need to be willing to work for them and go where they go. Be open to serendipity. A recent study explored the role of serendipity in outcomes. My point is that you can meet many smart, beautiful people of both sexes while developing yourself, enjoying hobbies, and networking–just drop the tool act.

  3. Hanna has said it all, except for stating explicitly that the problem is narcissism. Let her go; she will thank you.

  4. Yeah, all these comments are spot on. There are tons of hot, intelligent women, but the truly smart ones don’t wanna go out with arrogant, superficial people. Is your “9 or 10” a dingbat? I guess it’s possible, but frankly, I doubt you’ve given her a chance to really shine anyway. I mean, it’s true that a lot of women are socialized to let these guys who identify as “high IQ, top school blah” go on and on about how smart they are while they nod and smile. Not all women want to engage in regular tongue lashings and verbal pissing contests. This doesn’t mean she’s dumb or even that she’s a bad conversationalist. I mean, is it possible that maybe you’re a bad conversationalist? Maybe some people don’t care about standardized test scores and prestige ratings on the US News and World Report. This is one kind of smart, but it’s not the only kind, or even the most valuable kind. People are smart in a lot of different ways, and frankly, there are very few people who have nothing to teach us and no valuable insights. If you don’t see that with her, maybe you’re not listening. Try really letting her talk about things that matter to her, and really get to know her without trying to wow her with your IQ score… If she’s as pretty as you say, she has probably rarely had anyone value her for her mind. If you could get over yourself and try this, she might really surprise you.

  5. first, i am in love with the earlier comments and am happy to see such intelligent, funny people here.

    increase your own stock, because who the hell isn’t vying for the smartest and hottest among us.

    then, be ready for insecurity and jealousy, as you try to hold on to your prize.

    don’t forget to look for & be humble, kind, & sane.

  6. You clearly don’t respect this woman, and any future you have with her is going to be built on your perceived intellectual superiority. Nobody wants to be looked on – even “really stupid” people. Let her go and give her the chance to find someone who adores her inside and out, instead of someone who only wants her for her T&A.

  7. You’re not a bad person for only liking girls who are extremely smart. You’re a bad person for a whole set of entirely separate reasons.

  8. I agree with Johnny’s point here, that a so-called “hot” woman may come off as a total dingbat because all she’s ever needed to get by in life and all she’s ever praised for are her looks. However, if you want a trophy girlfriend, this is a sacrifice you have to make. Are you cool with having some smokin’ eye candy, even though you know the minute she opens her mouth she’s going to have nothing relevant or stimulating to say? Or would you be willing to find a girl who may not be a so-called “10” but can actually hold her own in a conversation?

    Course you could get lucky and find a beautiful, smart girl, but there’s no special place to look or special formula to try to come across this girl. Its trial and TONS of error. I guess it comes down to the eternal question of what is more important to you, looks or intelligence? Then again, one lasts a few decades and the other lasts a lifetime, so…

  9. Also, valuing “intelligence” in a vacuum is, well, stupid. People who are really using their intelligence are passionate about ideas — not about intelligence as such.

  10. Ew. “I like to make fun of dumb girls” — well, THAT couldn’t possibly be a deal killer for any sensible woman, could it? Oh, noooooo. I always get off on hearing other women insulted.

  11. You are not a bad person for wanting intelligence in someone that you date. You do, however, need to drop the nasty habit of rating women on a hotness scale of 1 to 10. It devalues women, and intelligent women are usually attracted to men who don’t rate them on a silly scale of 1 to 10. That kind of thinking demonstrates a “bro” mentality, which many smart women find to be a huge turnoff. I am sure you don’t reveal this kind of thinking out loud in front of women, but we can still pick up on it.

    That’s all I have to add. I think Johnny’s advice is also on point. Hang out where smart women congregate, and put your best self forward. It’s going to take some time to meet someone, and you have to be patient.

  12. Sigh… it sounds like maybe shes not the one for you if your conversations are lacking, it’s not rocket science..go find someone else, like maybe the ex you broke up with that no one can seem to live up to. Sounds to me like you had to spend time with an attractive woman who may not be as smart as you but she had to hang out with a guy who likes to make fun of “dumb girls” and blabs about how high his IQ is and how amazing his ex was. I hate to even acknowledge your tattoo comment but…ugh…I get that it would be easier for you if women were permanently marked according to their faults, anointed in oils, dressed in robes and paraded in front of you on silver platters but here in the real world it is your responsibility to meet people and get to know them and maybe even giving them a little respect in the process would be nice.

  13. The correlation between appearance and intelligence is false. Why would the genetics of intellect favor the less-attractive? Intelligence and stupidity are equally distributed across the entire range or attractiveness. Some would suggest that the hottest women, as a result of being able to get whatever they want on looks alone, tend to strive and achieve less. This would naturally make them seem less smart and interesting. I’m not sure where I stand on that theory.

    You say you go to a top school. Shouldn’t there be hot smart women at a top school? Don’t your MENSA meetings have a few babes in them? Scarcity shouldn’t be a problem for a young man in your position.

    Here’s what I think: a man with a mind as rich and teeming as your own should have been able to come up with any of several easy solutions to this problem. So there’s a different problem. I think you’re afraid to dump your dumb sexy girlfriend because you know it’s not going to be easy for you to attract another. Let’s face it, you’d better be quite a catch yourself to consistently pull the type of woman you – and every single other man on the planet – want. I think you are masking that insecurity behind an arrogant front.

    Did you recently read a book that says women like jerks? Come on, admit it, we all have…

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