Q: In response to your question on whether men seek women of lesser intelligence for partners:
I absolutely insist on having intelligence as a quality in a woman I want to be with; I wouldn't tolerate it otherwise.
FTC I tend to be a "thinking man"; I don't like saying I'm more intelligent than most people, but at times I do see things on a different level. When I meet someone who can understand my idea and can fire another one back at me, just as abstract or even more so, I feel as if I'm almost talking to my inner self. I stand there in awe, seeing the intellectual compatibility occurring between us. For me, it's better than the best aphrodisiac on the market!
I'm 38 and have never been married, though it's not for lack of trying. I'm a person who enjoys alone time -- remaining single for the rest of my life doesn't worry me; I have plenty of friends and family.
I'm truly impressed when I meet a woman with the drive and intelligence to have accomplished something with her life. It's no problem if she earns more money than I do; that is, unless she is interested in dominating the relationship with that fact. I'm looking for a 50-50 relationship. We both would have to feel comfortable with the "giving and taking."
Intelligence and strength of character are qualities I wouldn't have appreciated years ago. Development and discovery of my inner needs, however, have made me realize that substance in a woman is what will attract me -- and keep me interested. The relationship wouldn't last long if those initial elements were not present. (P.S. Do you have any suggestions as to where these women might be hiding out? I don't seem to find too many.)
A: You're proof that waiting for marriage can be a smart game plan; knowing yourself is essential for developing a love partnership. Clearly you know the kind of woman you want, and even the dynamics of the relationship that would give you what you need now. Bravo.
You might try calling Mensa, the International High I.Q. Society, at (800) 66MENSA to find its nearest chapter. But a better way to find your soul mate might be through your personal interests; while they add spark to life, they also can be bridges to compatible people, including the woman of your dreams. Try both ways; and stay optimistic. You've got all the building blocks in place for a wonderful relationship.
Q: Seven months ago I hit bottom personally, financially and professionally. I began making changes and feel prepared to initiate new relationships with the opposite sex. I've joined one social group I have an interest in and plan to join more. This is part of an effort to meet new people generally, but it could include romance as well.
You've advocated using personal ads. What are the ground rules that will help avoid getting expectations too high and ultimately hurting each other?
Are there items that should definitely be included in an ad: age, interests? Are there any no-no's?
A: Ground rules aren't good if they leave no room for spontaneity and individuality, but some rules have evolved that seem to work well:
* Age and personal interests should be part of an ad, but also paint a picture of yourself that is realistic and intriguing. For a full picture of yourself, ask friends and family how they would describe you.
* Don't say too much or use stale words (i.e., "attractive" and "sensitive"). Make your ad stand out.
* The first meeting should be an extension of your phone conversations, with the two of you agreeing where and what. Avoid making it overlong. Keep it in a public, well-lit place so the woman will feel safe and secure -- and thankful for your consideration.
Those phone chats can go a long way toward making this process a gradual discovery. Given a chance, they can make the initial meeting a continuation of your last conversation. Good luck.
Open letter to "Frustrated in Fallston": You're smart to reach out and ask about the man who wrote about the lack of responses he was getting from his personal ad. But it is simply not possible for me to connect two people, no matter what. I cannot assume the responsibility.
But . . . and this is a big but . . . keep serving yourself at life's cafeteria, and the odds are very good you will get what you want.