Are You Bringing More to the Table Than Your Date? – 5 Clues That You’re Dating “Down”


You are a smart, successful person. Therefore, you shouldn’t sell yourself short when it comes to dating. You should find a match who challenges you in all of the right ways.

That said, it’s important that you aren’t so picky that you rule out potentially amazing partners before giving them a chance.

This is a tricky line to toe. On the one hand, you might be prone to dating the wrong kinds of people. You give them the benefit of the doubt, but then you find yourself disappointed when they barely live up to the low bar you’ve set. On the other hand, if you see everyone as beneath you, then you might have a lonely future ahead.

Obviously, you don’t want to “date down” or settle for less than you deserve. However, you also want to give people a chance.

So, how can you tell where you land in this little dance?

Review What You Mean by Dating Down

In last week’s blog, we explored the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. If someone has a different type of intelligence from you, then you may overlook that person, but that could be a mistake.

For example, let’s say that you have a high-powered job as a corporate executive. Would you ever date a drummer? If the answer is no, then you might be too picky. No, let’s rephrase that; the fact is, you might be too judgmental.

Of course, not every drummer may be your perfect match. But to say that someone isn’t as smart as you because they are “just a drummer” is to miss out on a whole range of intelligence types. The drummer sitting across from the dinner table just might have the smartest musical-rhythmic intelligence of anyone you’ve ever met.

That’s not to be taken lightly. Smart people benefit from dating people who are equally as smart in completely different ways. If you’re judging the book by its cover, then you might be missing out.

Therefore, it’s important to review what it really means to you to be “dating down.” Do you want to impress people with the job that your partner has or do you want to be in a happy, fulfilling relationship?

5 Clues That You Really Are Dating Down

Of course, opening yourself up to dating people of different intelligence types certainly doesn’t mean that you should make bad dating choices.

As you open up to new experiences and relationships, keep an eye out for these five red flags that indicate you might actually be dating down:

1. You Quickly Get Bored on Dates

It might take a minute for your relationship to launch when you’re trying new relationship types. Nevertheless, you should feel interested and eager to learn more about your potential partner.

If you’ve gone on a few dates and find that you’re restless before the night has ended, then you’re probably not dating the right person. So, if they bore you, then you’re probably dating down.

2. You Hesitate to Share Exciting News

How does your partner react when you experience something great, particularly in your career? They should be as excited for you as you are. They should be supportive. Moreover, they should want to hear about it, even if they don’t fully understand the nuances of your career.

If you feel like you have to hold back revealing your successes because the other person is jealous, limiting, or just isn’t interested, then you’re probably dating down. You deserve better.

That said, make sure that you’re being honest with yourself. Are you holding back because of their behavior? Or is it something inside of you that isn’t comfortable with being the more “successful” one in society’s mind? If the issue is you, then get help instead of getting rid of the partner.

3. They’re Not Doing Their Part

Each of you should bring your strengths to the table. Those strengths should complement one another. In fact, you should basically feel like things are pretty balanced in the relationship.

For example, you might earn more money and therefore pick up the check more often. What is your partner doing more of that you aren’t?

If they’re picking up the slack when it comes to planning your social outings, then that may feel like an even balance for you. But if you’re doing all of that and more, then what are they offering you that you couldn’t just do for yourself? You're probably dating down.

4. You Make Excuses for Them

We can justify a lot of things in order to keep a relationship going. For example, saying: “Oh, it’s not disrespectful that they’re always late; they just aren’t good with time.” or “He has been trying really hard to find a job for the past five years, but the market just isn’t good.”

If you’re making excuses for your partner—to others or just inside your own head—then you’re probably dating down.

5. Your Gut Tells You That You’re Dating Down

You are smart. You know yourself. Therefore, you should trust yourself.

If you’ve done the work to make sure that you’re not just being overly picky or judgmental, then you know inside your heart when you’re dating down.


Finding the right balance between non-judgmental dating and settling by “dating down” isn’t easy. Contact me today to learn more about how I can help you find that balance.