Why smart men make better partners

Intelligence of the male partner affects the strength and longevity of the relationship, find researchers.


A new study says that if you're picking a male life partner, a smarter one would be better for the long-term success of your relationship.

Jaako Aspara led the research at the Hanken School of Economics in Finland that looked at the question of picking partners from an evolutionary perspective. The team discovered that the levels of a partner's intelligence directly affect the “fitness" of the partnership to “survive and support the offspring."

Another aspect that impacts the strength of a relationship: smarter men generally have a larger income. This makes them more attractive bets.

The study relied on military conscription data from almost 200,000 Finnish men, aged 18 to 45. Intelligence was assessed via a 120-item test that the men took upon entering the Finnish Defense Forces.

When they were initially examined, two-thirds of the men were single. As Susan Krauss Whitbourne from Psychology Today explains, these were matched by age and region with married men. Both groups were followed during a five-year period, with researchers looking at their marital status, income, cars they owned, and other factors. The men also had to take another intelligence test, which measured numerical, verbal, and nonverbal abilities.

The researchers showed a connection between intelligence and marital history. The number of men who got married and stayed hitched increased with each rise in overall intelligence within the five age groups studied. Younger groups most strongly exhibited this effect.

In other interesting conclusions, the scientists found that verbal intelligence relates to the probability of getting married, since being a better talker can make it easier for you to attract a mate. Overall intellectual ability equally relates to getting divorced. Higher intelligence means having the capacity to avoid a breakup by expressing and discussing feelings, according to the research team. On the flip side, notes Whitbourne, studies showed that intelligent women also have more stable and long-lasting marriages.

“In parallel to the effect of a peacock's mysterious tail on its mating success…human intelligence has a direct positive impact on human mating prospects in terms of marriage," write the researchers.

Potentially good news also for men with newer and bigger cars: they appear to have an advantage in getting married, according to the research.

You can find the study here.

For a different perspective, perhaps having "sexier sex" is another road to a long and happy relationship:

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