I remember coming across a “MRS degree” debate in one of the many Facebook groups I’m in. MRS degrees are basically when a woman goes to college with the intention of bagging a man who has the potential to be rich or successful in the future. In the comment section, the conversation being had was that getting a MRS degree is something white women have been doing for a long time. Black women argued that had we been taught this concept sooner, we might be further ahead.
That leads me to the question–is dating up a bad thing? The podcast bros and hyper-independent women might argue that it is and women with this aim are out to use men for their money. But Shay “Your Love Diva” Levister, a Master Certified Love Coach, argues that it’s in a woman’s best interest to date up.
“Biochemically and biologically women have the most to lose because we are the ones that are carrying the baby. We’re the ones producing life,” she says.
She continues, “When a woman has a child, she’s risking her life. She’s risking the amount of money she’s able to make, she’s risking her ability to be able to go out and get a better suitor. And so there’s a lot on the line.”
Research conducted by University College London found a woman’s salary drops 45% when she has a baby. Even women who don’t have kids are at an economic disadvantage as a result of the gender pay gap. As of 2022, women earned 82% of what men earned.
Aside from dating up for economic reasons, women should also date up emotionally, mentally and spiritually, according to Levister. She adds that men enduring financial hardships often struggle to love women right because they sometimes don’t have the capacity to do so.
“He’s dealing with insecurity issues, he’s dealing with trying to find himself issues. There’s a lot of things that come along with a broke man and so much heartache that comes to these women who try to love these men who don’t have it together,” she says.
Even if women make the decision to dodge men who don’t meet their standards, are there enough successful and emotionally sound men to go around? Levister argues that there are.
“There’s a whole lot of single men and a lot of those men are very successful and they aren’t married,” she says. “Until I find that every single last one of them is either dead or married, then we can’t stand on this argument that there’s just not enough men because there are.”
Some would still beg to differ and argue that there’s “pee” in the dating pool. These aren’t just social media musings. In 2020, women were twice as likely as men to say dating was harder than a decade ago.
While we can acknowledge the difficulties that come with dating, it’s important to not tow the line of speaking negatively about your dating life. If you find yourself constantly discouraged and thinking a high-achieving man isn’t accessible to you, it’s possible you have love blocks. Levister explains that when a woman has love blocks, it can cause limiting beliefs about there not being enough good and successful men available.
“A love block is a thought behavior [and] belief that blocks us from love, oftentimes the sources due to childhood trauma,” she explains. “If they still have these love blocks and feelings of unworthiness, of not enoughness that their success masks, then they’re going to date not what they want, but what they expect that they deserve.”
Clearing these love blocks by working through trauma and operating in feminine energy can help said women attract the type of men they’re looking for in their bid to date up. This type of work can be done with a therapist and it isn’t always an easy road to travel.
For men who feel women dating up is of no benefit to the man, this isn’t necessarily true. When a woman brings her full, whole, and healed self to a relationship it can add immense value to his life. Even when we look at it from a marriage angle, science says married men tend to live longer and healthier lives. Might I add that they’re paid 2.6% to 3.5% more according to a Swiss study.
“When he selects a woman, he’s investing in the prospect that his investment is gonna return to him multiple dividends,” Levister explains.
In other words, if a quality man is dating a quality woman, whether she’s dating up or not, he is likely to benefit from it. This is also a reminder for women who want to date up to not feel ashamed or guilty for desiring to do so. It is natural for a woman to desire security as when a woman feels secure, she can rest in her feminine energy—something men often desire.
We should also remember women in America are more successful now than ever, so one may not even need the money men and women who frown upon women dating up assume she is seeking. In 22 of 250 U.S. metropolitan areas, women earn the equivalent of or more than men. Also, more women in the workforce have degrees than men nowadays. That said, “successful” or not, it’s not a crime for women to seek out men who match or exceed their energy.
Another way women dating up benefits men is that it encourages them to level up. According to a Psychology Today article, women are raising their standards and men are more lonely as a result. Specifically, they’re over dealing with emotionally immature men who aren’t carrying their weight in a relationship. The article also says men have a “skills deficit” when it comes to communication and emotional availability. Levister echoes these findings too.
“It benefits men when women stand in their power and they choose to date up,” she says. “Why? Because now all the men who have settled into being mediocre and not really operating at their highest potential have to step it up because women are no longer settling for these kind of men.”
Levister concludes, “This is a motivation for them, which is going to drive them to make more money, to be more successful, to hopefully be in a space where they learn how to attract a healthy relationship and then have the family they were designed to protect and provide for.”