Big boobs or big brain? Which do you prefer?

A collection of six research studies published in 2015 shows that, while you may say it’s the latter, in reality you may find the former is true, because your ego can’t handle a woman who is smarter than you are. Couple this with a 2016 study that shows the more intelligent a woman is, the less like she is to be chosen during speed dating.

Your ego is stupid.

“Oh, but I love smart women.” You might just be saying that to get laid. When it comes to a relationship, most men tend to back away from a woman who is smarter than they are. Again, it’s because of that stupid, fragile ego.

Natalie Portman, who put her acting career on hold to obtain a degree in psychology from Harvard, said, “Smart women love smart men more than smart men love smart women.” It’s a sad reality that many men can’t handle the idea of being with a woman who is smarter than they are.

Man, you have no idea how bad that fragile male ego is screwing you over. Unless you’re a Rhodes scholar you’re automatically discounting many millions of women as long-term relationship material because her brain intimidates you. You need to get over that.

My Story
I’ll admit, the first thing I noticed about her from across the room was the torso area. She wore a snug sweater with horizontal stripes, and … never mind. Yet I had no difficulty remembering where her eyes were. She was a pre-med student. She got straight As in every single class in a demanding program, was accepted early into medical school, then graduated at the top of her class.

I am not stupid, but my brain is no match for hers. We’ve been together for 27 years and they’ve all been awesome. Here is why I think you need to tell your ego to suck it up, and mean it for real when you say you find smart women attractive.

You Won’t Get Bored
There is always something to talk about with a smart woman. She understands a lot about the world and how it works. You can’t be having sex all the time, and in a relationship you’re going to spend a fair amount of time with your clothes on. Having someone brilliant at your side makes life more interesting.

She Will Probably Make More Money
This isn’t always the case, but intelligent women can be more ambitious and educated, which leads to greater career success. I’m not saying be a sponge, but having a successful physician for a wife allowed me to quit my high-paying marketing job so I could become a mediocre-paid writer, and that’s awesome.

They Can Be More Adventurous
An intelligent mind doesn’t settle for spending every evening rotting the synapses in front of the TV. She will want to go out and experience new things, and might be more inclined to experience new things when you’re alone together as well. Use your imagination about that alone together one.

She Will Make You Better
When she has a few higher IQ points than you you’re going to be challenged. Sometimes, this involves getting called on your bullshit, and that’s a good thing because always getting away with your bullshit isn’t doing you any favors in life. She will keep you on your toes and you’ll have to work to keep up. You have to earn the right to stay with her, and this makes you a better man.

She Might Take Better Care of Herself
With intelligence can often come a long-term understanding of the cause and effect of personal behaviors and habits. She may be less likely to smoke, drink to excess or eat poorly, and she may be more likely to exercise. (No, this doesn’t mean overweight = stupid, but there is a lot of research to show that people with high intelligence are often healthier.) You’ll want to keep up so it can ended up having a positive impact on your own health.

Check your ego at the door when you’re picking her up for a date, and reap the benefits of being with an intelligent woman.

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James S. Fell is an internationally syndicated fitness columnist for the Chicago Tribune and author of Lose it Right: A Brutally Honest 3-Stage Program to Help You Get Fit and Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind, published by Random House Canada. He also interviews celebrities about their fitness stories for the Los Angeles Times, and is head fitness columnist for and a regular contributor to Men’s Health.