Hypergamy | Everything You Need To Know About Dating Up (2022)

Hypergamy | Everything You Need To Know About Dating Up (2022)

Written by dating coach for men Gary Gunn - Founder of Social Attraction

This article will teach you everything you need to know about hypergamy and why it is essential to your dating life long-term. This knowledge used in the right way will help transform you from an ordinary man who has limited success with women into a more confident and attractive man to all women.

Understanding the dynamics of hypergamy will lead to:

  • A greater focus on your goals in life from an earlier age
  • Having a stronger and more confident frame around women
  • More women pursuing you as a long-term dating option

Learn how to be more attractive to women by taking one of our Social Attraction courses. You will find a link at the bottom of this article to schedule a free 30-minute consultation call with me. On the call, we will work out which of our courses is right for you to transform your dating confidence.

You can watch our client’s real life transformations here –  Social Attraction course reviews

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What is hypergamy?

Hypergamy is the action of marrying or forming a sexual relationship with a person of superior sociological or educational background. In short, this means that men and women are looking to ‘date up’. This term is applied more to women, commonly referred to as female or feminine hypergamy, which I will cover later in the article.

Understanding this term is essential because, for example, consider a young guy who wants to succeed with women. Rather than thinking about what to say or how to approach a woman – in other words, the elements that make up the more surface level of dating – hypergamy is more of a global way of looking at one’s dating life.

Global view of dating

This global view focuses on taking control and moving higher up in the status of your life so that hypergamy works for you on a personal level. Having ambition in your career and achieving your goals are two elements that underpin hypergamy because women are attracted to successful men who can make positive and decisive life choices.

Therefore the earlier you focus on a career path and attain success and achievement, the more women will consider you as a potential partner.

Drawing success and confidence from different areas, in turn, means that you are less likely to chase women – a mindset that can be all too easy for men to fall into in dating and which puts women off. For more advice on stopping feeling (and therefore acting) needy around women, read my dating advice for men article. A snapshot of some of the key points are included here:

5 ways to stop conveying neediness to women

Hypergamy psychology

In 1859 Charles Darwin published a book titled On the Origin of Species, where he coined the term natural selection. The term, we all know, refers to the survival of the fittest. Later in that same book, Darwin coined a new term called sexual selection.

Sexual selection theory means that we all compete within our species for a member of the opposite sex with the highest possible value.

Past hypergamy

Here it gets interesting as, according to sexual selection theory, men are likely to want to reproduce with as many partners as they can. In comparison, women want to have sex and children with someone who can protect and provide for them. And, from an evolutionary perspective, the man with the most resources was best positioned to provide this security.

This concept of sexual selection dates back to the 19th century. The term hypergamy was used initially by anthropologists studying marriage within the caste system in India (A.M.Shah, The Structure of Indian Society; Then and Now). Yet, it is now seen as more of a modern dating term.

The psychology of sexual selection theory and hypergamy indicates that women, on a biological level, want to ‘date up’ and not ‘date down’ in terms of their partner’s education, income or occupation. Again, this goes back to the notion that a man with more extensive resources can provide a woman with more security.

Modern hypergamy

How is this relevant to you in your dating life today? If you develop yourself to become a man of ambition, capability and resourcefulness, women will naturally view you as a higher dating prospect.

For instance, are you working on the following:

  • Training to be physically bigger, stronger and fitter?
  • Becoming more financially successful?

The more you focus on these goals, the more successful you become. In other words, the more hypergamy works for you. To help you understand more about the biology behind sexual attraction and how to trigger this in women, I suggest reading my how to make a woman want you sexually article. You can also find some fundamentals in the infographic guide here:

Three ways that make you more sexually attractive to women

What is feminine hypergamy?

Feminine hypergamy refers to the idea that women look to date men across the same or higher socioeconomic status. Namely, they ‘date up’ in terms of resources. These resources include wealth, social class, status and occupation.

Here it is worth remembering that, along with evolutionary biology, our social history has played a part in the existence of hypergamy as women have not had access to the same opportunities or education as men. In effect, women’s choices throughout history were linked to the better ‘marriage prospect.’

In contrast, most men are quite happy to ‘date down’. And so, when a man meets an attractive woman, he is less concerned about her level of resources, social status or education. From a biological point of view, the general rule is that men are looking at spreading their seed to as many women as possible. At the same time, women are more interested in long-term security.

Of course, women these days are not looking only for wealth or status in a relationship. Yet, hypergamy is still an element you can consider in your long-term dating.

Have social value

Another impactful way to attract women, specifically in conversation, is to break rapport when the moment calls for it. Most men are too afraid of breaking rapport when in dialogue with an attractive woman. As a result, they can come across as too agreeable and compliant.

Being assertive enough to break rapport conveys confidence and high status. It also takes the woman off autopilot and makes her reassess your social value, as only a confident man acts this way. To learn how to do this, read my how to attract a woman article. You can find a snapshot of some of the main points on breaking rapport below:

3 ways to break rapport with women and attract them

What is an example of hypergamy?

Imagine an attractive 23-year-old girl who has just finished her fashion degree. She meets a 36-year-old man who is a barrister and already ultra-successful. If she wants to date someone successful and, on a biological level, can provide for her, then you can see how hypergamy works, and they end up dating one another.

You can also see why a 23-year-old guy who has not yet received the same success in his life finds it difficult to get hypergamy working for him. Now he could potentially date a younger girl. Or, he could become more successful by working harder earlier in his life.

The long-term effect

Hypergamy typically plays out via the passage of time. So as men get older, we have more opportunities to become more successful or develop in our goals. Indeed, suppose you cannot implement hypergamy in your life (in terms of occupation, finances or education). In that case, you are at risk of becoming less attractive to any woman you date as time passes.

In my infographic below, you will find five strategies that will help elevate your thinking to transform into a more desirable man who attracts women using the dynamics of hypergamy. You can read more about this longer-term approach in my how to attract women article.

Five ways to attract women in to long-term girlfriends

Hypergamy tips

Having a proper understanding of the term hypergamy gives you an advantage in dating. I have been professionally coaching single guys and men in relationships for the past 12 years. In my experience, the men who are the most successful in dating are the ones who work on their goals first, and who then meet women on the side of this.

The man who succeeds in dating:

  • Goes to the gym and is in physically good condition
  • Works hard on his career and life goals
  • Spends time travelling

And what happens is he elevates women to want to be part of his life. In practice, he gets hypergamy working for him because he has a mindset of success.

Making hypergamy work for you

Hypergamy is a term that you may not have heard about until you came across this article. However, now you have a better understanding, you can consider what stage you are at in your life.

If you are in your 20s, this is the time to work hard on your career and your physique to get your status up in the world. In your 30s, this growth and development do not change. Think about this as you progress through life.

At Social Attraction, we can help you, whether this is getting hypergamy to work for you or increasing your status and confidence with approaching and meeting women. Our coaching will help you become a more desirable man on your terms. To find out more about how we can help, visit our transformational courses page.


  • Hypergamy is the term used to describe when a woman looks to date up in terms of a partner’s education, income or occupation.
  • Working on your goals and self-development enables you to use the power of hypergamy.
  • If you do not understand the dynamics of hypergamy, you run the risk of losing any long term partner.

Written by Gary Gunn

Gary Gunn is the bestselling author of An Education In (Online) Dating.

He has hosted over 1000 dating confidence courses in the UK and Europe, as well as over 1,500 courses conducted online.

Moreover, he is the head coach at Social Attraction and leads the team, training and courses.
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