Advanced search

Dating someone with little education

(72 Posts)
DatingLife Tue 20-Feb-18 11:35:42


I've put a cautious toe back in the online dating water, and have this vaguely nagging question. I'm early 50s if thats relevant.

Occasionally I'll see a vaguely promising man - but no cultural interests really, and no higher education. Usually a bit sporty or something like that.

I'm a really down-to-earth person in many ways - but I'm also interested in culture, philosophy, etc. Its the way I'm built and would probably have been like that without even any formal education.

Is it worth meeting them is my question?! All my previous boyfriends have, like me, been educated to degree level, not a deliberate choice on my part, but looking back, just how it panned out!

I'm not a snob - I really appreciate men who aren't like that but who are good people and just going about their business in life as suits them.

But is there a possible match with such a person, am I wasting my time and theirs? I am, it must be said, looking for some kind of relationship (not necessarily to the level of 'partner', but not a roll-in-the-hay either).

Any thoughts? Any experience like this?

TeachesOfPeaches Tue 20-Feb-18 11:42:01

The age demographic I'm assuming you're looking at (50+) it wasn't as common for everyone to go to university so you may be limiting yourself there.

ReinettePompadour Tue 20-Feb-18 11:42:31

You do know that a person close to your age (me included) had very limited chances at going to University so the fact you are discarding those without a degree appears to make you sound like an outrageous snob?

If they look good then why wouldnt you try a date or 2. You dont know what theyre like if you never meet them.

Bloodyuselessatthinkingofaname Tue 20-Feb-18 11:44:55

I know exactly what you mean if that is any consolation . There are certain OLD sites that cater for more of this - Guardian Soulmates I think ? Could be others too. Nothing wrong with wanting someone " on your level ".

Mintychoc1 Tue 20-Feb-18 11:46:23

I'm a doctor so obviously I'm pretty highly qualified. I've been in a relationship with someone I met online for 2 years. He didn't go to university, and works in an office on just over minimum wage.

His online profile didn't list any "cultural" interests - just the usual football, country walks, cinema - that sort of thing.

He's intelligent, funny, reads loads so very knowledgable, loves history, interested in politics - basically he's got loads of interests that would be called "intellectual and cultural".

There are many reasons why people don't end up going to university, so I definitely wouldn't rule someone out because they don't have the same education as I do.

dirtybadger Tue 20-Feb-18 11:48:30

My DP hasnt been to university (and a lot my age have). Im postgrad. He is 10x as smart as me. So no dont write people off.

MagicFajita Tue 20-Feb-18 11:56:44

I think you're being hasty op.

Just because a person has lots of qualifications it doesn't make them more interesting or intelligent than somebody with none.

You could be dismissing some good potential partners.

HoppingPavlova Tue 20-Feb-18 11:58:17

I’m an educated person with a highly sought after degree and post-grad quals and the most intelligent person I ever dated left school at 14yo. They had a tragic childhood and were constantly shuffled around between family members with issues and the foster system. Their intelligence made up for a lack of formal education as they continually learnt a lot in general life and were a great conversationalist and a genuinely interesting person. Pity it didn’t work out for other reasons but it definitely taught me not to judge a book by its cover in this regard.

I also knew a tattoo artist at one point in life, friend of a friends relative thing. Similarly, they left school at 14yo, just weren’t interested in formal education. Very intelligent and a brilliant mind. Personally, I think they could have been gifted, not challenged and became bored at school.

So I would not dismiss people on lack of formal education alone but it should be fairly easy to weed out someone thick as a plank from emails/chat before deciding to meet if you are using online dating services?

DatingLife Tue 20-Feb-18 12:00:23

Thank you, especially Minty.

I knew I'd get flamed as a snob even with my assurance that I'm really not - but some people are just looking to take offence on here or use it as an outlet for their anger - I guess it also makes them feel superior (irony!). I just don't want to waste people's time, including my own, thank you also bloodyuseless.

Ickyockycocky Tue 20-Feb-18 12:00:48

I have a degree and a post-grad in teacher. My DH did not go to college or uni. He is one of the post intelligent people I know. Don't limit your options with preconceptions.

ComtesseDeSpair Tue 20-Feb-18 12:00:58

They may well like and be interested in culture and philosophy but just not identify it in as many words for their profile. I'm quite interested in reading about and discussing a quantum physics and biodiversity, but not to the extent that I list "science" as an interest or passion.

Exchange messages. If they seem interesting, meet up. You may be surprised.

And if not then actually, as long as they're bright, articulate, open-minded and so forth, is it essential you both like exactly the same things? I like motorbikes, running, mudlarking and souping up small hatchbacks for larks. Partners often don't. But that's what friends are for.

Ickyockycocky Tue 20-Feb-18 12:01:14


Eric1964 Tue 20-Feb-18 12:05:43

The point @TeachesOfPeaches makes is a good one.

I think the answer is that you can't tell without getting to know them a bit, whether they take an interest in any type of culture.

I think I get where you're coming from. Here's a little anecdote, possibly not that relevant, but it has stuck in my mind for over 30 years:

I was 17/18 years old and going out with a girl from another school. She lived with her parents and younger brother in a small, modern council house, and I spent a bit of time there. I can't remember what her dad did: maybe a plumber or something. I always liked him. One day, I was sitting around in their lounge, with him and his son, and he was reading a book about the Spanish Civil War. His son, who was about 9, looked up and said, "Why are you reading that, Dad?" He looked down at his son and said, "Because it's interesting, son."

To me, taking an interest in culture is exactly that. He was the quintessential "ordinary bloke", but it was quite clear that there was more to him than than just working and a few pints at the weekend.

On a slightly different note, I recently saw the documentary "Black Snow" by Stephen Linstead, about the Oaks Colliery Disaster. It was mainly interviews with ex-miners. I was impressed (in the true sense of the word) by how articulate they were. Now, I realise that might sound patronising - but I don't care. They spoke with a rare degree of clarity and depth. My explanation for this was that, in an industry such as mining, good communication could be a matter of life and death. An older friend of mine had a different view, saying essentially what @TeachesOfPeaches has said: there are plenty of intelligent older people who never went to university.

So - meet them, have a chat, you'll know quickly whether you're going to be bored, or whether their love of, e.g., rugby league is part of a larger and wider cultural interest.

Good luck, and enjoy yourself!

DaffoDeffo Tue 20-Feb-18 12:07:47

I think you need to be careful. I have been online dating for years and I think that there can be issues with this. I dated someone who I thought was a lovely man who had not finished school, couldn't tell the difference between to and too and your and you're. He was a wonderful man but he totally resented my dcs attitude to education and spent the whole time challenging why they needed to go to university in quite an aggressive way. He felt it was a waste of money and used to laugh at them if they tried to talk about it. I soon dumped him!

I think people can have chips on their shoulders about education. That's all you need to look out for. But I think those type of people appear whether educated or not if that makes sense.

I'm also a similar age to you and I do think you get a lot of polarised views in the men that are interested in women our age

HoarseMackerel Tue 20-Feb-18 12:08:53

I would make a decision AFTER I'd met them.
With OLD some people just don't like writing about themselves so probably haven't included their real passions.
None of my work colleagues of a similar age to me (late forties to fifties) went to Uni but they are all mainly clever and interesting.

DaffoDeffo Tue 20-Feb-18 12:11:15

what sites are you using out of interest

retirednow Tue 20-Feb-18 12:12:21

You don't need a degree to be kind, thoughtful, intelligent or have cultural interests, you are narrowing your options down for no reason. I havent even got an 11plus but figure im a pretty good catchsmile

AstridWhite Tue 20-Feb-18 12:15:56

I don't think it matters what their level of education is, especially not given your age. The vast majority of people over 50 did not go onto higher education. That doesn't make them stupid.

I don't have a degree and I can bore for England on philosophical, political, existential type conversation. I am always being told I am clever by friends who are more highly educated than me.

Make sure you spend plenty of time chatting online first before you agree to meet someone. You'll get a feel for compatibility that way. If someone is a dull conversationalist in person then they'll be dull conversationalists on line too.

WitchesHatRim Tue 20-Feb-18 12:16:17

You seem quite judgemental.

My BIL didn't have higher education. He did it the 'old fashioned way' and has worked his way up.

He is a director in a big company on a big salary.

Never judge a book by its covers.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Tue 20-Feb-18 12:17:14

I feel like maybe it matters less as you get older. You learn so much at university and when you first graduate the difference between those who have been and those who haven’t is glaring.

Given time and a curious mind I would expect intelligent people to catch up (general knowledge - not specifics).

That said, there does seem to be something extra gained from time spent compiling data and organising thoughts to write huge essays. A logical way of thinking things through. This is sometimes lacking in adults who didn’t have higher education. Not everyone of course.

I would give these men a chance but I’d definitely be asking a few gently probing questions. Do they believe the moon landing(s) happened for example. 😂

lynmilne65 Tue 20-Feb-18 12:18:58


Mintychoc1 Tue 20-Feb-18 13:04:47

daffodeffo makes a valid point about some men being resentful of women who are more educated and qualified than they are. Such men certainly exist, and I would find it impossible to have a relationship with someone like that. However, I doubt they'd want to be with me either, so we'd be unlikely to get as far as dating.

I'd like to think that the only men who would contact a well-qualified woman, would be men who weren't going to be intimidated and arsey about it!

Alwayslumpyporridge Tue 20-Feb-18 13:46:30

I left school with good GCSE's then did an apprenticeship, so hardly any qualifications but I have a great job, earn and live well.

I wouldn't rule someone out based on education, its more about attitude to life, work ethic and an underlying intelligence. In your shoes I would engage in online chat, to try to find out more about the interests and motivation of people, then if you like what you read meet up and see if there is a spark there.

fantasmasgoria1 Tue 20-Feb-18 15:23:43

I am educated and have a degree. I like to have in depth meaningful conversations. I have those with my partner but he doesn’t have a degree. He is very intelligent though . You can be intelligent and not have a degree. My ex was educated to degree level but my fiancé is more intelligent! It’s also about other qualities such as great sense of humour or adventure and fun!

DullAndOld Tue 20-Feb-18 15:27:28

well if you are in your early 50s, back then a university education was very elitist. Yes it was free, but still mostly only a certain demographic went to university. About 3 to 5 per cent of the school leaving population.

Therefore you are limiting your chances massively before you have even started.

Anyway tbh I have met smarter people flogging lighters down Brixton market than I have in the uni.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: