Do similar education levels matter in relationships?

Is it really necessary to be on the same level as your partner when it comes to education? After all, there are so many factors to think about when choosing a compatible partner - is this one really that important?

Certainly you can choose to go out with anyone you like. Regardless of their level of education, you can make a commitment to someone and dive right in. However it must be said, that this can make your dating and relationship journey slightly more challenging.

Having a similar education level as you partner has a number of advantages. For starters, you can talk to each other about topics, areas and ideas that you both understand well and have opinions on. You may also have a number of hobbies and interests through your education that you can share with each other (e.g. reading, study, writing etc.). You could also do very well in terms of having strong earning potential between you both. And you might also find it much easier to mix with each other's friends who have similar levels of education as well.

And it makes sense that people tend to be attracted to others with similar types of dimensions such as education levels, beliefs, values, intelligence and financial status. This is a process of "like attracts like" - or as anthropologists call it "positive assortative mating". At the end of the day, it's going to be easier for you to get along and survive with your partner if they're on the same page as you in key areas.

So by all means date whomever you want. However keep in mind that things can tend to run a lot more smoothly when you have similarities on dimensions such as educational levels.

John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert, as seen on the hit show Married At First Sight, and on Ch 9’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair. He is a best-selling author, regularly appears on radio and in magazines, runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker. (

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