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What Is Hypergamy & How does Hypergamy Dating Work

What’s the meaning of hypergamy? How can it benefit you? Find the answers here and get some practical tips!

Chelsea | Updated:

In recent years, hypergamy dating has become a popular phenomenon in online dating. While you may have heard the term “hypergamy”, you may not know much about it. This article explores the meaning of hypergamy, its history, and how it works in the modern dating world. We'll also discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of hypergamy dating and tips for navigating this complex social dynamics in the dating world.

Hypergamy Meaning


What Does Hypergamy Mean?

Hypergamy is a term used to describe marrying or forming a romantic relationship with someone of a higher social or economic status than oneself. The term is often associated with women who seek out partners who are wealthier, more successful, or more educated than themselves. However, hypergamy can also refer to men who pursue partners of higher social or economic status. Let’s compare male hypergamy and female hypergamy in detail to understand what is female hypergamy

Female Hypergamy

Historically, female hypergamy has been more commonly discussed and viewed as a negative trait. This is because women who seek out partners who are wealthier or more successful than themselves have been seen as "gold diggers" or manipulative. However, in recent years, there has been a shift towards a more positive view of female hypergamy. Many people argue that women who seek out more successful or financially stable partners are simply being pragmatic and looking for partners who can provide for them and any future children.

Male Hypergamy

Male hypergamy, on the other hand, is less commonly discussed but still exists. Men who pursue partners who are younger, more physically attractive, or have other desirable qualities are engaging in male hypergamy. This hypergamy is often seen as more acceptable or desirable, as men are often expected to seek out partners who are physically attractive or younger.

Hypergamy Psychology: Why People Want to Marry/Date Up?

Hypergamy is a complex psychological phenomenon that has been the subject of much study and debate. Several factors may contribute to Hypergamy Psychology and why people are attracted to "upwardly mobile" partners regarding social or economic status.

Why Hypergamy

1. Evolutionary Biology

One of the most commonly cited explanations for hypergamy is rooted in evolutionary psychology. According to this theory, women have evolved to seek out partners who can provide for them and their offspring. Historically, men who provided resources and protection were seen as more attractive mates, and women who could secure a high-status partner were more likely to have successful offspring.

2. Growth Environment

Another factor that may contribute to hypergamy is the desire for social status. People may be attracted to partners who are of a higher social or economic status because it can confer social status on themselves. Marrying into a high-status family or social circle can increase opportunities and social connections in some societies. This desire for social status may be particularly strong in cultures where social mobility is limited or where social status is highly valued.

3. Personal Preferences 

Personal preferences may also play a role in hypergamy. Some people may simply be attracted to more successful or financially stable partners. In contrast, others may value intelligence, education, or other qualities often associated with higher social or economic status. Various factors may shape these preferences, including upbringing, culture, and individual experiences.

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Pros and Cons of Hypergamy 

  • Increased financial security. If one partner is financially successful, they may be able to provide for themselves and their partner, leading to a more comfortable and stable lifestyle.

  • Increased social status. Marrying into a high-status family or social circle can increase opportunities and social connections.

  • Offspring with better genetic traits. In some cases, partners who are more successful or physically attractive may have genes associated with positive traits like intelligence, athleticism, or physical attractiveness, which could be passed on to their children.

  • Potential power imbalances in the relationship. If one partner is significantly more successful or wealthy than the other, they may hold more power in the relationship, leading to potential conflicts or issues with control.

  • Hypergamy can also lead to unrealistic expectations in relationships. Partners seeking out higher-status mates may focus more on external qualities like wealth or social status rather than compatibility or emotional connection.

  • Finally, hypergamy can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and reinforce societal inequalities. Women seeking wealthier or more successful partners may be seen as "gold diggers," Men pursuing younger or more physically attractive partners may perpetuate harmful stereotypes about beauty and gender roles.

Overall, it's important to approach hypergamy critically and consider its potential benefits and drawbacks.

Hypergamy Examples: How Hypergamy Plays Out in Real-World? 

Hypergamy Examples

1. Marrying for Money

Perhaps the most common example of hypergamy is marrying for money or financial security. In some cases, individuals may seek out wealthy or financially successful partners to secure their financial stability.

2. Seeking Out High-Status Partners

Another example of hypergamy is seeking partners of a higher social or professional status. This may involve pursuing partners who are more educated, have prestigious careers, or come from wealthy or influential families.

3. Sugar Dating 

Sugar dating is a type of hypergamy dating where a person, typically an older, wealthier individual (known as a "sugar daddy" or "sugar mama"), enters into a mutually beneficial relationship with a younger, less financially secure partner (known as a "sugar baby"). In this arrangement, the sugar baby receives financial support or other gifts in exchange for their time and companionship. In contrast, the sugar daddy/mama enjoys the company of a younger, attractive partner.

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4. Age Disparities

Hypergamy can also manifest in age disparities between partners, with one partner significantly older or younger than the other. In some cases, this may be driven by a desire for youth or physical attractiveness, which may be associated with higher social status.

Related Reading >> Top 10 Age Gap Dating Sites For Dating With A Safe Age Gap

5. Marrying into High-Status Families

In some cultures, hypergamy may involve marrying into high-status families or social circles. This may involve seeking partners from wealthy or influential families to gain access to social connections or opportunities.

6. Physical Attractiveness

Hypergamy can also manifest in a desire for physical attractiveness, with individuals seeking partners considered more physically attractive than themselves. This may be associated with a desire for higher social status or simply a preference for physical beauty.

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Hypergamy Dating Tips

Dating for hypergamy can be tricky, as it often involves navigating power dynamics and potential conflicts of interest. However, several hypergamy tips can help make the process smoother and more successful for those interested in pursuing hypergamous relationships.

  • Know what you're looking for

  • Be confident

  • Network strategically

  • Improve your social skills

  • Be independent and self-sufficient

  • Stay true to yourself

  • Communicate openly and honestly

  • Avoid using others for financial gain

  • Be respectful and considerate of others

  • Understand and accept the risks involved.


Hypergamy is a dating strategy that involves seeking out partners of a higher social or economic status. While hypergamy has been a part of human behavior for centuries, it has become increasingly prevalent in modern society, where social and economic status are often highly valued.

Hypergamous dating can be complicated, as it often involves navigating power dynamics, potential conflicts of interest, and societal expectations. However, understanding the psychology behind hypergamy, knowing what you're looking for in a partner, and being confident and strategic in your dating approach can successfully pursue hypergamous relationships.

About the Author

Chelsea is a professional content writer who specializes in topics such as dating, relationships, and more.

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