Are you out of his league — or he yours?

“I’m out of your league” sounds so snooty, snotty, and superior. You’re looking down your nose at the other, saying he isn’t good enough for you.

A potential suitor once emailed me, “You’re so far out of my league that I wouldn’t be allowed in the stadium where your league plays. I can only play in the fantasy league for your league. I can’t even park in your league’s parking lot.” Clearly, thinking someone is out of your league is not starting from a position of strength.

By proclaiming someone is not in your league, are you cutting out some great guys? Absolutely. Might some of them be a good fit for you? Perhaps. We hear about these kind of mismatched relationships all the time.

What are we really saying with “out of your league”? That you don’t match on some significant level. It could be a marked difference in socio-economic or education backgrounds, or intelligence. Often this refers to big differences in physical attractiveness. A Ph.D. professor may not be a match with a fast-food worker. Or a country-club type won’t be good long-term with a laborer. Of course, there are always exceptions.

I’ve dated men with different economic or educational levels from mine. While I may have enjoyed the guy’s company, as we got to know each other, the discrepancies emerged. His vocabulary, pronunciation, or even table manners showed our different backgrounds, expectations and standards. While I try to embrace men from different walks of life, if there are too many things that have a wide gap, it can be a strain. And perhaps some of the men who went “poof” on me did so because they felt I wasn’t in their league.

Major league baseballWhat to do if you find yourself with someone who is in a different league? As long as you are playing the same game (wanting romance), and have the same team goal (enjoying being with each other), who cares if he’s National League and you’re American League? If you want to find a way to play together, you will. And if you find that one of you is major league and the other on a farm team, one of you will  strike out.

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3 responses to “Are you out of his league — or he yours?”

  1. Bookyone Avatar

    Hi DG,

    Yet another very insightful article here. I have heard this expression many times, yet I’d always assumed it referred strictly to physical attractiveness. Your definition is much broader and IMHO much more accurate.

    To me, the real difficulty arises when one is considering which league one belongs to as compared to a potential partner. Using myself as an example, I would most likely be considered major league material in terms of my intelligence, education and career achievements, yet I doubt I’d make the minors in terms of physical attractiveness. So, where does that leave someone like me when considering potential partners? Am I dating up when I’m with a good looking guy, despite his lack of education, or am I dating down? What if I’m dating a guy who is fantastically successful in terms of his career, but who has all the personality of a day old cruller? Or if I’m dating a Bill Gates type, bright, family oriented and extremely successful, yet the classic prototype of the high school nerd? Are these guys out of my league? Am I out of theirs? And who, ultimately, is responsible for making this call, myself or the guys I’m dating? Or does the larger society have a say in who makes the majors and who washes out?

    I guess what I’m really having difficulty with is the notion that people can be fitted into neat little boxes (or leagues) when IMHO all of us are far more complex and definitely more than the sum of our physical parts, our educational or career achievements or the size of our wallets.

    Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

  2. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Such good questions and insights!
    I think the definition ultimately lives with the couple. If you think you’re out of his league, no matter what his attractiveness, economic level, education, etc., it won’t work. And vice versa of course.

  3. Bookyone Avatar

    Hi DG,

    Thanks, I have thought about this for some time. I agree, the definition (and league standings) should be determined by the two individuals involved and not by outside forces, although I fear our present day Western culture has little use for intelligent women as myself who are sorely lacking in the physical graces.

    Best wishes from bookyone 🙂