Dating down will “never” work. The love between two people is more secure when both people are of equal status or each person has a superior life trait (beauty, power, money, intelligence, charisma, kindness, etc.) that is equal in dominance. Dating someone below you or above you isn’t recommended for serious, long term relationships. Beauty fell in love with the Beast because Belle’s (Beauty) appearance matched the Beast’s presence, charisma and strength. If the story was about a beautiful girl of equal status as Belle and a Beast who was small, powerless and shy, they would have never fallen in love, or if they did, it would have never lasted. Love is a bond; a force (promise/oath) that holds two people together. If one person is pulling or pushing more than the other, then the bond breaks. Two people of unequal status can fall in love, have the most powerful love in the world, but if the person who is of lower status fails to equal the force of love or the person of higher status acknowledges the status inequality, their bond will break. In a relationship, the love must be equal or the people in love must be equal.
Love bonds are equal when the sums of two people’s traits/attractiveness are equal or two people’s superior trait(s) are of the same magnitude. Think of this relationship as the Zero-sum game in a negotiation or economic theory; a participant’s gain (or loss) of utility (love) is exactly balanced by the losses (or gains) of the utility (love) of the other participant(s). Relationships work the same way. All of a person’s vices and virtues must be zeroed out by another person’s vices and virtues in order to create a stable relationship. When a relationship’s vices and virtues are not zeroed out, one person is “loving” or “not loving” more than the other, which will eventually diminish the love bond.
There are a few exceptions that may allow people to knowingly date down and survive a long term relationship. The most traditional exceptions have a foundation in culture and religion. Believe it or not, there are people in this world who still wed because of family tradition. No matter the status of the two people who will be married, their love bond is secured by their trust in their culture. Living for something greater than yourself will always allow for a strong bond in any relationship. Religion has held together many relationships through the past which should have never have worked out. When two people love something (religion, family, culture, etc) outside the relationship, it allows a third force to be placed between them which will hold their relationship together. The next exception, and the most common, is when one or both persons have insecurities so great, they can’t see their self-worth. This lowers the force of the love bond needed to maintain the relationship, even though society (friends, family, etc) view the relationship as dating down. This exception usually spawns the question, “What the fuck is he/she doing with her/him?” Relationships like this work out because the people in them don’t know any better, which allows for ignorant bliss despite dating down.
Nothing questions the love bond more than two people who appear to be unequal. Society’s oddities challenge how we view other people’s relationships. Observing a hot model accompanying a short, not-so-attractive semblance of a man doesn’t make sense to most people, since the models attractiveness is far superior to the man. The equality that society doesn’t see is that the man has hidden superior traits such as money, intellect, music, power, character, etc., which equals the model’s beauty. The fact is, there are many couples that society views as “what the fuck is he/she thinking,” yet the relationship works because both people know the others superior trait. This allows for the bond of love to be maintained despite society’s disapproval.
There are few variables that allow dating down to work, or appear to work. Ultimately we have to find someone who will better our lives. It is hard to find someone who will challenge someone else when they have a different life status. As individuals, we place importance on what we find attractive, regardless of how societies views us or the person we are dating. We must constantly better our lives and better the lives of the people around us. Never give the person you are with a reason to think they are dating down. You must find someone who is willing to deliver their love as equally as you.