There's a commonly repeated meme in this corner of the interwebz...that female hypergamy means women are constantly looking to "trade up" to the highest status male than can attract, and will jump ship to a seemingly higher value mate whenever the opportunity presents itself.
It is also commonly stated that hypergamy is women only looking to mate with men who have better jobs or higher pay than what they make.
This is not what hypergamy is.
Hypergamy explains why some women do in fact "trade up" when the opportunity presents itself, or why they only seek relationships with people more successful than they are...but these things in and of themselves are not the definition of hypergamy.
Hypergamy simply means women's base sexual nature is attracted to a higher status in relation to herself. In other words, if she does not "look up" to a man in some way, she will not be attracted to that man. The higher status can be on one or more characteristics...which is why the unemployed musician can often date a woman who has job and disposable income. She may make more money...but she "looks up" to his musical talents, and he may be physically good looking to boot, despite not having a job, money or a car and so therefore her hypergamous attraction instincts are satisfied in mating with him, despite her higher socio-economic status.
Hypergamy does not mean women are incapable of controlling their behavior while under the influences of those base instincts.
A happily married woman may meet a man who sends her hypergamy detection meter beeping off the charts, and she may or not act on that instinctual attraction. Every woman is different...the problem with today's world is that society at large encourages women to follow this instinct to be "true to herself" or that "happiness" is the most important thing in her life. It is essentially a message telling women to let their hypergamous nature have complete control of her decision making.
But her actions themselves are not hypergamy. Hypergamy describes the biological basis for her attraction triggers...like how youth, fertility, symmetrical features and shapely figures are male's attraction triggers. How you control your attraction and how you react to it will vary on a whole host of other factors like your belief system, your moral views, and your abilities to rationalize or justify breaking those views if you chose to do so.
To call a woman dumping her man for a higher status man "hypergamy" is missing the real point.
Hypergamy is not a negative female trait.
Nor is it a positive one.
It just is.
For men, the most important thing here is to understand what hypergamy is, and observe how she acts on it. By observing this, you can determine her character and suitability for investing resources into a committed relationship...if that's what your looking for. And if you do find yourself involved, understanding what it is and how it works is also the key in making sure your relationship can succeed in the long run. Understanding her hypergamous hardwiring means you've got to maintain some form of respect and admiration from her to maintain long term attraction.
I remember a girlfriend I had in my early 20's. I had tickets to an upcoming concert and found out the band was gonna be signing autographs at a nearby record store a few days prior. Her friend's and I joined a throng of fans to wait in line to meet the band. When it came to our turn, the security in the store ushered me in, I got to say a few words with the band members while they signed my CD cover, than the security hustled me outside...while my girlfriend and her 3 friends were still getting their merch signed.
Now, I know my girlfriend had a thing for the bass player. I was pissed that the security guards wouldn't let me stay with her until her stuff was signed and she got her photos with the band...as soon as my CD got signed they almost threw me out of the store.
My girlfriend and her friends were in there a lot longer talking to the band than I had. When they finally came out, turns out a few of the band members were trying to convince them to come to a party with the band after the autograph session. While my girlfriend was flattered and basically on cloud 9...she turned him down and came back to me after getting her pictures and autographs.
Here was a case of extreme attraction and definitely status far above and beyond my own status. If hypergamy were the uncontrollable force of nature many bloggers and commenters describe it as, she should have gone with him and had hot groupie sex and forgotten all about my ejected ass waiting outside that record store.
She later told me that yeah, she sure as hell thought about going with him...but the she also knew damn well he was only interested in casual sex and she did not want to throw away our relationship for a one night stand with a rock star who would forget all about her and be on to the next groupie fling in no time.
Maybe that's one good reason why I ended up marrying her.