Exclusive: Why George Clooney Has Upped His Dating Game

George Clooney; Amal Alamuddin (inset)

George Clooney; Amal Alamuddin (inset)

Getty Images

When George Clooney first stepped out with new girlfriend Amal Alamuddin four months ago, the brunette beauty represented a change for the Oscar-winning actor.

Not because she's gorgeous - that's nothing new for the actor - but because she's a brainy international attorney.

"Amal is as stunning as any model or actress he's dated, but in this case, her brains outshine her looks," shares an insider. "This is the first time he's been this excited about a new woman."

It's easy to see why. Amal, 36, has a resume that would knock just about anybody's socks off. The Oxford and NYU-educated barrister has served as a crisis consultant for Syria and Lebanon. The match couldn't be more tailor-made for the politically and socially minded George, 52.

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Says the insider, "In the past few years, George has grown more serious, and he's very interested in world politics and human rights - the same things Amal devotes her life to."

Their meeting of the minds is a far cry from the light-hearted dalliances of George's past. "When he dated people like actress Stacey Keibler, he was all about being with a girl who liked to have fun, travel and was go-with-the-flow," says the friend. "He didn't want someone serious."

George Clooney

George & Stacey at the 2013 Golden Globes

That pattern certainly did not escape the attention of his inner circle, which includes family man Matt Damon.

"George's friends are all smart, intellectually stimulating women like Sandy Bullock," says a pal. "All of them have been pushing him to get together with someone a little more mature who has something to say for herself."

Amal is certainly a large step in the right direction. The Brit, who is fluent in English, Arabic and French, is currently representing Julian Assange, head of WikiLeaks, in his extradition proceedings.

"George is very interested in taking this relationship further," says the friend, "but time will tell."

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