Why Don’t Men Like Smart, Strong, Successful Women?

Hi, Evan.

I’m 41, happy with my rounded self, smart, direct, and articulate.

I’ve been told that my lack of dates is due to:

1) Men don’t like smart, direct women, and

2) I’m centered, which sends the message that I don’t need anyone.

Are men really that insecure? I’m certainly not going to be less than I am just for someone else’s insecurities.

Tell me honestly, Evan – are there any good men out there who appreciate a woman who knows herself?

Michelle

Hi, Evan:

I don’t know what is going on and why I’m lacking luck in finding Mr. Right. I am educated, refined, and a self made millionaire by age 34. I am good looking. Many men, women, elderly, and children of all ages have told me so. People also told me that I am one of nicest and sweetest people they have ever met. Even though I am 36, most of the people I meet would think that I am only 26. Unfortunately, I have been through all kinds of online dates in the last two and a half years. CEOs, doctors, lawyers, hedge fund mangers, business owners, professional athletes, actors, etc… When I am not interested in them, they work for the relationship day and night. When I am committed to them and act nice and devoted, they start to look elsewhere.  Anyway, in short, I need some serious help and hope to hear back from you soon.  Thank you.

Sincerely,

Catherine

Great letters. Important question. But first I want to start off with a hypothetical email from a man.

Dear Evan,

I’m what you’d call a “nice guy.” I make a good living, I’m pretty attractive, and I treat women well. In fact, all of my female friends comment on what a great catch I am. But then I see those same women dating jerks. Yet they would never consider going out with me! So what do you think? Am I cursed to be alone just because I know how to be kind to women? Isn’t being nice a good quality? What’s wrong with women these days? Please let me know.

Jason

It’s not BECAUSE a guy is “nice” that he’s not attracting women.

Men reading this might empathize with Jason. Women reading this may feel bad for him, yet also want to him to know that it’s not BECAUSE he’s nice that he’s not attracting women. It’s because he’s doesn’t have masculine energy. It’s because he constantly seeks the approval of others. It’s because he’s not sexually aggressive. It’s because he sacrifices his personal power to be conciliatory. These are common attributes of nice guys, yet nice guys think that women don’t like nice guys BECAUSE they’re nice.

Not true. Women want nice guys – nice guys with opinions who stand up for themselves and know how to take control.

Smart women are very much like nice guys.

“I’m intelligent, I’m direct, I’m successful, yet I can’t seem to find a quality guy who appreciates me.”

Men like smart women. I do. My male coaching clients do as well. So how is it that all these successful men are not connecting with all these successful women?…

Because there’s much more going on than merely a meeting of the minds.

What never occurs to some women is that:

They’re being evaluated on far more than their most “impressive” traits.

These traits sometimes come with a significant downside that is painful to acknowledge.

Take me, for example. I’m a reasonably bright guy. I make a fair living. I can write a decent joke. These are my good traits. But right behind my good traits are a series of bad traits. Anyone reading this blog can see that:

…Despite her impressive credentials – attractive, successful, intelligent – she might not be giving men what THEY WANT.

The flip side of being bright is being opinionated.

The flip side of being analytical is being difficult.

The flip side of being funny is being sarcastic.

The flip side of having moral clarity is being arrogant.

The flip side of being entrepreneurial is being a workaholic.

The flip side of being charismatic is being self-centered.

Again, not EVERY person who is bright is opinionated, and not EVERY person who is funny is sarcastic. But there’s enough anecdotal evidence to suggest a strong correlation. And I’m just talking about MYSELF here. And if my good qualities come with bad qualities, have you considered that yours might as well?

So when I hear a woman talk about how “direct” she is, the first thing I think is: “She’s tactless.” I wrote about this in an article for Match.com entitled “Are You Honest… Or Overboard?” Self-proclaimed “direct” people often tell their dates what they think about them even if the date didn’t ask. They often try to change partners who have no desire to be changed. When the partner pulls away because he doesn’t want to be with someone so critical, the “direct” person concludes that he couldn’t appreciate her “honesty.”

If this makes you feel personally indicted, welcome to the club. I’m a “direct” person as well. I write things that are, to say the least, provocative…and yet I always get surprised when I receive angry emails from readers. Hey, I’m just being honest over here! What are you getting so upset about? ;-)

See, there’s a price to pay for “being ourselves.” And if you’re going to express your opinion, you can’t be surprised if other people disagree with you. And if you’re trying to win each argument, you can’t be too shocked if he wants a woman who can be a little more acquiescent.

I don’t know Catherine and Michelle. But I do know that they are not alone. Maureen Dowd, the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the New York Times, wrote an entire book about this, called “Are Men Necessary?”. One of her main observations is that if an amazing woman like her could be single, there must be something wrong with men. What she doesn’t acknowledge is that despite her impressive credentials – attractive, successful, intelligent – she might not be giving men what THEY WANT.

Why don't men like smart strong successful womenWhen a man goes out with a woman, he’s not as concerned with whether she’s articulate and on track to make partner at the law firm. That’s what women want in men and they assume it’s of equal importance to them. It’s generally not. Men DO value intelligence, but they also want from their girlfriend what they CAN’T get from their business associates. Warmth, affection, nurturing, thoughtfulness. If he finds himself constantly hearing all the things he needs to change, he may just determine that he wants a bright woman who is less challenging. Not a Stepford Wife. Not a bimbo. Not a maid. Just someone who makes his life EASIER and more pleasant.

Listen, I’ve spent my life chasing after women I’ve intellectually admired. Invariably, all of them had major issues with me. They’re not wrong for seeing things I could change. But a huge reason I’m with my wife is because she spends her time loving and supporting me, not challenging me on everything from movie tickets, to travel plans, to wake up times. She’s easy, in the best sense of the word.

Men want from their girlfriend what they CAN’T get from their business associates: warmth, affection, nurturing…

This is a real dilemma. You’re undoubtedly a great catch. You can teach us a thing or two. You are a go-getter and worthy of everyone’s respect. But if that go-getter side ends up emasculating your man, or makes him feel insignificant, or second-guessed, he’s not really getting what he wants out of a partner. Men want to feel masculine. We want to feel needed. And with a generation of women who pose questions like “Are Men Necessary?” it’s pretty difficult for us to enjoy our role as men. This doesn’t mean you should play dumb, or be weak and needy, no more than the nice guy should start acting like a jackass. It might mean, however, turning off some of the things that make you “successful” at work. This is a bitter pill to swallow, perhaps even a double standard. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that “hard-driving, opinionated, and meticulous” are not on most men’s lists of ideal feminine traits.

As someone who considers himself smart and direct, take it from me – there’s nothing wrong with these qualities. But if it also coincides with being difficult, dating might be a long, tough road for you.

It certainly was for me.

P.S. Want better results in your love life? For a deeper understanding of what qualities you should be looking for in a man, I invite you to check out “Why He Disappeared – the Smart, Strong, Successful Woman’s Guide to Understanding Men and Keeping the Right One Hooked Forever”.

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Comments:

  1. 661
    huntera

    @654john,

    ….strong women are a turn-on!!…true, they won’t settle for an underpaid comedian…

  2. 662
    Jim

    We usually try to Avoid those type of women since they really think that their all that.

  3. 663
    kofybean

    studies have already shown that it isn’t men who don’t like smart/strong/successful women, it is smart/strong/successful women that don’t like most men.

    1. 663.1
      faded jade

      Most PEOPLE don’t “like” (are romantically attracted) to most PEOPLE of the opposite sex. That’s why most PEOPLE have a hard time finding a match. The people you like, don’t like you back, the people you don’t like, like you.

      I’m not attracted to MOST men, I am attracted to many, but not most, and that’s appropriate. It’s the same for men.

    2. 663.2
      Anna

      Which studies? May I have a link? How many participants were involved? Over what period of time? How the “likeness” was measured? Was it quantitative or qualitative analysis? What other studies were done? Don’t you think that most studies are contradictory, and nowadays you can find a study supporting any opinion? I’m single, because most people I meet are idiots. I don’t mate with women. I mate with men – and most of them are still idiots. And smart ones choose to be single, because they know better. Like me.

      1. 663.2.1
        hunter

        …”And smart ones choose to be single”……Some of us we are so powerful, that, we out power ourselves, don’t we?….

  4. 664
    hunter

    @658kofybean,

    ….I agree with your statement….some smart/strong/successful women, become manhaters…

  5. 665
    Anna

    This article sounds like load of crap. I am one of those women. I definitely am not going to support anyone, period. I am not going to be anyone’s mom, psychologist, nurse, cook, nanny or other stuff. Women usually want men when they feel weak or insecure. I was like that before. I have dated over 100 men. Slept with over 500 men. Was married twice. And had a cohabitant, with which I had a child once. At this point I decided that I’ve seen it all, and I am much better on my own. Men require too much sacrifice, and do not give as much back. That’s a fact of life. Since I am not a sacrificial piece, I rather be alone.

  6. 666
    hunter

    @anna#660,
    …dated over 100 men?…I don’t think this article applies to you…

  7. 667
    BK

    “Men want from their girlfriend what they CAN’T get from their business associates: warmth, affection, nurturing…”
    Its wrong how characteristics such as “warmth/affection/nurturing” are portrayed as “womanly” (therefore associated with an ideal “girlfriend”) but direct/honesty/assertiveness is labelled as being of the business-world and thus “masculine” (and undesired in females). We need to stop labeling and judging people.
    What happens if you are a male who naturally happens to have a nurturing warm personality? gender labels (such as those espoused in this article) will end up pressuring the guy to play a more “masculine” image…what happens if you are a direct/assertive woman? you end up having to pretend and play the “feminine” role…this is utter bullshit and ends up wasting everyone’s time and energy.
    We are all unique individuals with various traits…we dont need to label these traits as being typically “male” or “female” because it limits our ability to be our true selves.
    If you are an assertive and independent woman and some fucking guy decides that it’s not “feminine” enough for him… so-be-it. You need to find someone who is intelligent and secure enough to have his own opinions about people and not be swayed by what society tells him as being “correct”. And if you cant find someone, that’s o.k. there’s nothing wrong with being single.
    The same goes for men too. If you are a nice guy who is emotional/nurturing, you should feel free to be yourself. Dont change because some bitch rejects you based on this…there’s someone out there that can accept you for who you are…someone who can see beyond gender labels.
    At the end of the day, the world doesnt revolve around finding a partner. If you cant find someone, its not the end of the world. Life goes on.
     

    1. 667.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Okay, I’ll take the bait, BK.

      1. What part of ““Men want from their girlfriend what they CAN’T get from their business associates: warmth, affection, nurturing…” do you disagree with? I’ve never met a guy who said “I would only be happier if I had a harder-edged girlfriend”. Does that mean women shouldn’t be direct, honest or assertive? No. But those aren’t the primary reasons that men choose women. It’s for bringing something to the table that he doesn’t have himself.

      2. I am a guy who has a natural nurturing warm personality. I have never really changed due to societal pressure. Direct/assertive women like you don’t have to change either. But, as the article points out, you may have a harder time finding a guy who values your directness as much as you value it. That is literally all I said. Not that you’re wrong. Not that you have to be a Stepford Wife. Only that if you have the same personality as I do, as a woman, you may have a hard time connecting with men. Is that untrue?

      3. Of course it’s okay to be single. Of course it’s okay to buck gender stereotypes (which are real). I’m only pointing out the consequences of being that way. If you’re a guy with no masculine energy – no confidence to ask women out, make the first move, or make a concerted effort to properly court a woman – you’re gonna have a tough time in dating. Similarly, if you’re a woman with no feminine energy – no softness, warmth, nurturing, affection – you’re gonna have a tough time finding men. You can only choose from the pool of men who don’t value those traits, which is inherently smaller. And if you remain single, that’s your prerogative. No judgment here.

      So what did I say that you disagree with?

      1. 667.1.1
        BK

        1.Men shouldn’t choose a partner based on characteristics “he doesn’t have himself”. If you are too assertive and direct (whether youre a male or female) without any nurturing/warmth, then its something you must work on within yourself. Both men/women should strive to have balanced characteristics irrespective of what society deems as being “male” or “female”.

        I disagree with these gender labels because it makes people less inclined to work on themselves as human beings.

        If you are an overly aggressive male with no nurturing/warm characteristics, you should strive to develop these qualities within yourself.
        When we label nurturing and warmth as being female qualities, it gives males an excuse not to develop these qualities.

        2. It’s true. But that’s why I also said that it’s fine to be single. You shouldn’t change yourself in accordance with social norms just to find a partner.

        My point was that we should move on from gender norms which pressure people into conforming to certain ideals.

        I never accused you of doing anything. I just said what I thought needs improving in society. We need to stop labelling universal human traits as being “masculine” or “feminine” because it does more harm than good.

        3. Yes you mention the consequences of gender stereotypes but someone still needs to point out whether or not the stereotype is harmful.

        1. Evan Marc Katz

          Then I guess all we disagree on, BK, is the harmfulness of giving anything a label. I’m pretty liberal, but I’m not going to be afraid to use stereotypes and generalizations to teach people concepts. Imagine that you can’t say anything about anyone because there are no patterns, no stereotypes, no differences between people. Only individuals. Do you really think that there are no differences between men and women? Or that there shouldn’t be? Even if we’re 90% the same, the 10% is what makes life interesting, and is why I have this career. Men and women are equal, but they are not the same.

        2. BK

          “Do you really think that there are no differences between men and women? Or that there shouldn’t be? ”
          I said that all humans are different/unique individuals. Everyone is different. therefore labelling certain characteristics as “feminine” or “masculine” is harmful. It prevents ppl from truly expressing themselves.
          “Men and women are equal, but they are not the same.”
          All humans are equal but they are not the same. Every individual has a unique personality.
          i dont think what you posted was wrong. i simply wanted to say that we shouldn’t label certain personality traits as being “masculine” or “feminine”

    2. 667.2
      Vivian

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. 

  8. 668
    bruno

    I love smart successful women. OMG, someone who can manage their world and has it together is a winner like me. And I want to be around winners. I only fear being sucked dry by loser mentalities.

  9. 669
    bruno

    Right. If a women or man wants to be the one in control, then I need to count the cost of my lost freedom. If I give up my personal power their must be a paycheck in the works. Anyone who doesn’t get this is bamboozled. Why would I give up something for free? I am either a maverick or a leader, I follow those who truly have something worthy to offer, and they are far and few between the masses who think they are so hot and valuable. I avoid stupid people with attitudes of grandure.

      1. 669.1.1
        Peter 51

        Touché!

      2. 669.1.2
        Henriette

        Bwahahaha!

  10. 670
    Ben

    I, for one, LOVE women who are strong, independent, LEADERS!  I LOVE IT… I am the same way myself and find that SO SEXY and not in the least intimidating.  A strong woman who can say NO, stand up for herself, who knows what she wants (me!) and lets me know it… nothing is sexier!
     
    I HATE DISRESPECT, however.  That is my issue, in a nutshell.  I have met and dated (not long!) women who seem to have a big RESPECT issue.  What is respect?  Treating another with consideration!  Following up, doing what you say you are going to do, letting another know when plans change, etc…  I suppose that what constitutes respect is different based on upbringing and culture (I live in Europe, though I am American, so I see a whole different side to that culture coin here!).  The bottom line is this: many women I’ve met who call themselves strong are simply disrespectful.  That is the turn off.

  11. 671
    will

    Women are simply not designed to fill a masculine role.   The only reasons they are in these roles in business is because of legislation that demanded their participation.    All the transfer payments from government support women at the lower economic levels, and even in divorce, women generally receive preferential treatment financially.   These legislative changes have very purposely directed a rift between men and women in relationships, and both suffer.   This is all by design.   If men across all socio economic classes were properly supported (nurtured by true females) by their women, we would have a constantly shifting social system.   The elite of this country for decades have not wanted this, so everything from the right to vote for women to the current economic legislations have been engineered to eradicate this from the system.   Think about how successful and powerful men would be and how happy and satisfied women would be if we didn’t need to spend time on these message boards trying to change the current disempowering state of men’s and women’s bastardized roles and instead were able to properly focus our natural power.    Small corporations and business run by men would be infringing upon the financial territory of the large corporations, there would be numerous, consistent, ever changing business reversals. 
    Folks, the elite do not want that.  They want to protect their power.  So they gave women the right to vote so they could collect more tax revenue, took women out of the home so the state could raise their children, separated families and create discord that results in columns like this…all for economic and power consolidation and gain.
    A woman’s role, genetically, is to nuture and support her man’s goals.   He is the masculine energy.  When she assumes it her life is full of frustration because real men have zero interest past the first few sexual flings.   The “sex in the city (career whole)” model, again created and programmed by the media, has been nothing but an efficiency downgrade for both sexes in all but the highest, elite circles,  where the traditional roles still apply and work quite effectively, as they have for centuries.
    If you are a man and you give any interest to women of this sort, you perpetuate the dilemma.   If you are a woman and you don’t realize what has happened and you don’t revert back to your femininity, you insure your lifelong frustration with men, because the truly masculine man will find you another roadblock to his true place in life.
    This is, quite simply, the truth.

    1. 671.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Thanks for the moronic/misogynistic statement of the day, Will. Women are equal to men. They can and should be allowed to do whatever they want. This blog post is about the unintended consequences of those changes; it is not to say that women genetically are supporters and men are naturally powerful. You blame the elite liberal media for changes. I blame people like you for being neanderthals – for creating some straw man argument against liberals that’s absurd, and for thinking that a woman’s place is in the home, exclusively.

  12. 672
    Melissa

    I did a Google search that asked the question:
    “How come I’m a successful, smart, and emotionally intelligent man and finding my equal is so hard?”  I was hoping to find a life coach for these millions of men available to us that needed coaching. Guess what it doesn’t exist? There are not waves of successful, grounded, manly, emotionally intelligent men working hard to grow themselves to find their equal.

    This is a systemic societal “values” rearing issue in the USA. Woman if you want more emotionally intelligent, successful, smart men that value you: Start raising boys that way. Our society needs to define new values that embrace manhood. We need to rear our boys to be well-developed (mature) spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally. When a man is confident and secure in his ability to be powerful in the world he values woman like us. When a man is lopsided in his wheel of house of life self-confidence he looks for the woman that fills that insecurity slot and guess what You, the successful, smart, emotionally intelligent woman, are not on the list.

    Thank you – Melissa
    PS. There are men out there that are wholesome but they are the exception and not the rule. You can thank his mom and maybe his dad for that.

  13. 673
    liviu

    Why Don’t Men Like Smart, Strong, Successful Women?
    Smart, Strong, Successful Women are men with women bodies.
     
     

  14. 674
    Bastet

    For the most part I agree with what you’ve said here. Everyone has positive and negative qualities and honest self-assessment worh a genuine desire to develop weaker areas is a wonderful thing. 
     
    There are two faults with your response in my opinion. The first is assuming that any woman who is successful and single us also unfeminine in her dating life. That’s quite an assumption.  The second is the word, ‘emasculate’. The word emasculate/d in reality means, ‘I don’t feel like a manand it’s your fault’. There is no equivalent word for the same feeling in a woman. If there was it would look like, ‘effiminate’. But as it happens this is another slight on a man. This is the false language of blame.

  15. 675
    Joe Ann Davis

    As a very talent and creative individual, I’ve found that men don’t want a woman with book smarts, looks, and most importantly, have something going for yourself.  I’ve been told, that I am too head strong. Yet, I find favor in the lesser educated category of men.  Those who works on garbage trucks, construction, carpentry, electrical, etc.  They seem to appreciate a smart, intelligent woman much more.  “A woman who knows what she wants and goes after it: is what they SAY.  Well, I am a woman, who’d like to have a husband some day, not to compete with, but to share touching, kissing, smooching, patting, cuddling with.  As we all know “opposite is the track.”  I find favor being in love with a man who is proud to have me as his “educated QUEEN.”  I am worth it.  Most of the time we look for LOVE in all the WRONG places!
     

    1. 675.1
      hunter

      ….Joe Ann Davis,
      I think you are headed in the right direction…..

  16. 676
    John Wayne

    @will
    This man speaks the truth. I am baffled women think I would look for masculine values in them when searching for a partner. If I valued their masculine qualities above all else why not just be gay and get the real thing? A woman cannot fulfill the role of a man. Best samples I’ve seen of that is my time in the military. The worst soldiers were mostly women, probably because we have to lower standards just to get most of them in in the first place. There were some good ones but the good just didn’t out weigh the bad. Women in combat were more often then not a liabilty rather than an asset.

  17. 677
    ysil meis

    is that because men want women to be subservient to them? thats the basis of patriarchy, exactly that type of relationship, so men are allow to be funny and women not, because men might run from them, that doesnt work for me, u are asking us to fill a motherly type that only serve to let men dominate us, domination is not love, if men are not capable of loving then I want nothing to do with them, domination is NOT love and being controlling does NOT equal to being loving, if he cant accept me, good bye, I rather be a successful, smart, driven woman than a domestic violence victim, and btw I EXPECT MEN TO BE NURTURING TOO, else why would I ever want to be with a man? Actually thats why i have even moved on from male friendships, lack of nurturing and emotional support, IF THEY DONT GIVE IT, DONT WAIT 4 IT THEN !!

  18. 678
    Jane

    If a guy doesn’t like you because you challenge him, he isn’t the right man for you, you’ll know when he is because you’ll respect his intelligence and insight, so if you find yourself challenging his opinions and ideas often- it’s probably because he’s an idiot. Often guys bail when they realize your better than them (but you’ll often hear them refer to it as emasculating- which is just a smoke screen word trying to place blame on you. If they stay and are difficult and argumentative it’s because they are trying to prove they are better than you to themselves. Best to wait it out until you find a guy you respect and he won’t feel threatened because you won’t feel the need to challenge him or question him, because he’ll be the kind of man that is reliable in thought and action.

  19. 679
    Vivian

    This is a rather misinformed article. I don’t see how the undesirable personality traits mentioned in this article should be gendered at all — being difficult and overly critical, for instance, is an undesirable trait  for BOTH men and women. Likewise, being easy-going is desirable and beneficial in relationships, whether you’re male or female. Gender should be entirely irrelevant. 
    Indeed, on that front, it just seems as if the author of this article — while vehemently denying that he’s telling women to “dumb themselves down” for a man — is doing EXACTLY that, albeit covertly. The article tells women to “leave some of the traits which make them successful at work” behind in the workplace (I would assume these traits to be something along the lines of being critical and antagonistic); if so, this advice should apply to men as well — men should also “leave some of the traits which make them successful at work” behind in the workplace, not only women. 
    By telling only women — and not men — to “hide” these traits and behaviors, Evan is clearly trying to tell us that he thinks women should defer to their boyfriend/husband, and let him overshadow her (because, golly, men just need to be “masculine”, right?  [Read: dominate and control their girlfriend/wife]). 
    Despite his attempt to deny it, Evan is clearly reiterating the same old sexist tripe — that women and men should behave differently in relationships, and that only women should be conscious about deferring to her male partner. This is essentially what his article says. Well, you’re wrong, Evan — it is not a “harmless double standard” you’re advocating: it’s classic misogyny, plain and simple. 

    1. 679.1
      RustyLH

      You couldn’t be more wrong. First, men were told, and are still told to leave their work self at work. While I was in the military, this was just the beginning of what we were told near the end of every deployment. We were also made aware of the fact that we needed to ease back into the role of father, and yes, leader of that family, because in his absence, the wife took on those duties and may resent him just stepping in and taking control.

      Oh, I am sure that just rankled your feathers to hear that some men are actually the leaders of their family. Well, first understand that being the leader does not mean that he is allowed to be a tyrant, or your boss. Being a leader is more subtle. Think of it as being the Captain of a pirate ship. Unknown to many people, the Captains were almost always elected. The pirates chose who they thought would be a good leader. If he turned out not to be a good leader, it usually ended in his death.

      A marriage works best that way also. if the man is a good man, the woman would be advised to simply recognize him as the leader of the family. This does not mean he gets to act like a king on his throne giving orders and making demands. Just like the pirate ship, if the Captain was simply abusive with his power, he wasn’t going to be the leader very long. The advice to you is this..like t or not, the man is likely to see his role as that of the leader. If you buck him on that at every turn..just because it rankles your feathers…your marriage won’t be a happy one.

      You look into the past and see something ugly. I see my grandparents, who loved each other dearly, and my Grandfather was a good man. He did not “rule the roost,” but he was the leader. Often, my grandmother was the one “ruling” things, but she often went overboard, or painted herself into a corner. For instance, the whole reason we visited them 3 hours away one weekend was so that they could take us to a Disney movie that was premiering. My grandmother insisted that if we did not finish everything on our plate, we could not go. Well, first that was bad leadership..she set up a situation that could go wrong. And, it did. I got seconds, but then couldn’t finish them. She absolutely hate that, having lived through the depression. So he was insisting that I could not go. Informed me that I was not going. My grandfather stepped in and let her know that he would handle things. She sputtered for a second, but he said, ( I can still remember it to this day.) he said, “Loretta, I said I would handle it, now stop worrying about this and get the other kids ready to go.” Then he came to me and said, loud enough for my grandmother to hear, “Tell you what, if you can eat one more bite for your grandmother, you can go. Can you do that?” Now, my stomach was hurting…and I had a half of a plate of food to go. No way I could eat all of it. Put it down to loving grandma’s cooking more than there was room in my stomach. But yeah, anyone can force on more bite, and he knew that. So what he did was diffuse the situation, but did so in a way that allowed my grandmother to save some face. I did not get to walk away from the table right away…I had to take one more bite for grandma. He was a great leader and my grandmother loved him for it. When he died, it took the life right out of her.

      i think we men understand this relationship better than many women today. Think of it as Captain Kirk and Spock. Now, Spock was clearly smarter in many ways than Kirk. But, not in all ways. Spock however respected the Captain as a leader and did not question him as a leader, but respect went both ways. If Spock spoke, Kirk listened.

      I know a marriage counselor…he was mine in fact. he told me that relationship is like a ship…somebody has to have the helm. One person. That doesn’t mean he just ignores everybody else and steers where he wants to. He would be well advised to listen to the navigation officer. He said that in his experience, advocating for total democracy in a relationship was just asking for that relationship to fail. However, he sad that they don’t insist on one person or the other having the helm. That’s right, in some cases, it is the woman who will take the helm…but if that is what she wants, she better find a beta male…a man who is comfortable letting her lead. An Alpha male is never going to be comfortable doing so. So you have a choice…let the man lead, or find a beta male. This is like choosing to breathe. We can rage at the fact that we must have oxygen to live, bu there it is. You have to have it…not two ways about it. Throwing a temper tantrum and holding your breath isn’t going to get you anywhere. Better to just accept the reality that this is just the way it is, and deal with it. Same for men. You want an Alpha male…you will HAVE TO let him lead. If you don’t, you will have a relationship that goes nowhere but a quick ending. Want to be the leader? Then find a beta male. Simple as that. You can’t have it both ways. The smart women learned long ago that they actually have better relationships when they just accept that. See, even a good man…a good leader, may not react well to constantly being challenged. He might even start to resemble a boss or tyrant…why? Because he finds himself caught in a power struggle he doesn’t want. So he tries to establish his authority. If he’s not challenged, he simply reverts to being a good leader.

      If you do grant that role to a man and he turns out to not be a good leader..leave…find a man who is a good leader. Simple as that.

      1. 679.1.1
        RustyLH

        How about not approving the one above and use this corrected one instead. Too may typos in the one above.

        You couldn’t be more wrong. First, men were told, and are still told to leave their work self at work. While I was in the military, this was just the beginning of what we were told near the end of every deployment. We were also made aware of the fact that we needed to ease back into the role of father, and yes, leader of that family, because in his absence, the wife took on those duties and may resent him just stepping in and taking control.

        Oh, I am sure that just rankled your feathers to hear that some men are actually the leaders of their family. Well, first understand that being the leader does not mean that he is allowed to be a tyrant, or your boss. Being a leader is more subtle. Think of it as being the Captain of a pirate ship. Unknown to many people, the Captains were almost always elected. The pirates chose who they thought would be a good leader. If he turned out not to be a good leader, it usually ended in his death.

        A marriage works best that way also. if the man is a good man, the woman would be advised to simply recognize him as the leader of the family. This does not mean he gets to act like a king on his throne giving orders and making demands. Just like the pirate ship, if the Captain was simply abusive with his power, he wasn’t going to be the leader very long. The advice to you is this..like it or not, the man is likely to see his role as that of the leader. If you buck him on that at every turn..just because it rankles your feathers…your marriage won’t be a happy one.

        You look into the past and see something ugly. I see my grandparents, who loved each other dearly, and my Grandfather was a good man. He did not “rule the roost,” but he was the leader. Often, my grandmother was the one “ruling” things, but she often went overboard, or painted herself into a corner. For instance, the whole reason we visited them 3 hours away, one weekend, was so that they could take us to a Disney movie that was premiering. My grandmother insisted that if we did not finish everything on our plate, we could not go. Well, first that was bad leadership..she set up a situation that could go wrong. And, it did. I got seconds, but then couldn’t finish them. She absolutely hated that, having lived through the depression. So she was insisting that I could not go. My grandfather stepped in and let her know that he would handle things. She sputtered for a second, but he said, ( I can still remember it to this day.) he said, “Loretta, I said I would handle it, now stop worrying about this and get the other kids ready to go.” he said it sternly, but never yelled. Then he came to me and said, loud enough for my grandmother to hear, “Tell you what, if you can eat one more bite for your grandmother, you can go. Can you do that?” Now, my stomach was hurting…and I had a half of a plate of food to go. No way I could eat all of it. Put it down to loving grandma’s cooking more than there was room in my stomach. But yeah, anyone can force one more bite, and he knew that. So what he did was diffuse the situation in a way that allowed my grandmother to save some face. I did not get to walk away from the table right away…I had to take one more bite for grandma. He was a great leader and my grandmother loved him for it. When he died, she missed him terribly.

        I think we men understand this relationship better than many women do today. Think of it as Captain Kirk and Spock. Now, Spock was clearly smarter in many ways than Kirk. But, not in all ways. Spock however respected the Captain as a leader and did not question him as a leader, but respect went both ways. If Spock spoke, Kirk listened. As a result, they were an effective team. If you say Spock, I think Kirk. If you say Kirk, I think Spock. You don’t think about one without thinking of the other.

        I know a marriage counselor…he was mine in fact. He told me that a relationship is like a ship…somebody has to have the helm. One person. That doesn’t mean he just ignores everybody else and steers where he wants to. He would be well advised to listen to the navigation officer. He said that in his experience, advocating for total democracy in a relationship was just asking for that relationship to fail. However, he said that they don’t insist on one person or the other having the helm. That’s right, in some cases, it is the woman who will take the helm…but if that is what she wants, she better find a beta male…a man who is comfortable letting her lead, because he is not a leader himself, or doesn’t feel comfortable leading. An Alpha male is never going to be comfortable doing so. So you have a choice…let the man lead, or find a beta male. This is like choosing to breathe. We can rage at the fact that we must have oxygen to live, but there it is..you have to have it…no two ways about it. Throwing a temper tantrum and holding your breath isn’t going to get you anywhere. Better to just accept the reality that this is just the way it is, and deal with it. Same for men. You want an Alpha male…you will HAVE TO let him lead. If you don’t, you will have a relationship that is filled with strife and power struggles, and in the end, resentment.. Want to be the leader? Then find a beta male. Simple as that. You can’t have it both ways. The smart women learned long ago that they actually have better relationships when they just accept that. See, even a good man…a good leader, may not react well to constantly being challenged. He might even start to resemble a boss or tyrant…why? Because he finds himself caught in a power struggle he doesn’t want. So he tries to establish his authority. If he’s not challenged, he simply reverts to being a good leader.

        If you do grant that role to a man and he turns out to not be a good leader..leave…find a man who is a good leader. Simple as that.

  20. 680
    LAX

    Hey,
    Strangely I do not agree with you at all (!).
    I tend to like outspoken, intelligent/smart, succesful women who are not afraid to put a man in his place and don’t need to be taken care of.
    I mean, what am I? – A caretaker? A father/brother (instead of a boyfriend)? A provider? (the last thing is a nightmare of mine – it’s the last role I ever want to play, that’s why I would never pay fully for the first date for example (I value independence in women as one of the most important aspects))
    NO:
    I am a PARTNER, an EQUAL (and I am looking for my opposite number – not a child (note: I don’t want real children either…maybe that ties into this?) etc.) not somebody that needs me like they need air to breath (I want to be appreciated, yes (who doesn’t?), but used as a sort of replacement parent? – No, nay, never!)
    greetings LAX
    ps: Question for you: Do you feel intimidated by successfull women (does it threaten your masculinity, if a women does not need you? – Hell, that makes her even sexier IMO, because getting her is even harder this way, because she can cope on her own – so you need to convince her that it is good for her to have you!)?

    1. 680.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Not sure you’re talking to me, LAX, but I’m not remotely intimidated by smart, strong, successful women. They’re my clients. I just think that, as the post suggests, the qualities that come with most smart, strong, successful women (busy, critical, difficult) are not the ones that I would necessarily choose in my own relationship. I bring enough of that masculine energy to the table, thanks.

  21. 681
    RustyLH

    @EMK

    “This doesn’t mean you should play dumb, or be weak and needy, no more than the nice guy should start acting like a jackass. It might mean, however, turning off some of the things that make you “successful” at work. This is a bitter pill to swallow, perhaps even a double standard.”

    I don’t think it’s a double standard at all. Imagine a very successful Marine Drill Instructor. Show me a woman that would enjoy being his wife if he goes home and acts like a Marine Drill Instructor, barking orders at her, calling her names when she doesn’t do something to his standards, etc… Many men work in very aggressive and hostile environments. Many men work in environments where direct an unflinching honesty are required. Often these men will have difficulty maintaining relationships if they can’t be a different version of themselves at home.

    If a woman is powerful at work, ordering men around, being direct and unflinchingly honest about the man’s shortcomings at work, and she wants to be this way at home, she better find a beta-male. Maybe a younger man who is comfortable not being an Alpha-male. Maybe a man who has had his masculine bits surgically removed.

    You did nail it right on the head. I’ve long understood that women often have the who concept of being strong all wrong…so do some men. For instance, not many years ago these t-shirts were popular among young women that said 51% B_tch/49% Princess (or Angel). I have noticed since then that many women equate being honest but rude with being strong.

  22. 682
    Tyler

    I came here by accident after doing a search of “am I being too pushy professionally” but stumbled into it and was offended by what I saw. Typical stuff, some professional blogger spouting conventional knowledge that is just nice enough to be “sympathetic” and just savage enough to be “typical.”
    Look, the fact is that all this stupid shit is socially produced. Women have just begun to be real players, nearly equals (see forbes 500 top CEOs)  in the marketplace only in the last few decades. The marketplace values talent, and our culture of business values directness, strength, indomitability, etc. Thus, intelligent women, who prefer the marketplace to any bullshit gender role they would otherwise be assigned to, develop these talents that allow them to succeed in a market that values them. If the typical domestic life were any more preferable to the marketplace, you’d see more women heading there, developing skills that would make them successful in that marketplace (and it is a marketplace). The problem isn’t that a relationship can’t handle two big brains, rather, it’s that careers are more rewarding than sexual relationships for those who can attain them (see smart women), and thus the skills that get better results on the job (individualism, hardheadedness, entrepreneurialism) tend to be more developed than the skills that work better for a relationship (compromise, mutual understanding, compassion). 
    So as a response to this problem, we have all these “gurus” like Evan here telling women that they need to develop two sets of skills, one for the marketplace and one for the relationship. That’s not only unfair, it’s untrue. In fact, what we need to do is eliminate the inequality of reward between the skills that foster relationships and the skills that make results in the marketplace. And this is not to say that once we do this, women will return to the home. This sort of gender privilege is precisely the problem. Rather, Men need to develop the skills necessary to handle relationships just as much as women do. Because the marketplace doesn’t give a shit if you’re a man or a woman, only people do. So until we do those two things, rather than expect each other to conform to whatever norms the majority decides are correct, you’re all going to have a very unhappy, sexless life full of disappointment and resentment. 

    1. 682.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Oh, Tyler. If you are one of those people who think there are absolutely no distinctions between behavior at work and love, and no distinctions between men and women, I won’t attempt to convince you. My sentiments, of course, is that there are, and that’s why people struggle in relationships. The fact that I’m in business for 11 years and have helped many thousands of people is a good indication that I’m onto something.

      1. 682.1.1
        RustyLH

        You are also backed up by a lot of research that proves these things.

    2. 682.2
      RustyLH

      Tyler, ever see Heartbreak Ridge? Clint Eastwood’s character had problems with relationships because what made him great at his job did not work for a relationship. You act as if this is some kind of new made up advice. Wrong. This is old advice that has been given to many men, and it has been dusted off and is now being given to women. The reason is in your post…women are now moving into the corporate world like never before and are learning the same skills that made men successful at those jobs. So don’t you think it stands to reason that the advice that has been given to many man would now also apply to women in the same position?

      Ask yourself a question…how long would a Marine Drill Sergeant be married if he went home and acted at home just like he does at the Base? Not long, right? Would he even find anyone to marry him is the real question, and the answer to that is not likely.

  23. 683
    Lidiflyful

    Jeez! 
    Thus article sent my head spinning! and the worse part it is most probably true…all I kept hearing (again) is about what the MAN wants…this subordinate creature…and fair enough, we want masculine ones…I get it I get it…but we have more of a right to ask for masculinity for several reasons…(Please note this is down to my own experience)
    1) men…Pull your finger out …too long have women had to take the back seat, we are more willing (and have been) to change our own lives to fit around yours this has included moves and job changes which have mostly left me either broke or devastated after you get bored and run off.
    2)…you guys are notorious for getting bored and running off…not that I am not sexy or attractive or whatever, guys seem to be very spontaneous and likr to “jump ship” for some bew half baked venture with little to no regard for anyone else (see above also)

    So as women we have had to learn to fend for ourselves and have out own successes because guess what…we are the ones left with the kids! so excuse me if I am not ‘tactful’ do not play the ‘game’ of some purring and doting devil woman (aww she so sexy..and she gives me all the fuss in the world!)…I just dont have the time…

    I do have the time abd will be all of those thinfs if you prive it me that your worth it (work hard and not run off)…for some reason this is a big ask for men, even though they do not hesitate to ask us to be everything they want…at our own personal risk.

    again thats my own personal experience x
     

  24. 684
    RustyLH

    I was looking at this topic on my phone while at the hospital.  Has an appt with the DR.  So, I started talking with this man who was a retired Navy Captain.  He admitted that he had held off getting married but that when he did, he married a woman 17 years younger.  He said that while he was single he had dated both women his age, women much younger and women much older.  He asked if I want to know what he had learned from all of that.  I told him, “sure.”
    He said that over all, women seemed to not understand that it isn’t all about them.  He said that they didn’t seem to understand that there is a trade off, that you give to receive.  He said that his current wife is a rare exception in his experience.
    He said, here is the deal…men understand that if they want a younger woman, there is a cost involved.  In most cases she is looking for security and material gain.  But often, the younger woman will resent having to live up to her end of the bargain and that is sex and loving companionship.  He said that his experience was that you could easily spot the true gold diggers easily because they really stretched the boundaries here, always wanting a lot materially but really resisting being the loving companion and sexual woman the man wanted.
    He said that on the opposite side, many of the older women seemed to resent that the trade off still worked the same way but with a twist.  The younger man is less interested in security and much more interested in sex.  He is aware of the exchange system on the opposite situation, and expects it to be consistent on this end.  He wants sex and material gain.  But he said that once again women resent having to live up to their end of the bargain.  Their attitude is that they are still the woman.  They think in terms of being 22 years old when men would give up a lot to have sex with her.  They don’t understand that this is no longer the case.
    He said that the man will often have the attitude that what’s mine is yours, but women rarely display that sort of benevolence in a relationship.
    I think he’s onto something.  When I was younger, I remember many women talking about pre-nups as being very unromantic, but today, now that women actually have assets and often actually have more than the man, many think nothing of stating they will want a pre-nup.

  25. 685
    tamara

    Smart successful women have the world at their feet, if they also cultivate a nice personality and attractive appearance to go along with it. Evan’s spot-on here; these women who are finding rships difficult probably have some bad/unlikable traits that go along with their being smart/successful. Otherwise, how is a woman having a good job and good income a Disadvantage in dating?? It doesn’t make sense. U should be in a stronger position than the avg woman in dating; do u think all of us less successful women find it pleasant/easy to tell guys we meet that we’re in relatively low-level work? Especially if you’re talking to a guy who got a good uni degree and has a good job? Grrr.

    I’m glad blogs like this remind women that being smart/strong/successful does not make them unattractive, it’s just that sometimes they tend to correlate to certain traits that seem less attractive. Being smart/strong/successful makes u more attractive, plus of course they can make your life more full and rewarding. For the past few yrs I kinda got derailed from the path I was on; then I recently found out my ex-classmate (who was smarter than me but not wayy smarter) is doing her PhD in one of the Big 3 universities in algebra topology (I don’t even know what that is). Argh so envious–she’s only in her mid-20s! I have no idea if she has a bf, but I’m pretty sure that when she wants one, she’ll have one. Being brilliant, being logical, being able to focus on a goal etc–all these traits of smart successful women should bode well for your ability to develop rships.

    If I have a daughter, I’m definitely gonna encourage her to be smart/strong (whether she wants academic/job success is up to her), and I know men will like those traits in her but that’s not even the focus. Just like how I want her to be compassionate and sweet, men will like it but again tt’s not what’s most impt. There was a Marilyn quote where she said “I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful”. I think the desire to be the best u can be just for the sake of it–that’s smthg I like to see. I understand this is a Dating blog, but I hope women don’t change their behavior solely to attract a man, but they change because they think it makes them better pple. 

    1. 685.1
      hunter

      tamara,

      …I like your selection/composition of words….. “these women who are finding r’ships difficult  probably have some bad unlikeable traits that go along with their being smart/successful…”……hhhmmmhh……

  26. 686
    daniela

    what makes you think this woman has any of those negative (or potentially negative) attributes you ascribe to her? is there something in her letter to this effect? or is it your own assumptions. m a doctor and one thing do see is scores of different people. some women have all of these negative attributes and yet never had a problem finding a man.  personally am tactful enough, challenge unless this is a matter of discuSsion and never, ever, criticize anyone care to see again in whatever way shape or form. have been described as very loving and affectionate by the first guy datted. cannot find a man, anever want to see anyone meet beyond the first date, and only endure them for the first date bc too nice to rudely walk away after 5minutes. no one is attractive, no one connects well with me, or both. yet it is certainly not bc of any of these negatives attributes you mention. so maybe it s best to stop promoting the old tired stereotypes. the world is vastly more complicated.

  27. 687
    Malcolm

    All of this makes me very grateful . . . that I’m not a smart, strong, successful Woman.

    1. 687.1
      hunter

      malcolm,

      ………..daniela does say “no one is attractive, no one connects well with me,”….I am puzzled…..

       

  28. 688
    Aleisha

    Thanks for writing this. It’s helped me heaps I thought I scared men away because I was too independent because I dont need a man to take care of me or bank roll me, I just wanted someone to spend my life with. Ive been told by men I am intimidating , reading your comment about the flip side of being direct , I found that I may have developed a bad attitude toward men after a long history of  abusive relationships and this has made me a bit arrogant. Thanks again for writing this :) 

  29. 689
    Alicia

    It’s how women and men were created to be. Women need love, men need respect- and being happily married, I can say I completely understand this concept now, whereas I didn’t fully understand before. In Genesis, work is given to Adam as a responsibility from God because of his sin. And we all know what happened to Eve… This gives us a clear picture of what God intended marriage to be before the fall and then after the fall. And, for the record, you can be smart, strong and successful and run a household. If you read Proverbs 31, that’s exactly what it’s talking about. Men need women to be their help-meet (their confidant, secret-keeper, support system, etc.). It’s how they were created. They NEED someone to be there for them, supporting them. Men need a wife for so many things that I think have become underestimated with the past couple of generations. I consider it an honor that my husband chose me to be his wife, the future mother of his children, his help-meet. It’s such a blessing for me to find ways throughout the day that I can better bless him when he comes home from a stressful day at work. And when I see his sweet smile as he walks in the door, leaves his emotional baggage from work outside with the dog and kisses me “Hello again,” it all makes sense to me… I don’t think that we should underestimate the natural powers a woman has been gifted from the beginning of time. With a pretty smile we can send a man’s head spinning. Proverbs 15:13 says “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance.” Happy wives make their husbands want them even more…  It makes him a better listener, lover and it makes him want to do more things for us when we ask. My husband even surprises me with dates and sweet little things to show me how much he appreciates my effort. I know my husband wants to spend more time with me when I am being thankful and appreciative of him. Love is a gift and just like you would thank a friend for a gift, you should thank the man in your life for loving you and wanting to take care of you, despite all of your flaws and imperfections that you KNOW he has seen and experienced. You should be grateful that he was able to look past them at all the wonderful things that make you your beautiful self. If you are, he will be too. Marriage is said to be a perfect exchange of power. Men are created to be stronger and women weaker. It’s a simple fact. But my husband recently spoke at his brother’s wedding and said it so clearly: When a man and a woman love each other there is a perfect exchange of power- a woman becomes her man’s biggest weakness and a man becomes his woman’s greatest strength. I have found this to be so completely true in my marriage. My husband makes me stronger and smarter every single day and I do the same for him. Iron will always sharpen iron and men and women, despite their differences, are created to do the same. Our marriage is about being a team, celebrating in the big and small victories, and helping each other along on a daily basis. And that is how it should be!

  30. 690
    penelope

    Women are sometimes conditioned to carry masculine traits – just like me, my father’s family wouldnt want me to born as a girl (yes, our family is kind of crazy) and my father just wouldnt or simply couldnt treat me as a woman ever since. Like he wants me to help me in reparation works (though I have an older brother), be very competent and practical minded and always mime how he thinks. This has been a struggle for me and now I recently realised that although being his kind of perfect girl is a success for him, and by some work experience I can tell that I can easily work my way up and i am a kind of leader type , I am having hard time to show men that although i am passionate about what I consider to be right or good, i respect opinions and desires of men and i am quite easy to convince by the right arguments. I am not a person of ego but I really had to struggle for what I am now – deviant in my own family. I had to grow a very strong self-confidense or else I would have fallen in the process. I just hope that my core traits (high levels of energy, passion, eager to take challenges,  intellectual curiosity and willing to work) will just catch some good (stable, reliable and not ego-pursuing) men’s attention, who can treat me like a woman from the start (unlike my daddy) and thus give me the chance to open up in my own feminity. Sometimes not only men suffer from the topic discussed above. I believe there are pretty many women out there who would only be complete if some men would just take over the leader position. I love to support men as they can be very grateful. Sounds pretty spiritual bullshit but thats how I think nowadays. Will probably change in some years, who knows.

    21 year old girl from Hungary  

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