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. 691
    Alex

    Some of you ladies are the reason why other women continue to have relationship problems. Here is the deal straight no chaser. Many women use words like “Strong” and “independent” as covers / defense mechanisms for being ALONE. Why are you alone? Simply because you missed the memo on what men like. Many of you have a problem compartmentalizing / separating your work life and behavior from your relationship/home life. Relationships are not a competition for who’s running the show! If you continue to view things that way, you’re going to get one of 2 things; either a beta male door mat who you’ll eventually lose respect for or you’ll constantly get into it with men, while you then try to figure out what happen after he moves on to a woman who is less difficult to deal with. Ladies, you aren’t going to change us. This is how we are wired! If you do, then you’ll complain that we aren’t man enough and you will quickly lose respect for us! What further complicates your situation is that many of you then seek advice from other bitter, lonely women who feed you even more bullshit about why you as a group are alone. When asking for advice, perhaps you should consider the source. Why ask friends for advice, when they’re just as clueless as you are about men? Where is the logic in that? I grew up in a family where my mother, aunts and cousins are all educated, highly paid executives. With that said, they still found time to take care of their husbands/families and are still ALL married to their original spouses’ today. THAT’S A STRONG WOMAN FOR YOU! HERE IS SOMETHING YOU SHOULD REMEMBER!!! A good guy doesn’t want a weak, door mat but we also don’t want someone we are going to be going to battle with when we get home. What many of you fail to see is that we work with Men and Women at work every day where we compete and debate daily. Like you, when we come home we don’t want to have to also do it there. Another issue many of you have is that you just don’t want to do the work! Work meaning, many of you feel that a guy asking you to make him a turkey sandwich is him casting you back to some subservient role from the dark ages. It’s not! You know that warm feeling you get when you get flowers at work with a little card that says “just because”? That’s how we feel when you cook us dinner Lol. Just like you want to feel secure, appreciated, loved and protected, we also like to feel cared for, loved, appreciated and needed.   Here are a few more helpful hints that might help you.
    1) Do not tell your friends what goes on in your relationship. It’s private between you and your partner and it violates trust!
    2) If you can’t do stereotypical women things, then be prepared to give him a pass when he can’t change a tire or set up your Roku!
    3) Stop listening to women who are also single. If they knew so much they’d be in a relationship or married.
     
    4) “Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem” –Lauren Hill… Don’t come off like a total B*itch. We like soft and nice! If we didn’t we would date men! 

  2. 692
    Chris Anderson

    Men do like strong and successful women, we don’t like weak women who need to point out to everyone how strong they are. In order to be considered great, a man has to conquer Europe, Asia and America and keep them an empire for 500 years, invent the internal combustion engine, be the first to fly nonstop for 100 yards, kill a wooly mammoth and date the Queen of Sheba. Sorry if we are not so easily impressed with your argument ice nature that you try to peddle as strength.

  3. 693
    Hannah

    You know, I’m a woman, and I want a sensitive, nurturing man. Strong, powerful men don’t appeal to me at all. Just how few women have you actually gotten to know, anyways? And why do you think it’s okay to make generalizations about women?

    1. 693.1
      Garret

      Who are you responding to Hannah? As to somebody making generalizations about women, well people here make generalizations about both men and women. Like the generalization that men are worthless after 40. Stick around and you will see that one more than once.

      1. 693.1.1
        Evan Marc Katz

        Um, Garret, nobody has ever said men are worthless after 40. The entire “manosphere” claims that women are worthless after 30. Get your faulty opinions straight.

  4. 694
    Garret

    Nobody said YOU say that,but it has been said in the comments, many times, and that is what I was talking about. Shall I do a search and find them? Usually this comes in threads such as the “why don’t women in their 30s want men in their 40s.” and other such threads, or whenever the issue is raised about dating younger or older. Sorry if I gave the impression that this has been said in the articles you write, because I know it has not.

  5. 695
    Garret

    Also, what is this manosphere you speak of? MRA’s? I have news for you, MRA’s are no different than Feminists. For instance, some feminists absolutely hate men and have made statements on things such as Tumbler that would make you eyes bug out. But, there are also feminists who don’t hate men and just want equality for women. So should we judge all women by those who have the most radical opinions? The reality is, Feminists are not a homogenous group, and neither are men who care about men’s rights. I care about men’s rights, but I don’t hate women. Is that the litmus test for caring about men’s rights? Must I hate women in the process?

    I don’t subscribe to any MRA sites, but I was directed to one by a feminists when I was participating on Experience Project. She claimed that the author of an article was advocating rape of women. So I went to the article. No he wasn’t. He was an idiot, however because he wrote an extremely long article. The point of the article was not that he advocated the rape of women, but that he was against the justice department sweeping the rape of many men into a lesser category by insisting that without penetration, the man could not be raped. So to make his point, he tried to to the “A time to kill,” thing where Matthew McConaughey closes with a speech substituting in a white girl being raped and left for dead, for the all white jury, in hopes that they would empathize better. Well that’s what he did. Wrote on an on saying that rape wasn’t rape, basically, the idea being that people would get angry, and then he literally asked if it made you angry and then said it should, and then went on to show how what he had just done to women was in fact being done to men by the justice department.

    So that was an eye opening experience for me on my first experience with MRAs. So when I hear people act as if they are one homogenous woman hating group, I know better.

    Do some MRA’s think women are worthless after 30? I am sure some do, just as some women think 40+ men are worthless. Do all of them, or even most of them? I highly doubt it. That would be too much like saying that most feminists hate men.

  6. 696
    Garret

    The entire “manosphere” claims

    One last thing Evan. I find this to be beneath you. Even using the term manosphere is wrong. Men have legitimate complaints, and yes, there men who are absolutely nutjobs. That is no different than feminists. Some have valid concerns, and some are nutjobs. But what you, and others do, when you use the terms MRA and “manosphere,” you create a situation where debate is stifled. But for some, that is the entire point. Those who do not like debate use a tactic, and the goal of that tactic goes like this, a woman can proudly proclaim that she is a feminist, it’s a badge of honor. But a man cannot proudly proclaim that he is an MRA because that is a badge of shame.

    By tilting the playing field in a biased direction, it stifles debate in favor of the side doing the tilting. Like this…I have debated some feminists on other sites, but the minute I try to stand up for men, I get labeled an MRA as if that is the end of the story. Like Rush Limbaugh. If they can label me and MRA, then nothing I say is to be taken seriously. Well, isn’t that ironic, because some would label me as being part of that “manosphere” because I dare to speak up for men, and yet I do not hate women and I certainly don’t think a women are worthless after 40, let alone 30. Even at 50+ a woman has value IMHO. While at my age I have no desire to marry one, when I am more age appropriate for them, I would see high value in them, just as I do women who like me are in their 30s. I would never expect you to label women a Feminazi every time one said something like “I’m 26 and get creeped out when guys in their 30s hit on me.” yes that is a comment on your site. Nor would I expect you to claim that all Feminazis claim the same thing. That is that one girl’s opinion/attitude. I would hope that you can extend men the same courtesy that you extend to women, even though men aren’t your core clientele.

    1. 696.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Garrett,

      *I* speak up for men who are misunderstood by women. By aligning yourself with MRAs (and Rush Limbaugh) (and calling women Feminazis), you cease to be taken seriously because you’re already aligning yourself with a “side.” I have no agenda – my loyalty is to truth, reason and fairness. So feminists get annoyed with me, MRAs get annoyed with me, PUAs get annoyed with me – and all that means is that I’m probably doing a good job not taking a side.

      So yes, I will call you out when you say something that is narrow, stupid or misogynist – at least as it pertains to my core readership. Just as I routinely tell women to get over their negativity, soften up, be patient, and trust men. Any feminist or MRA who comes to this site to criticize me for not taking their side is clearly cherry picking results. I’m an equal opportunity critic. Women don’t like it when I criticize them. Men don’t like it when I criticize them. But BOTH deserve criticism when they get selfish, mean spirited and narrow minded.

  7. 697
    Garret

    You totally missed the point Evan.

    See, I do not aligg myself with “MRA’s” nor do I align myself with Rush Limbaugh, nor do I call women feminazi’s Not sure why it was so hard to understand what I was trying to say so let me try to be more clear.

    First, I responded to a woman questioning somebody making generalizations about women. I noted that generalizations are often made about me, giving on example, and yes women have done that on this blog…not you…once again I note that you do not do that, at least not about the over 40 aspect.

    You then jump on me with this manosphere thing. Here you do generalize men, at least men you see as being MRA’s. While I will agree that some MRAs do that, I severely doubt all or even most do. Most MRA’s probably don’t even consider themselves MRAs Those that people call MRAs are really just the fringe nutjobs. There are plenty of MRAs out there that don’t hate women and really just want some fairness, especially in divorce and family courts, and that is the extent of their MRAness. But when they try to debate this stuff, the MRA label is tossed out there as if by doing so, the debate is over because no MRA is to be taken seriously. Now not surprisingly, when the MRA’s attempt to do the same thing insisting that Feminists are all extreme man haters, everyone is quick to point out that this isn’t so.

    Next point is that you aren’t really equal opportunity here as you claim. I 100% believe that if I were to say, “Guys in their 30s, like me, have zero interest in women in their 40s, and every guy in his 30s that I know gets creeped out by these 40+ women.” You would be quick to correct em that there are in fact men in their 30s who date women in their 40s. yet several times I have seen girls in their 20s claim that girls in their 20s don’t want to date guys in their 30s and are creeped out when 30+ guys hit on them, and yet I and every 30+ guy I know dates women in their 20s. But I never see you correct those statements. And so of course you don’t then accuse them of just being radical feminists (what some call feminazis).

    I am not an MRA, but I do care about men’s rights. Why wouldn’t I? But I don’t like the term MRA because some people have successfully gotten people to equate that with hating women. Is that fair? No. Why would it be fair? Because a few have written radical things? If that is the case then we can equate feminists with hating men because some have written very hateful things and expressed extreme hate for men.

    My point is that we should keep the terms correct. Mysogynist for woman hater, and Misandrist for man hater. the term MRA should not be used for woman hater, and feminist should not be used for man hater. While some MRAs hate women, and some feminists hate men, not all of them hate the opposite sex, so it is a disservice to both to use MRA/Feminists to label hate.

    My point to you is that you toss out the terms MRA and Manosphere, to describe Mysogynists, but wouldn’t dare to do the same with the term feminists, and you wouldn’t ever use the term femininazi to describe women, even the nutjobs among the feminists.

    1. 697.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      ” But I never see you correct those statements.” That’s because they’re not that radical. A 29 year old woman stating that a 40 year old man is too old for her is just her opinion. It’s not man-hating, nor is it “feminazi”. It’s the same as a man declaring he prefers a woman who is fit to a woman who is overweight. You can say this without saying that all overweight women are worthless, you know?

      Finally, to my detriment, I HAVE used the term feminists to describe man haters (even though that’s just a portion of them), so please stop telling me what I’ve done. Fact is, most men on that JustFourGuys blog are angry, cheap, and misogynistic. The exceptions don’t disprove the rule.

  8. 698
    Garret

    “A 29 year old woman stating that a 40 year old man is too old for her is just her opinion.”

    I see what you did there. LOL I specifically pointed out the 26 year old girl who stated that a man in his 30s was too old and that her and all her friends were creeped out by those 30 something guys who would ask hit on them. The 30s age she specifically mentioned was 32. A few men called her out on that, saying that if she had a problem with a 32 year old guy she was messed up. It is on this site. She brought it up every time age was made an issue. It ridiculous because her statement is that the vast majority of 20 something women want nothing to do with men in their 30s, and that is not even close to true. Most guys 35 and under that I know date women in their 20s and early 30s.

    I also see women claim that men 40+ are basically all duds for one reason or another, but that a god many 40+ women have straight got it going on. I don’t deny the second part but the first part isn’t true.

    I don’t subscribe to the notion that some men here do, that women are worthless past 30. I personally think a woman’s worth with regard to her age depends greatly on the age of the man. My belief is that she is at her peak value when she is just a little younger than the man. Like around 4 to 7 years, and just off peak a few years either side of that. Just my opinion and I understand that not everybody has the same opinion.

  9. 699
    D

    Thank God, Im with a boyfriend who loves me unconditionally despite my stubbornness and strong mindedness despite not wanting to work in the private sector. I really think it depends on the woman’s profession, social economic status, her morals/values, outlook on life, types on interests she WILL NOT give up, her friends and family and their opinions, how good she is in bed, how great of a cook/maid she is, whether she falls within the guy’s physical type etc on why a man would want to be with her to begin with and vice versa

  10. 700
    Asmodeus

    Woman have not become more like men in the last 40 years. Sure, you have careers now, but you’re missing the active ingredient of masculinity: Men know how to relax. Most women these days really need to take it down a few notches. Watching you all running around between the gym and girls night out and the careers all the while on your phone. It just looks ridiculous. Take it easy! Play a video game, have a drink, stop talking for a few minutes. Just stop!!!!! Life will still be there if you sit still and breathe.

  11. 701
    Jason

    Today it is all about money for many of these type of women which years ago both men and women had to struggle to make ends meat.

  12. 702
    alec

    I don’t think someone’s resume factors in at the emotional level. I will “respect” you more for your success, but I ultimately just want someone who I can connect with.  Similarly, I don’t expect other women to care too much about my education, salary, travel experiences, etc.  I figure she just wants someone who will make her feel loved, accepted, and comfortable.

    1. 702.1
      Joek

      Then you haven’t dated too many women.
       
      If a man ain’t makin’ the bacon, he ain’t datin’. That’s just reality.
       
      And by-and-large, he better be makin’ some good bacon, because most women want a man who makes more than them, and more women are making more than ever.

  13. 703
    adam

    Because society seems to be trying to reverse gender roles. Men are now basically women because society will not accommodate our aggressive nature. Likewise, women are now men as they are required to compensate for our embarrassing lack of manliness. Neither of these gender role reversals are attractive to the opposite sex.

  14. 704
    Rachael

    Well, well! I notice that all the posts with those black symbols in them are apparently written by women who positively support the author. Now there’s a coincidence.

    1. 704.1
      Evan

      Thanks for the laugh of the day. Those black symbols were a result of a computer virus that attacked WordPress years ago and I never bothered to manually clean it up. So what you are seeing, you crazy conspiracy theorist, is nothing more than a coincidence. A lot of people agree with my obvious stance. The only black mark is on you for an astounding ability to make something out of nothing.

  15. 705
    andy

    It’s not about being dumb and needy being a turn on, nor male insecurity, it’s about not being attracted to girls that are Opinionated and Inflexible.  Unfortunate traits of many smart/successful girls.  If you can still be cool (flexible, giving, open minded), than a smart successful girl will win over a dumb/needy one every time.  It’s not the vocation that makes a girl un/attractive, it’s her attitude.

  16. 706
    Jake Eagleshield

    My wife is brilliant,a power player in business,and earns more than I do. A LOT MORE! I could not be more proud of her. The men you speak of are children,who have real ego issues. But please do not pigeon hole us all!

  17. 707
    VIncent

    Simple answer.  Maybe the men that YOU like are afraid of strong and successful women.  The man that women say they want and the man they actually respond to emotionally are two different things and leaves good men on the side lines.  When I say good men, I don’t mean non attractive nice guys who kiss your ass and beg for dates.  I’m talking about guys who have all the bad boy traits but stop at the being reckless with peoples emotions part.  It is said that women mature quicker than men and I call BS on that.  Maybe when it comes to paying bills, keeping your place clean, and basic responsibilities yes, but not when it comes to the men they pursue.  Perfect example is Sandra Bullock and Jesse James are you kidding?  Then she freaks when the tatoo’ed biker bad boy cheats on her and us men watch this happen around us all the time.  Maybe not all women are so extreme but from what I’ve seen in my time on this planet, most women have that need for a bad boy.  The worst part is that a “bad boy” in reality is just a little boy who gets no respect from their male counter parts and takes it out on women.  Women seem to flock to this types.  What would this type of predatory guy want with a woman who asserts herself and has actually made something of her life?  They thrive on women with low self esteem and successful women are not that.  I personally won’t date a woman that is not strong and independent.  Unfortunately they are all out looking for Mr. Wrong so the pool is very dry from the perspective of a guy looking for a strong woman.  Plus if you are a millionaire would date somebody who isn’t?  Male millionaires are in love with telling people what to do, being in charge, and being surrounded by young girls with low moral fiber, so what would they want with a strong assertive women?  At least in their age range?  I am not a millionaire… yet (Diligently working on it) but I would not be afraid to date somebody like you because in the end it doesn’t matter how much money or accomplishments you have,  you’re still just a human being like everybody else and that’s how I treat everybody.  The fact that you have drive is huge plus in my book and in many others.  Maybe think hard about what type of guys your are pursue or are interested in.  I don’t know you but I’d be willing to bet the answer to the issue is in there.

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