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. 91
    vino

    RSL wrote:

    “How can I portray that although I work hard and love what I do, I do not plan on it always being the center of my life? Especially in online dating situations or others where I am just getting to know someone? Its a bit discouraging”

    I don’t mean this to sound without empathy. I empathize greatly. However, if your career and education is the center of your life now, perhaps it isn’t the best time to actively search a a mate or ‘the one.’ I don’t know that it’s fair for someone to wait an indeterminate period of time until you are ready to ‘settle down.’ Perhaps date for fun, but without expectations for ‘a relationship’ that is ‘the one.’

    Sometimes we simply need to prioritize out activities for what we want where we are at certain points in life. So if work/school is the priority, then maybe worrying about establishing a deep, committed relationship with the work involved isn’t in your best interest right now.

  2. 92
    hunter

    to vino,

    You won’t date lawyers/doctors/professional women because they have no spare time? Please, let me know where to meet such a jewel, I can be their parttime lover any day!…

  3. 93
    vino

    FYI – Among the reasons I won’t date lawyers is that everything’s an argument, and they are skilled at lying. Who wants that? I also find doctors to be too cerebral, without passion, and with mini-God complexes. There are more good exceptions regarding doctors. I’ve found pitifully few with lawyers. Those just go along with the reasons I already stated.

  4. 94
    cinnamon

    RSL,
    You put very nicely what I was also about to write. I have early in my career chosen to start on a second MA in parallel to work because on the private plan things did not go the way I wanted, and I preferred the university environment than watching soap operas. The thought behind it was that this will give me more options and flexibility with respect to work later on when I need time it for the famility. There wasn’t a single choice with respect to my career path since high school where I did not consider the needs of a future family.
    Even though I absolutely agree with Vino, I would find it disheartening to find out that a man has made any assumptions before actually taking the topic up with me…

  5. 95
    Ruth

    It’s interesting that Vino and Leykis have such a double standard. For decades, women have married men who are comsummed by their work and brought it home with them, have raised the children from those men, mostly by themselves, while the man takes equal credit. Often the “old” wife is left for a younger, better looking mate after the kids are grown.

    Now, the men think (Vino admitted he worked 60 hrs a week) that is an okay schedule for a woman to live with if she is partnering with a man, but that same schedule makes a woman an undesireable ball busting . . well you can read it above.

    There is no clearer example of duplicity.

    This whole thread has the men emphasizing over and over again about getting their needs met. Put that with the example above of the decades of men living for themselves and the wife living for the man, and the message is pretty clear. Gals:
    1-the fellow has to be your priority, but you won’t be his
    2-The man can brag about his career accomplishments and you must help him celebrate them, but if you can work, but keep mum about it
    3-The fellow can spend his time with you on the cell with his office or buddies, just stay off yours . . . and quality time with you means going to his company or career or sporting events, not yours

    I’ve read this thread a couple of times through, and the message is the same.

    The problem is, as stated in my earlier entry, the men who are successful in their careers and partnered, don’t have the kind of partners described as desirable here. The partnered men don’t have anymore nurturing, their needs met or have the selfless sacrificing partnering that is described here as what men want.
    Why, then are “smart, strong” women singled out as being non-nurturing, noncaring and more undesirable?

    Interesting . . . . and telling

    BTW- my sons are in their early 30′s, and prefer smart, independent, strong women. When they were dating, they were not interested in the kind of stepford wife described by the men in this thread. The fellows of the Generation X seem to be looking for a different kind of parnter than their fathers and grandfathers were. Cool!

  6. 96
    vino

    Ruth brings up some interesting issues…

    First, we’re talking about successful go-getters who likely make a good income. $200k+

    Ruth wrote: “For decades, women have married men who are comsummed by their work and brought it home with them, have raised the children from those men, mostly by themselves, while the man takes equal credit.”

    For those decades, those women did not work and were able to live a life of relative luxury. So, in subsidizing her ability to not work and be the primary child caregiver, assuming no nannie help, etc, he can take equal credit. Also, in divorce court wife still get 1/2 of everything, fault or no. Revisionist history can be pretty convenient.

    Ruth wrote: “Now, the men think (Vino admitted . . . but that same schedule makes a woman an undesireable ball busting . . well you can read it above.”

    Not to chide you, Ruth, but the ball busting quote was from Leykis, not my words at all. Please don’t try to imply I said that when I didn’t. Also, I don’t think the schedule makes someone ball-busting, either. Notice I didn’t say there weren’t challenges for schedules.

    The msn article mentioned how a greater % of very successful men choose to partner with women who aren’t nearly as accomplished, if at all. My theory, shared by Leykis, btw, is simple – these guys choose someone who will be there for them when they need it, even though their time is limited. In turn, these ladies get more comforts than they otherwise would have had.

    verbosity said it above – The rub for very successful women is that unlike the guys, they in general detest having someone less accomplished as their partner. I’d look above for his explanation. If I’m a woman, it makes me uncomfortable, but I have a hard time assailing the logic.

    Ruth wrote: “This whole thread has the men . . . getting their needs met.”

    What in the hell is wrong with having your needs met? They aren’t many, btw.

    Ruth wrote: “1-the fellow has to be your priority, but you wont be his”

    - Not at all. Caveat emptor. If you get in a relationship with anyone very successful and driven, you know what they are like out of the gate, male or female. The article seems to indicate that more less accomplished women are willing to compromise to be with someone who isn’t home at 5:15 every night. your gripe is that men don’t want to be second banana. You can bet your ass the super successful one will demand to be his priority more often than not.

    “2-The man can brag about his career accomplishments and you must help him celebrate them, but if you can work, but keep mum about it”

    - Who in the hell said that? I didn’t read that.

    “3-The fellow can spend his time with you on the cell with his office or buddies, just stay off yours . . . and quality time with you means going to his company or career or sporting events, not yours”

    - Again, who in hell said this? I didn’t read that, nor do I think it’s a reasonable synthesis of everything posted. As far as staying off of phones, etc in your partner’s presence, that goes both ways. It’s simple respect for the other person & their time. The occasional call , etc I can understand, but not with frequency. I don’t do it to people I’m with and they’re gone if they do it.

    Actually, the men have said anything but what Ruth has written. I wonder sometimes if we are reading the same language.

    Ruth wrote: “The problem is . . . described here as what men want.”

    - This could be it’s own subject for Evan. Maybe the guys chose poorly, maybe the number of non-nurturing, caring women is so prevalent, who knows? Maybe some of both with other things…It’s too much to respond to here.

    Ruth wrote: “Why, then are smart, strong women singled out as being non-nurturing, noncaring and more undesirable?”

    - That’s not what’s being said at all. You’re forgetting successful, which necessitates lots of time, effort and energy. The msn article specifically mentions lack of time. Please don’t make the point earlier and ignore this crucial aspect in this part of the post. They are less desirable specifically because they’re not around. FYI – they’re often not very emotionally available either. Same critique you leveled above.

    Main point is that a strong, successful driven person of either sex often isn’t the best choice for a deep connection as a partner. Verbosity gave the most logical explanation of why above. See #32 and #60

  7. 97
    hunter

    to vino,

    A female lawyer skilled at lying and arguing? Isn’t that in a womans nature? But women don’t call it that, when they are not testing you, they are manipulating you, to get you to do something…hhhmmh…LOL!

  8. 98
    hunter

    to vino,

    Female doctor passionless, with mini-god complexes? Try not to let this cloud your mind, find ways to romance her!…Keep asking people that know about relationships, and, study human behaviour/relationships…

  9. 99
    hunter

    to vino,

    As the great guru on mount Tibet once said, “men are out to conquer and compete.”

  10. 100
    vino

    hunterApr 3rd 2008 at 11:41 pm 98

    to vino,

    “Female doctor passionless, with mini-god complexes? Try not to let this cloud your mind, find ways to romance her!Keep asking people that know about relationships, and, study human behaviour/relationships”

    Not worth the effort. Makes more sense to spend energies on places & people with greater likelihood of success, not trying to pound square a peg into a round hole.

  11. 101
    schlockdoc

    Heh. I frequently come off as an ‘alpha female’ but I’ve been having to beat the guys off with a stick since I was a teenager.

    I think men are pretty simple actually. Basically, if you’re attractive and not too b1tchy, you’re good. And if you’re really attractive, even the b1tchy thing becomes negotiable.

    Sure, there are some guys who don’t want to date/marry successful women; but there are so many others who are happy to that I wouldn’t even worry about it.

  12. 102
    hunter

    on post #101,

    Almost sounds as if you have the world at your feet, lucky you!…..

  13. 104
    vino

    It absolutely isn’t Michael. In fact my colloquial evidence says the exact opposite.

  14. 105
    Julia

    Hi, regarding your comment on professional women, well, i became single 5 years ago. i was in the same relationship for most of my 20′s and when I became single, I was very lost. trying to figure out the whole dating scene. I was nervous about getting hurt and stuff. but I was also examining my friends and asking questions, reading the net, books on advice and everything you said is all the stuff I thought at some point. I am successful and a professional and I figured I needed to change or something to please a man and guys would tell me I was strong, opiniated, etc. but I am really sweet…so finally, I discovered that eventually, without changing, with your same character, you do meet someone who does take you on and decides to either tame the horse or go up that hard to reach mountain. someone will think it is worth it to digg deeeper and to allow you to let your guards down. someone will love you long enough to learn to know you, understand you and love you. and eventually, you will have also taught him how to love and he would have grown and evolved with you. you will both compliment each other. you need to be patient and eventually, you will meet that person. both of you will find each other. every pot finds it’s cover. :)

  15. 106
    Hot Alpha Female

    Evan.

    I have not heard this issue so well articulated. Thank You.

    This has inspired me to do a post about it. Esp if i go by the name Hot Alpha Female.

    This usually brings up a lot of topics and lot of controversy which you just addressed here.

    I think you are absolutely spot on that women today pride themselves with strength yet in doing so emasculate the man.

    Keep you updated

    Hot Alpha Female

  16. 107
    rick lynn

    Men are not afraid of successful women. They are afraid of abuse toward them by society, including women who may perceive men to be weak in some way. The nineteenth century belief Males should be strong allows aggression toward Males who appear weak in some way. Society provides love, honor, respect, support, etc. (the essentials for feelings of self-worth only on the condition of sufficient achievement, money, power, status, and image. Those Males who do not have sufficiency are not only given less love, honor, and respect, they are allowed upon them more aggression by society. This makes men very competitive for they feel they must achieve in order to have those things. Added the nineteenth century belief Males should be strong that allow much more aggression toward Males and also the denial from day one of mental, emotional, social support from day one (for fear of coddling the Male) and you have Males falling behind Females mentally, emotionally, socially, academically, and economically.
    Women, due to the nineteenth century belief woman should be protected are given love, honor, and respect simply for being women. The nineteen century belief they should be protected also allows for much mental, emotional, social support, to only “appear to mature faster than Males”. By differential treatment Females are surging ahead. In addition that very overprotection by society allows women to give verbal, silent abuse, and hollow kindness or patronization with impunity. The combination of allowed aggressions upon Males who appear weak in some way, lack of support for Males, more than adequate support for Females, and the protected freedoms of various allowed verbal and nonverbal abuse by women makes a Male who appears weak in some way quite vulnerable to more abuse from successful women and more also from society.

  17. 108
    Drahma

    This has been interesting reading. Im 37, single, fairly successful, and havent been in a relationship for 6 years (4 of which was by choice and I got back in the game again 2 years ago). What Ive found fascinating about the whole game is the double standard. I went on a date that outlined one of my problems. I just started working for myself and the guy I was with was still with a company. He told me I wouldnt have time for a relationship because I was starting up a business. I told him that was presumptive if the right guy came along, I would make time in the same way that I make time for my friends (and made time for seeing him that night). Come to find out, he was starting up a business as well on the side. I immediately asked him what he was doing on a date because, quite frankly, how does he have time for anything (especially when he judged me right off the bat)? This isnt the only time Ive experienced this. I refrain from talking about all of the activities Im involved in because the guy will think that I wont have time for him (and being in these activities is part of me so in a way, Im depriving the guy from getting to know me by saying nothing). The catch I am involved in all those activities BECAUSE I dont have someone to come home to and I refuse to stay home to sulk and complain about my status.

    Further, how I spend my time in those initial dates is MY business. I dont question a guy and how he spends his time until we have a commitment and are seriously involved, thats HIS business (and even after the commitment, it is still his business). On the date that evening, we are sharing an evening and potentially could share a second, third or forth evening or even more. Thats all dating is initially its testing the waters for more.

    There was a great line in the movie Somethings Gotta Give about how women as they get older get more interesting because they fill in their time with activities when they dont have dates or a relationship. Its very true. Ive found that its the time that men ANTICIPATE that I wont have that causes the problem. Now this gets even more interesting in the logic so if I make time to have a date with a guy, that means I am making time in my life for him right now, and I would probably do so in the future if its something I want to do. I would think that is a turn on, however, a guy will often discount me because Im making time for him. I dont get that. So I guess I need to be sitting at home, by the phone, pathetically waiting for the right offer. Fascinating because in the next breath men comment that they dont want that either. So whats a girl to do?

  18. 109
    hunter

    Lighten up, it was the first date, people say things they are not supposed to…

  19. 110
    Drahma

    So just curious and just for fun, how would you have handled it if something similar happened to you (either questioning your time or money or whatnot – just a general similar situation)? Would you have continued seeing the person? And what would your expectations have been?

    Side note – that wasn’t the first time I have experienced something like what I described. I have heard similar types of comments on the first or second date and let them go only to regret not walking away sooner.

  20. 111
    Ellyn

    Interesting discussion and HNY to all. My discussion mostly revolves around two people who have an initial strong attraction to one another that quickly goes by the proverbial wayside. I think that when many people first meet they tend to prejudge each other according to their own preconceived notions regarding externalities, resumes, labels, and whatever else they have gathered up about the person. This leads to projecting onto them all of one’s preconceived notions, favorable and not so favorable, which is dangerous in and of itself. If it doesn’t work out, they can fall back on these notions or belief systems which may continue to operate as a runaway train in other relationships as well as impede the process of actually taking the time to get to know who a person is underneath it all. We live in a very disposable society and people tend to judge very quickly and if they don’t like what they see perhaps too early in the dance, they become scared and concerned and end up dancing right out the door often without any real dialogue as to what just transpired. That’s fine and I believe in free will and perhaps they do have accurate enough insight into forming an opinion that that person is a no go for a relationship with them. Most people do not like conflict or confrontation so they feel like they made an “easy escape” and are done often leaving the other person at a loss as to what transpired and the opportunity for growth of both people is diminished. I see some here imposing definitions or translations of smart strong successful women that may in fact have little relevance to the “real” person under all those layers of labels. So, like some have said the perception is what becomes the reality. I think internet dating really fuels this fire.

    I am dual-graduate degreed, feminine looking and value the arts over business but am also strong and assertive which I value as positive qualitites. However, I found that in a recent on line experience the positive became the negative pretty early on when I “spoke out” about something and it became apparent that the individual backed away. I went back in and clarified that my goal was not to hurt or shut him down and he came back out of his shell so to speak. I explained or chalked it up to individuation vs teamplay and that my expression of myself was primarily intended to further communications about who I was which unfortunately eventually became a threat to who he was and what he was looking for. Immediately though after the initial experience, he applauded my sensitivity and things heightened to the point that I was raised to this ideal woman standard of sensitivity and one of higher consciousness which I knew I could never fully live up to. While I consider myself very sensitive and evolved, I was uncomfortable with this early on set of projections without both of us really doing the work which is what it takes to get to know someone and evolve a relationship, if ever. I harped on this to deaf ears. Thereafter, I pulled back because I was starting to feel uncomfortable and he sensed that and did the same. Eventually, the “perfect” relationship was destined to doom because we had both in some way shut down. I think women and men do best regardless of labels when there can be created an environment of emotional safety and security for both that allows for vunerability in opening up without fear of judgment. I failed because I leapt up at things he was communicating and to some extent as what I perceived as an expression of myself became an attack, criticism, judgment, analysis of him which led to a done deal. I was also trying, unsuccessfully, to open up the lines of communication. However, I also believe that he could and should have, and he had every right to, speak up at the time or shortly thereafter processing the various exchanges about his own thoughts and feelings concerning our communications. I like to think of myself as sensitive, bright and tough enough to have handled anything that he sent my way and my goal was to further our intimacy not break it down. So, I consider communication key here and if you are truly interested enough in who is standing before you, then hopefully you can muster up the words and speak them to the other person. I feel that it is only “fair” at that time (after reasonable exchange) and according to what you get back to form a judgement about who the person is. Why is it that so many men empowered in their careers are so disempowered in personal relationships and literally expect (us to read their minds) an ongoing perfect flow to the relationship. Isn’t stepping on toes and conflict eventually inevitable – the key being how it is resolved – mutually, respectfully, etc. where you land up on the other end learning more about yourself and the other person and hopefully strengthening the relationship potential. I don’t think anyone should have to walk on eggshells and we are all imperfect in actualizing the qualities that are talked about herein. There is enough talk about “men who don’t talk” or who are not particularly tuned into their emotions which I think, for me, is a key to why I have a problematic relationship or not. Yes, I do need to be more aware of and act on what men may be perceiving as pushy, intimidating, overbearing, impatient, abrasive, reactant and dominant. I would love to meet a man who as some have said recognizes and truly gets my sensitive and nurturing soul and can go the distance and do his part in the relationship to break through and vice versa. If he does not, I tend to interpret it as someone who just was not interested enough in knowing me despite how strong he came on at the outset. Perhaps because I do not wear these feminine qualities enough on my sleeve or lose touch of them at times it is a deal breaker which goes back to the difficulties that many strong career women face in balancing their career and personal lives. But I think that any woman, no matter how smart or successful she is, is eventually going to say something that raises a red flag to the guy that signals danger and may or may not be correctly and accurately interpreted but which unfortunately leads to the guy feeling that his only way out is through the back door. To further the damage when this person stopped communicating, I jumped in and took over the reins and imposed my own assessments on him (right or wrong) because I felt like I was on a sinking ship. So, smart, strong, successful women, perhaps we need to allow for the man to lead at the very least himself and not feel shut down by us. I also think that we need to pay careful attention not to transfer control or power struggles into the realtionship because most of us are looking for partnerships. Because so many of us are used to being in charge and having the answers, we stifle the natural evoluton of what just might be the chance and opportunity for a great relationship.

  21. 112
    hunter

    I heard this at a singles seminar, “Working women must learn to leave their balls, by the door, as they exit their work place, at the end of the day”.

  22. 113
    Seductress Within

    Hunter, that is a good quote. Some women try so hard to prove how capable, independent and strong they are that they forget or resent their soft feminine side, the side men love.

    I realize men also like a woman’s strength, but it can be so overdone. When I was in corporate America, I worked with women everyday that if I were a man, I sure wouldn’t want to *blank* them.

  23. 114
    vino

    To take Seductress’ #113 point a step further…

    “Some women try so hard to prove how capable, independent and strong they are that they forget or resent their soft feminine side, the side men love.”

    - The disquieting thought is that maybe they don’t have a soft feminine side, the side men love.

  24. 115
    Ellyn

    Thanks Hunter; I see your point although I think that it also comes down to a matter of fit between the two people and how the woman uses her strength. Strength can be a very nurturing trait.

    Vino, Im not sure of your purpose here, but frankly you come across as a misogynist. At least I took a look at my behavior and moved forward. The truth is that it takes two to tango or not and I was not the emotional cripple who ran away without uttering a word after he put up every red flag that there is in the book. I guess he was so enamored with my little ol feminine self that he became obsessive, demanding, pushy, oppressive, controlling, and ultimately commitment phobic to the point of not being able to utter one word. I did not deserve that.

    Perhaps you should stop blaming smart, strong, successful women for the failure of some relationships as it seems your only alternative is engaging in a relationship with stupid, disempowered, loser women that make you feel more secure, wanted and in control. If your only expressions of self are put downs of women, its no wonder that you and too many other men find themselves alone or longing for substance if you know what I mean. Ever heard of the ability to express yourself to a real woman besides can I go to bed with you, will you wash and darn my socks, and yes, I do need that done. Please dont directly respond. Ive made my point and I already got yours.

    I also dont think that it really furthers the discussion to make blanket assumptions about smart women not having a soft side or any particular asset or hindrance and the generalizations support my earlier point re preconceived notions that can lead to a misinterpretation of what the root causes of the problem are in a particular situation.

    In my own scenario, I chose to examine the role that this particular dynamic played in how things progressed or not. I chose to express myself and sure, I can see some things that I might have done differently, but any healthy male who is interested in a relationship vs. possessing an object is going to have to develop some social skills that evidence emotional well being. I am not in the business of fixing, curing or rescuing anyone from their own apparent issues nor am I in the business of being less than who I am or walking on eggshells.

  25. 116
    Sara Reed

    Fantastic post. Great comparison to the whole ‘nice guys finish last’ complaint. So true as well, there are many “dating experts” who argue that women really don’t like men who are nice and really do want a man who mistreats them – what a load of donkey $#&*…I always say, it’s not that women don’t like or want a nice guy, it’s that nice guys often lack the element of excitement, confidence and passion that women often crave. Then I turn around and look at myself, a successful, intelligent woman who can fix things around the house, even renovate a little when I want and wonder if I’m man repellent because of it. :) Your article game me some clarity here. :D

    Sara Reed´s last blog post…Little Things

  26. 117
    Sayanta

    Ellyn- post #115 is awesome! You said it, sister.

  27. 118
    hunter

    Nice guys are boring, so, I am told.

  28. 119
    ellyn

    Thanks Sara and Sayanta!

    It takes a secure and emotionally evolved man to get it. Best wishes to the both of you:)

  29. 120
    Karl R

    Ellyn and Sara, (#111, #115 & #116)

    Last year I dated an extremely bright and successful woman, so I will try to offer some insight into my thoughts.

    I met this lady at a dance studio. I was immediately attracted to her because she was intelligent, funny, attractive … and a very good dancer. I later learned that she was a MD and a professor at a medical school (so she earns double or triple what I do, is much better educated and has a more prestigious job). She had started college at the age of 16 (proving that she was more intelligent than me). She’s at least as physically fit as I am (we both exercise at least 5 days a week). And she’s better looking than me.

    I have good self esteem. This may be related to the low importance that I place on status symbols. (I’m aware that others place more importance on them, so they may judge me by my apparent lack of such symbols … but that has nothing to do with the way I view myself.)

    However, it didn’t take me long to start wondering, “What on earth does she see in me?” After thinking about it for a bit, I realized that something about me was clearly attractive to her. As long as that was true, I didn’t have to worry about what it was that attracted her. I’m guessing that most men don’t make that realization.

    Even though this lady was better paid than I was, she wasn’t happy with her job (due to an unsupportive administration). On the other hand, I love my job and work with a great team. At one point I commented that it could be argued that I had more job success than she did. She replied that, in her opinion, I did. I was somewhat surprised that she agreed with me, and I was very happy to learn that she defined “success” in a manner similar to me.

    A lot of successful women are ambitious (which is how they become successful). A lot of them want a partner who is also ambitious. I’m not ambitious, and I don’t want a partner who is pushing me to become more ambitious. Therefore, I rarely date ambitious women.

    This relationship fizzled after a couple months. Since she was unhappy with her job, she was looking for another job … and all of her prospects were in other states. It’s also possible that she wasn’t sufficiently interested in me to make time in her (very busy) schedule.

    But back to the topic, I realized that this kind of relationship requires two things:
    1) It requires that the man be comfortable with his own level of success.
    2) It requires that the woman be comfortable with the man’s level of success.

    Not only does the man need to be secure and emotionally evolved, but the woman needs to be secure and emotionally evolved as well.

    ————

    On a related note, Ellyn mentioned problems arising from: “what I perceived as an expression of myself became an attack, criticism, judgment, analysis of him.”

    I love intellectual debate, and I’m usually very outspoken about my opinions. I have learned that I have to dial this tendency down a lot in relationships (especially at the beginning). I try to qualify my statements to be perfectly clear that I’m discussing my perspective, my opinion, my experiences, etc … and that I like to hear about the lady’s perspective, opinion and experiences.

    It’s actually easier to get to know a woman who is equally outspoken and debate oriented, since then we’re accustomed to playing by the same rules.

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