Can a Smart, Strong, Successful Woman Get A Smart, Strong, Successful Man?


Hey Evan, I’m having trouble –as I guess most of the people on this blog are– with finding a partner. I took the big step of asking a friend to be brutally dead honest with me about why they thought I couldn’t find someone great. No wishy-washy answers about giving it time, or not meeting the right kind of people, just absolute dead straight feedback. They thought about it for a good long time, and then replied that I intimidate men. They pointed out that I have a very good degree from a top university, but more than that, in my personal life I am very straightforward and honest. I play no games, hide behind no lies and I play by my own rules. Basically it came down to the fact that I’m not super-feminine. I’m short and slim, and pretty enough if no great beauty, and I dress in a hyper feminine way: dresses, heels, makeup, hair done. I smile a lot. But personality-wise, I am not feminine in the least. I’m the kind of person that values energy, directness, and honesty, and provides them. I have a great sense of humor (verified by friends and family) and I am flippant rather than intense and romantic. My friend said that men didn’t like that. They didn’t like a woman who was funnier than they are, who would earn more at equivalent stages of life and who didn’t want a man to protect and look after her. My BIG question is: are there men who will want me as I am? I am willing to change a lot, but I’m not willing to become some submissive little doll of a woman who only cares about her husband’s success rather than her own. Am I destined to live alone, rolling in a big pile of money, but without anyone to share it with? Yes I have my faults, huge amounts of them, but would I be better off pretending to be someone else? –Amber

Hate to tell you, Amber, but…

Your friend lied to you.

You don’t really intimidate men.

Being feminine isn’t defined by long hair or a curvy body –– being feminine is about being receptive, warm, upbeat, nurturing, supportive, sexy, and confident in your own femininity.

The truth is that the men you want don’t want you in return.

This is the topic of the most popular blog post I’ve ever written, although I’m not exactly sure what’s up for debate.

Before I get into explaining my thesis, I want to backtrack a little bit.

It’s possible that you intimidate men. But even if you do, you wouldn’t really want to marry a man who is intimidated by you, right?

So if we can discard those guys who think you’re too much for them, why would any other man not want to be with you?

I don’t know you personally, but you’ve identified it yourself: “I am not feminine in the least.”

Being feminine isn’t defined by long hair or a curvy body or – as you falsely state – becoming some “submissive little doll of a woman.”

Being feminine is about being receptive, warm, upbeat, nurturing, supportive, sexy, and confident in your own femininity.

The great news is that you can still be smart, strong, and successful and possess ALL of these qualities.

But there simply aren’t many men who think that the most important qualities in a wife are straightforward, direct, flippant, funny and rich.

Sorry about that. I’m just reporting what you’ve already seen.

Now, to be clear, there’s nothing WRONG with being direct, honest, flippant, funny and rich (really, there’s not!). But you know who else is that way?

The men you’re looking to date.

Problem is: those men have no desire to date themselves.

This is the dichotomy of the smart, strong, successful woman.

You want to date the male version of yourself.

He doesn’t.

He’s looking for someone to complement him, to give him what he doesn’t get from his guy friends, what he can’t find in the office.

There’s one other thing that struck me about your email, Amber.

It was this line:

“They didn’t like a woman who was funnier than they are, who would earn more at equivalent stages of life and who didn’t want a man to protect and look after her.”

If we aren’t financially supporting you, if we aren’t protecting you, listening to you, helping to fix the plumbing, setting up the computer, picking you up at the airport… what exactly are we there for?

There’s just too many fallacies being thrown around here:

You’re too funny? And that’s a negative? My sister is certainly funnier than her husband. My mom was arguably funnier than my dad. Some people think my wife is funnier than I am (and I’m a former comedy writer).

So I’m not down with that. What I will agree with is that two people can’t be the center of attention and if you’re the center of attention and he (as an alpha male) likes to be the center of attention, his needs aren’t being met with you. Doesn’t make you wrong for being this way, but it might mean you need to choose a guy who can take a backseat to your big personality.

Your next point was about you earning more money than men.

Sure, some guys have their masculinity threatened by that. For many years, we’ve been taught that we have to be the providers – witness the number of women who expect men to pay for the first date, to pay for the wedding ring, etc. It’s not something that we can easily get over. At the same time, you making money is not the deal breaker you think it is – at least not with an enlightened man.

Listen, I’d love it if my wife made a million bucks. But in order to do that, she’d probably have to work 50-60 hours a week, go into the office on weekends, travel, and be less available for nights watching TV, weekend trips away, and regular sex. No, thanks. I’m fine with her making $50K.

Most other successful men have come to the same conclusion. If he does fine for himself, he doesn’t care what his wife makes. It’s only women who make a lot of money who care what their spouses make.

Finally, what you don’t seem to understand here, Amber, is that men want to be NEEDED. If we aren’t financially supporting you, if we aren’t protecting you, listening to you, helping to fix the plumbing, setting up the computer, picking you up at the airport… what exactly are we there for?

You wrote that you don’t “want a man to protect and look after” you.

That’s unfortunate. Because that’s what WE want to do.

As to your final question: “are there men who will want me as I am?”

Are there men who don’t want to be needed? Who value your directness over your supportiveness? Sure. Probably.

But they may not be the men that you want to date.

Despite your attraction, any strong-willed man will clash with you non-stop, so what you’re left with is a more pliant beta-male.

Those are your choices: soften up a bit and tap into your feminine side or find a softer man who embraces your directness because he doesn’t have it himself.

P.S. Most of my successful clients were the ones who chose different men instead of attempting to change their own personalities.

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Comments:

  1. 31
    Trenia

    Amber and Evan brings up something very interesting, a woman’s femininity and the way men need to feel needed. The problem is, as women and times change, what women see as needs are changing, but men aren’t changing what they are offering us based on how we’re evolving. We’re still talking about how men need to fix things around the house to feel needed, when women know they can just pay the neighbor’s brother to do what needs to be done for $25. But because women tend to feel more compelled to be coupled up than men do (generally speaking), we are the ones who feel like we have to change to get the man at all costs. But herein lies the problem between women and men in the 21st century, and unfortunately there will be casualties until things re-calibrate. Casualties meaning, unfortunately, a lot of women probably will not make it down the aisle, I suspect a good portion of my generation (I’m 32) will remain single, but the generation of women after me will fair much better in love and relationships.
    What’s happening with men these days is similar to what’s happened to the auto industry in Detroit, they wanted to keep doing things in the same way they’ve always done it, while everywhere else on the planet is upgrading technology and changing the way they do business. As I said, there will probably be many casualties, but I suspect the next generation is already changing things.

  2. 32
    Ann

    Ruby@30: LOVE your response, and I agree! Maybe something better than being married right now is in the offing for her, or maybe she’ll have a better marriage if she waits. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong because she isn’t married right now. She might do well to examine why she thinks she should be or why she wants to be.

    Trenia@32: Brilliant. I could never respect a man who NEEDS me to play dumb so that he can feel NEEDED. How ridiculous. I’m good at a lot of things, some that are considered traditionally masculine things. And I suck at some things that are considered traditionally feminine. My BF is the same way, but vice versa. Together we’re a hodgepodge of talents and abilities. But it’s not like we’re two dumbheads who can’t figure out between us how to get things done. It astounds me when I meet these women who don’t know how to manage their finances or men who can’t cook or wash a dish because they don’t think it’s part of the genetic coding for their gender.

    But we’re together because we want to be, not because we need to be. It’s trickier to do relationship this way, though, because when you encounter conflict you actually don’t want to be with the other person, and there isn’t any need binding you. So we’re always reassessing the relationship and breaking up is always a viable option. We’ll never get divorced, though, so that’s a good thing!!

  3. 33
    Helen

    All these comments about men needing to be needed are very interesting.

    Trenia 32 is onto something. The more society evolves, the less women truly “need” men for anything. I say this not as anything against men, whom I love; but as an observation of society. John Gray (Mars & Venus) and others agree, but claim that women still need men for affection, affirmation, etc. But is it really true? It seems like stretching the truth just to conform to an old-fashioned notion. After all, can’t single women get affection and affirmation from friends, family members, casual relationships, and pets?

    This is not to say that I don’t think women should get into LTRs. They are incredibly rewarding. But can’t we dispense with this whole notion of “needing” men? I can’t believe it has a real biological basis. Males of other species don’t depend upon females to “need” them for anything.  Female lions do all the hunting AND the cub-rearing; male lions do virtually nothing except breed, yawn, and lick their chops. Female monkeys are capable of getting enough food for themselves and rearing youngsters on their own. 

    So what is the basis for all this “need to be needed” among humans? Maybe it is all part of the game that many have alluded to here, which understandably is a distasteful game for many self-sufficient women.

    1. 33.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Helen: maybe in your mind, you can get the same things from friends, family members, casual relationships and pets. But I sure can’t. None of them will make love with me. None of them will wake up by my side. None of them will be in the trenches with me raising kids. None of them will be living in my house, building memories every single day. You do a disservice to married couples – and the beautifully codependent lives they build – by suggesting that any other relationship is a reasonable substitute.

      And that, by the way, is why people keep coming back for more. The reason that people strive for love. The reason that people tie the knot. Despite love’s potential to hurt and disappoint, we want MORE than the lick of a dog or the laugh of a friend.

      Comparing humans to lions denies what makes us human. Lions don’t have a fraction of the capacity of humans to love. Perhaps that’s why male lions aren’t needed.

      You don’t need to make any other biological comparisons. You just have to look at all the people who fall in love and try to make it work in the world to determine whether we need to be needed.

      Seems to me the answer’s yes, no matter how much you’d like to think the answer’s no.

  4. 34
    Ann

    EMK@35: I think you mean “interdependent,” not “codependent,” which isn’t considered a healthy way of relating.

    Long as we’re on the topic of codependency, though, if you’re going to say that there are positive things that you can only get in a marriage, you must also admit that there is a whole lot of crappy, destructive stuff that you can only get in a marriage, too. Like divorce, which has got to be the crappiest relationship experience on the planet.

    I’m with Helen–I don’t think that the things you list are the exclusive benefits of marriage. I get them in other ways and I’m perfectly happy getting them this way. I’m not the only one. You’re put together the way you’re put together; others are put together the way they’re put together. Enough room for everyone!!! Equal respect all around!

    1. 34.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Actually, co-dependent is an apt description, but we can play with semantics if you like.

      Saying that you only get “divorce” out of marriage is like saying you can only get “fired” if you get a job. So the answer is simply not to work so you can never get fired? Huh?

      You get married because the depth of your relationship with one person transcends all the other relationships. The fact that you’re happy being single doesn’t take away from that.

      And the fact that you and Helen can create some false equivalence between your relationship between you and your dog or your sister doesn’t mean that living with, building a life with, and sleeping with one person for 40 years isn’t a significantly different (and objectively deeper) experience. I respect your right to be single, but honestly, a friendship and a marriage are apples and oranges.

  5. 35
    Helen

    Evan, I don’t see how my remark does disservice to married couples – that is too extreme a statement. Married folks (including myself) wouldn’t be affected at all by such a comment. We’re in marriages because we want to be in them. We’re not going to start questioning our marriages just because I suggest that affection and affirmation can be had by other relationships.

    That doesn’t mean that I know that my life is much better than the life of an unmarried person, or that a single person cannot be fulfilled through other relationships.

    In any case, this is a tangent. The point I’d been trying to make was about the notion of needing to be needed, and whether we could dispense with this notion altogether and just admit it’s a WANT in today’s society, not a NEED.  

    1. 35.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Helen: Affection and affirmation CAN be had by other relationships. Just not with the same depth, consistency and intensity as a marriage, at the very least because you’re not living and sleeping with your girl friend.

      I didn’t say my life is “better” than an unmarried person, especially if that person DOESN’T want to be married. I did say that the depth of my relationship with with my wife and the value of what we’ve built together – a home, a family – might be more meaningful. There are plenty of unhappily married couples, but a strong marriage, I believe, transcends mere friendship…and that’s why most people pursue it.

      Finally, we can quibble about the semantics once again, but it doesn’t change the message. Do you NEED a man the way you NEED air? No. But you’re bright enough to understand the point. When women revel in their independence and their lack of need for a man, it’s not a turn on for a man – even if he appreciates a woman who is exceptionally bright and interesting. Not sure if we disagree on anything.

  6. 36
    Ann

    Helen@37: Agree 100%!!!

    EMK@38: I really do not think you want to suggest that people get into codependent relationships, given what that word means in common parlance.

    EMK@39: How long have you been married? And Helen, how long have you been married?

    Again, EMK. I would suggest that you are speaking about your own experience. Maybe you need a marriage to experience depth, consistency, and intensity in a relationship with a woman. I would not say that this is a universal experience. And just because you didn’t have that kind of experience when you were single doesn’t mean that other people don’t.

  7. 37
    Angie

    To some of the above posters:  I don’t really think Evan said at any point play dumb or play down your best traits to get a man.  I read through this thread a few times.
     
    Just don’t overemphasize that you don’t need anybody or anyone and devalue your partner if you expect to keep a partner.  If you genuinely appreciate someone, you will both let them demonstrate their love for you and you will respond with gratitude.  This should be with all relationships, but of course your primary romantic relationship should be first and foremost.
     
    You shouldn’t date someone who thinks you are totally incapable of doing anything yourself because you are some poor little woman or is too insecure to deal with the fact that you make good money (I have several friends who make more money than their boyfriends / husbands, but these friends – especially the married ones – treat their combined salaries as “our” money, not mine vs. his). I do know that some men with inferiority complexes will insult and degrade hard-working women, but those aren’t worth the OP’s time.
     
    You wouldn’t have ANY good relationships, friendships of otherwise, if you didn’t have some ability to show your appreciation.  Do you always ask one friend for fashion advice b/c she has great taste?  Is there a friend you love to go out with b/c she’s loads of fun?  Maybe you should break down and analyze the good relationships you’ve forged, figure out WHY they are so good, and then go from there.

  8. 38
    Ann

    EMK@38: One other thought on this:

    Saying that you only get “divorce” out of marriage is like saying you can only get “fired” if you get a job. So the answer is simply not to work so you can never get fired? Huh?

    This goes back to the discussion of want v need. Everyone needs to work; work is basic to survival. If you are a stay-at-home mom, you are working for your keep. If you are a lawyer, you are working for your keep. If you are foraging in the forest, you are working for your keep. Only a rare few in this world are in a position where they do not have to work. So everyone has a “job” so to speak. “Getting fired”–or losing what you rely on to survive–is a risk that everyone faces.

    Getting married is a want. It is not a need. In developed countries, at least, no one has to get married. We all have a choice whether to take on the risk of divorce or not. A lot of people have decided that whatever benefit they might get from marriage, it is not worth the risk of the crappiness of a divorce.

    So I don’t think the analogy works.

  9. 39
    Helen

    Evan 39: “When women revel in their independence and their lack of need for a man, it’s not a turn on for a man.”

    Evan, we do indeed agree on the awesome aspects of marriage and political outlook (as evidenced by some of your comments). But where we appear to disagree – and please correct me if I’m wrong - is our perceptions of women’s attitudes.  I quoted you above to assure you: by and large, women don’t revel in our independence or lack of need for a man! The vast majority of women aren’t even thinking that way. If we are independent, it’s not because we revel in it, or because we’re trying to defy men.  It’s because we learned that we need to take responsibility for ourselves as adults to eat, sleep, and have the basic creature comforts.  And if we aren’t lucky enough to be married right away to a man who can provide all this, of course we need to learn how to do it ourselves.

    I fail to see this in any way as being “anti-men.” Or having anything to do with men, period. It’s just common sense in order to survive in the world. Guys, if we woman are independent, it’s NOT about you. It doesn’t mean we hate you (most of us love you and want you). It doesn’t even mean we revel in it. I really wish, for the sake of my brilliant single girlfriends who want a LTR, that men would stop taking their independence personally. Just because a woman can survive on her own doesn’t mean she doesn’t love a special guy’s company.

    Ann 40: Thanks!  To answer your question, I’ve been married 13 years. 

  10. 40
    Joe

    @ Trenia #32:

    Would you rather maintain your facade of independence and pay your neighbor’s brother $25 to do something, or just ask your boyfriend to do something he’d be happy to do for you for free?

  11. 41
    Heather

    @Joe #10

    I agree but I was NOT leaning on the guy all the time.  I try very hard not to do that to people.  I am far from helpless.  I just resent being told one thing, and then being damned for believing it.  I believe in saying what you mean, and meaning what you say. 

    I just don’t know what to believe about you guys anymore, LOL.

  12. 42
    Ann

    Here’s a thought: If your life is awesome, your life is awesome. Marital status has nothing to do with it. That way, if your marital status changes, you still get to have an awesome life.

    And kudos to Helen@43 on telling it like it is! What does any woman’s choices regarding work, marriage, lifestyle, or even hairdo have to do with guys? All people–which includes women, last time I checked–make choices based on what will make them happy. Whether these choices turn men on or not is really not the women’s problem. Maybe guys should become less codependent and work on thir own happiness rather than trying to get women to change.

    1. 42.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Ah, Ann, you’ve just revealed your blind spot.

      “What does any woman’s choices regarding work, marriage, lifestyle have to do with guys?”

      Everything if you want to be in a relationship with a guy. If you don’t, then I’m not sure why you’d be on this blog.

      If you work 60 hours a week, your guy doesn’t get his needs met. If you’re training for a triathlon, he doesn’t get his needs met. If you’re high-maintenance and critical, he doesn’t get his needs met.

      And if it’s more important to you to be the CEO, run marathons, and “be right”, then you can be PERFECTLY happy.

      Really. No one’s trying to change you.

      You just won’t find many men who will find you their ideal partner.

  13. 43
    Saint Stephen

    If you aren’t looking for a BF/LTR you will find plenty of men who are comfortable with not being needed for anything except for the occasional sex call.
     
    If you don’t need a man for anything then what do you ant him for? Sex? you can get that without the hassle of commitment. Share conversations? you can do that with your pals. Protection? You can hire a bodyguard or purchase a weapon for self defense.
     
    With smart strong successful women- i think their want for a man emanates from wanting to prove to their peers that they can get everything others have. Inwardly they may really don’t want a man, but at the same time are scared and avoiding the stigma associated with being single.

  14. 44
    Sayanta

    Evan-

    Most men ANd women work 60 hours a week nowadays. You have to pay the bills

    1. 44.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Once again, Sayanta, I didn’t say that MEN who work 60 hours a week are a prize. Anyone who has little time to give to the relationship is a liability. But since this site is for women, I’m talking about women who put work before love.

  15. 45
    Tara

    @St Stephen 48
    How can you generalize like that?
     
    You make it sound as if all strong, smart successful women are very shallow.
    I’m sure some of them fall into the description you give, but
    maybe more likely, many of them probably became overly self-sufficient, but feel out of balance, and may have trouble getting into their heads and into their hearts, and are not quite in touch with their intuition and what it is they really want, in all areas of their lives.

  16. 46
    Gem


    Ann #42

    Getting married is a want. It is not a need. In developed countries, at least, no one has to get married. We all have a choice whether to take on the risk of divorce or not. A lot of people have decided that whatever benefit they might get from marriage, it is not worth the risk of the crappiness of a divorce.

    Evan never said that marriage is a need. He said that men like and are attracted to, in addition to other things, the feeling of being needed in a relationship. Not unlike women. I know I appreciate the feeling that my man comes to me with certain needs that he feels he can’t get met anywhere else. NO, not just sex. Emotional, psychological, spiritual things that he trusts only ME with because our relationship is that deep. Because throughout the course of time, the love relationship deepens and transcends, as Evan pointed out, beyond what a platonic friendship or family member could.

    Some of the comments on this thread from women show their utter abhorrence at the thought of ever needing a man for ANYTHING as if it represents a weakness that they’d rather slit their wrist than admit. Sheesh!

    For women who don’t care if they are in a relationship or not, good news, Evan isn’t talking to you. He’s happy you’re happy getting everything you want out of life from your career/friends/family/dog/hobbies.

    But the OP isn’t happy! She wants a man and she’s the one who said, “I am not feminine in the least.” 

    Well, what do you expect Evan to say when she asks if she stands a chance at love? The truth. Yes, there are men who will want her, but their probably gonna be more subserviant to her because she’s the strong one. There is usually a polarity in relationships. Rarely do two alphas live happily ever after. One is at least MORE alpha. So she can be with
    one of those men or nurture/find her more feminine side in order to cast a wider net.

    Sometimes women just don’t know how to turn off “work-mode” when they come home and deal with men. But if they learned to let it go a little they would find that it doesn’t compromise their strength or belittle them at all. In fact they could have it all. They could reach their goals and still have the passion at home.

    Patty Stanger (the millionaire matchmaker) just said that she’s hell-on-wheels at work, but with men she is docile. Hard to imagine, huh? AND WHY?? Because she wants to feed passion and romance to her own benefit. She wants the man to feel like the man, and she wants to feel like the woman. We all have different sides to us. She shows her man her most soft side. 

    I don’t think that means she dumbs down and pretends to be inept, I think she means she allows her man to feel like a strong, decisive, protecting, providing, NEED-meeting man he wants/needs to feel like.

    How is this a bad thing?

  17. 47
    Helen

    Gem, what you write does not contradict what you quote Ann as saying. She said want, not need.  Your second to last paragraph is full of what a woman “wants” – you mention it 3 times.  And again, you say that the OP “wants” a relationship. None of this contradicts what Ann or others have said before. As for your statement about women not caring if they’re in a relationship: Ann never said she didn’t want a relationship.  She is IN one.  We wouldn’t be in them if we didn’t want them.

    “How is this a bad thing?”

    It’s not a bad thing if you consciously make it part of your game and are aware of the potential consequences.  It IS a bad thing if you end up giving away too much credit or power to men who don’t deserve it, or to bad men.  I’m definitely not saying all men are bad.  But a small proportion are.  It is also a bad thing if, even if you’re “needing” a good man, the good man goes away – dies, divorces – and you’re left not knowing how to do something like finances or repairing the home because you always relied on him to do it.

    Women should be able to do things in life. Simplistic statement, but true. 

  18. 48
    Gem

    Helen #53
    Gem, what you write does not condradict what you quote Ann as saying. She said want, not need.
      

    I know; the point about “need”  is that men appreciate the feeling of being needed by their girlfriend/wife/family. Whether or not someone chooses to opt out of relationships/marriage to avoid divorce/pain doesn’t negate the fact that there are many gifts of experience that come from a love relationship they are missing out on, and as Evan believes and I agree, can’t really be substituted by other relationships.

    Especially if in one’s friendship, they never want to NEED anything from that friend or be vunerable because, OMG, they might be hurt. Put up barriers to how vulnerable one’s willing to be and the relationship is pretty superficial. If a super-woman refuses to NEED a man for anything so she doesn’t ever depend on someone else for ANYTHING and therfore possibly suffer the potential consequences you mention, why would she allow her friendships to ever get past bird-bath depth either???

    If the vibe from said super-woman is I don’t need men, they’re kind of irrelevant in my life because I can do everything for myself, I am woman hear me roar, but hey, I still want a man, why is it a suprise if the average man is not turned on by that.

    Most men (and women) who seek love are looking for something deeper. And that includes feeling needed, being vulnerable, depending on each other, etc….. All that scary stuff, that yes, comes with risk — like most worthwhile things in life.

  19. 49
    Helen

    Gem, I think we’re talking past each other, because the latest points you make do not seem relevant to my earlier post. That’s okay; it doesn’t matter.

    Here is an example of where I think it is the men who should change their attitudes in the long run. Evan has written before that he advises women to change because: 1) they’re the ones asking him for advice, and 2) you can’t change others; you can only change yourself. So very true, and commonsensical.  But in this case we’re discussing, I think it is incumbent on Western men in the future to change their need to be needed if they want to be in an LTRs.  If they don’t want LTRs, then fine - no need to change.

    Why do I say this? Because women will only become more independent as time goes on. Already women substantially outrank men in college graduation rates, and increasing proportions of women are earning advanced degrees. Meanwhile, the average age of marriage continues to increase. That means that even if some women don’t want to, they MUST learn all the skills to live independently. But fewer women will fall into this category (not wanting to live independently), because everything women hear in schools is about exciting career pursuits. I.e., many forces in society are pushing us to find rewards in education and careers.

    Not a bad thing in general. But ay, there’s the rub: we women can only twist and turn ourselves so far in pretending NOT to be independent. Sure, women can put on a show of needing, but the truth will out; it cannot be contained. Sensible men will know that women don’t need certain things any more than they do. It doesn’t mean that women and men won’t continue to desire each other’s company; that is hardwired into our biology. But the illusion of certain types of need must diminish with time.

    In some ways, this is inevitable. America forces the notion of independence down our throats, which overall is good, but has its drawbacks too. As women grow ever more engaged in every aspect of society, of course we will be encouraged or forced to pursue that same path.

    For our part, I think we women need to become much more accepting of the “beta males” that Evan refers to in this post – the ones who don’t earn as much as us, who may be shorter than us, who would be happy to stay at home. That, along with men becoming more accepting of strong women, will restore balance in future generations of relationships.

  20. 50
    Greg

    @Sayanta

    Most people do not work 60 hours a week.  Maybe the most people in your particular field.  I’m an engineer and I’ve never worked 60 hours in a single week in my entire career.  If I had to I would quitm because other things are more important.

    @Helen

    What’s with all this stuff about women not knowing how to do anything? If anything the modern woman has less skills than the women of previous generations.   Many women today can’t even cook.  My stay at home mother had a masters degree but could cook, clean, sew, was in charge of paying the bills, cut hair, could do yard work and paint.  The only thing she couldn’t do was move refrigerators and couches and operate chainsaws and power-tools.  That’s where my father came in.  They are a real team and always work together and give each other credit.  
    Women of past generations worked hard in the fields and managed family businesses.  They might not have been climbing the corporate ladder, but they were very capable, as women have always been since the beginning of time.   None of these things that my mom or other women did are rocket science or require a degree.  Everyone should be able to do them.  My mom laughs at women who have doctorate degrees but can’t cook a decent meal or mop a floor. So yes, women SHOULD know how to take care of themselves, but they should also allow the men in their lives to feel needed and a part of the team.

  21. 51
    Ann

    Helen@55: Fantastic comments. One other thought: Today so many tasks are automated and outsourced, and knowledge about how to do almost anything is so easy to access that the idea of men’s and women’s tasks based on some biological predilection is falling away. Guys don’t need to know how to lube an engine anymore, and they can watch cooking demos on TV if they want to learn how to cook. Women can learn the principles of aerodynamics by taking an online course and hire a cleaning service for their houses. Or vice versa.
     
    EMK@47: As Helen mentioned, I’m in a relationship with a guy, and because I want it, not because I need it. Three years now, and we knew each other for more than a decade before we decided to become involved. Both of us have been in long-term relationships before; neither of us has married and we don’t plan to. No kids, though we both are very involved with other people’s children through work, family, or volunteerism. I ran a marathon this year. The training didn’t bother him at all. We both have highly responsible jobs that require specialized skills; we both make six figures; we both sometimes work 60 hours per week. We each take care of our own needs (which are, admittedly, quite simple), so that when we are together (anywhere from every day to one day per week) we focus on what we co-create. Our co-creations include all kinds of travel, healthy cooking, exercise (jogging, biking, mountain hiking, XC skiing, swimming), artistic pursuits (a major thing for us), and education. Each of us has a wide circle of family/friends, acquaintances, and coworkers, many of whom we’ve known for decades. We are both loved, and we love in return. We both know that if we were to break up (which we have discussed), we would both meet other people and move on. I don’t see what’s missing here.
     
    Gem@52: I was just saying that I didn’t think you can make a comparison between getting fired from a job and getting divorced. That’s because everybody needs to work, so losing one’s job is a risk that everyone takes in order to survive. People don’t have to be married, so people who don’t want to risk a divorce often choose to stay unmarried.

  22. 52
    devymetal

    @ Ann57: I don’t see what’s missing here. 

    Honestly, what’s missing is marriage, children, and the commitment to never break up.  

     You may not want or value these things, but most women do. 

  23. 53
    Stacey

    Evan #47:

    If you work 60 hours a week, your guy doesn’t get his needs met. If you’re training for a triathlon, he doesn’t get his needs met. If you’re high-maintenance and critical, he doesn’t get his needs met

    Evan, could you elaborate on this. Which needs are not being met by me training for a marathon? It was amusing to read this comment since I do run marathons. Me and my boyfriend work out together half the times (he doesn’t do long runs but short are ok) and the actual events (marathons and half marathons) are very festive, family members come to cheer and support, we go for a meal after… ? Also, nothing keeps you in shape better than running, really nothing, so a  guy should actually benefit from his g/f being active.

    Also, I do work in a demanding industry and 60 hours a week is kinda on the low side of what people work, but so does my boyfried. We still get to cook dinners together cuddle in front of the TV or go out.

    It sounds to me like you’re talking about a type of guy who expects his woman’s life to revolve around him. In that case, he better be a really, really amazing catch, like Derek Jeter great. Everyone else better get over themselves. Just my opinion.

    1. 53.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Stacey – I make generalizations in order to give advice. If you and your boyfriend share in the marathoning experience, I’m thrilled for you.

      But if I’m your husband, and I’m coming home at 7pm to eat dinner, and that’s the very time that you’re going out to run for two hours – or if you take every weekend to train – or if you wake up really early to run and go to bed really early… when exactly do I get to spend time with you? Obviously if you share your athletic passions, it works. But what about the 99% of men who DON’T run marathons? They wouldn’t get much out of being with someone as busy as you. That’s all I’m saying.

  24. 54
    Margaret

    Ann and Helen,  all excellent comments.
     
    @ Greg:  What if a woman has no desire to cook elaborate meals?  It’s not necessarily hardwired into all of us.  I agree, we should all have certain basic skills.  I can prepare basic meals, and clean the house beautifully if I have to.  I just don’t want to.  I work hard, so I keep the house picked up and have a cleaning lady every two weeks. I think it’s wonderful for both men and women( who have the desire), to cook like Michael Symon.

    Your mom sounds wonderful….much like mine.  I’ll admit, I fall far short of both of them in terms of domestic skills.  As a little girl, I was never overaly interested in being a homemaker. But my mother admires me for what I give to my patients and their families.  I often joke that I throw myself so much into my career so that  I don’t dwell on what crummy homemaker I am!  LOL 

    I think we all bring something to the table, and those assets don’t necessarily fall along tradtitional and historic lines.

  25. 55
    Stacey

    Evan, so you’re really talking about simple compatibility here. Running marathons doesn’t keep you single. Working 60 hours doesnt keep you single. Doing that AND going after guys who expect you to be home at 7pm with the dinner ready and doesn’t share your major interests –  does. That is a whole different issue altogether. And, as a person with an active, busy and fulfilling life, why would I want to be with someone like that, what do I get out of it? Shouldn’t a relationship be mutually beneficial, so to speak  

    1. 55.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      My life is perfectly fulfilling without running marathons, Stacey. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that because someone doesn’t share your hobbies, they’re less of a person or that you couldn’t be perfectly happy with them.

      The problem here is only the one you’ve created for yourself. If you insist that you need a man who runs marathons for “compatibility” then you’ve eliminated 99% of the population. Where as I can date 99% of the population because I don’t need a woman who runs marathons. Furthermore, 99% of men might just find that you’re too unavailable. Sounds to me like you’ve created a quandary for yourself. It’s not impossible for the marathon runner or mountain climber or extreme SCUBA diver to find love with a man who does the same activities…there’s just a LOT fewer options in the universe for you.

  26. 56
    Sayanta

    Well, I don’t relate to the marathon thing but it seems that if you have a passion in life you have to choose bt that or a husband

  27. 57
    Angie

    Evan, you had me until your post #47.

    If you are working 60 hours a week or training for a triathlon, you may be doing this to meet your own needs.  Your primary need is to support yourself, and some people need to work 60 hours a week to do so.  (About 5-6 years ago, I was let go from a position I’d been in for a year due to lack of work, but picked up a 2-week contract gig that required I travel out of town… My then-bf threw a fit that if I “needed money that bad he could pay me to sit on his couch” b/c he didn’t want me leaving town for two weeks).  Too bad if he wasn’t getting his “needs” met.  It’s condescending, jerky behavior to not allow your girlfriend to support herself.  That is NOT the same as letting a man be a gentlemen and help out with “manly” tasks such as car maintenance or electronics setup.

    Also, I agree that you shouldn’t drop a hobby for a man.

    1. 57.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I’m not really concerned if I lost you, Angie. It just means you’re trying to find every means to misinterpret what I said. I never said that your man should forbid you from having a hobby. I never said that you should refuse to support yourself. I never said you should date a guy who would pay you to sit on his couch out of his own insecurity. Those are all your words, not mine.

      I said that the greatest gift you can give a man is your time. And if you can’t or won’t give more time to him because you’re busy working or running, you will find fewer men who are content with your relationship. That’s not my opinion. That’s my observation. If you choose to run marathons or being a CEO over a man, that’s your business. It doesn’t affect me one bit and I do hope you’re happy with your choices.

  28. 58
    Sayanta

    It’s funny though- a LOT of Indian couples I know have had commuter courtships or worked overseas apart from their partner- its just accepted. They’ve also stayed married. I think western men tend to need more care and feeding. It’s part of the narcissism culture- bound to happen.

  29. 59
    Michelle

    Is there a class or something to teach people how to look at the big picture and get out of the weeds?!  Geez Louise…this are pretty simple concepts and truisms, and they being argued with semantics.

    1. 59.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Yes, Michelle, there is a class. It’s called my Commitment Course. Except all the people who chose to argue with me in this forum would never take it because it might mean letting go of certain limiting beliefs or changing certain behaviors and expectations.

      And most of us would much prefer for everyone else to change, instead of changing ourselves.

      The few who are open to change are the ones who pay for my products, hire me and get results. Everyone else just complains that I’m wrong.

      If you want to be the CEO who works 60 hour weeks, if you want to run marathons, if you want to date a 45 year old with washboard abs, if you want your man to be an animal activist, if you want to meet men without dating online, if you want a man who makes more than you even though you make a ton of money, if you want a man who is the greatest in bed and has a libido that completely matches yours, if you want a man who has the same exact spiritual beliefs, etc, etc, I am extremely happy for you. Go out and get him. Just stop complaining to me that you can’t find him, okay?

  30. 60
    Helen

    Sayanta 64: No. NO. You don’t have to make that choice. If anything, your passion or hobby or community activity is where you have a better likelihood of meeting the one for you!
     
    Don’t give up the things you love just for the purposes of finding a husband. When you find the one who is right for you, figure out ways to compromise or work out schedules if either of you feels you’re not seeing enough of the other.
     
    In a tender and mature relationship, this kind of discussion can take place without any anger, resentment, or guilting on either side.

    1. 60.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Yes, Helen, it’s very easy to meet men on the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro or SCUBA diving off the Great Barrier Reef. No one’s saying for you to give up your hobbies. I’m just saying that if you spend all your time with your hobbies and you never meet any men, it’s pretty predictable why you can’t find love.

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