- Gender and Relationships
Are Men Intimidated by Successful or Smart Women? - Relationship Advice
I'm having a very difficult time finding a serious boyfriend. I am 32 years old, have a very successful career, I am financially stable and I am extremely intelligent. I meet men and I am asked out all the time. After only a few dates most men are just so intimidated by my intellect and my success that they never call again. I've tried to utilize dating sites so I can target other intelligent and successful men but this hasn't helped.
I am extremely honest with my dates about what I want in life. I am focused and driven. I know what I want. I tell them I want to be married in the next couple of years and I want to start having children right away. I'm very clear about how much money I earn and I let them know that I am not going to sacrifice my career. I've researched daycare facilities in my area and I know there are several very good ones. I am not up for nonsense and immaturity. I expect people to be as honest with me as I am with them. But men don't want to be honest. They don't want to admit that they are intimidated by a woman who knows what she wants.
Is there any man out there that can be with a strong successful woman?
I seriously doubt that there are many men out there that are intimidated by your success or intellect.
It's more likely that after a few dates, the men you are dating are discovering they don't like you.
Let's start by going through exactly what you said. You wrote that you tell dates early on that you want to be married in 2 years, you want kids right away, you've put the cart before the horse and have already decided that the kids will be in daycare, and finally that you expect the guy not to be immature.
Even if you met someone that was very into you, you've crushed a good deal of the possibilities by date #3. Getting to know someone can be romantic and fun. Telling them that they are time frame restricted before they can even decide if they might want a serious relationship with you is very controlling. You reinforce that by lowering the gavel on other decisions that should be things a healthy couple discusses and decides together. Whether or not to have children and how they will be raised are the kinds of things you discuss with a partner, not the kinds of things you list off in a matter of fact way when you've only known each other a couple of weeks.
There is Catch 22 here. If you feel strongly about having children you certainly do not want to let yourself get involved with and fall in love with a man that feels very strongly that he never wants children.
The reasonable time frame to share things like this varies. Sometimes these things come up naturally in the course of a normal conversation. Sometimes you have to get to know someone a little bit before these conversations are comfortable; perhaps a couple of months. When you lambaste a new acquaintance too quickly with your check list, you aren't coming across like a person with the potential to be a partner. You aren't appearing to be calm and together and rational. It's more likely you're coming across as inflexible, desperate, and agenda driven.
No guy is going to be attracted to you by being made to feel he fits into your agenda. No guy is going to want to spend his life with you if you make it sound as if he's only going to have his say in the relationship when he happens to agree with you. Even if he's on the same page about wanting marriage and kids in the next few years, he is going to be completely turned off by your approach. You didn't weed-out a non-contender. You scared off everyone.
It's hard for some people to find that healthy balance between too soon and too late to express their feelings about issues that are important to them going forward. It's a talent to read the other person and assess the comfort level of the dates. Additionally, it's sometimes just as hard to figure out how to express yourself.
No one wants to be told what to do, or what's acceptable, especially someone you're considering as a potential partner. There is a way to bring up your feelings on things without barking them as if they were the law.
You don't mention if you've even asked any of these dates what their thoughts are regarding marriage, careers, kids, or day care, for example. You only say that you told them what you want. The ability to listen is just as important as the ability to express.
Women use excuses to make themselves feel better when a guy is "just not that into them." They come up with things like how he's too busy, or just not ready, or that he's intimidated by her success. None of these are ever valid. If a guy is really into being with you, he'll make the time. No question. If a guy says he isn't ready, there's a good chance he means it's you, not him. And anytime a women tells herself that the guy was too intimidated by her, she's lying to herself. She doesn't want to admit that he, for whatever reason, didn't like her. It's easier to blame him, or circumstance, then to say, "Maybe it's me."
You said you are "not up for nonsense or immaturity." I have the feeling your no-nonsense dates translate as not very fun. Are you the kind of woman that tries to make the guy feel immature if he mentions that he likes playing Halo or World of Warcraft? If he says he and his friends are into paintball or beer pong, so you turn your nose up and make sure he's aware that you're not up for that? By that third date is he not even telling you about himself because he's just tired of hearing how immature he is?
Elaine, really what this comes down to is attitude.
The fact that you are an independent successful career woman is a very cool thing. It's not the reason you can't find a boyfriend. It should attract a great pool of guys. It doesn't scare them off. What does is the attitude.
I wind up giving a good deal of advice to women about how to work on themselves first. You can't be a good partner until you can be a good You. It feels to me like you've accomplished the You part. You've built a life for yourself that's exemplary. You sound like you're very good at being You. You aren't looking to someone else to give you a life.
Perhaps you've worked so hard independently that you've lost sight of how to be a partner. And that can be fixed.
When you're out on a first date, you aren't on a job interview. It's not all about you, and what you can do, and what you want. A date is a partnership of sorts. It's two people seeing how they do together. You aren't there to showcase your "me" skills. You're more likely to do well if you focus more on your "us" skills.
If you listen, ask questions, and get to know him as a person, you have a better chance of his wanting to get to know you, too.
I wrote a Hub called The First Date - Don't Scare Him Off. I hope you'll check it out. There's a certain order and timing element involved with revealing yourself to a new person, whether you're dating them, working with them, or living near them. Whatever the relationship dynamic is, you don't jump head first into the biggest baddest issues. Additionally, you don't present them in an "it's all about me" way, when you're goal is a partnership.
Long Term Relationships are about compromise, listening, growing together and unfolding each other. If you're making it clear that you are not a team player, you can't be surprised when no one wants to play on your team.