We’ve got a new Dear Dude on board! This Dude has traveled the world, worked in international development and dated 8 gajillion women. These days, he enjoys living with his awesome girlfriend, puttering around the house and terrorizing his adopted homeland with his loud, loud American accent.
At the risk of sounding cocky, I’m a fairly accomplished lady. I have a good job, an advanced degree, I’m well-traveled and well-read and I think (and I’ve been told) that I’m pretty cute. I’ve had serious relationships before but lately I just can’t seem to get lucky. My girlfriends tell me that I’m such a catch, men are intimidated, but I feel like that’s just something girlfriends say to each other. Is that an actual possibility? Could I really be intimidating men with all the things that I’ve accomplished and the fact that I have my life together? And if so, then what? Just wait around for a guy who’s equally put-together (they’re pretty thin around here). Lower my standards? Downplay my accomplishments? What should I do?
Dear Accomplished Lady,
A good job? Intelligent? Well-traveled? And CUTE?! Yeah, I’d say you’re a catch. Honestly, I’ve never understood the whole “I’m intimidated by smart and successful women” complex that, apparently, affects a large portion of the male population.
First piece of advice – don’t settle. I have no idea how dire your situation is, but if you are half the catch you describe yourself to be, consider adjusting your tactics. Settling doesn’t equate to happiness in the long game. If you’re smart, chances are you’ll want someone interested in the big wide world around them.
That said, kindness, capability and honesty go a long way in a partner. I do think plenty of men are intimidated by smart women. I have no idea why. Men have been led around by intelligent and smartly-dressed leading ladies since time began. Eve. Cleopatra. Hell, Lucille Ball ran circles around Ricky Ricardo! You think we’d be used to it by now. Apparently not.
So here we go, Accomplished. I am going to list some of the traits that I (and most of my buddies) find attractive in a woman.
I like to be with a woman who is fun and easy to be around. I like someone who enjoys sex and takes care of herself. I like someone who won’t try to change me and reinforces the positive aspects of me that I think are great. As mentioned, kindness and capability are always attractive human traits. If the guy is over 30, he might be eyeing up your “motherhood potential” as well. And you know that old saying “a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”? DING! Your grandma nailed it! But doesn’t everybody like dating a good cook?
I don’t know you so I don’t know if you’re intimidating men or you don’t happen to possess traits that these particular men are after. Does that sound horrible? Really, I imagine that the traits most guys are looking for in a girlfriend – fun, easy-going, sexy, supportive, kind – are pretty similar to what you’re looking for in a boyfriend.
Where are you going to find these guys, Accomplished? Believe me, they are asking the same question regarding women. Try internet dating and honestly promote yourself. When you are out and about, be the one who strikes up the casual conversation, with a smile and an off-the-cuff joke. Don’t be shy because you’ve got nothing to lose by putting yourself out there. Truth is, you probably won’t meet him where and when you plan anyway!
One thing I can guarantee (and this is simultaneously depressing and reassuring): as with many things in life, dating is a numbers game. The more men you talk to, have drinks with, interact with, the more likely you are to find someone. As long as you keep at it without compromising your integrity, that good catch will eventually come along and value you and all your accomplishments.
Oh, do your girlfriends tell you half truths to make you feel better? Of course they do.
Good luck and let us know how it goes!
Do you ever find that men are intimidated by your accomplishments or smarts? What advice would you give to our accomplished lady?