Q What can women do about the “intimidation” factor? When men learn I am highly educated and successful, they often get intimidated. It doesn’t make for a successful dating life and it is also so disheartening, especially because I’ve worked so hard to achieve these goals.
A I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling disheartened–that won’t be of any help in the dating process. I think it’s time for a mindset shift. I’d like you to consider your educational and professional accomplishments as assets, as opposed to liabilities, in your dating efforts. To help you get there, I’d like to share statistics you (and other highly accomplished female readers) will find reassuring.
Nearly half of all single women believe their professional success is intimidating to the men they meet. However, a 2005 article in the American Journal of Sociology, based on a study of interpersonal relationships in 60 communities nationwide, concludes that women in positions of power are sexier to men than women in less powerful positions.
According to research by Christine Whelan, an Oxford-educated scholar of social history and author of Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love:
• As many as 71% of high-achieving men said a woman’s educational or career success makes her more desirable as a wife.
• As many as 92% of men who describe themselves as either “very successful” or “successful” say they are more attracted to women who are successful in their careers.
• As many as 89% of high-achieving men say they’d like to marry, or have already married, a woman who is as or more intelligent than they are.
• As many as 68% of single high-achieving men report that they would like to marry a woman who is as committed to her career as they are to theirs.
Now are some guys turned off or intimidated by successful women? Absolutely! Just don’t waste your valuable time with them. The findings above suggest that there are many guys out there who will view your accomplishments favorably.
The good news is that it is a myth that men are generally turned off by successful women. The bad news is that this myth can insidiously become a self-fulfilling prophecy for successful women who believe it to be true. By buying into this myth, some successful women can be their own worst detractors in dating.
So what CAN accomplished women do? Check out next month’s column for some concrete suggestions!
Jasbina Ahluwalia is a former attorney and the founder of Intersections Match, the only national, personalized, matchmaking firm for singles of South Asian descent. www.IntersectionsMatch.com. Jasbina@IntersectionsMatch.com.