This week’s One-to-One question is from Diane, who seems to have everything going for her except a relationship:
“I’m a confident, successful, educated, fit and well-rounded woman. My life is great. I have incredible friends, a career I love and freedom to travel. The only thing that’s missing is the love of a good man. I don’t need anyone to take care of me and I’m extremely independent. My friends tell me that I intimidate men and I feel invisible (or at least to the men I want to meet). How can I correct this? I’m starting to lose hope that men are actually attracted to smart and accomplished women. Should I dumb it down and pretend not to know so much? Your help is much appreciated…”
What I find interesting about your question, Diane, is that you only mentioned what you do and what you have. Basically, you’ve listed your resume. Clearly, you’re a smart woman. But my guess is that you aren’t dating smart. Dating smart requires you to have an honest and deep understanding of who you are, and what you have to offer a man romantically.
I’ve spent 15 years interviewing and working with some of the country’s most eligible, successful, marriage-minded men. It’s rare that a man will list the traits you mention as his “wish list” for his ideal woman. (And by the way, this is GOOD news. Don’t you want to be loved for you? Instead of for your education, career, money or the shape of your body? Trust me. All of these are great but they’re just icing on the cake.) What about the way you love, forgive, communicate, and your ability to make a man feel strong and inspired? What about how affectionate, warm and feminine you are? I could go on and on!
Men aren’t intimidated by women who are smart, successful and educated. That’s a lie women tell themselves when they aren’t willing or ready to look at themselves and consider how they might be behaving in the world. The fact is, men appreciate a woman who has pursued her goals. A man can benefit greatly from marrying a woman who’s intelligent, capable, successful and rational — but not at the exclusion of warmth, care, chemistry and romance. My dating advice is to become aware of the signals you’re putting out to men.
It’s great that you are independent. But there has to be room for two in a relationship — each person needs to be able to give, and have their gifts received. A man will need to know he can (and will have the opportunity to) be there for you, make you happy, protect and love you. Take those things away from him and you’ve taken away his desire and need to be with you.
Thank you so much for your question Diane.
I’d really like to know what signals you’ve found men to be most receptive to. Have you ever intentionally decided to change the dynamic and try something different? How did it go? Share your experiences in the comments section; I’m very interested…