How often have you heard a variation of the following complaint:
I’m so accomplished/educated/credentialed! Why do I have trouble finding guys?
Women – religious women included – have been flooding the colleges and universities for decades now, overturning the traditional structure where it was almost entirely men who went to higher education. In many areas – especially in the humanities and social sciences – women outnumber men in earning degrees; I distinctly remember a strong gender imbalance in favor of women when I got my BA.
Yet these accomplishments, important though they are, often don’t translate into success in the dating world. Why is that?
Many – especially the women themselves – will claim that it’s because guys are intimidated by women who are smart and professionally successful, especially if they’re more so than the men they date. But as self-affirming as this answer is, it’s only part of the story. Yes, there are men who are intimidated, but I think they are in the minority.
The real reasons are as follows:
When we date you, we are interviewing you for the job of (hopefully) lifetime wife and mother to our children. Your professional credentials, titles and awards, while impressive, often tell us next to nothing about how you’ll fare in these roles. It’s the equivalent of a salesman interviewing for the job of a demolitions expert; these are two jobs which require two entirely different skill sets. The same is often the case here.
If you want to translate your accomplishments into greater dating success, you’ll need to find those aspects of your job or career that show you can be a good partner and emphasize them – we need to see it for ourselves. Whether it’s nurturing tendencies (education, nursing, therapy), good management (accounting) or otherwise, you can’t just assume we know you have those skills from your CV.
The Disposable Male
Another thing which is a serious turn-off is the attitude of many women in the professional world which can best be described as “strong and independent (of men).” Such an approach often bespeaks an arrogance and consequent belittling of men in general. Often such women will not even consider dating men who may be great husbands, fathers and providers, but don’t have the same, higher or “right” levels of education and social status.
Worse, though, it often sends out a signal which men interpret thusly:
In principle, I don’t need you. If need be, I can get pregnant in vitro; I can afford it. You are a disposable part of my life, not a necessary part of the family I want to build.
Here’s the thing: commitment-minded men are not interested in getting married to get divorced or constantly be on probation. We have no interest whatsoever in being a disposable accessory in your life. We want to be loved, needed and valued just as much as any woman does.
If you are truly so independent and don’t need a man, please admit this and let men and women who need each other find them. If you do need a man, then be honest and learn to openly value those traits and things in men which you need.
For those of you concerned that I’m against women being more independent than they were in the past, I’ll just say that of course there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a career or passion outside of having a family. The two can even enrich each other in various ways. But how you come across in regards to your professional success can hamstring you when dating the opposite sex.
NEXT: The Other “List”
Avi Woolf is a 31 year old content editor and budding tech writer with Modern Orthodox attitudes and a libertarian streak. He’s dated for eight years looking for a girl with whom to brave life and have a family. Likes chess, hates phoniness.
April 1, 2014 is Habitza’s upcoming event: A Question and Discussion evening with myself, Dr. Pessy Krausz, a rabbi, a single guy and the audience. Read about it here and submit a question/scenario for discussion >>