I post relationship questions on Facebook often for my followers and friends to share their opinions and foster healthy dialogue. One question that has come up in one form or another is this:
Are single men intimidated by successful and strong single women?
From personal experience, men have shown their attraction to me (the flirty looks and hilarious ways to start conversations, etc) but once they find out what I have accomplished or what I hope to achieve, they seem to fall back and eventually disappear.
What I have learned from speaking to men (married and single) is if a woman can hold her own and a man is secure in who he is, he will not be intimidated by her success.
In fact, he will become her biggest supporter because he understands that he will also benefit from her success. What may happen, though, is he may hesitate at first when approaching her because he is unsure of her level of independence. Many strong and successful women are used to “doing it all”, especially single mothers. They may be so used to being “strong for so long” that they may not adjust easily to allow a caring man to enter their world and to be their friend, supporter, encourager and lover.
If there is a salary discrepancy where she earns more, some men feel less manly and are intimidated. Other men have expressed fears that she may use her financial success as a weapon in the relationship and thus emasculate them. Again, realizing that her money will benefit him as well may help to minimize this feeling. What makes this even easier is if the successful woman maintains an attitude of respect and consideration for his ego.
What else can single men and single successful women do to increase the possibilities of having successful relationships? Here are my thoughts:
1. Men need to be bold in approaching single and successful women. Most of us desire healthy companionship that will lead to a lasting relationship, but will not necessarily slow down our pace to wait for men to approach. If a man is confident and is willing to accept the possibility of rejection, he will approach a single, successful woman. I am also hearing from many men that they are open to women approaching them first to initiate contact or a relationship, so some single successful women may choose that route instead.
2. Women need to be more aware, approachable and relatable. Men typically have multiple choices when selecting a woman for dating or when pursuing a serious relationship. If we are physically attractive but we appear to have walls up, typically he will not approach. Sometimes we are focused on building a career, completing school, starting a business or raising children (or all four!), and we are so engrossed in our daily calendars and rushing from one appointment to the next that we may not have a moment to look up and notice the eligible single men trying to get our attention. Be aware of your surroundings. Smile often, and allow small talk to happen. Many have met their “soul mates” by just being open and friendly in a gym, in a supermarket checkout line or in a mall parking lot.
So to summarize, single men must accept that the strong, successful single woman is here to stay, and both men and women will need to adjust to allow meaningful and strong relationships to be initiated and cultivated. Fear of rejection and removal of emotional walls will go a long way in connecting to the right person for us.
BMWK family, how else are single men intimidated by single, successful women?