Successful and Single: What Men Get Wrong About Dating Strong Women
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Do successful men really want to “marry down”? Studies show that the answer is no.
Are you worried that you’re overqualified for dating?
Many successful women may shy away from, or completely avoid discussing their career on a date because they don’t want to scare away a man who may be intimidated.
I hear this time and time again from women that I coach. They feel as though they need to water down or dilute their personalities or ambition in order to attract a mate.
Let’s call this the “dating down fallacy.” The false narrative that men prefer dating (and marrying) women who are less successful or intelligent than them.
While it’s undeniable that a large number of men out there do fall into this category, many global studies about mate selection show that homogamy still applies.
What is homogamy?
Homogamy is marriage between people from similar sociological or educational backgrounds.
In other words: Educated and successful men prefer educated and successful women.
And, vice versa.
Over the past few decades as women have made enormous gains in education and the workplace, they have subsequently begun marrying more educated men. This trend is actually increasing in the United States:
Researchers Blossfeld and Tim, who have studied homogamy for over a decade, found that educational homogamy rates have increased over the last century. For women in their 40s in the U.S., over half, 51 percent, married a partner with the same degree. Only 27 percent married up, and 21 percent married down.Psychology Today; Successful Women Dating
It gets better:
Two studies conducted in Europe and Australia show that smart men prefer smart women and are happier for it. First, in a study of educational homogamy in marriage in 22 countries, 14 countries showed a strong tendency toward homogamy. While in seven, the men actually married up. Second, the Australian study on 5,000 subjects revealed that men who married educated women are happier than those who partnered with uneducated ones.
Furthermore, the author concluded that a man’s happiness level grew by 8 percent for each year of his wife’s post-high-school education. So a college graduate brought her man 32 percent more happiness than a high school grad. Solid research conducted around the world shows that the more educated women have become, the more attractive they are to the opposite sex.Psychology Today; Successful Women Dating
Why, then, is dating such a challenge for successful women?
Misconception, for one.
Men are conditioned from an early age to be the pursuer, the provider, the protector. Even biologically speaking we are driven to maintain these traits and subsequently act in certain ways towards women that in some cases can seem demeaning or patronizing.
Rightfully so, there has been serious public backlash from women against these methods of treatment.
The result is a confused generation of men who are unsure of how they should act in a dating scenario. Do they still open the door? Pull out the chair? Pay for the bill?
For the past decade, I have publicly been shouting from the rooftops that the answer is “yes.”
And here’s why:
Just because a woman may be in charge from 9-5 on Monday through Friday, doesn’t mean she wants the same responsibilities in a relationship. At the end of the day, many women still appreciate a man who is the man, and will make plans for them on date night. A man who still romances her. A man who is romantic and respectful. A man who understands that a woman can be independent and should still be treated as a lady.
Yet, many men see women who are smart and powerful and automatically assume they can bring no value to her life.
Value is not about money and gifts, it is about support, emotional connection, compassion, teamwork.
You don’t need to make more money or have a higher level degree than her to make her happy. She has accomplished those things on her own because she is driven and ambitious.
When she’s seeking a relationship, she’s doing so because she wants one. Not because she needs one.
This means that we, as men, need to reframe the way we think about what we bring to the table.
And it also means that women need to redefine who it is that they’re giving their time to in the dance of dating.
The proof is in the pudding: Successful smart men are happier when they’re with successful smart women.
This means that he’s looking for you just as much as you’re looking for him.
The moment you begin to hide your achievements in order to attract more men, you risk being passed over by the right man who loves all of those things about you.
Does this mean finding the right guy will take longer? Yes.
Will it be worth it? Also yes.
As for men, this is an opportunity for us to step up and work to improve ourselves in order to build even happier and healthier relationships with driven and ambitious women.
It might be easier to date women who don’t challenge you. It may be more comfortable. It’s definitely less effort.
But, nothing worthwhile comes easily.
Not only that: We must adapt to the times we are living in.
A 2017 study shows that women with advanced degrees now outnumber guys at the same educational level. These researchers looked at U.S. census data that showed the number of men who marry down is decreasing. While the number of men who marry up is increasing.
Ergo, if highly educated women prefer highly educated men, and highly educated women are beginning to outnumber highly educated men…the race is on, gentlemen.
Will you let yourself be left behind, or step up to the plate and bask in the glow of dating a woman who challenges you to improve as she does so herself?
A real team who works together at every turn to conquer the world.
A partnership in love and in life.
If you’re ready, stand up so she can see you. If you’re not, sit down so she can see the man behind you.
Finding success in creating hundreds of viral articles and videos on building limitless confidence and healthier relationships, James has accumulated over 38 million visitors to his website and a collective social media following of over 400,000.
James speaks at live events and in the media across the U.S. and has become a go-to expert with outlets such as CNN, Bravo, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, CNBC, The Boston Globe, CBS, and more.
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