Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Are men really intimidated by uberSuccessful women?


As many of you know, there is a popular meme that one of the reasons why so many of the "Black SuperWoman" types are still single and in fact struggling to find a date is because men are intimidated by all the glossy wonderfulness. There is an entire cottage industry devoted to answering that 'Why still single?" question on our behalf. Be that as it may, I wanted to see if this is a real thing or something women tell ourselves to feel better about being alone. 

So I took a straw poll. Not a big one but still... I asked 20 guys, some married and some single, ranging in age from 25 - 45. I asked two questions:
  • Do guys ever think that a woman is "out of his league" and if so, do they admit it?
  • Would you be intimidated to date/marry a woman far more successful (professionally) than you?
Mayhaps it's the guys I know but 20 out of 20 fellas said they do know when they are dating "above themselves" but that it's something they never admit. 20 of 20 said that their boys are the first ones to tell them "Dude, she's out of your league." Apparently, this does not deter a man from trying. As one of the fellas said, "Everyone wants to climb Mt. Everest, men always believe they can be the one lucky bastard to make it to the top." (And ladies, aren't we worth the climb?)

4 out of the 20 guys said they would not be comfortable dating/marrying a woman who was way more successful than they are. 16 of the guys said they had no problem with it. Of that 16, 10 said they would love for a woman to bring home more than half and/or all the bacon. 

On the flip, I know when I was living in Marina del Rey, I went out with a guy who was cool until he saw the car I drove and realized where I lived. His exact words, "Oh you getting down like that?" He proceeded to bail and later sent me an email saying he wasn't down for a high-maintenance diva with standards he had to constantly live up to. Umm... it was appetizers at the Cheesecake Factory son. Calm down. So was he intimidated by my paycheck or by his perception that I was high maintenance and he couldn't maintain me?

Also, the 20 fellas said it was more likely that a man would be intimidated by looks before accomplishment but that wouldn't stop them from hollering. Haven't we talked about seeing a couple together and wondering "What is she doing with him?" and vice versa? Someone decided it was worth the climb.

I remember seeing an interview with Stevie Nicks (of Fleetwood mac) and Sheryl Crow and they were talking about the difficulties in being the star in a relationship. As Sheryl said, "No one wants to hold the purse and be called Mr. Crow all night."

So today's questions - Are men intimated by more successful women? Women does this even apply for us? Do we only "swim in our lanes" when we approach somebody? What say ye? Talk the quiz and leave a comment.

55 comments:

quinne said...

It boils down to men being comfortable with who they are, because if its not they will always be intimidated; whether its the womans financial status,  her circle of friends or parents accomplishments.

The key is the woman not wearing her accomplishments like girl scout badges. No man wants to be with the woman who is like "this is my masters badge, my xyz sorority badge, my i drive this/live here badge..." And no im not saying being ashamed of what you have accomplished in life, but when a MAN asks you to tell him about yourself we dont want to hear your resume. Thats what you HAVE, not who  you are; sadly not enough people (men do it too then get mad for always meeting opportunists)  know the difference.

and the most vital piece of information I can give you is once you start dating a guy women PLEASE never eva eva throw the fact that you make more money or have something better than him into his face, that is the quickest way to be dismissed (and for the wrong type of fella be hemmed up) The minute you decided to exclusively date him, you accepted his working at walmart, him driving an 01 fiesta, and rocking triple 5soul, so dont flipout midway through because he hasnt elevated to your taste at the rate you felt he should, because you thought you could upgrade him.    

CaliGirlED said...

In order to successfully date/marry a more accomplished woman (professionally, mentally, spiritually, in appearance and/or socially), the man must be confident in himself AND the woman must not throw her accomplishments in his face AND respect him as a man. This seems to be a difficult combination to achieve, but it's not impossible.

I think women are more likely to "swim outside their lane" even at the risk of being considered a gold digger. It's more acceptable because men are "supposed to" take care of women. It's one of those double standards. 

I agree with quinne, if you're going to brag about what you have, don't blame the opportunists, they're just doing what they do.

Stanley Dada said...

This is complicated. 
You ask yourself, how do I be a real gentleman and impress this lady in a couple of real dates. You go for the best first date a $40 thousand a year man can afford, and then this wonderful woman shows up with the ride that only a six figure woman can afford. And guess what she did next..., she starts talking about her wonderful life financially and everything in between.  You (the man) start to make all kind of comparison as she tells you stories about her business trips and her last vacation in some place that you never even heard of.  
I tell you this to ask you that. How do you not want a man to be intimidated when you are doing everything to make him feel like he's not impressive at all? 

quinne said...

But it depends on her(his) tone, if its in a braggadoucious tone then it becomes a turnoff but if she speaks of how blessed she has been to be able to accomplish all she has and is humble about then it could be fine. At the end of the day ALL of our accomplishments are due to the Lords blessing and He wants the glory and if you are patting yourself on the back as if YOU DID IT, He will find ways of humbling  you. 
 

GrownAzzMan said...

I would have no problem being with a woman who made more then me. They can call me Mr. (Whatever her last name is) while they park my Ferrari. You hear the Kerry Washington. I am HERE for you...LOL

Reggie Beasley said...

An uberSuccessful woman would have to break the ice with me first… meaning, even if I stepped to her, she would have to make it obvious that she was in to me and what I can offer before I would feel comfortable. It has little to do with how I feel; it's mostly about her feelings. If I can provide for you emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, sexually… but you're still talking about a secure future? Then I can only deduce that I don't bring home enough zeros for you to commit. I had an easier time dating when I was working for a prestigious law firm making chump change than when I was making way more as a radio DJ… I believe because of the perception that you can't make a living as a DJ in Boston. I was the same man, meeting the same type of women, but with dramatically different results.
This may be different in Boston than elsewhere, but most of the highly successful women I associate with absolutely refuse to date under their pay grade. Examples: one doctor friend only wants to date doctors. A lawyer friend will not date a man who doesn't own his own home. Another highly accomplished lady dated under her attractiveness AND intelligence level because he was on her level financially. And I have too many women to count who stay in bad relationships because "I can't go backwards."Now I get it… many women have been burned by men who ain't 'bout nothin', and they want better. Understandable. However, I know plenty of single guys who are hard working, upstanding individuals who make a good living… but are not "paid" or have a sexy job. We all want the best for ourselves, and nobody wants to willingly date under what they think they deserve. But maybe, just maybe, the man the universe is providing for you fits all your needs… and just happens to make less than you. Ladies, can you make your man feel like you value him without an equal paycheck? Is this more about being able to brag to your friends or boast to your family about your man and what he does? Are you embarrassed when you're rolling in a Cayenne and he's rolling in a Kia?

CaliGirlED said...

*cues shouting music runs around banging tambourines* You better preach this morning!!!

Seriously though, this is exactly what makes the difference, the tone of the person sharing their experiences AND the self confidence of the person on the receiving end of the story. 

Stanley you should have been able to say, "Wow you are definitely blessed to have experienced all these things"! However, if she was being "braggadoucious" then why continue on to the next date? It's not about being intimidated, it's about being with an ungrateful self-centered person who will probably never appreciate you because it's all about her.

CaliGirlED said...

You are a mess! We'll call you GrownAzzMrWashington! *hollers*

blackprofessor said...

 You go for the best first date a $40 thousand a year man can afford - This is the problem!

Stanley, I am not picking on you but I hate this mentality!  Why do men think that a great date involves money? The BEST first dates I have ever been on were absolutely free.  One guy took me to a park at midnight and we played like kids for 2 hours.  We got on the swings and all the other apparatus and had ball.  Another guy took me for a walk on a bright, moonlit night along the beach and we talked for 3 hours. Those men were thoughtful, creative and planned a wonderful outing without spending a dime.  The bonus factor was that we got to know each other.   

Trey Charles said...

I'm pretty fearless when it comes to who I date. If I'm attracted (and let's be honest, that's the first thing you notice) I'll take the first step. A few things I won't live with - overly ratchet, overly rude, overinflated ego and lack of intelligence.

taut_7 said...

i wouldn't care if the woman i dated/married was way more successful than me. i'm comfortable enough in myself that that wouldn't intimidate me in the least. would i acknowledge if a woman i'm dating is more successful than me? yes, i don't see why not. i'd be her biggest supporter. plus if we get married, what's mine is yours and vice versa right?

Page Bartlett said...

I'm going to just read these comments and zip my lips.

CaliGirlED said...

The women you associate with seem a little shallow. Don't get me wrong, no one who's successful or making a decent living want to be with someone who's not pulling their weight. Life brings about circumstances that cause losses and sometimes knock us off our feet. But what is your comeback? To sit around pissy about it, or work your way back on track? For me that's the difference in dating a man that may not have what I have. Now if you are my age and have never succeeded or accomplished anything and have no sense of direction, sorry for ya! Having said that I know several successful women who are married to men who are not as "successful" as they are.

"An uberSuccessful woman would have to break the ice with me first… meaning, even if I stepped to her, she would have to make it obvious that she was in to me and what I can offer before I would feel comfortable." So you're not comfortable before she's into you? Would you be ok with and pursue an unsuccessful woman who wasn't into you?...Just asking.

blackprofessor said...

Methinks it all boils down to insecurities! Everyone has insecurities but some people are insecure.  I think insecure people are the ones most likely to pass on hollering at someone perceived to be out of their league. 

I met a guy once and thought he was out of my league.  I quickly came to my senses and was so grateful that I did.  We didn't date but he ended up being a really good friend.  It horrifies me to know that I would have missed out on that friendship due to my insecurities not his. 

Andrea M said...

I'm going to call bullshiggity on some of the guys who say they are okay with it. I have yet to meet you IRL.
I worked hard to get to where I am. I'm not lording it over anybody that I'm successful but are you really telling me I have to hide my light under a bushel because my car is nicer than yours? I own a house and you rent? I'm not going to do that. Yet I've consistently run across men who feel I'm putting them down or trying to brag. My success does not diminish a man's accomplishments.
I could go on and on about this.

CaliGirlED said...

To add to something blackprofessor said, it's better to plan a first date that's comfortable for you financially rather than the best you can afford. You leave no room for improvement, and you also set both of you up for failure. Now I LOVE a great steakhouse as much as the next person, but don't take me to one on our first date, and then it's Chili's from then on out. Yes I'd appreciate the gesture but I'd know it was superficial and you were assuming that you had to spend a lot of money to get my attention. And if that in fact was the only thing that got my attention (which would be unfortunate), you can't maintain it. I'm just saying, do what's comfortable for you and if the woman can't appreciate that, then she's not the one for you.

AminataB said...

I think insecure men are intimidated by an uberSuccessful woman. What I mean by insecure is a man that lacks confidence in what he has to offer and/or has a very fragile ego. The girlfriend of one of my friends was recently crowned Miss America and while he's  not as successful as she is he sure was cheesing HARD in those pictures.  Extremely proud of his woman and proud that he's dating Miss America (clearly, all ego...but anyways).

A man that's confident in himself, his abilities and qualities should want a woman that's self-motivated, educated and works hard. I would say that I've been successful in my career and educational pursuits and while I would date/marry someone in the military, I probably wouldn't date/marry the fedex man. Well, actually, unless that's his hustle while he's in grad/law/medical school. However it's important to note that I'm still young enough that I can focus on a man's actual potential and not his present life. If I were 35+, I need you to have to together now.

Also, another part of me thinks, if you're not willing to go after the person you want...do you have the ability to be a go-getter in other aspects of your life? Because with every chance we make in life there's always the possibility of failure.

Question: Men, who would you rather bring home? Claire Huxtable or Sharon the receptionist?

AminataB said...

" They can call me Mr. (Whatever her last name is) while they park my Ferrari" LMAO! boom!

OwenCinDallas said...

There's something to be said for finding the one you are meant to be with when you are both young and nobody has anything but hope and ambition. So this wasn't an issue when Jayme and I first found each other. Over the last few years, Jayme does net more than I do on a dollar for dollar basis. I have zero issue with this. None at all. I look forward to the day when I can play golf all week while she goes to work. :-)

CaliGirlED said...

LOL at you looking forward to that day!!! I hear ya!

Earthangel172 said...

I think both men and women can be intimidated by another person's success.  The key to overcoming this, in my opinion, is to be genuine in what you can truly offer a person.  In my last relationship, I can see how someone would think he was out of my league.  I'm a legal secretary and he is a network administrator with a Fortune 500.  I'm a divorced mother of one and he's a Sooner with 2 National Championship rings and the list goes on.  Yet I never felt intimidated by his success or that he was smarter and better than me.  He invested a lot of time in getting to know me and realized that there is a brain to this beauty.  Shoot, he still gives me credit for helping him get thru his MBA program.

With that being said,  I will certainly date "out of my league" again but I will not date a man who makes less than me.  FWIW, I don't know too many blue collar brothas (i.e. truck driver, janitor, FedEx handler, etc.) who like to travel. LOL

JaymeC said...

Yeah sweetie? It's never gonna happen. When you retire, I retire.

JaymeC said...

Some men like to feel like they are Head of Household - some equate this to being primary breadwinner. Others equate it with authority. Some men are secure enough to be in a relationship where they still lead just not financially. There are a lot of dynamics out there. The key is to mesh your expectations and be prepared to roll with the punches when things change.

I'm counseling a couple where he was the dominant breadwinner and authority figure then lost his job and lst his way for a few years. She had to step up not only financially but emotionally as well. He resented her for it. It was a bruise to his ego and how he saw himself. They are talking it through but it's tough to go from one reality to another sometimes.

blackprofessor said...

 This is funny!

blackprofessor said...

 Caligirl is preaching....

SingLikeSassy said...

 I love this. You stop working, I stop working. Same time, SAME TIME MAN!

Shareef Jackson said...

If you're secure in what you offer, you'll date the person regardless of their financial status.  It's ok to have some boundaries though - for example, I probably wouldn't date someone that has collection agents calling every 5 seconds.

CaliGirlED said...

They're out there (blue collar brothas who like to travel). And depending on the type of work the truck driver does, there are several who make good money.

Earthangel172 said...

I guess I'm associating blue collar brothas as not being as cultured as white collar brothas, which I see can be untrue but definitely not something I've seen or experienced when befriending or dating them.  That's a story for another day though. LOL

CaliGirlED said...

Trifling vs. blue collar? LOL!!! Yes indeed! ;-)

thinklikeRiley said...

I always want to date/marry up. I want to be that dude that others are pointing at wondering "how did HE get HER" - I'm so cool with that, you don't e'en know.

Earthangel172 said...

 LMAO!!

Ashe Rodham Clinton said...

I don't mind dating a man more successful and/or attractive than I am, so long as our personalities are compatible.

sol_dier said...

This seems dodgy to me and I'll say why.

A woman can chose to wear her accomplishments like a badge honour, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with you. It's to do with her and what she values. Maybe she is the only person in the entire history of her family to do the things she's doing (no-ones) but singing their praises has absolutely nothing to do with minimising yours.

Also I don't understand why some men seem to think that their ego is the most precious/sacred thing and needs to be protected by ALL. 

Men through their jobs, status, cars, houses, bling in women's faces ALL the time. Ask you female friends, they'll you. 
this double standard is bizarre and to be honest quite off-putting. 

I just refuse to believe that men are that insecure, fragile beings who need to have that much coddling. (or maybe I'm just living in my geek fantasy world) 

sol_dier said...

Nothing you've described above has anything to do with what that woman has done to the man. You described a man with incredible low self esteem. 
She's talking about her life AND still out on a date with YOU. She can see what you are wearing, she saw your car, she's still there. What does her purse have to do with you?. Should she just not talk about her life because you are not where she is?. 
Why for you to increase, she must decrease? - (thanks Lauryn Hill)

I don't get it.  So if we turned the tables and the man was describing his trips, vacation in places she's never heard of .. is that ok?, is she supposed to slink her head down and think she is not impressive at all?
She's not the one attaching her importance to her earnings, it seems you are

I don't know all of this gender stuff most of the time just seems like projection to me (most of the time) 

p.s. (By You, I mean the you in the story... not you personally, just couldn't find a les verbose way to write my response)

sol_dier said...

you rogue! lol. But if I were you I'd opt for a lambo lol.

sol_dier said...

I dated a guy studying social sciences in Uni. our first disagreement came from nowhere.
Dude said, when I'm with you I feel like less of a man. I asked him why and he said:  'you don't need me, your computer broke and you fixed it all by yourself'.

Dude, you are training to be a social worker, building machines is what I do every Wed in labs, seriously? You don't even know a motherboard from a stick of RAM, you want to give you my machine, the machine I worked a gazillion overtime hours for, the machine I use daily for my course, you want me to hand over this machine to you as some gesture to your manhood?.

When I asked what else, he said I never let him win at Chess and there, right there... 

GuessImJay said...

I just married a woman who walked into my house, announced "I need to redo the closet" and refused to let me pay for it. I am not intimated by strong, bout-dey-business women. Gimme dat all day as opposed to someone waiting on my paycheck to make the ends meet.

CaliGirlED said...

Happy New Year and congratulations to you both!

William Martin said...

Ditto and congrats.

GrownAzzMan said...

First date: Starbuck's and conversation!. I'm not even kidding. I wonder if Kerry like Frappachinos?

GrownAzzMan said...

I've driven both and the Lambo is faster but I fit better in a Ferarri...(champagne tastes)

GrownAzzMan said...

You wouldn't have to hide anything here. I would be proud and pleased to acknowledge your success...

GrownAzzMan said...

See, this right here...

GrownAzzMan said...

**Dap**

sol_dier said...

yey! It's 'the J's'
Congratulations and well done :-)

CaliGirlED said...

*hollers and falls out* If you don't leave Ms. Washington alone!

blackprofessor said...

 Falls out! GAM is on a roll today, lol!

sol_dier said...

A man who knows what he wants from his woman and has the test drives to show it. 
Go on GAM, go snatch Kerry from president Fitz! #scandal

Marioned said...

Some men  can,  some men can't or should I say would  not.  Some guys just will not even try to date someone that makes significantly more than them.  Even if there are some women who would be open to it, they still shy away.    For me it depends on the person.  As you get older and have had your kids and have been married before you have a different perspective.  Right now I could really use a guy that can/likes to  cook and clean; does home  and car repairs and maintenance and enjoys work, among other things!      I already have the nice car and home!!!:D

chriscogmta said...

I would marry up in a minute!!  Harpo  - Holler at it if Sted or Gayle ever get out of line.  I would be less intimidated by how much money she makes than if she was just fine as frog hair and loaded! one  or the other, I'm good.  Both, I'm going back to school to be a surgeon/NFL player/philanthropist crime fighter.

Jubi The Great said...

One of the best dates I ever went on was a late night walk...

grin and bear it said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
grin and bear it said...

I agree with this premise. The best first date I ever had was an afternoon picnic on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, followed by kite flying. I much prefer someone who takes the time to think and plan something memorable for a first date, over someone who just wants to throw an expensive meal at me. Don't get me wrong -- I enjoy a good dinner now and then -- but creativity and thoughtfulness trumps that urge every single time.

One Chele said...

I think men are more intimidated by, or disgruntled with, women who are very independent regardless of how successful they are. The one thing I keep hearing black men say about black women is that we're "too independent". Well, okay, if that's how you feel... but I'm not changing for you. Deuces.

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