Are men really more attracted to airheads over the strong and successful women?

Are men really more attracted to the flighty type of women over the strong and successful type?

Veronica asks Trevor: “I saw a study the other day that said that men are more attracted to dumb women, and that intelligent women are seen as problematic in a relationship. Do you see this as true?” 

Trevor: Well, men like to be right, and intelligent women can stop them feeling that way in a relationship.

Veronica: groan.


This conversation reflects exactly the kind of views many people have in the world, based on my experience. Specifically, the view that a woman being intelligent is a problem – only because the man wants control over her or because he has a big ego. Even men sometimes think this way.

But they haven’t thought about it further than that.

This can be an extremely boring, superficial conclusion to make though.

What Trevor really meant when he said ‘men like to be right’ is:

Men are the ones who try to be in control all the time, and men are driven to like the higher status that being in control brings. It is also the masculine equilibrium where their body feels the best, and most natural: it is consistent with the masculine person: being in control makes a masculine person more masculine, it doesn’t make him more feminine.

Remember Christian in 50 shades of Grey? “oh I exercise control in all things, miss Steele.” It’s kind of a hot moment. And it’s portrayed as hot to the audience, in the movie. Or maybe I’m just weird for thinking it’s a hot moment.

So – if the woman a man is with is having to be the intelligent one, then she’s likely to also be wanting to be the in control one in the relationship. That’s no ‘problem’ per se – it’s just not as attractive and inspiring for a high value, successful man. It doesn’t make him fall in love, want to commit and it doesn’t make the sex passionate and mind-blowing.

Why do men, in some circumstances, feel more attraction for a less successful, less intelligent woman, if the two are compared?

Think of the damsel in distress. She’s not being smart, even if she is actually smart in other contexts.

Think of the dumb blonde, and think of the airhead, or the ditzy girl. She might not be acting very smart, but she’s amusing, a turn on, and if she’s radiant and comfortable being out of control of life, then she’s very attractive.

Is it true that men have less attraction for the strong and successful type?

I want to be clear on definitions: I am grouping together intelligence, strength and success as similar traits for the purpose of this post, as they often go together.

To answer the question of why men do feel more attraction for the less ‘smart and successful’ ones, I want to establish one thing:

A lot of people tend to think it’s because..‘he’ (the man) cannot match an intelligent woman’s intelligence. Maybe he’s threatened! Maybe he wants the sex to come easily and conveniently, without having to think. Maybe he just doesn’t think much of himself and what he has to offer, so he wants a woman who totally relies on him, to have perceived control.

Meh. These aren’t reasons pertained to attraction, though: these are reasons related to a man’s personality and values – not attraction. And attraction is the topic we are currently talking about. (I will address why some men choose more successful and in control women shortly).

Regardless of a man’s personality, the principles for attraction remain the same: in men and women, differences cause attraction and passion. So, for attraction to occur, in general; you’ll have a radiant human being (not in control, as radiance isn’t in control), and a strong and present human being who is attracted to the radiant human being.

Two highly radiant humans aren’t usually attracted to each other, and neither are two very present, masculine human beings; there has to be the difference for the ‘spark’ of attraction to exist.

The other layer of truth…

There is another layer of truth to this question of why men feel more attraction to the woman showing up as less intelligent than the woman who is showing up as smart, successful and in control.

That layer of truth involves accepting that in many cases, a woman’s actual intelligence is not the problem – women are taught to believe that it is the problem, and so they sometimes get angry at men, blaming them for not being able to ‘handle’ a smart woman.

Well, that’s good for the smart woman’s ego – but it’s not good for being truthful about the matter.

The truth is that when we use our smarts and success as a ‘mask’ to be worthy of the very love that we crave, we can’t be attractive and inspiring to the men we want to be attractive to, because it’s impossible; we’re not even being our natural selves; if we were being who we are (which came effortlessly before we started using success to make lots of money and to make ourselves feel worthy), then attraction would not ever be a problem.

Have you seen the movie Avatar? Isn’t it just a beautiful movie?

Remember Neytiri, the main female character? Remember how grounded, wide and wild her feminine energy was? Yes, we are not of her ‘species’, but she had that natural energy of a tribal kind of woman who had something to fight for, something to believe in that she truly, naturally cared about. It wasn’t that she spent her days being something she is not.

She was and is so sexy, and so inspiring, because she’s present with her depth, her natural ‘cat-like’ feminine nature.

We have lost a lot of that for the sake of bringing in an income and for fitting in to today’s world. It’s ok, it’s necessary; but it’s not necessary to be ignorant of this fact and its potential consequences.

If we aren’t in our true relaxed nature, we can still be good looking, but we wouldn’t be our infinitely attractive selves, inspiring the man we choose to devote ourselves to.

A man’s lack of attraction to smart and intelligent women isn’t about the intelligence…

In this layer of truth, men’s feelings of attraction towards a not-in-control, apparently dumber woman has nothing to do with the fact that the ‘smarter’ woman possesses success and intelligence, it has everything to do with the fact that she shows up mostly as that successful and intelligent personality when she is with him. It IS her. So – her natural ‘cat-like’ nature as you see in Neytiri, is no longer free to surface anymore.

Remember: It’s about how the woman shows up around her lover, or around men in general.

And remember – we are talking about attraction. Attraction as a natural, normal part of life, isn’t something we cannot control.

We don’t get to control that attraction occurs when two opposite energies exist, or when two people, same sex or not, are in opposite roles.

This does not mean that your man will always be attracted to other women when he’s fallen in love with you! It just means that you can’t expect him to fall in love with you, or want to make love to you for being intelligent. 

Being ‘smart’ or having the identity of being smart makes women feel in control, and it’s the closure and the defensiveness that sometimes comes with the need to be worthy and smart that makes a woman not able to get a commitment, and having trouble finding men who are emotionally inspired by, and attracted to her.

What about smart, intelligent women inspires less feelings of attraction in men?

Smart women, like all humans, have a personal identity  – a concrete subconscious idea of who they think they are.

If they think they’re smart, they have to fight tooth and nail to maintain that identity.

One thing I have heard Anthony Robbins say a few times now, is: “the most powerful force in the human psyche is people’s need for their words and actions to stay consistent with their identity – how we define ourselves.”

The problem is not a woman’s intelligence. It’s that her main identity is that she is smart and got it handled, and she boxes herself in to that identity in most areas of her life; with men too.

Some of the smarter, more intelligent women do this too much – especially when she is with people, because she needs to feel worthy before she can surrender to the scary, changing nature of relationships and connection. She doesn’t like uncertainty.

And the lesser known truth that some of us women don’t want to admit – is that she wants to dominate people, to avoid being out of control. She wants power, more than connection, more than she values her own vulnerability. She’s got something to prove (danger ahead! The more you have to prove things to people, the less real relationships that you will attract).

I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with any of this (wanting to dominate) – what is wrong is that we try to avoid being honest about it – we cover up our underlying needs and vulnerabilities like we’d get eaten by a bear if we were to reveal our true fears – and when we avoid being honest about our motivations in relationships – we become doik swotches (my word for idiot), because we are too busy defending ourselves to open to other questions, and to other solutions and choices for our already short lives.

How the intelligent and successful woman can mistakenly neglect her love life

So, this kind of ‘intelligent and successful’ woman meets virtually all of her needs by being smart and intelligent, and in the process, she rejects any flighty, cat-like, youthful and feminine, bubbly, girly and out of control personality inside of her, even in her relationships with men. It is like a total resistance to letting her body surrender to this type of personality – which can exist inside of her during out of control moments.

She assumes the other non intelligent parts to her should not exist and if they do, then she is not enough, or deserving of love. She closes up, in other words.

After all, other women laugh at us when we have a stupid moment. They feel like they’re not enough, so they ridicule us for seeming stupid. (Whatever, I’m ok being stupid. I have many stupid moments and I’m pretty sure it’s not because I’m not enough; it’s because well, I am actually stupid in those moments. I just don’t feel the need to block out my stupid parts.)

Smart women can become smart and intelligent at the cost of their vulnerable radiance; and this causes problems where attraction and getting a commitment is concerned.

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And most women who have read up on this, now know that closing up doesn’t inspire attraction (of course, there are many situations in life where closing up is something you should do – when you feel physically threatened, and perhaps when you’re with someone you don’t trust, but that’s another discussion altogether).

So, in valuing being the intelligent, successful one, she values her ego, and control, more than she values connection with a man (notice how men also have large egos, and want to be in control?). It can be very, very difficult for a woman to drop this once she decides she has to be like that, because it is so painful to melt our own identity and instead let ourselves lose control a little in a relationship with a man.

“Why should I have to dumb myself down for a man!”

“Why should I have to dumb myself down for a man!”

You’ve heard other women say this, haven’t you?

Well, when we say that, we’re not really saying that: we are saying: “I don’t want to feel like everything I’ve worked so hard for actually makes me not enough as a human being”.

But isn’t it funny that nothing can make you not enough?

If you’re not sick of the epidemic of humans feeling like they aren’t enough; I am! It twists my nerves in all sorts of wrong directions. How can a human being be not enough?

How can YOU, ever be not enough? Look at what you’ve contributed to the world, to the people around you, already, just by existing. Wake up, you beautiful human!

We are born enough. The only reason to pursue success is to be more enough; to convince ourselves that we exist as a separate, super awesome human being, and that is the problem: unless we pursued what we pursued because love drove us to do it – we’re only doing it to be enough, to separate ourselves from other people we don’t want to be like, or of course, to pay the bills and provide for our family.

We are enough when we are born. We don’t get born because we’re not enough; it just does not work that way. Each human is unique and primed to add their own gifts to the world.

BE more flighty and out of control?

I’m sure for many of you smart ladies out there, you just hate hearing that – it’s a terrifying thing to read somewhere that you’ve got to be more ‘dumb’ or ‘flighty’, let’s say.

But isn’t it funny that I am not actually suggesting that?

I’m not saying you have to dumb yourself down to get a man. That still assumes that being the smart and successful version of you, is the wrong thing to do and that it is a mistake in dating to do that. It is not! It is still ok to be this way!

You can be as smart and intelligent and ass-kicking as any other human!

I’m only asking for your consideration: Can you let yourself be less in control?

You just can’t reject the other ‘out of control’ women inside of you anymore, the ones whom you’ve ignored and left in the corner cowering and starving for attention.

Don’t you think it’s  a dirty deed to pull on yourself; to favour some parts of you and then starve the other parts? Some of them are little girls still, needing the ‘ok’ from her older sister to shine on.

You know, the parts daddy didn’t like? The parts mummy didn’t like because you were being too much of a “drama queen”? (really, you were just more work when you were out of control and that’s inconvenient for parents. You were never wrong for being any part of you). I promise. Well, unless you stabbed and killed someone. 

How men develop emotional attraction for you and fall in love

The thing with attraction is that in order for a high value, intelligent man to be attracted to you – I repeat – a high value man – he’s not going to be attracted to you for being intelligent, and he’s not going to fall in love with you for being intelligent, unless he genuinely enjoys being less in control and intelligent than you.

Your intelligence is more likely to create a friendship, rather than a mutually exciting and passionate relationship.

And this is even more true if the man has reasonable intelligence, comprehension of the world, direction and success in his own life.

Great men who are present, intelligent and take responsibility, don’t fall in love or feel emotional attraction for a woman if a woman is wanting to be intelligent and in control all the time, because she doesn’t display any real emotions (unique to her) that he is able to connect with and dive deeper into, and be fascinated by.

There is just ‘nothing there’ to incite feeling of deep connection and attraction in him, even if she is good looking.

And the real emotions and your ‘out of control’ airhead moments are a sign of aliveness; of radiance. He already has enough intelligence and control in his life, it’s not of ‘value’ to him, to try to get that in a woman. 

What IS intelligence, actually?

Ahh. Now we’re talking. In politically incorrect terms.

Well, broadly speaking, intelligence is about survival, and sex. That is, getting sex and passing on our genes.

Intelligence, as considered by the professor David Buss’s research on mating strategies, is a sign that someone can reliably provide resources. And of course, intelligence also encompasses the skill of resourcefulness. Ie: money.

This takes ‘being in control’.

This takes objectivity (a highly masculine-energy oriented trait).

And so, traditionally (and biologically), women are attracted to intelligent men for the resources they can secure.

Men who admire a woman’s intelligence, and choose marriage to her, sometimes have to dull their own highly attractive, male ego and need to dominate and have control in his life. (Pussy-whipped. Fearful. Got his balls in a woman’s jar. That kind of thing)..

And the cost is attraction in his relationship.

It’s not wrong, it pays the bills in the world where two partners need to bring in 50/50 income.

What if you date men who are less intelligent than you?

Now – if you are much more intelligent than the man you are dating, he might be attracted to that in you – attracted to your objectivity, to your sense of being in control. This can create attraction, of course, as you’re in control and he is less so.

However, often, the men who are attracted to the successful and in control ‘you’ are the cuter ones. The ones who are softer, sometimes without a purpose. So, they’re inspired by your direction and strength.

(I have experienced this before, and it scared my pants off. I really like to admire a man’s direction and strength, more than I admire my own direction and strength, even if I have plenty of it. Hah. not really.)

In my bias – and I really am biased, because my work is about attraction – it’s only a good thing for you to choose to be with a man like that if you don’t feel like you’re settling for a “lesser” man when you are with him, or lesser a depth of attraction and passion than your heart wants.


You could ask yourself: Do I find a whimsical, maybe lazy man who is much less intelligent than me attractive, and would that bring out my sexual passion, and make me feel grateful for what I have?

Also, would I enjoy being the one to make many of the decisions?

Would I be jealous of the woman whose man does everything for her, kisses her forehead and looks at her like she’s his ‘one and only’, watches her like he can’t take his eyes off her – while I have a softer, ‘less intelligent than me’ kind of man?

It’s not uncommon today: many high powered women are going for a ‘toy boy’, less strong and directed man, as it serves the woman’s career – and these men can make reliable companions and fathers. I think these types of relationships are just as important as any other in the world: I’m just biased towards valuing attraction and passion; because our true nature gets to be alive and we get to feel infinite that way.

(Again, 5o shades of grey, anyone? Why are we doing one thing day-to-day, and then falling in love with 50 shades of grey by our bedside lamp at night! Something we’re not letting surface in ourselves?)

The airhead, out-of-control parts are worthy too!

So, while being intelligent and successful and showing up that way can never be the wrong thing to do – it’s just your journey, what you might want to consider, is that the ditzy, out of control ladies/personalities inside of you have been disowned – for good reason. You had to be smart and make a life for yourself.

But you can’t disown all the other parts of yourself any longer.

We often block this wild energy out of fear of being too slutty, too sexy, too infinite, too beautiful, too threatening, and too wild. How funny, because men are craving it from you. And you need to choose the right one to give it to (don’t just give this natural gift of yours to any random douche!)

What a woman – you – might want to do is to trust the out of control, sensitive parts of you to come out, and to connect, because they are so much better at inspiring a man’s love and devotion to you, so much better at creating sexual fun, sexual attraction, wildness, out of control beauty that can only happen with a man and a woman who are total opposites (but also have commonalities through life when the passion ebbs and flows).

Does this mean that highly intelligent men do not want an intelligent woman?

An intelligent, high value man, would love nothing more than to find a successful, intelligent woman to take care of, who is also energetic, feminine, youthful, bouncy, sexy, and emotionally open.

Highly intelligent men do want intelligent, successful women! But the woman is only ‘high value’ for a relationship in a man’s world if she is just as beautiful and feminine as she is successful and intelligent. (Remember that the highest value men have to invest a lot and risk a lot to be in a committed relationship).

She has to let herself be as beautiful as she is intelligent. If not, more beautiful than she is intelligent, for a successful, intelligent man to perceive high value in her for committed relationship.

Note: I said beautiful, not good looking. Beauty is radiance and aliveness. Think Neytiri in Avatar.

Men are not the (whole) problem…

Men are not the (whole) problem. The biggest problem lies with us wanting to make men the problem; we lose touch with our own sense of responsibility for attraction, and that’s only a problem if we do want a relationship. If you aren’t interested in relationship, then this doesn’t apply to you. 

(Click here to learn in depth about how to be more attractive:

A lawyer can let herself be so free and flowing that she comes across as ditzy sometimes, and she can be ok with it.

An army officer female who hasn’t cried in a year can let go and make it ok to cry for hours. Here. Today. While she’s reading this.

A secretary chained to her desk all day, all uptight and spent after a day of work, can take a long hot bath and masturbate herself to a beautiful, flowering, open feminine woman, undenying of her heart’s true desire.

An angry ass feminist that wants to blame men for being pigs can break down and cry and admit to herself that there is another part of her that has badly wanted love and connection and freedom…this whole time.

Even though she spends her waking days being defensive, all for the very image….who did it really impress in the end? And at what cost to her heart?

Being smart and successful gives MEN a huge reproductive payoff, not as much for women

Remember, by comparison – again, by comparison – being intelligent gives men a greater reproductive payoff (more sex, more mates, better quality mates) than it does for women.

You could consider that intelligence is a masculine trait, which women and men both have. It doesn’t mean women shouldn’t have this trait, it just means that men respect this trait in you, rather than wanting to take care of, or have sex with this trait in you.

What creates attraction is opposite energy. Highly masculine individuals, if talking strictly in definitions, are more objective than very feminine individuals, and to be intelligent requires objectivity and disconnection from emotional storms inside and emotional ties within the human body.

Women who spent most their social and relationship time in objectivity and wanting to be respected and intelligent, tend to trigger respect in men. But that is respect, not necessarily emotional attraction and fascination.

In research done by David Buss, professor of Psychology at the University of Texas in Austin, all over the world, women largely prefer the more intelligent man.

Guess how much men are found to value intelligence in a woman? Well, not as much as women find it high value in a man.

And honestly, men may find it valuable not from an attraction perspective, but from a ‘team work’, ‘raising the kids well’ perspective. It’s about the 50/50 relationship working out well.

As I said earlier, a woman who is intelligent and successful is high value to a man if she is just as radiant and feminine as she is successful, if not more radiant and feminine.

Go here to attend our masterclass on securing a commitment from a man.

A disclaimer:

I don’t believe in blaming anybody for being the more successful/intelligent one in a relationship. In fact, I am sure you already know, that it’s getting harder to find a man who is more successful than you in today’s world.

More women are having to make it work and find fulfilment in relationships with a man who is less successful and resourceful than they are; and it’s very possible.

I only want to put forth the question: for the sake of attraction, and for life to be a little more infinite – is it time to let go and allow the less in-control parts of you to be seen, and light up the life of a man? The ditzy, mistake-making, connection-oriented, emotional, cute parts of you?

I’m only here to help where I can, I am nobody to tell you what is right for you.
Thank You for reading!


  • Marie

    I am a woman on my path to becoming more feminine to attract a masculine man.

    As a masculine woman, I have a huge ego because of all my accomplishments.
    However, I know being more feminine=humility. A huge ego in women is a turn off right?

    Anyway, so to “crush” by ego I focus more on my feminine actions (connecting with people, self care, leisure hobbies) than on masculine actions such as achieving/being a perfectionist with work and school etc.

    Because of this, my ego is not as big because I am no longer forcing myself to be the perfect strait A student or make 6 figures or refuse help be a strong independent woman lol you get the picture.

    Do you think this is wise?

    Ego and compassion I feel like go in opposite directions.

    When I had (still do) a big ego because of all my hard work, I am very cold to anyone who is a failure just because I get really annoyed by the victim mentality.

    Now that I am becoming more feminine and less of a perfectionist myself, I have more compassion and a colorful instead of black and white view on situations. I still despise victim mentality people, but again trying to be a softer more compassionate nice person.

    Obviously a masculine alpha man is very important to me! LOL

    please respond <3 thanks for all you do!!

  • sandre

    My boyfriend is EXTREMELY intelligent and highly successful. I am also very intelligent and ambitious (I’m in the beginning stages of my career, and my boyfriend is older than I am, so I’m nowhere near as successful as he is). He adores me. He adores the fact that I am intelligent and ambitious and he tries to do whatever he can to help me. I am very feminine, especially with him (he’s very masculine). But my intelligence and femininity are not at odds with each other! It’s being VULNERABLE that men like, not necessarily being stupid. It was thanks to Renee that I realized the truth about male-female relationships and started embracing my femininity instead of feeling like I always had to acting “in control” and “cool” about everything. I always think of it as being an iron fist in a velvet glove. 😉 A velvet glove is much nicer than chainmail or course burlap, but wouldn’t you rather have an iron fist on your side rather than a sack of mush?

    I do think that, for the most part, men would prefer not have a woman who is (vastly) more intelligent than they are. But that’s not really a problem, since people fall on the IQ bell curve fairly evenly. To make a very crude example, if you have an IQ of 100, you may be perfect for a man with an IQ of 90-110, although you must start boring a man with an IQ of 120 or above. Conversely, if you have an IQ of 130, you would probably would not work so well with a man with an IQ of 100, but you may be perfect for someone between 130-50.

  • I love all of your articles Renee (and I’m usually lurking more than commenting, lol), but this one especially resonated with me and I’m able to relate to it really well, so I wanted to contribute to the conversation.

    For years – especially throughout high school – I chose this identity of being the “smart” and “strong” one (it took me a long time to realize that I actually “chose” this as an identity for myself, until then I always believed it was naturally who I was). I wasn’t that way when I was a little girl – I was very social and creative and didn’t care about being “smart”. I adopted the idea of a smart and strong identity, not only to survive in school (I was originally not very academic) but also to try to get love from my father. He was an absent dad when I was young, and I interpreted this to mean that I was “not enough” for him – and so I made myself “smarter” and “stronger” to get his attention. Of course (and ironically), this did not work, and my dad especially was into the lesser intelligent women and that “ditzy” and “flighty” feminine energy…which is definitely not my mom. She tends to be more masculine in her energy (enjoys being competitive, etc.).

    Now, what’s very interesting, is my boyfriend of almost three years appears to be very attracted to my “intelligence”. His past girlfriend was of the total opposite energy (needed his help constantly, wanted him to make decisions all the time), and so now he values the stronger, decisive masculine energy in me. Of course there’s more to me than that, and I’m naturally more feminine. So sometimes we clash a little bit. But, even though he’s been lost in the past, he has a lot of direction in his life – he just communicates that he’s “tired of making all the decisions” in his day-to-day routine. I can’t tell how much is just him wanting me to be that extra help in the 50/50 equation you mentioned Renee, and how much is me projecting my experience with my dad onto him – because now I actually have a man who appreciates my natural strength and intelligence, and my feminine radiance. I just worry about slipping back into old habits of being the “intelligent” and “in-control” one. Any thoughts?

  • Renee is just recycling stereotypes that have been around 20+ years. There is widespread cultural dysfunction in many parts of America. If Renee got out more and studied other cultures (particularly the Costa Rican and Colombia cultures) she would find the answers in short order.

    As an experienced ex-pat, the #1 rule between men & women in a relationship is that there is no tolerance for either party to talk disrespectfully to the other. 2nd, a ‘good man’ is looking for a woman that is “faithful”, “loyal” and “honest”. These three qualities the man needs to model daily.

    There was one good takeaway that I quote ” if she is just as beautiful and feminine as she is successful and intelligent.” This DOES hit solid footing, because a “good man” doesn’t want to be around a man with breasts. He wants to be around a woman, not a cold-shouldered, straight talking, supremely confident babe that is trying to impersonate a man.

  • kalki

    I’m an intelligent guy and I have to say…..

    Intelligent guys are nerds. Intelligent girls are nerds too!!!

    Here’s the simple solution for intelligent girls: if the guy you’re talking to doesn’t like you for your intelligence then he’s not smart enough for you and move on…..

    If you’re really intelligent then lots of men out there are not smart enough for you. Understand that and let them go. You don’t need to attract a large number of men. You just need to attract the one that’s right for you.

  • Hatetheignorant

    Forgive my screen name. As a point of clarification, I am almost 50, divorced, father, and my personal feelings are that the deffinition of a good man is a little better than a disapointment. I think it is only fair to disclose my personal biases.

    When reading Renee’s writings I think the basic foundation is correct but we are all different so there is no perfect answer. If I take the general idea that she makes and think of how it effects other aspects, I think she is more correct than not. So for Me the idea I desire a femine women and that women desire a commited man generally correct. I think if we look at our basic needs , these provide our basic needs for safety.

    Feminity for me provides saftery, it is nurturing , caring, loving, providing, loving, desirabilty, admiration, and with that, she is less likely to cheat with a younger more verial stud as we grow older. An argument can be made for the idea that part of a women desires one man to be a provider and father , and another , the biggest verial stud of the neighborhood to be the sperm donor. Bill Gates the father and provider and Brad Pitt to make love to. We are talking in very basic terms.

    To me, Commitment for a women provides safety because he will always provide for her, he will not find a younger women to have children with when her child baring years are over, he will not abandon her, he will come home every night and protect her, and she can make mistakes and he will still be there.

    SO ARE MEN AFRAID OF STRONG SUCCESSFULL WOMEN – if they are more successfull than we are or when it limits their dependence on the man , yes. It means the man is less of a man and the chances of Brad Pitt entering our relationships is even greater. Plus, if she has no need for him, what satisfaction for him is there? Same thing when a women is with a man who can not commit. The core fears and needs are not met. This woman has an additional cross to bare and her man needs to be more able to recognise her attempt to still satisfy him as proof of her need for him. We all need to be needed and need to feel safe. So am I more of a man with a less successful women, hell yes. I am attracked to smart women more however, they are also the ones that I know cheated and were married to good men, but were not men enough. So actually the women had the commitment problem.

    Can the relationship still work, sure. Put your politics aside and just use them as an example. There are liberal relationships that are the same. I am not interested in discussing pig headed hate politics. These are just the examples that I know of that are familar, so get over your self centered hate. Think of Carly” Fiorina and Sara Palin. Both are more successfull than their husbands but the relationships still work.

    I will not marry again, I have no need to. I date smart successfull
    women. I only date one at a time. If I find someone special to have a
    long term relationship with, I will not marry her but I will be
    mongomous and committed. I trust myself more than I trust women. If at
    some point she finds someone else attractive or I am less of a man, I
    want her to go easily or I want to be able to kick her butt to the curb,

  • Samuel Summers

    A women’s hypergamy prevents her from dating below her caste. You have to understand women start off at 150 , whereas men start off at 0.

    Unless a man has muscles, intelligence , or some draw he isn’t going to be sexually successful. As men we start off as nothing. A highly successful man will never be able to beat a 20 year old blonde with a nice butt.

    I find it odd the author pointed out that men benefited greatly from intelligence , but failed to address that the benefit doesn’t ever equal to what women are born with. And if they don’t have that success they are invisible to women.

    At the end of the day a intelligence men is only 25 , he needs good fitness to be 50, and a confidence dominate attitude to be 75.

  • Regina Forbes

    Why does it have to be either/or? I will tell you this, you CAN be intelligent and alluring- just look at the most successful courtesans who ensnared the senses of the most powerful kings and princes of their day- they were well known to be versed in multiple languages, politics, music, literature, and sensuality.

    Looks fade darlings, sex diminishes, and when that happens, what will you have left to keep your man enthralled? That’s why there’s so many divorces when couples are in their 40s- the men realize they want a REAL relationship with a woman who he can actually talk to! So take a moment to brush up on whatever HE is interested in and for the love of pete- he doesn’t want to hear about some dimwit celebrity of the moment or who’s on “dancing with the stars”!- keep that as conversation with your lady friends.

  • Damsel in Distress

    This is true. My children and I were in a bad situation when I met my husband. I was no where near successful, in fact I didn’t even have a job, but yet I found an alpha male who wanted to take care of me and save me. He was my knight in shinning armor. We have been married for almost 10 years now.

  • Bibibirdie

    I am so glad, I have a strong attraction to women. Why would I want to lobotomize myself for a man? All I’ve learned from this site is that women are only defined by their men. At least I can live my life happily without needing a man. And hey, if I’m not a “real” woman. That’s fine.

    I weep for straight women. This sounds sifling and tiring. I’d rather have people accept me as my authentic self than a fake one.

    But do as you like. If you feel like you need to do something like this, I can’t stop you.

    • J.a. Ct

      This site is geared to help women understand men and how we dis power ourselves in dating one. It would make sense that it would not apply equally.

  • Jay

    I am a husband of 20+ years. I married my high school sweetheart. She was always intelligent if we are talking about intellectual ability, we both scored high in our class. But she also was very soft and kind, shy even. I realize after reading all of this, it fulfilled a need in me to feel, dare i say it, needed. The feeling that someone is dependent on you to take the lead brings out feelings of true compassion and a desire to make that person smile forever. Sadly, she got promoted 5 years ago to a manager position. It doesn’t affect everyone the same, but for her to function and keep order she had to “toughen up”. Now i no longer feel like the center of her world and she the center of mine. Maybe it was naive to think we could just orbit each other forever but i really miss that. The problem isn’t intelligence, or even love. We have that in spades, but now she uses her quick wit to try and take control during almost any situation. Career is the prime motive. Control is something we never worried over till now. I used to be able to load the dishwasher, wash the cars, etc. just fine but now i feel like the general is watching! Were did my lovely wife go? IDK, but my point is, you can be a intelligent woman, make decisions together as a couple with your mate (because yes you have great ideas and we really should listen sometimes!), have a career, but no man that i know of wants to be looked down on. If that happens he may feel like he’s lost his role in the family, a useless relic if you will. Just as a mother wishes to nurture her child, I wish to wrap my arms around my family so that our home is a haven of joy and security. Is that bad?

    • Jay

      By the way , she used to dance in the rain literally,lean on me to make bad things right, be a little out of control, flirty or even silly sometimes. It was so beautiful.

      • Fire Work

        That’s so beautiful Jay. I’ve been in a relationship for 24 years and have had a similar experience with the love of my life. What you said is so true – you need to keep that young, playful spirit alive. We do that when we are in private – just the two of us. We promised ourselves long ago that when we enter our house, we would leave the world’s expectations outside our front door so that we could safely be ourselves. It hasn’t always been easy but that is what has worked for us.

        I hope both of you are able to regain the playfulness. Never give up.

  • Mel

    I find men who are not very smart extremely boring. And that’s most men, as I have a Mensa-level IQ. Or you talk and entertain them and it’s just draining.
    I think all that stuff about hard-wiring and reproductive payoff is crap, particularly if you want a companion, not a sperm donor. I want someone who is evolved and works from the forebrain, not a creature driven by primeval base-brain urges like a giant slug.

    The hottest thing about 50 shades of grey is how the author sold so many books when they’re not particularly well written.

    • sandre

      I agree with you. Find a man who is as smart as you are, or smarter. There are plenty of less intelligent women – let them have the less intelligent men. There’s a brainiac out there who is wishing he could find a brainiac woman. 🙂

  • Leslie Hoff

    Awesome article Renee! Thanks for sharing and I am sure there are so many people out there who can relate and learn from this post. The dating world can be a scary place and I am always looking for advice!! This really reminded me of an amazing book I read recently by marriage and family therapist Natalie Moore <— her website is great too. The book is called "It's a Match! The Guide to Finding Lasting Love" and it's an empowering and inspiring read about focusing on what really matters and how this ultimately will help you find someone with similar core values and morals. There are so MANY components within a relationship and it can be overwhelming. The author discusses all of these topics including affection, emotional intimacy, companionship intimacy and more. I like that
    it's written in such a way that you feel like you're getting advice from a close friend rather than a relationship book. This is very much how I felt when reading your article just now. Thank you again for your advice and I hope you and your readers will check out this book 🙂

  • CorvetteCollector

    Do women prefer cloth seats or leather seats in cars?

  • Anita

    Renee, I would also love to see your take on truly powerful women – like the German Chancellor for example – who are expected to lead, posture, be objective, present, use good reasoning and judgement ALL the time -and their relationship with more low profile men.

    I believe love is love in all its forms, like you said, so long as people are true to themselves. These women don’t fit the model of ‘the feminine woman’ which this site is about but still they are taking womankind forward (just a few decades away from the time we couldn’t even vote!!) and paving the way for future women leaders – so aren’t they also entitled to passionate love in all its glory?

    • Angela Merkel? Hm. I am not familiar with her at all. Nor am I familiar with who her partner is…I’m curious to know though, who is her partner (if she is in a relationship)?

      • Anita

        I don’t have a clue either, I was just trying to refer to a type of woman – some one that has true power, who is very intelligent.

        • Unreal

          Anita, that was a FO response. It would have taken Renee all of a few minutes to research Angela Merkel to find out she is the German head of government and that she is, in fact, like many other powerful women around the world, married. In other words, Renee and traditionalists like her don’t have an explanation for why powerful women do have successful relationships, because it flies in the face of their beliefs and in their desire to socially engineer our society back into the 1950s. Dismissing your question is much easier than engaging in a discussion that might poke holes in their convservative uptopian theories.

      • Bryan

        My name is Bryan, I am a proud father of my 7 year old daughter, she is my world. I have been divorced once, I recently ended a five year engagement to an amazing woman. 8 years ago I wrote a detailed list of the perfect mate for me, I also wrote in detail the person and things that I needed to change or become to attract that perfect mate.

        I would love to get feedback from women regarding my list, I would welcome all critism good or bad. What are your thoughts?

        • Hi Bryan, you can always email it through to us, and say Renee asked for it – my assistants will send it to me and I can possibly share it on The Feminine Woman fan page. 🙂

          • Bryan


            Thank you for your response, please let me know what is the best email to send it to?

      • Fire Work


    • Kim Baldasaro

      Going to jump in here. Wouldn’t Amal Alamuddin (Geroge Clooney’s wife) be a great example? She’s a brilliant, accomplished and powerful woman. As an attorney and human rights activist she must channel her masculine resources continually, I’m sure. However, if you’ve ever seen the two of them together, she is the picture of demure feminine radiance. The feminine/masculine polarity between them is almost tangible. Yes, she’s beautiful but he’s dated dozens of beautiful women. Amal truly has it going on…which is likely why she won the heart of one of the world’s most eligible bachelors.

      • Anita


        Thats not how I see it.
        The way I see it GC is an artiste and they are sensitive, vulnerable people who don’t have much control over their career and and are prey to invasions of privacy, have very few people they can trust( who are not employees). Their business can mess them up if they don’t have a good support system and so many end up drugged up, or coming to an unhappy end or alone and not able to maintain long lasting healthy relationships.
        IMO Amal is a strong multidimensional genuine woman and I think she is a complete person and makes GC (or any man she cares about/ends up with) happy, at home and secure. They clearly have a strong connection- which is what lasts even after the beauty is gone.

        • Kim Baldasaro

          Anita….that’s kind of what I was saying about Amal. Beauty aside, she’s the complete package. Strong and in control in her professional life, but completely in touch with her nurturing, feminine self which makes the type of connection you mention possible. Of course, I don’t know either of them personally so this is all conjecture, but it’s what I assume from the body language I’ve seen of the two of them together,

          • Anita

            Whoops, I was trying to say that while I see Amal as an empowered woman certainly, I don’t see her as someone having the kind of power of Angela Merkel who makes choices for a powerful country, a world player. And I’d be interested to see what kind of romantic relationship would be ideal – and possible – for someone like the latter.

  • Anita

    What a complex, thought provoking post!! I imagine it must have been difficult to write.
    But really its all about being genuine to all dimensions of yourself and not shutting parts down which parents or peers or society have frowned on at one time or the other.
    I would go so far as to say that even if you want to remain single for the rest of your life read this – to the woman who identifies herself as a smart independant woman and lives by her words – don’t be only defined by those few dimensions of yourself. You are human – so it follows that there are other sides to you sensual, fun, philosophical, creative….Let yourself explore every side, live a full life and have no regrets when you leave this world.

  • Dina Strange

    I feel its so much harder for modern woman today rather than in the past (but who knows). At work she is supposed to be competitive, and exercise masculine traits such as competence, competitive spirit, intelligence, self direction and control, but then with men she is supposed to switch those traits which she practices everyday 8 or more hours a day, and then become emotionally open, trustful, bouncy, girly.

    Isn’t running two opposite thoughts at the same time, the definition of insanity?

    • Well, isn’t the key phrase “at the same time”? When one gets home from work, this is not the same time as being at work, so, does one still truly want to be directed and take charge then? Would it be a relief, even, to relax in to the bath, pet the cats and dgos, and be the one not making the decisions in a relationship (if possible)?

  • Run With The Wolf


    Thank you so much for your wonderful insight, and Charles too about competitivness and intelligence. There is also another ‘term’ which turns off the most of men (a large portion of the ‘most’ of men), and which they usually associate with intelligence and competitivness, and that is ‘self-emlpoyed’.

    Without going much into personal details, I only want to highlight that being
    self employed doesn’t necessary mean a woman is competitive or career driven. Many men are turned off even by mention of the phrase, even when the woman is hugely feminine, elegant and tender.

    Labelling and putting women in ‘boxes’ just because she works on her own, men
    can actually lose possibility of connecting with a women who is actually grounded, creative and home-nurturing and truly desires masculine man in her life.

    I have had for some time an intense mutual attraction with certain men,
    we were hanging around same places, and at one point by accident we would bump to each other from nowhere, frequently. In my eyes, he was the most dominant and alluring man I’ve seen by then. He was humble, strong, centered, he walked straight and slowly, his gaze was mesmerizing, and from few things I knew about him, he had a traits of ‘to me’ fine and stable masculine man.

    In that time, I opened my business, I started to pursue higher degree in education, I was consistently practising Qi Gong, and even sleeping on the tiny floor bed to discipline myself and get up early in the dawn. He didn’t knew ‘anything’ of this what I was doing. When I was doing these ‘masculine ventures’, I never felt more feminine and sensual. Men would open door for me, and turn their heads on the
    street, because I was radiating with such energy of being happy with myself.

    Then I met that man, every day, more frequently, and the attraction was
    almost unbearable. With eagerness, one day he approached me. And we
    talked, the moment he heard I am ‘self-employed’, something in him turned off. After that day, he began to exibit behaviors of not so secure man. Flirting with other girls (usually low value girls), pretending he doesn’t see me, so on.

    Someone might say, OK well dude obviously don’t like her after all. That’s
    what I concluded too before moving on,of course. But I know, as from
    my past experiences, the traits of women who knows her direction can (‘CAN’ not ‘will’) ultimately ruin the realtionship, BECAUSE of some fear, which is
    usually imaginary, and which comes from labels and conclusions coming
    out of fear and doubts, ‘no matter’ how long partners know each other.

    What I want to say with this, is the men and women can ultimately fulfill
    each other, only if both sides let themselves go.

    Renee, you are talking about women who will support masculine side in men,
    which is great, and I agree with that absolutely.

    But what about men who are willing to support ‘our’ feminine sides? And
    not initiate us to close the door to our true nature, and depraving
    us and them from it?

    To men who might be reading this,

    If a women is self-employed, at least find out why is she doing what she is doing? Maybe she has no other choice? Maybe she has a sick relative for who she needs to take care of? Maybe she needs to only pay her bills and the talents and knowledge she has are the only or best possible option?

    if you realy want to know her before putting the armour on because of
    the magazine/tv stereotypes, maybe you will not lose the possibility
    of being with confident and determined woman, who might adore you for
    whatever your achievemets are, and respect you for your desire to do
    things, just because they’re yours and reflection of who you are,
    whatever you’re a carpenter, office man, of to-be a sport star.

    Because, the women who are self-employed, are self-driven, self-motivated,
    organized, determined, of course smart, but if they’re wise they’ll show you that in certain doses, have wider angle of seeing things and possibilities, are flamboyant and creative, which is our inborn feminine trait. Such creative driven women ‘crave’ for strong masculine energy so they can ‘come home’ and be who they are.

    I assure you, and from my girlfriends experiences, such a women can truly be a sweet vigor to man’s life.

    Happy flirting to both!

    With Love,

    • Jay

      Mrs. Wolf,
      I am by no means a relationship guru so take what i say for what it is, just one person’s perspective. But i can see a few possibilities here. One is when we talk about traits and what attracts men we are talking in generalities that don’t always match the particular male you know. Maybe this particular male has had a bad experience with another lady who had the drive to also be self-employed. (I’m self-employed too fyi) Why do i say it that way? I noticed in the last paragraph you used the words self-(___) 3 times. Many business owner women are self-reliant, not saying you are but maybe that isn’t something that appeals to him, or even the thought of it. It is of coarse unfair for him to make the assumption that you are really masculine inside and just wear those other traits occasionally. But men remember the phrase ” Once bitten ,twice shy” about certain types of women, then just mentally label that type as run away from.
      It’s actually kind of sad because i can see from your post that you were deeply affected and have the very attractive quality of being tender and sensitive. If you have a strong enough interest in this man, may i suggest you ask him kindly, ” I was just wondering, things started to look like i might get a date from you but then i noticed you backed off. Mind if i ask why, just so i know what not to do next time?” Ask it innocently and as if you just want help, leave him plenty of outs so it’s not confrontational. It might be for some unexpected reason. Most of us males aren’t good with conversational subtlety (yeah we just don’t get those unasked questions & hints), but we will respond to a damsel in distress calling for help.
      Lastly, you have a focus and drive to be able to do all those things :College, your own business, bodily training,etc. Maybe that guy just wasn’t the right match even though he was attractive to you. He could have been scared off when he learned what you could really do! Don’t let that worry you too much though. There are plenty of men that would say ,Wow! Read Renee’s “what men think..15 interviews article if you don’t believe me. Well those are some ordinary guy thoughts, good hunting to you Mrs. wolf 🙂

  • Babs

    Rene, please could you help me figure something out? Everything you said about men not being attracted to strong, in control, intelligent women, I have felt those things often with a lot of men that I’ve been on dates with. It frustrates me when a man seems to only care about being in control of a situation, feeling like the smartest person in a situation, etc. I have often wished my dates were more open, more playful, more willing to just have fun and be spontaneous. I have been working on being more playful and open around men, and I think I’ve gotten even better at it since I’ve discovered your site. But it feels like the men I’ve dated with just want more and more of that playful open energy, and they can’t give any of it themselves. So in the end I feel like they expect it to be my job to be the playful open one, and they are not open to connecting with me.

    I know that playful and open women tend to inspire men to take charge and be dominant, but is there such a thing as too dominant? So often I just want to explore together rather than be led by a man who thinks I want him to have it all figured out. Is there something I’m doing that is keeping men from letting down their guard? 50 Shades of Grey isn’t hot to me at all, my ideal sex fantasy is two people being naked and happy together, with lots of affection and silliness and touching. Maybe I just have unusual tastes? I am attracted to polarity in terms of having different personalities and ideas, but in the bedroom it is enough that my man and I would have different bodies and personalities.

    • Hi Babs, yes, I totally understand your complaint about them not wanting to give any playful energy themselves. And oops, I think I may have given the impression that 50 shades of grey/BDSM is my thing….not true at all. It’s just that the particular moment I described in the movie is portrayed as hot, that’s my interpretation…

      Too dominant? I believe what you’re describing is that you want your man to stop being so uptight and in control, or trying to prove that he’s worthy.

      As you get in to a relationship, if you’re connected to each other, then over time spent together….your man will change with you. Because you will influence him to be a little more relaxed. Don’t worry too much – this is something I’ve experienced myself.

      It will happen, remember that as you spend more time with a man, you’ll influence him and he will influence you, because we become who we spend our time with.

      You do not have unusual tastes. Your tastes are perfect as they are…

      Men are just like this…it’s not necessarily you, but there is one thing: if a man senses your tension, like if you’re thinking ‘man, why isn’t he connecting with me? Why isn’t he doing more work to be playful?’ then that takes you out of your own body and in to your head – and so he could become more tense because of that.

      – Renee.

  • Charles Englehardt

    Dear Renee,

    I almost always find your articles right on the mark, but this one, I think all of you ladies have completely missed the point.

    I happen to be a guy and find intelligent women incredibly alluring and can’t imagine being in a relationship with a woman who isn’t my intellectual equal.

    I’ve been married twice to MENSA-worthy women (once divorced, once widowed) and all the women I’ve ever been in relationships were incredibly bright, high achievers.

    So the issue isn’t intelligence.

    What turns men totally off is competitiveness, regardless of intellect.

    Guys are competing with each other as soon as they are able to toddle, for status, alpha position, perks, etc.

    This is our nature throughout our life. We have moved from the jungle into high-rise suites, but it not an accident they call modern working life “a jungle.”

    After a day of competing with bosses, peers and underlings, the last thing men want when we come home is a bout of one-upmanship with our partner. Our working days are challenging enough, we don’t need more challenges when we get home.

    What we want is supportiveness and mutuality.

    But the attitude of so many intelligent American and British women (but not French or Italian women – can’t say about other countries), is that being supportive or negotiating issues is a reduction of their prized autonomy. They would far more prefer to right (and quite often, ultimately alone) than compromise or concede any point.

    And I have a feeling that a great many of them are not even aware of this aspect of their personality.

    It’s interesting how on so many website dating profiles, women emphasize their “guy” pursuits – marathons, sports, NASCAR – I think to try to establish an affinity of mutual interests. A lot of times what actually comes across is, “Uh-oh, a competitive woman. Yikes.”

    Needless to say, airheads feel no urge to prove every minute their intellectual superiority or win every argument.

    I don’t know how you would measure it, but this attempt to always maintain dominance might explain “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness.” (

    But intelligence and supportiveness are NOT mutually exclusive.

    One of the best relationships in my life was a summer college romance with an incredibly intelligent woman who is now a high-powered real estate attorney and no doubt a hardball negotiator. She found no contradiction in being a high-achiever and sweet and supportive and cheerful.

    This was her basic good-hearted nature. She came from a loving and supportive family herself.

    American Manichean culture instills this need to always be #1 in men and women. In men, it comes naturally, but once engrained in the feminine psyche to the point where it is second nature, I’m not sure how it can be rolled back without huge resistance and resentment that the possessor’s sense of self feels like it is under siege.


    Keep up the excellent work.

    • Lynda

      Thank you so much for that contribution ! I now get it…..I confess, I was struggling a bit with Renee’s definition of intelligence. Your explanation from a man’s perspective, seems to be that it is competiveness that is the problem. (Ok, no problem, I can let you win! ) Thank you, I feel I can carry on in my life making intelligent decisions and still be attractive. Thank you Renee you are helping me to change my life

    • Kim Baldasaro

      Charles….I agree completely. I was also struggling with this article but came to the conclusion that your point may have been the one Renee was also attempting to make? I have a 150+ IQ. Not trying to be arrogant, just a fact. I pursued a complex, scientific research degree in college and virology/cell science is a true passion of mine. There is nothing I can “do” about my inherent intelligence or my thirst for knowledge of certain sciences. However, the competitiveness issue was one that took me several decades, a failed marriage and multiple relationships to discover and reading Renee’s articles and participating in her programs has been of great assistance. The man with whom I’m now involved is extremely attracted to my mind (he’s brilliant himself) but I believe he’s equally attracted to my ability to balance it with silliness, femininity and a lack of desire to control him in any way. When I “go geek” on him (his term), he listens intently but I always pause at some point to either ask him what he thinks, or say something playful and this is when he lights up. He once said, during one of these pauses, “Sometimes I wish I could make love to your mind”. My reply? “You already do baby.” Which literally made him weak in the knees. Point is, I used to hold my intelligence in front of me as a shield. It allowed me to easily ride out rejection, loneliness and relationship issues as I felt that it held me above all that “non consequential BS”. However, when I entered my current relationship and discovered Renee and David’s website, nearly silmultaneously, I realized that the core of all my past relationship problems was my own behavior and I became hell bent and determined to change that. I no longer wish to be in control. I absolutely relish the way my highly intelligent, masculine man takes the lead in so many ways and I no longer have any desire to prove that I’m right simply for the sake of being right. I love that I now feel safe being silly, clumsy, pouty (in a cute way), feminine and a girl who desires that her man “take care” of her. I love meeting him at the door with a hug and kiss and inviting him to relax in any way he wishes after a long day, be that with a cocktail and a shoulder rub, an account of what happened at work or just sitting in silence and listening to music. Believe me, he returns these “favors” in a multitude of ways. But strangely enough, I also love feeling safe in being wrong, and conceding a point when I am. I’ve come to believe that for a woman to truly appreciate masculinity, and immerse herself in its gifts (with the right man, mind you), she must truly let go and relinquish control over her man and the relationship and trust him to lead in many areas. This is the only way for her femininity and his masculinity to freely flow back and forth between them and create a lasting connection. A lot of words to make that point, I know, but just MHO. Anyway, thank you for posting your thoughts and thank you to Renee and David for all of their wisdom.

      • Feminine Belle

        Kim, thank you for your post. You have no idea how much this has helped me. I’m divorced and I’ve had a history of failed relationships and I ‘ve always blamed my intelligence but now I know, it’s my competitive attitude, seriousness and being afraid of being wrong what has really held me back

        • Kim Baldasaro

          You know, something else which took me a while to figure out is the art of apologizing when I AM wrong. I think that so many women and men alike apologize in the following way: “I’m sorry I hurt your feeling, BUT…(fill in the blank)”. IMO, the “but” negates the apology if you are the one truly culpable of the offense. Or, they say, “I’m sorry you feel that way”, which basically means the person apologizing doesn’t really believe they are at all responsible for the problem, but they’re sorry the other person thinks they are. I’ve learned that if you ask the person you’ve hurt/upset how your actions made them feel, repeat it back to them and then simply say, “I’m so sorry” and leave it at that with no “buts”, it goes a very long way toward diffusing the problem and validating the other person’s feelings (so long as you’re being genuine). I believe it even makes them feel safer being honest with you in the future when they feel hurt or upset with something you’ve done.

          • Jay

            Kim you are definitely a problem solver/deep thinker. I like how you looked for the answer not just where to place blame. Your intelligence ,with femininity, makes a beautiful woman. Your man seems to appreciate that synergy. I think we all must start with ourselves, men and women. Only after that can we be sure we aren’t sabotaging our own happiness.

            • Kim Baldasaro

              That’s very kind of you Jay, and you’re correct. I believe that many people enter a relationship while thinking about how it will improve THEIR life. How it makes THEM feel. In other words, from a perspective of scarcity. Maybe people are afraid of being taken advantage of, or they’ve been burned in the past and can let down their guard enough to really give until they’ve “received” something that assures them it’s worth it. I’ve learned (the hard way) that if you focus on what you can bring, or give to another person’s experience, not only do you receive it back tenfold from the RIGHT person but you are able to quickly weed out those who are incapable of loving and caring for you. Finding The Feminine Woman quite literally flipped a switch in my brain, just when I needed it the most and helped me to truly understand this concept.

              • Jay

                When both partners have that attitude, giving becomes a joy, with no one keeping score, kudos to you both!

          • J.a. Ct

            I have a 150+ IQ. I, too, was confused by this article. I speak eight languages at varying degrees, study economics and philosophy in my free time and I want to learn to play the cello this year.

            I am with a man who cherishes my intellect. He says that he does all he can to keep up at times but he loves that I challenge how he thinks and views the world. I do not try to prove my intellect. I listen closely to what he thinks and says. If and when he wants my advice, I share it with him. I do not do so otherwise.

            • Super Janice

              My IQ is only 108.

        • Destiny

          SO true!!! I can definitely relate as well. I’ve always been very smart and intelligent, and I have to admit, I am a great debater. But over the years I’ve seen how this “need to be right” has harmed some relationships…especially relationships with MEN. I now fully relinquish all control and give up trying to “be right”. I think as a woman sometimes I can be afraid to be wrong because I fear people will view me as “dumb”. I think it’s the FEAR and inscecurity of being viewed as “stupid” or unintelligent that actually keeps women trying to be in control or trying to be right. We are sometimes assumed to be “less than” and this can cause us to be insecure and cling even tighter to being right.

          But now that I see that it’s not getting me anywhere, and it’s not helping me in the love department, I’ve decided that I can STILL be an intelligent woman WITHOUT being competitive, argumentative, or always trying to be right all the time. Who cares if I’m wrong every once in a while, or of someone thinks I’m an idiot??? I know that I’m an intelligent person, so I don’t need to “show it off” or try to dazzle guys with my “smarts” and intellect. It’s funny, back then I used to feel that because I valued intelligence in a man, that a man must value and find intelligence in me attractive. But now I see that a man doesn’t value intelligence in a woman like a woman values it in a man. A man doesn’t a DUMB woman of course, but I think they value OTHER things (that come second nature to women) more in a woman than intelligence.
          Actually, I feel FREE for the first time in my life. 🙂

    • Karen

      I also agree with Charles here, Renee. I think you are close and have some paragraphs that almost say what Charles is getting at here but then you swing in the opposite direction and contradict this. I don’t think intelligence has anything to do with attraction, but, as you touch on, it is what a woman does with that intelligence. If she uses it as a shield or a weapon, she kills that attractiveness by portraying a masculine front. But when she remains vulnerable and open despite her intellect, her intelligence can be an asset. My husband tells me all the time that he loves how smart and beautiful I am… Always in that order. Smart first, then beautiful. And I like it that way. But I think it is still attractive to him because it was never a competition, as Charles says here. I still feel wild and unpredictable even to myself, so I am sure even more so to my husband. I cry freely. I know I am a hot mess and don’t pretend otherwise. I don’t think intelligence and femininity are mutually exclusive. They can be at times; many women unfortunately do sabotage their attractiveness because of how they wield their intelligence. But I don’t think intelligence is the issue. Intelligence is neutral. It is that these women are exhibiting masculine energy and denying the feminine. It is whether we use it to enhance our femininity or stifle it, that is what impacts our attractiveness.

      • Karen

        In rereading this post, Renee, I think the first half is saying almost exactly what I said above, but in the second half you begin to label intelligence as a masculine trait. I don’t think it is. As I said, I feel it is neutral. It is that desire to be in control, however, that is masculine, and I think that is where the problem lies. Let your intelligence complement your femininity and radiance, not put you in competition with masculine energy.

        I feel like my husband and I are a good example, but perhaps it is because even our intelligence is “opposite” and therefore doesn’t compete. He is a math-brained computer nerd whereas I am a literary-brained book worm. We are both exceptionally intelligent people, but our intelligence serves to *enhance* our polarity. It all boils down to that polarity, in my opinion.

        • Ah, thanks for your input Karen.

          Like you, I enjoy my man thinking I’m smart too – but it’s more for the praise aspect. The fact that he thinks I’m smart and mentions it; well, I interpret it as praise – not as respect for my intelligence and ‘ability’.

          Intelligence has a lot to do with attraction!! What we’re attracted to has to do with survival and sex and the survival of our future generation.

          Intelligence serves human being’s survival and reproduction and potentially, the social status of their offspring, so we’re designed to find intelligence a ‘hot’ and attractive trait in a man. Remember how I mentioned David Buss’s work? Well, women want intelligence in men for these reasons, and they’re not logical reasons – even though I can describe it here.

          Feminine energy is to be more in your body, in the flow and to be sensitive and responsive, not trying to be in control.

          Being intelligent requires objectivity – the most intelligent people are capable of being completely objective, which is cut off from emotion and the body, it’s also cut off from neediness and the clinging to a personal motive.

          Making good financial decisions requires being cut off from emotion, for example.

          A man who can make these good financial decisions and gain wealth, can’t get there by thinking ‘oh wow, the house is so beautiful, people will for sure pay me rent for it because the yard is so big and the three bedrooms and so spacious’, let’s buy it!

          • Karen

            I suspect the issue here then is that our responses are not taking into account your definition of intelligence as explained by Buss. I think we are still holding to the dictionary definition, which is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills–basically, the ability to learn. Buss’ definition certainly is masculine, whereas the intelligence we are thinking of is neutral.

    • Unreal

      “It’s interesting how on so many website dating profiles, women emphasize their “guy” pursuits – marathons, sports, NASCAR”

      Yes beacuse it’s inconcievable that a woman might actually like those things.

      “But the attitude of so many intelligent American and British women (but not French or Italian women – can’t say about other countries), is that being supportive or negotiating issues is a reduction of their prized autonomy.”

      Compare French and Italian men side by side with American and British men…and then you tell me what you think the difference is that might explain why American and British women seem to take charge all the time.

      • Charles Englehardt

        It’s not inconceivable – but I think a lot of women put those “likes” in even though they really aren’t that interested in, but “sharing common interests” is often emphasized.

        Fascinating about cultural differences.

        Could you elaborate?

        It’s an interesting observation I’ve never considered.

        • Unreal

          the problem in the US and Britian is that repressive Puritan beginnings, toxic masculinity, excessive consumerism and anti-male feminism is a very bad combination. American and British men aren’t even sure what they are supposed to be anymore, not entirely their fault, but too many just default to either alpha asshole or lazy schmuck. American and British women are stepping up to take the lead because somebody has to.

          • Charles Englehardt

            You’re absolutely right about pro sports. I originally came from the NASCAR culture, which tends to be male dominated. But it is a good thing to see women represented in the stands.

            But the competitiveness on the home front, not sure why that should be a cultural issue. But it seems to be in my experience.

            Interestingly enough, a linguistic professor friend of mine says that this difference might be due to the fact that Catholic cultures such as Spain, France, Italy, etc. have much greater residue of pre-Reformation memes than do the Northern Europeans. At which point I’m waaaay out of my depth.

            • Unreal

              Another problem with American culture is the zero sum game mentality that is endemic to a country structured on a class system we refuse to acknowledge. A gain for one marginalized group means a loss for any and every other group. While women have been given the space to grow and chose and be our own definition of what a modern woman should be, men have had even less space and more restrictions on who they are supposed to be. Think about it — the phrases “real man,” “man up” and “be a man” are used everywhere but when was the last time you heard someone say “woman up.” It of course does not need to be this way– both men and women should be able to enjoy equality and freedom to define their own lives, but in an exploitative consumer driven money hungry society, the hierarchy can’t be toppled. Who sits where may change over time but a majority has to disposable. While gender and race have become less absolute in terms of making up the expendable class, more white men have fallen down the ladder into that group.

              The unfortunate thing is that most American white men don’t realize this and continue to politically and financially support those who are actually pushing them further down the ladder while firing their misplaced anger at feminists and liberals.

              • Charles Englehardt

                Dear Unreal,

                I think you have touched upon something that is so fundamental, huge and
                obvious that I am amazed that no one has pointed it out before.

                Your post reminds me of the joke: The old
                fish asks, “Do you think this water tastes funny?”

                And the young fish replies, “What’s water?”

                As you pointed out, American and British societies are Zero Sum, i.e., adversarial
                and Manichaean – “I am certainly right, and you are certainly wrong?” / “Since
                I must be good, you must be evil.” etc.
                If the whole basis of the society is dichotomy, then it would be almost
                impossible to avoid this outlook on a personal level. This attitude would permeate everything and be
                both unnoticeable and inescapable.

                And this binary approach to existence almost by definition would prove lethal
                to mutuality and negotiation and would explain a lot of the pathology in
                Anglosphere relationships.

                I’m sure honor/shame cultures like those in the Middle East have a whole different
                set of issues, as do rigidly hierarchical societies like those in India.


                • Unreal

                  I personally think we have more in common with those societies we regard as less developed than us than we will ever admit.

                  In middle eastern societies it’s the same game with the same end goal (oppressing the masses for the benefit of the elite) but the difference is the finger of blame is pointed at Christiantiy and Judism and at the West in general. And it is also taught that ones lot in life is a matter divine certainty (you mention India, where a rigid class system based on this view has been in existence for centuries, and you see much cultural friction between the younger generations , who flat out reject this view, and older generations whose desire to preserve traditional ways also means preserving the class system).

                  However if we are to hold ourselves up as the model of freedom, opportunity, equality and forward thinking innovation, then we have to do better. We can’t just throw up our hands and say well at least we don’t keep our women in burkas and pat ourselves on the back.

                  Individualism has its benefits to a point. But we have created a society where no one needs anyone else anymore, and we are naive to think it doesn’t have a harmful effect on male-female relationships (among others).

                  We have a choice: we can adapt traditional institutions like marriage to better fit modern society, or we can continue to force fit outdated customs and watch half of all marriages end in divorce (and the related problems that come with that). I often hear men complain that 75% of divorces are initiated by women. Could it be that women, raised in the midst of the cultural battleground between fairy tale princes and happily ever after on one hand and the independence and competitiveness championed by feminists on the other, look around and see that they’re bringing in just as much money or more than their spouse, are holding down the home themselves, and are getting their emotional needs met through friendships and family, and say, “wait, what do I need marriage for again?”

                  I’ve said it myself. If I define marriage by traditional terms, I don’t need it by any stretch. when I define it on my own terms, it totally changes the conversation.

                  All this to say that traditionalist marriage advice, such as that found on this blog, is too often doing more harm than good IMHO. The answer isn’t that women are feminine enough and men aren’t masculine enough anymore. The answer is that as we evolve, our institutions and views must evolve too.

        • Unreal

          Perhaps but as a (female) lifelong sports fan and season ticket holder, I see just as many women in the stands as men.

    • Excellent Charles ! A great takeaway from your comment, imo is “They would far more prefer to right (and quite often, ultimately alone) than compromise or concede any point.

      And I have a feeling that a great many of them are not even aware of this aspect of their personality.”

      A man wants nurturing, softness, kindness, gentleness after competing in the ‘urban jungle’. Supposedly “intelligent” women know how to play their cards right. There is a time to listen and comfort and agree, and other times to lead, take charge or make the decision. “Intelligent” women know when and how. No college degree required, just common sense and excellent communication skills.

    • sandre

      “But the attitude of so many intelligent American and British women (but not French or Italian women – can’t say about other countries), is that being supportive or negotiating issues is a reduction of their prized autonomy. They would far more prefer to right (and quite often, ultimately alone) than compromise or concede any point.”

      I’d venture to say that’s more out of insecurity and feeling like they have to prove themselves, rather than intelligence.