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

Article updated 2020

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 take that feeling away 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.

I’m sure that this is true in some cases. However, like most difficult topics, people don’t think deeper. Most people who have this view of men haven’t thought about it further than that.

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.

So – if the woman in the relationship is having to be the intelligent one, then she’s likely to also be wanting to be the in control one in the relationship, or at least in that particular moment.

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, and for many men she’s a turn on, and if she’s radiant and comfortable being out of control of life, then she’s very attractive.

Having to be intelligent and not being willing to be out of control go hand-in-hand. It’s one thing to BE intelligent. It’s another to want to exert dominance and control as a woman. They carry different energies.

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.

This may be true on one level. However, when you think about it further, you realise that these aren’t reasons pertained to attraction: 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 differences for the ‘spark’ of attraction to exist.

(What is the ONE thing you can say to ANY man that will capture his attention, trigger his curiosity and make him hang onto every word you say! Click here to find out right now…)

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. Masks don’t create attraction – they create distance.

If we as women were being who we are (which came effortlessly before we started using success 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 unapologetically present with her own depth, her instincts and her natural 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.

You see, being feminine all the time is not high value. It usually doesn’t serve a woman to think that if you were to ever be in your masculine, then you’d suddenly lose your worth to men. It’s not about being feminine all the time! You need masculine energy within yourself to be whole and balanced and to actually show up as a high value woman.

However, wearing masks of strength and intelligence not only takes away our authenticity, it also means that we aren’t in our true relaxed nature. And if we can’t relax into who we are beneath the fake masculine masks or the fake feminine masks, we can still be good looking, but we wouldn’t be our infinitely attractive selves.

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

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 actual success and intelligence. It has everything to do with the fact that the woman places her identity and feelings of worth in being and showing up as that successful and intelligent personality when she is with HIM.

So, it’s great to be intelligent (who doesn’t want to be??) but there’s a cost to it when it comes to attraction.

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 (and not being willing to develop other parts of her that are completely vulnerable and out of control) that makes a woman less able to get a commitment from a good man. Not only that, it makes it harder for that woman to show up as the one and only type of woman and have high value men fall in love with her.  

Men don’t fall in love with your intelligence. Some men may be excited by your intelligence, but it will never make a man fall in love. Falling in love is an emotional process and it’s about inspiring the right emotions within a man. On that note, if you want the 5 Secrets to Have and Man Fall in Love with you and BEG you to be his one and only woman, check out my DVD “Becoming His One & Only”. We also have an online version of this if that’s what you prefer!

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. And this can present a problem, because she needs to feel worthy before she can surrender to the scary, changing nature of relationships and connection. She really 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 (This can be a little dangerous, as the more you have to prove things to people, the less real relationships you will attract).

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 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 can judge us and laugh at us when we have a stupid moment. They feel like they’re not enough themselves if they were to be like that, so they ridicule us for seeming stupid. 

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.

Go here to join our masterclass on securing a commitment from a man

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), and if you are in an abusive or toxic relationship, then you don’t want to be open and vulnerable to that person.

However, if you are in a healthy dating or relationship situation, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with letting go of control and letting other, unexplored parts of you rise to the surface. Remember, the more parts of you that you can access, the more whole you will be and the more value you will add to ANY man in your life! 

On that note, here at the 10 Ultimate Signs of A Healthy Relationship.

“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?

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. 

We are born enough. YOU were born enough. 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 you might be to be ‘dumber’, more ‘flighty’ or out of control. 

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 alone.

Don’t you think it’s detrimental long term, to favour some parts of you and then starve the other parts? Some of them are little girls still, needing acceptance and permission to shine on just as much as any other part of you.

You know the parts of yourself that you probably reject, right? The parts that your dad may not have liked? The parts of you that mom 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).

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 confident, 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 that he is able to connect with, 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 as well as 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 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.

And the cost is attraction in his relationship.

It’s not wrong, it is just what it is.

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

You could ask yourself: Do I find a whimsical, less ambitious and confident 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?

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.

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 your feminine radiance.

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

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

Some people 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.

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 only 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 were found to value intelligence in a woman? By comparison, not as much as women find it high value in a man!

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

Thank You for reading!











P.S. Connect with me on social media.

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Shefali O'Hara
Shefali O'Hara

I have a high IQ (not meant to be a brag, just a fact – my IQ is north of 150) and there are more men with high IQs than women. Some of these men really, really want a high IQ woman because they want companionship. But that doesn’t mean they want a masculine woman. I think the sweet spot for these men is a high IQ woman who is also feminine. And yes, if they had to trade – they would probably sacrifice some IQ points for the femininity. I am physically just so-so, but as I’ve gotten more… Read more »


There is a big difference between “smart girls” and high IQ. High IQ women will have hard time finding a man with a high IQ. Men with lower intelligence will not be as sexy. Women who don’t provide resources of any kind are not attractive mates. Intelligence includes social grace, domestic competence, as well as mothering ability. Being “high value” IS being intelligent. Being a rare woman who is a bonafied genius is different problem. “Smart girls” who are always proving their intelligence in my experience are not highly intelligent, they’re insecure. That’s why they turn off men. Highly intelligent… Read more »


I think you can be highly intelligent but still very feminine too. Buf the result is you won’t be more inclined to formal education, achievement, or scientific objective because those are masculine inclination. Highly feminine & intelligent woman would be something like a femme fatale, lady, queen, goddess, artist, or even vixen (think about Cleopatra); she will be sensual, passionate, wild, unpredictable, having high standards, only wanting the best for her, soulful, intuitive, feisty, and also very sensitive in the same time. It’s possible to be highly intelligence & still grounded in your feminine energy! Intelligence isn’t always about science,… Read more »


Being a girl who has been considered intelligent, I can say after some life and relationship experiences that in order to bond with people and strengthen your relationship, you have to connect with them not by your intellect- which is fostered by intelligence- but in another whole level: emotions and instincts. The intellectual similarity can bring people together, however can’t make them intimate. That’s why intelligence is irrelevant to relationship success. I say irrelevant, as there are many unintelligent people out there who struggle for relationships, too. The thing is, when you are intelligent and successful, others wonder why such… Read more »


I am male and I am fully attracted to an intelligent woman and even willing to discount her lack of physical attractiveness, if she really is not much attractive. However the problem with highly intelligent women is that they are socially not that great,usually!


It is tiring to see intelligence always presented this way. Intelligence is simply raw reasoning and learning ability. It has nothing to do with control or competition. Some people just really enjoy intellectual things. I am most radiant and excited and in-the-moment when discussing, contemplating and exploring intellectual ideas. I find that stimulating, exciting and fun. As a child, I was never called a drama queen, but rather criticized for my naturally quiet demeanor. I was teased a bit for being a brain. It may be shocking, but not all women have the same personality, and those of us who… Read more »

Reply to  delicate_dream

You sound like an INTJ female. 🙂

Reply to  delicate_dream

I agree with you a 100%. I joined this site a while back, and most of the advice is good… but it’s missing something. It doesn’t encourage women like me to be ourselves and only date guys that would like us as our authentic selves (I scored 50/50 on feminine/masculine energy). I’m an INTJ woman and we are a rarer breed and we should not have to become a someone else to get love. Weak men who need to feel secure from a dumber woman is NOT the right type for us anyway. What I learned on my journey is… Read more »

blah blah
blah blah

Most women only bring sex to the table. It’s the only thing they offer. It’s the only thing they have of value for a man. They don’t cook. They don’t clean. They dont’ spend their money on a guy (so how much education and how much they earn are not a factor). Humans are analog machines, which means they will take the path of least resistance. It’s how we evolved. We want to conserve energy, b/c we had to struggle to get that energy. That is the driving factor in our search for sex, too. A man will go for… Read more »

Diane Panosian
Diane Panosian

I completely disagree with the being more out of control and less objective lessons this article makes, mainly because I think the wording is wrong or it’s based on society’s definitions. I’m a Christian and taught to not let my feelings guide me because feelings come and go like the wind. Rather true love is making a choice (not a feeling) to put someone else first. Being out of control of yourself is the opposite of what my Christianity teaches me, as the goal is to be more in control. But in a different way than is thought of in… Read more »

Lyla Xo
Lyla Xo

Also I love that you gently shit on feminism in every article.

Reply to  Lyla Xo

She doesn’t like having equal rights, apparently.

Reply to  delicate_dream

No, no, and NO! Oh em gee! How many times has she said that most women (80%) are feminine in their core? Feminism is hated by the women who are feminine (80% of women worldwide) because it forces them to be masculine! Using logic, feminine people HATE to be masculine, and masculine people HATE to be feminine. If you can’t even understand this simple logic, I’m sorry, but U R A MORON. What about the other 20% of women who AREN’T feminine? It BENEFITS them and she totally supports them and is grateful for feminism to exist, it’s just that… Read more »

Lyla Xo
Lyla Xo

Renee, you should make an option for donating to your site and your emails that you send out because they are so valuable beyond monetary units and you should be rewarded for all this free work that you do. Feedback for article – life changing, eye-opening, and inspiring as usual 🙂 I’ve never had trouble finding a dude to commit to me, something bout being born into a Southeast Asian family and culture definitely contributes to this, but the info you put out helps me understand myself, and honestly… inspires love in me, towards the world, and especially towards my… Read more »

Lyla Xo
Lyla Xo

“…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.” girl this made me tear up, it was so eloquently written.


I want a bitch to lick my A S S HOLE, then blow me until I blow my manpaste in her mouth.


Intelligence will always be an attractive trait. Maybe not to all guys but the vast majority.


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… Read more »

Reply to  Marie

I ain’t the expert here, but I can tell you some things… You said you’re a masculine woman, but at the end you became more feminine. You were NEVER a masculine woman, you had ALWAYS been feminine all this time, and the masculinity is just a fake mask. IF you TRULY WERE a masculine woman, you would’ve been looking for a feminine male and you would reject femininity! You also sound like you’re genuinely happy with “becoming” feminine (aka letting your true internal feminine nature shine) because that’s the way you REALLY are, not because women must be feminine or… Read more »


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… Read more »

Tanya Marcy
Tanya Marcy

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… Read more »

dow daytrader
dow daytrader

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… Read more »


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.


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… Read more »

Samuel Summers
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.… Read more »

Reply to  Samuel Summers

I would certainly say so.

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