This has happened to me more times than I can count. I’ll be seeing a fantastic guy, someone I think I’m really vibing with, and then he’ll break it off out of absolutely nowhere. When asked why he decided to end what I thought was a blossoming relationship, I get a variety of responses, all with the same theme: I’m too intimidating for him. WTF?
It’s often my drive or determination that turns them off. I’m Type A to the max. That means I like my apartment to be clean, I like my day to be planned, and I have 10 years of career goals on a color-coded timeline. Some guys, especially guys who are my complete opposite, find these aspects of my personality overwhelming. Truthfully, I think seeing my drive makes them feel insecure, and so begins the egotistical spiral of “am I good enough?” I hope nothing I’ve ever said made these men feel self-conscious, but I genuinely think it’s a narrative they create themselves.
The other part of that is my competitive nature. Admittedly, I REALLY hate to lose. I once tore up a mini golf score card on a date because I lost by two points. (I don’t blame that guy for peacing out, to be honest.) Part of my drive is a neurosis of being “the best” or at least being the best that I can be, and that’s been referenced as a reason for breaking things off with me more than once.
These traits make me a career-driven individual. If you hadn’t already figured it out, I take my job very seriously. I love being a writer—it’s what I’ve dreamt of doing since I was five years old and I’m very enthusiastic about developing my career. That being said, I dedicate a lot of my time to it; I work long days, I work weekends, I take my computer with me to most places so I can work on the fly… but I love to do it. However, a lot of guys find this downright unattractive.
I seriously try to keep those things in check. Besides the mini golf incident, which I swear is the only outburst of its kind, I really try to keep all of my Type A quirks under control—especially around a new guy I’m seeing. I try to play the cool girl who coasts through her work day, doesn’t care if there are dirty dishes in the sink, and is an all-around good sport. Trust me, I don’t take men back to my apartment to brag about how I organize my Tupperware or the list of life goals hanging in my home office.
Here’s the rub: I’m not that girl. This is where I call BS on these men who take issue with “intimidating women.” These parts of myself are not my entire personality, but they ARE pieces of who I am and I’m proud of them. I like the fact that I like things organized or that I push myself to do great work, and it’s maddening that guys can’t appreciate them too. I’m proud of my dominating traits and I won’t try to hide them. I think of them more as a screening system to get all the sniveling douchebags who can’t handle me out of the way.
The truth is, men like this feel inferior to women like me. When a man who isn’t super career driven or doesn’t have an organized apartment sees the way I live and work, he can have two reactions: he can respect those parts of me OR he can assume that I think I’m better than him. That second reaction happens far more than the first, and those type of men can get really defensive when they feel “less than”—especially when they feel “less than” a woman in any way. It instantly becomes an issue of them comparing themselves to me and putting judgmental words in my mouth. In the end, their fragile egos can’t handle that.
Ultimately, I don’t want to be with a guy who’s too intimidated by my success. At the end of the day, what successful career woman wants to be with a partner who can’t support them and be happy for their successes? I have enough pressure and doubts from other parts of my life (including from within my own mind)—I don’t need them from someone who’s supposed to celebrate life’s victories with me.
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