My Strength Is My Best Quality, But It Scares Guys Away

I’ve always taken a lot of pride in being a strong woman, but apparently not everyone sees strength as a good quality. Given how many guys have labeled me “intimidating” lately, I’m starting to get more frustrated with the dating process than ever before. Aren’t independence and strength supposed to be positive attributes?

  1. I’m not trying to be better than anyone else. I want to be equal to my partner, not better than him. I’m not sure if these guys think that I’m trying to out-pace, out-work, out-class, or simply out-everything them, but really, I’m just doing my own thing and competing with no one but myself. If they take that as an insult, then that’s a reflection on their own lackluster self-esteem.
  2. If I were a guy, I’d want a strong woman. To be fair, I’m not a straight dude, so I can’t know this for sure. But personally, I think confident, courageous women are hot. I really think that if I were a man, I’d prefer a woman like that over one who did whatever her partner wanted. But given that not many guys seem to want that these days, maybe I’m dead wrong.
  3. The qualities that make me “intimidating” are the ones I like most. I’ve worked hard to become a driven, self-assured person over the years, so to have it implied that those qualities make me less desirable is frankly a little offensive. I have my quirks and flaws, but my ambitious and confident nature isn’t one of them. If any guy thinks I’m going to give that up for him, he’s got another thing coming.
  4. They’re projecting their own weakness onto me. It’s always the people who feel the worst about themselves that try to bring other people down. I’ve been around long enough to know that when a man feels emasculated by my strength, it’s just proof of how he sees himself. I’m sympathetic to anyone who has to avoid certain people to keep his self-esteem afloat, but I’m sick of finding these guys on my quest for a decent partner.
  5. It’s making it ridiculously hard to find anyone worth dating. There might be plenty of fish in the sea, but it baffles me why so many of them see me as a shark. Just because I know what I want — both in love and in life — doesn’t mean that I’m out to cut other people down. Still, I feel like nearly every time I find a guy I could actually see myself with, he ruins it by telling me that my ambition or outspoken ways make him feel like “less of a man.” Rinse, repeat. These guys make the dating pool seem pretty damn shallow.
  6. I thought we’d evolved past this nonsense. It’s 2017, right? Maybe I’m naive, but I’d hoped that by now, the number of men who felt weirded out by strong women would’ve dwindled down enough that they’d be almost impossible to find. In reality, though, they’re everywhere. I’ve met a lot of amazing men who see women as equals, but the ones I tend to pick are still stuck in the past.
  7. My strength is what makes me such a great catch. I’m not the prettiest, smartest, or funniest girl out there, but I like to think I make up for it with my strength. I expect that I might have other qualities that would turn men off from wanting to date me, but I’m really alarmed that so many guys are scared off by the thing that I believe makes me a fantastic partner.
  8. I’m confident, not arrogant. I’d be a bit more understanding if I were some cocky brat, but my brand of strength is quiet, not loud. Sure, I know what I’m good at and I’ve nailed this whole “self-love” thing as much as I can, but it’s not like I’m out there trying to tear other people down. I know my flaws and I stay humble. I’ll never understand why so many guys see that as a bad thing.
  9. I’m not scared of strong guys. Truthfully, I’d much rather be with a strong man than a weak one. I love guys who depend solely on themselves — the ones who know what they want and go after it full-force. I guess my affinity for those men makes it that much more confusing when guys don’t seem to want the same thing in a woman.
  10. It’s making me lose my faith in men. Throughout my whole life, I’ve been surrounded by incredible guys both in my family and within my circle of friends. I’ve never been a “man-hater,” nor will I ever be. But it’s hard to remember that I’ll one day find an amazing guy to be with when so many of the ones I meet in the dating scene can’t handle who I am. I know I just have to keep looking — besides, I’d never want a guy who was intimidated by me anyway — but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t getting a bit discouraged.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.