Why Successful Women Fail at Dating and Relationships
Not only do successful women sometimes fail at dating and relationships, the men who love them, or try to love them, also struggle. It actually takes an immense amount of courage to date a so-called strong independent woman (which we know), and most men who bravely attempt it too often find themselves in a no-win, double bind, damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t situation. Yes, it really is that bad (which we suspect you also know).
Yet, don’t think that this is all about the man and what he does or doesn’t do (assuming we’re speaking of hetrosexual romantic dynamics between men and women). For most successful career women, their struggles with dating and relationships have much more to do with their relationship with themselves. More specifically, these women unknowingly fail to be authentic – with themselves. And, if they’re not authentic with themselves they send massive mixed messages to the men they date and marry. Those men, try as they might, can’t get it right in their dedicated attempts to respond to her desires and make her happy. We trust this is not new news to either party.
Strong independent women aren’t intimidating they’re confusing
This inauthenticity with themselves arises because most successful women who fail at relationships, do so because they continuously have to fight a, typically unconscious, internal battle between what they truly desire and who they think they should be.
At the same time, highly successful women have externally fought the battle for equal rights. They’ve had to prove what they’re capable of over and over again. They’ve learned how to play and win in a masculine-energy-dominated corporate system. And it has not been easy.
While they’ve accomplished so much, these same career advancing women also pay a great price personally. Romantic relationships do suffer for most of these women. This is compounded by the fact that, physically, their bodies face frequent, if not consistent, exhaustion. In turn that hugely affects their energetic capacity for romance and it kills sexual desire (once the initial attraction hormones wear off). Emotionally they commonly face feelings of overwhelm, loneliness, and all too often depression. As a result their radiance can dim as they question their attractiveness.
To make matters worse, it’s true that women no longer need a man in order to survive. Yet with their independence, many successful women still too often spend a significant amount of time worrying about whether they’ll be ok and keep it all together in the future. This mixed message of “I’m independent. I’ve got it. I don’t need you,” conflicts with the truth that they know lives inside saying, “It sure would be nice if I didn’t have to carry all this weight all the time.”
All of these very real struggles, the internal and external battles, can’t help but impact the romantic dynamics from dating, to relationships, to marriage and love making. Inadvertently, they leave the masculine men who want to love these women, at an absolute loss. While a part of them wants to show up as the knight in shining armor to save the day for her, they simultaneously don’t want to insult or disrespect her and what she’s accomplished. Too often they fail to get this dance right.
The mixed messages
Let’s explore the mixed message internal dialogs successful women face on their journey of love and how those conflicting storylines play out with the men they attract. Some of them may surprise you.
Curiously, while many successful women can appear, and sometimes truly feel, empowered, confident, and self reliant, they also often doubt their own abilities and attractiveness. They can actually be plagued by self-esteem and self worth issues as they seek a sense of value and worthiness from their work, and sometimes from their motherhood. Yet, if you get to know some of those strongest, most successful women well enough for them to be truly authentic with you, you’ll often discover their underlying insecurities that insidiously have them constantly trying to prove how strong and capable they are. Yet masculine men attracted to feminine women care little about how strong a woman they’re attracted to is. They care about her capacity to be herself, be happy, and to receive his generous spirit. He’s attracted to her light.
Speaking of receiving, many successful women struggle with love because they are much better givers than receivers, much better do-ers than rest-ers. Yet, a truly masculine man enjoys giving. He doesn’t have to give, he’s inspired to give. He desires someone to receive his gestures. He wants to make a difference in the life of the woman he’s dating or in a relationship with. Yet if her mantra is “No, No, I’ve got it,” she misses out on the support that internally she truly craves and he misses out on the joy of giving. Her inner battle between “I don’t want to need help” and “I’d like to have help” confounds most men.
Of course successful women also face the societal commentary that a modern day woman can absolutely ask a man out. Of course she can. Yet, again, if you get that same woman to be truly authentic, if you give her permission to not have to live up to the feminist expectations, she will most likely tell you that she much prefers being asked out over asking out.
If she’s really honest, she’ll even tell you that when he picks up the check it contributes to his attractiveness. These dynamics of courting parallel directly the polarity dynamics of masculine and feminine energy at play in practically every romantic connection. Successful women, and the men who love them, quickly discover, whether consciously aware of it or not, that when two people both hold masculine assertive and directive energy, it does nothing to inspire romantic attraction. It does on the other hand, create romantic repelling. The “I’m just not that into you” friend-zone dynamic plays out here constantly.
Finally, this points directly to the greatest hidden inauthenticity most successful women face that absolutely causes them to fail at relationships. They have been so conditioned, and rewarded for, holding masculine energy, that they have come to believe that their natural energy is truly masculine. In fact, most women who step onto this Path of Soul Love, no matter their career, find themselves shocked that hiding underneath is an abandoned sense of femininity longing to be let out. She soon discovers she can be both feminine and powerful. She can be successful and in love.
The plight of men who love successful women
Superwoman isn’t happy and her husband isn’t either. You will be hard pressed to find a woman who is happy, healthy, and madly in love who shows up in her life like Superwoman. The two shall not meet. The independent “I don’t need” anyone story stands at direct odds with a successful woman’s desire for a relationship, for a partnership, for someone who will have her back. Yet, successful women fail at dating and relationships because they can’t have their cake and eat it too. She can’t say “I don’t need you” and “I want you to have my back” and expect a man to know how to respond in a way that actually works for her.
Mentally, she often wants to be the woman in the Enjoli perfume commercial of the early 80’s that celebrated a woman’s ability “…to bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan, and never, never let you forget you’re a man…” Yet this celebration set up unmeetable expectations for the career woman, who was often also a mom. This modern woman was supposed to be able to do it all and never let you see her sweat, or her tears. No one talked about how lonely, stressed, or exhausted she was at the end of the day. No one mentioned that she had no energy for sex. Her ability to make things happen and get things done typically drove feelings of resentment because the men in their lives rarely carried the same load. To make matters worse, while she’s trying to get it done and keep it all together, she also tends to, without realizing it, take over for the man in her life leaving him emasculated, and her more resentful.
Here’s the common plight of the man who tries to and fails in a relationship with a successful woman. “If you don’t want my help, if you don’t need me, I’ll back off and let you do it. I want you to feel good, be happy, and have what you want. Yet, tomorrow, you’re mad at me because I’m not doing enough. So today, I’ll try to do more. Then I face your ire because I didn’t do it the way you would have done it. So I try again, but witnessing your endless disappointment kills my heart that so loves you. I don’t want you to hurt, yet I feel like I can’t win in bringing you happiness. You’re so used to being in control, or striving for control, that any attempt I make to support you will fall short. I will fail. Eventually, I must give up and move on in hopes of a woman to whose joy I can contribute.”
If you feel yourself to be that strong independent woman, if you’re successful yet seem to never succeed with dating and relationships, then you’re invited to ask yourself this question, “Are you happy?” For many successful women, the sense of accomplishment and independence doesn’t begin to compensate for the loneliness, fear, and sadness they regularly live with just under the surface.
You can have both success and love, but you have to find an authentic part of you that’s gotten lost along the way. You have to let your femininity (that isn’t what you think it is) lead, at least in love. With that, you will find a happiness within, and a depth of intimate connection with a man, that can truly take your breath away, over and over again.
Only the truly courageous, only the strongest women, have the courage to let down the seemingly required masculine masks and facades of the strong independent woman mindset and conditioning. It takes serious inner strength to embody vulnerability, a core prerequisite to love and intimacy. It takes a grounded sense of self to choose interdependence with a man.
When these truly successful women find that inner knowing, they can unleash the even stronger, yet truly radiant, wildly alive, and deeply satiated woman that leaves a man in true awe – and genuine love.
Since 2006, highly conscious men and women, with a commitment to extraordinary relationships, have chosen Ecstatic Intimacy to find and cultivate Soul Partnerships from their bedrooms to their boardrooms. Ecstatic Intimacy believes in coveted relationships, for all.
You too, are invited…
*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.