Here is a situation that almost all women have experienced – you go on two or three wonderful dates with a guy, he acts really keen then, suddenly, nothing. He disappears. He cancels a date at the last minute. He stops replying to your texts. You never hear from him again.
You’re left asking – What happened? Why the sudden change of heart from him? What did I do wrong?
If you’re a successful, confident woman then here is my theory about what may have happened.
It’s only recently, after watching many Matthew Hussey videos and talking to Petra Kreatschman and another relationship coach, that I’ve realised what the root of the problem may be.
I recently read about a classic example of this type of situation on the 30 Dates blog. After seeing someone’s else experience laid out so clearly, the theory suddenly seemed more true than ever.
If you are a woman who is successful, intelligent, well-travelled, confident, financially secure and independent this leaves many men feeling inferior and wondering what they could possibly offer you.
Miss29, writer of the 30 Dates blog, recently went on two wonderful dates with a guy who, after the second date, suddenly disappeared without explanation. From what I can tell from her blog Miss29 has a great job, she’s intelligent, she’s accomplished, she’s well-travelled, she’s confident and she’s attractive. The guy she went on these dates with was younger than her, a Masters student, not earning much and living with his mother.
The guy’s perspective
In Miss29’s eyes, this guy was perfect. Those aspects of his lifestyle didn’t matter to her. However, let’s look at this from the guy’s perspective. He is faced with a woman who seems so accomplished in every way that he was left wondering how he could possibly ever ‘be the man’ with her. What could he do to impress her? I’m sure Miss29 could have thought of many things, but to the man there was nothing he could have done in the traditional sense.
Being ‘the man’
The importance of guys feeling like they’re ‘the man’ is something that Matthew Hussey talks about a lot.
I’m not a man myself, so it isn’t something that had even occurred to me until I learnt it from Matthew Hussey. I now realise the male psyche is wired with the need to feel that they are being manly and powerful in their ability to provide for and protect a woman. If a woman already seems to have outdone him in every area of life – what can he possibly offer her? How is he supposed to take on that typical male role? How can he ever impress her? It’s at this point that he feel insecure, panics and disappears.
My evidence for this
Several months ago I went on a couple of dates with a gorgeous, tall and adorable Brazilian guy. Yes, he only worked in a bar but I was really pleased to have bagged myself such a hottie. I found him in the bar where he worked and by the time our first date came he had discovered a few details about me from Facebook. On our first date he told me he had been so nervous to come and meet me because, in his words, “You’re English, you’re beautiful, you speak three languages and have a really cool job and I’m just a Brazilian guy who can’t speak English very well”. I’m thankful to this guy’s Latin American openness for expressing what many other guys who I’ve been on dates with may also have been thinking.
Needless to say, we didn’t make it past two dates. He cancelled just hours before the third.
For me, I was totally in awe of this guy because he was A: foreign (something I always find interesting about people) and B: tall (there aren’t enough men around for us tall women!). Of course, it didn’t occur to him that those were simple things he could impress me with, without needing to buy me an expensive meal or anything like that.
I recently signed up to POF again (I know, I know, I hate online dating). After messaging about 50 to 60 attractive guys I’d had almost no replies and had definitely not been asked out by anyone. One day, at my wit’s end, I messaged a guy who was a doctor and asked him why he thought this may be. His answer was, I quote, “I fear many of the guys on here may be more interested in a lil blondie with a good pair of whammies, and less interested in someone with a masters degree”.
For example, many guys on their POF profile may say they like travelling. But what happens when he starts chatting with a girl who also likes travelling who has actually travelled to more places and more interesting places than he has? In his eyes, suddenly, that aspect of his personality that he had to offer has been reduced to something not so great after all. At the point, he stops sending you messages.
It’s a subconscious feeling
I expect many guys don’t even consciously realise why they suddenly start to get cold feet about a woman. If you asked them to put it into words, they wouldn’t say ‘She was so independent and accomplished that I couldn’t see how I could ever be the man and impress her’. I expect they probably interpret it for themselves simply as ‘I felt out of my depth’, ‘It was getting too serious’ or just a general feeling of unease which they can’t quite put their finger on.
If you’ve ever been disappeared on or rejected by a guy just have a think about whether that they guy may actually have been intimidated about how amazing and successful you were. I’m now convinced that this situation occurs for a lot of women.
So, what can we do about it?
1. The obvious answer is that us confident successful woman need to seek out men who are at least as confident and successful as us. However, we all know that’s much easier said than done. Only looking for this type of man would narrow the dating pool even more and we don’t need that.
2. The other option is to play down our accomplishments and successes. On my POF profile I considered removing my Masters degree from the ‘Qualifications’ section. Next time a guy on there asks me ‘Have you done a lot of travelling?’ or ‘What countries have you been to?’ I may think about playing down the amount of travelling I’ve really done.
3. If we meet a guy and on the surface it appears that we’re more successful than he is, we could make a special effort from the beginning to casually mention all the things about him that we find so awe-inspiring. I think this may be our best option.