Rejected for Being “Too Successful”, the Perils of Being Career-Driven Women

“Sometimes I wish you were just a teacher or a nurse because you wouldn’t think so much, it’s intimidating,” was a tweet shared by a woman who revealed that her fiance said this to her just before leaving for a business trip. After asking her to marry him, he found that she wasn’t what he “bargained” for since he’d rather say “I do” to someone who was “homely” and didn’t remotely have the power to emasculate him. As an attorney, she found that she isn’t alone and that women who have an established career discover that they are being rejected for being overtly successful and having a mind of their own. While the norms for women have changed over the years, adding successful careers to their repertoires, the same cannot be said for men. While today women are expected to handle their work outside the home, they are also expected to manage the home and somehow for men, especially Indian men the expectations have always remained the same; get a job, earn money and get a wife to come home to. 

The woman can never be seen as making her husband look like he is not man enough to be smarter and richer

Many women with a steady job and a great paycheque have said that the dating world is a tough game for them due to women’s roles being constantly evolving. Women also revealed that men have found them intimidating or just too busy for them or even going to extent of accusing them of flaunting their financial successes. Studies have also proved that men do feel inferior when they find that the women in their lives are successful and so for women finding a partner can be quite difficult. In India, girls have always been encouraged to study hard and get a degree, all the in hopes of bagging a good husband rather than for the purpose of pursuing one’s career. How many times women above the age of 25 who are single have been asked: “You’re single because you love you’re a career-woman, right?” Or “Who will marry you now with that Ph.D.?” Because, of course, a woman can never be seen as making her husband look like he is not man enough to be smarter and richer. One woman said, “It sucks because I feel like I’m going to end up one of those people who are successful monetarily but, with my love life, I feel like I just want to give up.”

“We don’t empower men to be in non-provider roles and we have a hard time accepting a woman who doesn’t need financial support”

Jenna Birch, author of The Love Gap and CEO of Plum, a dating app revealed that many successful women face resentment in relationships as they outpace their male peers in academics and the career world and as the world is seeing more successful women than ever. Also, one has to see this from the male point of view which is that they have been taught to be the primary monetary provider in the family and if they aren’t doing that then they aren’t good partners. Dating coach Myisha Battle says, “We don’t empower men to be in non-provider roles and we have a hard time accepting a woman who doesn’t need financial support. I have hope that some balance can be struck if people are capable of living outside of their expected gender roles.” Also, much of this depends on how the individual was raised and their personal belief son gender roles. This dichotomy of breadwinner and homemaker is seen throughout dating and marital relationships, regardless of whether they are straight or not. However, in the sphere of dating relationships, women should make their expectations and motives clear as to what they want out of a relationship. Everyone who wants a partner should have someone who supports their dreams, ambitions, and career and should never have to feel insecure about either’s successes or failures. The more a person focuses on the team aspect of the relationships, the better the future will be. 

So how does a person who starts with “me” get to “we”? An article by Psychology Today suggests ‘finding a man who’s supportive of a prospective mate’s intelligence and ambition from the start. A woman has more options if she’s willing to override romantic scripts that encourage her to underplay her strengths and make men think they’re smarter than she.’ As for single men, not all are motivated to impress an impressive woman, while some rise to the occasion, some walk away.  

Image credit: Vunela

Related Articles