A matchmaker friend of mine recently advised me not to sound so “accomplished” when talking to men because she feels it intimidates them. She told me not to mention that I’ve written a book and to only say that I’m a Pilates instructor. She went on to explain that the most powerful men she’s worked with were all just looking for someone very simple.
While that may be the case for some men (I do have a friend who seems to only be interested in women who don’t speak English–I guess he isn’t looking for clever conversation), personally, I am not the kind of woman to dumb myself down in order to catch a man. In fact, I’m not even trying to catch a man; I think he should catch me. One thing is for certain, I would never be content just being someone’s arm candy. It is important to me to always remain true to myself and to be a woman who has a voice and an opinion.
All of my boyfriends, even the borderline criminal ones, have been geniuses in their own right. Since I am attracted to more of an intellectual type, the man for me isn’t going to be intimidated by my achievements because he’s probably going to be much more accomplished. I want a boyfriend I’m in complete and utter awe of, one who inspires me to create more, not someone whom I have to hide any part of who I am, so he could feel better about himself.
I look back to the two men I’ve loved most in my life. My long-term ex-boyfriend, an Emmy Award winning T.V. writer, said he fell in love with me because he had never met a pretty girl who was so well read. And my ultimate crush, one of the most talented and brilliant men around, told me early on that I reminded him of a much smarter Jayne Mansfield (no disrespect to the lovely Jayne—like most blonde bombshells, I’m sure she was much smarter than most people gave her credit for). When I first sat down to write my book, these were the two people whose opinions meant most to me in the world. Sharing my early pages with these men did not intimidate them in the least. My ex-boyfriend told me that he was so impressed with everything I was doing and the more he knows me the more he loves me (which is a huge compliment since we’ve known each other over ten years. You would think he’d be sick of me by now!). And I felt letting my crush have a sneak peek at what I was working on had deepened our connection.
Although these were the only two men I was actively seeking approval from, after I began blogging, I started to get more respect from men in general. One of my favorite guy friends started sending me messages whenever I would post a blog he liked, and as a result, we’ve become very close. At a recent dinner, he remarked that he never knew I was such a “thinker.” Now at Hollywood parties, guys always compliment me saying I’m so “deep” or “spiritual.” And one of my best guy friends, or as I like to call him, my “twin,” has been introducing me for years saying, “She’s much smarter than she looks.” To be honest, the fact he says this totally embarrasses me, but coming from a Yale grad, I should probably be flattered. The point here is not to brag, but to show you that while dumbing it down may attract a certain kind of man (probably a controlling type), showing your intelligence will attract another type of man, a more desirable type in my eyes.
My matchmaker friend and I agree on one thing, no matter how smart you are, a man wants a woman who respects his thoughts. No one likes a know-it-all, so even if you do know more, you don’t want to make a man (or anyone for that matter) feel dumb. Since I have a thing for the walking encyclopedia type, it’s only natural for me to let the men in my life know how brilliant and fascinating I think they are. And it’s also natural for me to let them know how much I respect and value their opinions. If I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t be dating them. However, if I do have a difference of opinion, I’m not afraid to express myself, but I do so in a way that is sweet and gentle and won’t crush a man’s ego. I think it’s important to make sure we don’t come off as abrasive or argumentative when expressing our opinions. Most men are career driven, so when they come home from work at night, they want a woman to be their escape.
My parting advice is that instead of dumbing yourself down to catch a man, become passionate about your own life, and men will try to catch you. When you’re excited about your job, your friends, your hobbies, a man will sense your enthusiasm for life and find you much more exciting than a girl who lives and breathes only for him. I know that the men in my world are more intrigued by a passionate woman than a simple girl.
I’ll leave you with my favorite quote from Marianne Williamson. This insight inspired me to quit playing small and not to be afraid to let my light shine. I hope it does the same for you.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves: who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”