Smart women often have trouble dating. It’s not fair, but it’s the truth.
Of course, it isn’t necessarily hard for intelligent women to find a date. We might even settle into relationships for a while. Nevertheless, in time, we often find ourselves single and starting over.
Are we doomed? Is it impossible for super smart women to have a satisfying relationship?
Of course not! However, we may need to change our mindsets if we want to get out of the same old pattern that we’ve found ourselves in year after year.
Here are three specific patterns to consider that might need some adjusting.
1. Smart Women Pour Too Much Chlorine in the Dating Pool
It’s easy to blame the dating pool for the problem. And yes, there are certainly some issues there. But smart women already know how to deal with those dating hassles. (We’ve all had to swipe left on certain inappropriate photos.)
Unfortunately, in ruling out potential partners, we sometimes get a little overzealous. It is good to know what you want. However, it’s a problem if you are so picky that no one could ever meet your standards.
Happiness author Gretchen Rubin reminds us, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.” Sometimes intelligent women rule out good dating choices because they’re looking for perfection. They see that a potential mate doesn’t check every single box, and they don’t even give that person a breath of a chance before moving on.
Here’s a secret: super smart women are often super critical of themselves. They are perfectionists. They hold themselves to a very high standard. Therefore, they can’t imagine holding a partner to anything less.
However, expecting perfection sets you up for failure. You can have high expectations without waiting for perfection.
Establish clear boundaries. Then relax a little bit. See what happens!
2. Smart Single Women Are Used to Doing It All
As intelligent women, we are also highly capable. We know how to handle our business. How to get things done. In fact, we are super adept at doing all the things. And thus, we may find it hard to give up control.
There’s nothing wrong with being in the driver’s seat, mind you. However, a relationship is a partnership. It requires compromise. Smart women who take a “my way or the highway” approach often find themselves alone.
Sure, you can handle life alone. But do you want to?
This can manifest in a pattern of dating people who don’t step up. If you take care of everything from the get-go, you attract partners who will be happy to let you do just that.
When you make every dinner reservation, handle your shared calendars once you get into a relationship, and take care of the house, then you’re doing a lot of the heavy lifting. That’s fine if your partner is handling other things. But if they’re just letting you do all of the work, you can easily fall into a pattern where … well, where you’re always doing all of the work.
Most smart women want a partner, not a child. (Even if they do want a child, they don’t want their partner to be that child!) They want a partner who can parent with them. And so, they have to let go of a little of the control.
Rest confidently in your own capability, but let the person you’re dating take the reins sometimes.
3. Some Smart Women Hide Their Strengths
On the flip-side of the aforementioned point, some smart women try too hard to play the dating game.
They’ve read the (absurd) scare tactic articles that tell us that men don’t actually want to date intelligent women. Or they’ve personally experienced dates with people who are intimidated by their intelligence and success. Thus, in an effort to get into a relationship, they hide some of their strengths.
Smart women know that they don’t have to dumb themselves down in order to snag a partner. However, they may find themselves doing it anyway.
Society is harsh. If you’ve got a high-powered job, you probably have experience with people who don’t like you just because you’re in a position of power. Therefore, you try to “soften” yourself on dates. However, if that means that you’re hiding your true self, then the relationship isn’t going to work.
Of course, truly smart women can admit their weaknesses.
So be yourself. But be willing to be your more vulnerable, imperfect self. Let all of your different aspects shine through. Only then will you be able to find someone who meshes with them in the right way.
If you find dating and relationships to be challenging, you’re not alone. Why not learn about how therapy can help here.