Do Strong Women Scare Men Off?

So here’s the dilemma – gender roles aren’t what they used to be. For one reason or another, women are much more fiercely independent than ever and that’s not such a bad thing. Not at all. Women are in positions of power, they are gainfully employed, they own their own homes, they travel on their own, they live fully happy lives without the assistance of a man – women do it for themselves. They CAN do it so they do it. No one is disputing how significant this is. It’s awesome! But, how does this really affect men? How does it affect dating? My question is: do strong women scare men off?

Do Strong Women Scare Men Off?

strong-womenI recently had this discussion with some good friends of mine. We’re all strong, fiercely independent women who never had anything handed to them in life. We’ve worked hard for what we have and have accomplished many amazing things. We have learned to do things on our own without anyone’s help, especially men. Personally, I have done it as a necessity, not as something I particularly want. Trust me, I would love a man around the house. I am very much a traditionalist when it comes to gender roles. Yes, I said it.

I believe men should be men and women should be women. I love taking care of my man and doing all the traditional women roles like cooking and cleaning and making him feel like a king. That’s just who I am. But, I also expect him to be a man who takes on that dominant protective role. I think it provides balance. Maybe some people will think the way I think is backwards and women and men should be equal and yay women blah blah blah. Hey I totally agree that women and men should have equal opportunities but I want a man who takes care of me physically, emotionally and mentally and I will, in turn, take care of all his needs. Is that too much to ask?

Wanting Men and Not Needing Them

Do women need men? Nope, they don’t. Do they want them? Hell yes!! I’ve said a million times before that we shouldn’t be looking for our other halves, we should be whole on our own and find someone who is whole on their own. Together we are two people walking side by side in the same direction. We don’t exist because of the other person, they don’t make us complete, we exist on our own. When you are not looking for someone to “complete” you then your relationship will be a healthier one. You are not reliant on them for your happiness. How great is that! If you can’t be happily single then you can’t be fully happy with someone else. It’s true. Think about it. Your baggage is dealt with so you can fully commit to a person of your choosing, not because you are afraid of being alone. Plain. Simple.

Strong women don’t need men, they want them. But, do strong women scare men off? Nope. I don’t think so. I think how some strong women act scare men off. Let me explain. Most men love to see a woman who’s accomplished and independent. They are inspired by women who follow their dreams and have goals in life. Most men have absolutely no problem with that. Some do, especially in some cultures, but that’s a completely different story and I won’t be addressing that in this post. But what men don’t like is the woman who has to flaunt her independence and success and constantly telling men that she doesn’t need them because she’s accomplished everything and has this and that because she earned it herself. Super duper. Good for you. Who cares.

I mean we get it and good for you but seriously, why do women feel the need to keep reminding people, especially men, what they accomplished ON THEIR OWN. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the whole “look what I have” from women. I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t have to tell people, especially men, let them see it for themselves. Why do women feel the need to prove themselves? That’s what turns men off. It’s not that they are strong and successful. It’s when women insist on emasculating men and show that they are just as good as them. Why would he want to stick around for that? I don’t even want to be around these types of women. I never sit there and list all my accomplishments or possessions on a date. They don’t need to hear how many university degrees I have, or how successful I am or about owning my home. You get the picture.

Femininity is a Good Thing

What men do want, and what they’ve told me time and again, is that they love a strong woman who can hold their own, who doesn’t brag and constantly remind them of what they have, who doesn’t emasculate them every chance she gets AND who’s feminine. What does that mean? It certainly doesn’t mean being weak or changing who you are to accommodate anyone. It also doesn’t mean being the ditsy Barbie type. But a woman doesn’t have to be like a man in order to be successful.

classy-fabulousFemininity means different things to different people but some examples could be:

  • dressing pretty all the time in clothes that flatter your figure (especially dresses or skirts),
  • getting your nails done (pretty feet and hands are signature feminine traits that men love),
  • using a bit of makeup,
  • care what you look like when you leave the house (you should be doing that already for yourself),
  • love your body and take care of it (be proud of who you are and every womanly curve),
  • have good grooming practices,
  • have a signature scent,
  • be nurturing,
  • foster a sense of community,
  • be a caregiver,
  • wear lingerie to make you feel sexier which will make you act sexier,
  • act like a lady which includes how you walk and talk (no swearing like a sailor), and,
  • be graceful.

What’s the takeaway here?

Men aren’t scared off by strong women but they are turned off by a strong woman who acts like a man and a strong women who has to keep telling him how strong she is and how she doesn’t need him. That’s it, that’s all. So be a fiercely independent strong woman but don’t brag about it. No one needs to hear all that girl power BS. I even hate it. I think it’s awesome when women accomplish great things and defy the odds, but really, I don’t need it in my face, nor do men who are looking for potential partners. Ladies you have nothing to prove to anyone, least of all to men. Just be the fabulous person you are and let them realize how awesome you are on their own, you don’t need to tell them and remind them of it all the time. I’m not saying to tone it down to make a man happy, I’m saying there’s no need to flaunt it. I’m also saying let him be a man, let him open the door for you, thank him for his kindness, let him do stuff for you – even if you can do it yourself. It’s a no brainer. It’s about mutual respect and appreciation. You are women but I don’t want to hear you roar. Please and Thank You. Plain. Simple.

READERS: These are my thoughts on the subject but what do you think? I’m sure many of you don’t agree with me … But, do strong women scare men off? When you think of femininity what comes to mind? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! 

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Copyright Single Dating Diva

40 comments

  1. Great article sister Suzie! And I agree with the comment – “You are women but I don’t want to hear you roar” I have met too many strong women who are just that, spending too much time “fluffing” up their strong woman persona. That comes through to me as someone I want to stay away from. I feel like, just show me who you are as a woman, and not be like a man, pounding his chest telling me how strong and smart he is. You are a woman, why would you want to act like a man!

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    • Thanks Daniel! Women and Men are different and that’s OK, we should appreciate and celebrate those differences. But things have gotten a little muddled over the years. Good or bad thing? Well, that remains to be seen. Thanks again.

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  2. I really wish people would stop speaking for an entire gender. What men want or don’t want is individual. Some men will love strong women, some men will avoid them like the plague, some are indifferent. Be who you are, behave according to the rules you set for life. Some people will like you, Some people won’t. This stuff is really, really simple.

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    • Yes Micheal….. Most times it all really narrows down to – “Some people will like you, Some people won’t. ” From there, people added their own dating narrative to explain what is wrong with men or women.

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    • Thanks for your comment Michael 🙂 You are right, different people want different things. You do need to be true to you and I completely agree, but, what I’m saying is that people need to stop trying to prove themselves to other people such as women who feel the need to brag about all their accomplishments in order to get validation of their worth. I completely agree with your comment. Thanks again and Wish you the best 🙂

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  3. I’ve always believed it’s a dating myth that men don’t want strong, independent women (I place this along with “you’re too picky” as an explanation to why I’m single). However, I did have a mind-boggling dating experience about five or six years ago. I met a man online and we dated for about three months. Although I didn’t necessarily think he was “the one”, I liked him well enough and we were enjoying time together, or so I thought. He unceremoniously dumped me one evening because, and I quote, “I’m used to being the smart one in my relationships. With you, I feel more like we’re equals.” And this is a bad thing?! I promise you, I was not “roaring”. I chalk this up to him having low self-esteem, though it did make me wonder how many guys out there honestly would prefer a subservient, less intelligent “inferior” girlfriend all things considered.

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    • Thanks for your comment! People like what they like and shouldn’t settle for anything different. Perhaps in your case you’re right, you made him feel inferior for whatever reason and that’s why he left. That’s about him and not you. For every guy who likes a strong woman there’s one who likes a submissive one. We just need to find what works for us and what makes us happy. Thanks again for stopping by!

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  4. If I see the word ‘independent’ in the verbage of a woman’s dating profile, I’ve learned to click away…they’re not relationship material…I’ve been on enough dates to provide the stats…in brief, ‘independent’ women come with a slew of short-term relationships behind them and are likely to continue that existence until they let go of some mal-formed ideas in their heads…

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    • Thanks for your comment 🙂 Yes, well our dating profile is a reflection of us and if they felt the need to mention that they were “independent” then they’re sending a clear message of “I don’t need you”. That certainly can be a turn-off for many. Thanks again for stopping by!

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  5. I agree with about 50% of this. The issue is that, like Michael pointed out, not everyone is the same.
    Also, let’s remind ourselves that the reason why women have learned to do for themselves is that, in the past, total financial and physical dependence on men left us vulnerable to being trapped in an abusive situation or destitute. So I get why it’s important to be an independent strong woman.
    The second thing is that many men who balk at strong women might also complain about a woman who expects a man to take care of everything. They might think she’s spoiled or, god forbid, clingy. So altering who you are in order to please a hypothetical future loverman is a losing proposition. People who are confident and comfortable in who they are attract each other, period.
    We’re all complex creatures. Back to the point that everyone is different — each couple finds its own balance. In my case, I was used to doing everything for myself and it did feel odd to let someone else take care of me, but I learned to let go of some control and I liked it (always being strong is difficult, it’s nice to share the burden). Yes, I had to give up some of my independence; the reward is that I feel cared for and protected. But I in no way downplayed my accomplishments when I met my man. He knew he was getting a fully actualized person. We take care of each other in different ways, some are gendered, others not.
    So I get uncomfortable when I read things like “let a man be a man.” Mmm, yeah ok. But not all men express masculinity in the same way, and many traditional gender roles can be downright harmful. We’re all strong and vulnerable at different times and in our own ways.

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    • Thanks for your comment Brenda! I wasn’t speaking against strong women, I was speaking against strong women who felt the need to brag about their accomplishments and get validation from it. No one needs to hear that. You’re right, everyone is different and everyone likes different things and I’m not saying anything is wrong with that. You said something very significant “every couple finds its own balance” and that’s absolutely true! Just find what fits for you. About “let a man be a man”, like I’ve often said, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to gender roles, not everyone is, I’m not saying I’m right and others are wrong, it’s just who I am and how I think. I think people just need to do what works for them and what makes them comfortable and happy. Thanks again for stopping by!

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  6. Yeah…hmmm…Of course a strong woman can mean different things, but I think that men are intimidated by successfull and confident women, especially if them themselves earn less than the women.
    My auntie is divorced.She is a CEO of a big company, has a house, an expensive car, always looks great, but she can’t find a man. I don’t think she is desperate for one, but it would be nice for her to have someone. However, it is hard to find a guy who won’t be intimidated by a woman like her.

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    • Thanks for your comment! It’s certainly a new world and defining gender roles has become a hot topic because of people like your auntie who have accomplished a lot in the world and as a result had to sacrifice personal relationships because of it. Is it right and fair, no, of course not, but it’s the reality we live in. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but I have trouble with “femininity.” I was raised as a tomboy and I have difficulty with “girly” stuff. I can’t afford to have regular manicures and pedicures. I never learned how to style my hair beyond a pony tail or a bun. I don’t feel comfortable in skirts and dresses. I can’t wear heels because of knee and back problems. Wearing lingerie makes me feel self-conscious, not sexy. These are just some examples from my perspective. Because of these things, maybe I do scare men off. I don’t know.

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    • Maybe for you sexiness means tall leather boots, a cute pair of bootie shorts and a sheer tank top, a purple streak in your hair… The right guy will be attracted to your own unique flavour. I think the key is to put some care into looking your best and feeling hot, whatever that looks like for you.

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      • Brenda, it’s funny you should say that since I had my hair colored purple yesterday. 😀 But I agree that the effort into looking and feeling the best “you” is the most important.

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    • Thanks for your comment Stefanie! You’re right, femininity means different things to different people. You need to find what works for you and what makes YOU feel sexy. The examples I gave were just some examples. You mentioned not being able to afford mani/pedis, but you can make sure your nails are in good shape and look nice, you don’t have to wear nail polish, but good grooming goes a long way! Also, heels don’t work for you but wear something that makes you feel pretty. Like I said, do what works for you, take care of yourself not because of others but to be the best version of yourself you can be. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience!

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  8. Expressing my feminine side makes me feel my best, and I find that I attract masculine men… or at the least, weed out the more passive feminine men. I always say that if it’s important for you to be with a masculine man, you must be the feminine partner.

    That said, it’s not for every woman, and some relationship dynamics work out just fine when the woman is more of the “masculine energy” (initiating, taking charge, making plans, etc).

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    • What’s hard for me is that I WANT a “masculine” man who initiates, takes charge, makes plans and so on, but I end up doing all those things by default in my relationships because of the men I attract. Yet I don’t know how to attract the masculine type of man I want and still remain true to myself and not be a phony. I’m never going to feign helplessness, nor am I going to hold back making plans if there’s a band I want to see or event I want to attend. So what’s a girl to do?

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  9. I’m a divorced mother of 2 who has very very recently entered the world of online dating. (I’ve been divorced about 4 years, but only a couple of weeks ago took a real plunge.) I went on a first date last weekend – and it was a success (as far as first dates go); a second date is scheduled for Friday!

    My kids’ father is not in the picture so a lot of work goes into arranging for babysitters, etc. It’s only natural that my thoughts come around to things like inviting him over to watch a movie after the kids are in bed, or sitting in the backyard having a nice conversation. And this is just in theory – not specifically with this guy I mentioned before, but I think it’s an important logistic. And I’m very, very hesitant to do so… ever.

    With all of that said, I have a wonderful job in a management position and make decent money. However, I am the sole support for myself and my kids and we find that we live paycheck to paycheck. My kids get new school clothes long before I buy myself something new. I put them in a reputable day care without worrying that I’d really like (need) a new couch. Our walls are strewn with kid-art, because actual “decor” just isn’t in the budget. With those kinds of daily sacrifices I feel like it isn’t always apparent that I personally (through the eyes of someone new to my life that doesn’t know my kids yet) am smart and successful. My angle seems very material – I know: If my house and my wardrobe are humble, how will he ever know that I am successful? I know that sounds terrible on the surface, but I hope I can still make my point.

    Sometimes I feel compelled to discuss my long-term career to re-emphasize that I may not be wearing designer jeans, but I’ve got this! I would never want someone walking away because they only think I am after their money. I wonder if other women don’t find themselves in similar predicaments? Maybe some of the “roaring” is less about feminism and more about not wanting to come off as a gold digger? I suppose either way, it’s all about pride…

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    • L, I could relate to your comment so much. I remember vividly how it was virtually impossible for me to buy myself new clothes or fix things around the house, much less save money for the kids’ college, etc. I was making a great living, but the money was always all gone before it ever arrived! I learned over time (and I mean about six years or more) to find ways to fix things up (on myself, lol, and around the house) so that I felt a little more in balance, and a little more like me. You’ll find it. Be resourceful. Look to friends who have “old” designer clothes they don’t wear any longer. Borrow from them. Have garage sales or go to garage sales to buy one simple piece to add to your home, if you want… and look for babysitters from the nearby church or high school, and thru referrals from friends… It sounds like you have it all organized, but I just wanted to encourage you that it will get better. You will find a way to slowly fix things up inside and out, and become the YOU that you truly are apart from your ex and even apart from your children. XO

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  10. This is a great post because it raises such an important point. I too am independent, and to use your words a “strong” woman. It has scared off plenty of men, but they’re not the type of men I’d want to be with anyway. That said, I too want someone in my life, but am happy because I don’t “need” it. I wish I didn’t have to say, I want to meet someone who can “handle” someone like me. As women get “stronger” are the men getting more sensitive and less dominant? Maybe we are pushing them away. I don’t have an answer, but I like this post because it makes me wonder why being a “strong” woman, means we’re too strong for so many men?

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  11. I wrote an intensely long comment and it took me to a page that said SORRY THIS COMMENT COULD NOT BE POSTED. When I came back…. GONE. Suffice it to say, I’m fiercely independent and self sufficient, but I do need my man. I can do most everything (apart from having sex with him) on my own, and I’m good at it, but I’ve (we’ve) learned to and loved becoming interdependent on each other, and being a support system to one another. That’s what makes a good team.

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  12. When I see the words “strong and independent” in a woman’s online dating profile, I immediately click away because I know that strong and independent are simply codewords for bossy and domineering. I get enough of that at work, why would I want to get involved romantically with that? The feminine attracts the masculine and bossy and domineering is definitely not feminine.

    On a somewhat related note, we’re not all special snowflakes. Human behavior in the context of attraction and dating is remarkably predictable. By focusing on the slim number of exceptions, we’ve become almost willfully ignorant of the fundamental rules of attraction and dating that work well on the large majority of us singles. This is why there is a growing dating coach industrial complex because there is so much ignorance out there.

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  13. Ok, here it goes, my 2 cents {possibly worth even less}. People HATE being overly generalized, so when we see gender, race, or sexuality lumped into broad categories there will always be those who cry foul. After all, even if research states 50.1% polled state “A”, there will be 49.9% shouting “Hell, no”. With that being said, facts accumulated from scientific research and massive surveys support your post. Just look at online dating profiles, if a woman states her education with higher than a Bachelors degree or her income exceeding $75K, she will get less “hits” than another woman who doesn’t with all other points equal. That is a well documented fact. But honestly, if a woman is not “feminine” or is proud of her accomplishments and verbalizes as much, she should continue to do so. The one thing lacking most, in general, in this world is authenticity, and if a woman is strong enough to do so…she should continue down that path. Best she wait a little longer and find the right match, than play “the game” just to get the golden ring. Great post and incredible comments from all who posted!

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    • “The one thing lacking most, in general, in this world is authenticity”
      This doesn’t agree with this.
      “than(sic) play “the game” just to get the golden ring.”

      I’m not sure where you’re going with your post. I’ve seen women on Match who make the 75k etc. I won’t bother with them. I don’t think men care as much about status and wealth as women do. Women don’t date down the socioeconomic ladder. Generalization or fact? Don’t know. It is only what I have observed and experienced. Contacting them would be a waste of time. I’m not the least bit intimidated by a smart successful woman or man. I’m more concerned about other more important things. I think women more and more care about all the wrong things. Again, just my experience and observation.

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  14. I think only insecure men are scared of strong women. I think men who are strong and centred in themselves would be proud to be with a strong woman. Being a strong woman is as important as being a strong man. If that is your true nature why would you pretend to be something you are not. I love the quote “Never water yourself down just cause someone can’t handle you at 100 proof”. I find that Western culture really disempowers women at times. At one stage it was “women need to be like men in the workforce”, now it’s “oh women need to be more feminine”. How about just allowing women to be exactly as they are, and how they feel. All this conversation of “you need to dress seductively and sexily to attract a man”. You can look beautiful and feminine and be strong as well without having to truss yourself up in uncomfortable high heels and provocative clothes and acting as if you’re unable to deal with anything just to help a man feel more secure. Come on!!! I’m afraid I come from a line of strong women and I wouldn’t change that. What strong women need to reconsider perhaps is the type of men that we pick. We need men who are emotionally very strong, and are not controlled by their egos. That is a a very special kind of strength that goes above and beyond the Alpha Male type….

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  15. So that leads to one question. Ever since, i have started talking to men, they refused me from the first glance of. I dont know why! There was a guy i got to know and with whom i talked to. He really liked me at the first time, but after exchanging 3 sentences, he immediately took off! That happens to me everytime when i start talking to a guy. Just felt like throwing it in my comment, because it reminds me of my current position when i read your comment.

    Question: Does that happens to you too,ladies?

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  16. What you call strong, most would refer to as a loud, aggressive, ball buster. I personally have known lots of women (nhs career, family, social life) and am yet to meet a strong woman. If a woman seems strong, its a mask, a colourful, chemical mask.
    It wont be to long before a blog is put online describing women’s childish, narcissistic fascination at being recognized as a ‘strong’ individual and their equally fascinating pass time, calling men weak.

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  17. Well there are many women today that are very high maintenance, independent, selfish, spoiled, and very greedy, which is the real reason why many of us good single men have trouble finding a good one that can Accept us for who we really are since many women today do want the Best and won’t settle for Less.

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    • Thanks for sharing your experience Mike. It goes both ways too, many men are all those things you described. That’s why it’s important to find the right match, that person who will love and appreciate you for who and what you are. You can’t generalize either way, there’s good women and bad women, good men and bad men.

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