Her Professional Success. Intimidating? A Turn-off? Share it? Hide it?


“I’m a successful professional woman,  recognized and respected in my field — should I reveal or hide this on a first date?”

My female client who asked this question — she’s Jennifer,  recently divorced, mid-fifties, re-entering the dating world for the first time in decades.  She’s  had a high level of success professionally and tends to “lead” with this aspect of who she is when describing herself.

Who she is as a working woman is a big part of her identity, of who she has become, and it’s natural for her to  seek recognition and respect for her achievements.   But…will “leading” with this side of her be attractive and effective on a first date?

Successful, strong, powerful women are flocking to personal matchmakers in droves, and many of these modern day women are struggling with this issue, so we’ll address this question out loud in today’s Sunday Morning Blog .

Ladies, when you are having a first date with a man, you’re not on a job interview…you’re looking to find your way into a loving partnership with a man whose life you have the opportunity to enhance and enrich.  When you’re on a first date you’re interviewing for the position of loving partner, supportive soulmate, playmate and best friend.

Before you walk into that first date venue ask yourself, “Is he looking to hire a business consultant?  Is he looking to invest in your company?”  The answer is…Nope.  He’s hoping he’ll meet a woman he’ll want to add to his life — someone who will be his soft place to land at the end of his day and whose love and support will give him reason to be the provider/protector masculine man he wants and needs to be.

The man Jennifer will be meeting at that lovely Italian restaurant tonight?  He’s hoping to find a woman who will love and respect and appreciate HIS masculinity and his accomplishments.  He’s hoping she can and will admire who HE is as a man.

What do men love about women?  It’s our femininity that allows for and provides the contrast and the context for his masculine self to show up and shine.  If she takes up that space by leading with her resume of professional accomplishments….there’s not much room for him to be the guy she hopes he’ll be and who he needs and wants to be.

Now, it’s very likely that he’ll be thoroughly impressed by what he learns of her professional life…however, it’s smart for her to allow these morsels of information to come out…little by little…later….after he’s already determined that she has the feminine qualities that he first and foremost wants, needs and craves from the woman in his life.

Femininity — first and foremost, that’s what he’s hoping to find and respond to on this date.

The more masculine she wants and hopes her man will be, the more important it is for her to present and lead with the feminine aspects of her personality.  Today’s strong, accomplished female professionals are often frustrated to the point of anger and bitterness (so…not… sexy) as they are having trouble finding, attracting, and keeping “quality” men in their lives, so this question Jennifer asked me today is timely and perfect.

It’s natural for a woman to want to be with a man who out-mans her.  Is there a scarcity of men who out-man today’s highly accomplished female professionals? Yep, and the reason is twofold — because first off, there are SO many highly educated, professional, accomplished, successful man-like women here in our big American cities.  And secondly these ladies are not realizing that by “leading” with their masculine, they’re becoming invisible…or worse…they’re turning off or repelling the very men they’re hoping to attract.

If you’re a woman who would love to be with a man who has intelligence, success and financial strength, then listen up.  This kind of man will naturally want to be respected and admired and appreciated for these masculine traits.  Appreciation is key.  You’ll get farther with this kind of man by showing HIM sincere respect, admiration, and appreciation for HIS accomplishments….vs. having the conversation focused on what YOU have accomplished.  Make sense?

Lead with your feminine side while dating ladies…bring with you on that date a big, beautiful smile and your little girl curiosity, eager to unwrap the gift, the present that this wonderful man is for you — whether you get to be with him for an hour or a week or a month or a lifetime.

Practice being in the present, practice being interested (not interesting) and have fun digging for treasures as you get to know all about him, his world, the parts of his life that HE is proud of.  Fun assignment, huh?  Practice…

If you’re interested in being with a strong, smart, successful man, lead with the parts of your personality and character and presence that are likely to be lovely in his eyes.   Practice being the kind of woman who makes him feel like the man he wants to be.   Ladies, we have so much more power than we realize over how a man shows up in our presence.   It’s complex, and it’s so much fun to explore.

My suggestion to Jennifer about tonight’s date with Mark — While it’s fine for her to touch lightly upon her work life, I asked her to consciously practice bringing the focus back to the softer topics, which will likely stir up the possibility for an emotional connection, the domain of the heart.

She’s a smart woman whose mind is easily stimulated…she can have that experience with a good book.  But while on a date and indeed, anytime and anyplace she finds herself in the company of an interesting man, I’d like to see her practicing leading with her feminine.

And so I’ll challenge all ladies who are listening, and myself today too.  Let’s allow our smiles, our giggles, our sense of wonder, our sparkle, our loving and playful spirits to lead.  That’s what today’s modern day masculine man is starved for — he’s not looking for a mirror image of himself, he is wanting his compliment.

Today’s professional women – we think that our success, power, wealth, smarts, education — that it’s intimidating to men.  I think that’s the wrong word.  I think what’s more accurate is that when we “lead” with our masculine strength, it’s just simply off-putting to the very men we’re hoping to attract.  It’s a buzz kill for him.  If while on a date there’s no room for HIS masculinity to be admired, respected and appreciated…well…he’ll just kinda sit there appearing to be…no one special, he’ll back off or slink away or disappear, and she’ll never get to see his masculine side.   And this makes a man really sad too, when a first date falls flat — he leaves with his head hanging low…he wanted to be the guy, but there wasn’t any room for him to be that guy for her.   She took up all of the masculine space.

On this upcoming first date that we have scheduled tonight with Mark and Jennifer, I’m suggesting that Jennifer  make the conscious choice to steer the conversation to these areas of her life that will likely perk him right up…I’d like to see her tantalize his senses with fun, playful, upbeat banter not on work related topics, but rather on some of their many shared passions  — they both love the arts, theatre, film, music, concerts, design, architecture, and history.  I’d like to hear that the conversation centered around their shared appreciation for organic foods, the mysteries and delights of a fine cabernet, the ultimate chocolate chip cookie, the joyful experience she had yesterdaysharing her favorite childrens book with her niece in her lap — It’s my hope that she’ll play on her senses and we’ll see if she can create an emotional and experiential connection with Mark.

I’ll be the fly on the wall in the restaurant tonight, watching to see how they do together… Thanks for engaging with us on this topic.  Your comments and questions?  Do share…

With love,

Julie Ferman

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