Why Do Successful Women Find Dating Difficult?

The online dating site EliteSingles recently asked for the opinions of 50 of its most successful female members– finding that their career success is often perceived as detrimental to love.

‘Career ambition puts men off!’

When it comes to finding a man, it seems successful women think men feel threatened by their career ambition– 38% of those asked said that their biggest trouble is that men are sometimes put off by ambitious, financially independent women. Member Amy explained, ‘Men who think they earn less than me or live in a ‘worse’ area tend to shy away’. Clara from New Zealand similarly told the site ‘I’ve tried dating less successful partners and paid for everything… but in the end both of us became resentful’. Others suggested that success created a context of competition, ‘Men become threatened if you earn more than them and it becomes a competition over who can climb the corporate ladder first’.

Interestingly, the majority of successful women did not think career ambition was a problem in the reverse: only 4% said that a lack of clear goals would be a deal-breaker for them when looking for a man. As Australian member Rebecca put it, ‘Not every woman wants a superman, nor needs them.’

Successful women won’t settle.

While successful women are not necessarily looking for someone on the same corporate rung, it doesn’t mean they will accept any Tom, Dick or Harry. When asked the reason for their singledom, the majority of respondents spoke of their independence and high personal standards. Betina, from Ireland, said ‘I am confident on my own so I’m only interested in something if it’s right.’ Even when respondents acknowledged they were ‘too picky’ (16%) they felt it was justified – Sydney resident Susan explained ‘I’m too picky and it gets worse as I get older – but I’m not prepared to settle for less than I want and deserve.’

But chivalry isn’t dead (and shouldn’t die out if men want to snag a successful woman).

Chivalry has become a point of much contention in recent years, but it seems the conversation is much ado about nothing: not a single respondent indicated that men’s chivalrous actions were outdated or offensive. In fact, an enormous 58% of respondents said that having a man open a door for them or carry their luggage is ‘extremely attractive.’ Indeed it seems there was no correlation between chivalry and female empowerment –Irish member Janie explains, ‘It’s nice of them to offer… that doesn’t translate to assumptions that I’m in any way weaker or incapable.’ TC Mark

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