Ask the Expert: Am I Too Smart?


Question:OK, Christine here's one for you . . .

I am a smart, very well-educated lady and I always feel as if I have to "dumb-down" when around men. I like to express well-founded, well researched opinions. Yet when asked questions, actually "knowing" the answers seems to result in men running for the hills. It's clear that I tend to intimidate them. What am I supposed to say when asked what I do?!? I have three degrees, including one in law and a master's degree in neuroendocrinolgy of reproduction. When I was much younger, I could get away with saying I had a grad degree in sex, with a law degree on the side, but since passing through middle-age (I'm almost 44), as a single parent (never married nor "shacked up") of a teenaged daughter, that just does not cut it. Any pearls of wisdom?!? I'm starting to feel like I might be too smart.

Answer: With more and more women moving up in the workforce, this is becoming something that is being brought up a lot. Though we, as women, are proud of where we are and where we are going, for a lot of men it is frankly intimidating. We are right in the middle of an entire paradigm shift and we are adjusting to it, slowly. Recognizing we are right in the middle of it, and not beyond it will help you. Ask men born in the 1990's and 2000's  down the road and you may have to remind them of a time where women felt they needed to dumb themselves down — they may not believe it!

Learn to walk the fine line with flair is my advice to you. Men like it when you are smart - really, they do, so don't forget that! You will just find that some men are more comfortable with it than others. That is okay! You are best to focus on men who find it attractive. Be proud of your accomplishments, but recognize they are your accomplishments and you did them for yourself, not in order to impress others. Once you remember this in yourself, your confidence will naturally exude without even mentioning your credits. This quality of just "being you" attracts men to you and allows them to feel comfortable around you. Answer his questions not with the intention to impress but to just simply share— you will be interesting as opposed to intimidating. Modesty is key, not just in dating but in all areas of life. Modesty is not equivalent to dumbing down, it is the idea of having quiet confidence. Finally, make an effort to spend more time asking the men you date questions about themselves. Take these pearls, make some adjustments and I know you will see changes.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

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