Wednesday, December 17, 2014

No, Your Intelligence Isn't the Problem

I get e-mails from girls all the time telling me that they are attractive, sweet, well-dressed, fun, etc. but can't seem to get the guys they want. They then point out that they are working on a PhD and conclude their question by asking whether or not their intelligence is intimidating men and therefore turning them off. I get similar questions about career success: "I am doing everything right but I am very highly paid - does that intimidate men?"

This is the equivalent of a guy pointing out that he is smart, tall, reasonably good-looking and successful in his job, but struggles to attract girls - then asking if it is because his muscles are too big. I mean, after all, maybe that's what is keeping the girls at bay, right?

If you are a rocket scientist, there is a chance that your academic prowess might be intimidating to an average guy, in the same way that a steroid-injected meat-head's muscles might be a a little much for the average girl. Yeah, sure, there is a risk that pouring too much of your energy into academics will turn guys off a bit, especially if it is done as a mask for your feelings of inadequacy with respect to other women. It's the same risk that a guy runs when he devotes the majority of his free time to getting jacked, especially when it is done as a mask for his feelings of inadequacy relative to other men. But the muscles themselves aren't the chief problem, and neither is your degree or your job.

It's way more likely the case that you are underestimating the importance of your weight, or that you cut your hair way too short, that your posture is horrible, that you talk like you want men to believe you're stupid, or that you don't realize how much your lack of boundaries is making men dismiss you. These are the kinds of things that actually turn men off, in the same way that low self-esteem and low intelligence are the kinds of things that actually turn women off (not coincidentally, these are common problems among meatheads).

The women who ask this question are always asking "why don't I get any attention from the men I want?" Their question is never "why do I get tons of sexual attention from men, but none stick around?" (some do ask this question, but they never then go on to blame it on their degree or job). If a woman were asking the latter question, I still wouldn't jump to the immediate conclusion that her degree or salary was the problem; I would look first to her personality. But if a girl isn't even getting sexual attention from the guys she is concerned about intimidating, I guarantee her hypothesis about her threatening intelligence is wrong. Why? Because there is a remote possibility that men will be intimidated or turned off by a woman's brains or job when they are considering her as a girlfriend or spouse, but there is no possibility that it will prevent at least some guys from trying to get in her pants. None whatsoever. Men go for the girls they are physically attracted to, then choose from those the ones they are personally attracted to. Only after that do they take into account things like brains and (much later) salary or professional success. You can't blame academic or financial intimidation on your inability to get a boyfriend or husband if you aren't at least getting sexual attention from the men you want; it'd be like blaming the power outage in your house on a government conspiracy or that neighbor you hate... during a raging thunder and lightening storm.

No, in all likelihood, your academic degree or high-paid position isn't the fundamental problem; but it is an very convenient scapegoat - and an ego-boosting one at that. It is a hell of a lot easier and more satisfying to blame big muscles or advanced degrees for your lack of success with the opposite sex than it is to find out (or admit) what's really wrong. And for women, what is really wrong almost always has something to do with your looks or personality, which, thankfully, are both very much controllable.

Related Posts
1. Men Don't Care About Your Accomplishments
2. The Importance of Personal Boundaries
3. Human Energy is Conserved
4. Are You Repressing Your Femininity?
5. What Men Think About Your Intelligence


  1. Andrew, can you address the issue of getting sexual attention from men, but not being able to get them to stick around? I know you included a link to a previous post, but I don't think it really answers the question. Studies have shown men like to have flings with more attractive women and prefer to settle down with less attractive women ( I've often wondered whether I should make myself more plain, but that's hard because outfits that look normal on other women look sexually provocative on me. I also have an ivy league graduate degree and started a business, but I play this down.

    1. I'm curious about that too. Sometimes I feel like if I was pretty enough the guys I’m interested in and who seem interested in me but are "too shy/intimidated" would grow balls and ask me out. I mean, if they're not asking me out they clearly don't like me enough. But later I sometimes see them in relationships with girls that I think are less physically attractive than me.
      I'd say there's a problem with my personality, but then again I have guy friends who are always asking to hang out with me (their initiative) even if they don't show sexual interest or are already in relationships. If my personality sucked that much they probably wouldn't want to hang out with me, would they? For example there's this one group of guys in my college, all very attractive, who sometimes ask me to come drink some wine and chill with them. So we're all drinking wine and listening to music and maybe smoking weed in their room. And after a while their groupies will come and the guys will try to hook up with some of them, but they still pay a lot of attention to me (complimenting what I'm wearing, my music taste, etc.), treating me with more respect than their groupies but without actually making any sort of moves.
      So I've considered whether I'm trying to be "one of the guys," but I really don't think I am. I am actually very introverted, I am generally shy, I don't speak much and I never try to fake my personality. I do smile a lot and try to be as open and approachable as possible. Maybe my problem is that I'm too "artistic," like I actually really enjoy painting, and I'll do stuff like smoke weed and listen to Jazz music. My artistic side influences the way I dress sometimes, especially my day-to-day outfits, and I realize that that's something that may make guys see me as only hook up and not relationship material. So I'm trying to change the way I dress and I also stopped smoking weed, although the latter I did for other reasons.
      It occurs to me as I'm writing this that another reason may be that I don't flirt enough? I never show any romantic interest, I don't think it's my job until the guy has explicitly demonstrated his first.

    2. Girl1985LA

      Ha. That study...

      Look, I know exactly why men prefer more feminine looking women for casual flings but choose less attractive ones for relationships. It's the same reason girls settle down with guys who aren't ultra-alpha playboys: you compromise looks for personality. In the same way that women choose a man who will treat them well and be a committed husband and loving father, men steer (more) clear of hot girls when picking a girlfriend/wife because hot girls are usually less interesting, less caring, less fun, less intelligent, etc. This is mainly because hot girls don't try to develop their personalities - they never need to; they receive enough love and attention (shallow though it may be) bad on their looks.

      This doesn't mean men have an aversion to beauty - quite the opposite is true (as is demonstrated by their choice of women for casual flings). But beauty and personality rarely come as a package deal, and so men compromise somewhat on beauty when it comes to relationships.

      But still, the best girls are the ones who combine good looks and good personality. This is rare, but again, mostly because most hot girls don't try to develop their personalities.

    3. Nochol, I can't comment on the underlying problem but to answer your specific question, yes, absolutely, if your personality sucked that much they would still want to hang out with you - assuming you are hot. If they found you completely boring, they'd eventually stop, but only after the effect of your looks started to wear off. Sometimes that takes a long time.

    4. Actually, there is a study that states

      "both spouses behaved more positively in relationships in which wives were more attractive than their husbands, but they behaved more negatively in relationships in which husbands were more attractive than their wives."

      (excerpt from bakodesuyo - you can find a reference on the actual study on his website:

    5. Andrew, I have a hard time with that generalization of very attractive women lacking in the personality department. I get what you're saying, and sometimes it's true (especially in LA) - but is it possible that men are making those assumptions about most attractive women rather than actually having negative experiences with attractive women? I've been in several long-term relationships with great guys so I think I'm fine in the personality department. It's just that now that I've started dating again, men seem to just want sex. Maybe it's just an online dating problem...

    6. Thank you for that comment, I think that I needed to hear that. Sometimes intelligent or talented people automatically assume they have good personalities.
      I have lots of friends who love me and take care of me and I often wonder why they treat me so well even when I don't show that much attention to them. If I think about it, I've never even initiated any of my friendships. Eventually I learn to really care about my friends, but I realize that although I'm never actively mean towards anyone, I'm also seldom actively nice. I think I need to learn how to connect with people more.
      Can you make a checklist for personality the same way you've made checklists for attractiveness? I know that this issue is more subjective, but there are certain traits, like being less shy or socially awkward, improving self-confidence, etc., that we can agree everyone should work on.

    7. Hi Girl1985LA, I would like to back Andrew and add that maybe the reason these men you are going after only want sex is because they can. I live in LA too and the guys who can get the attractive women simply have more options. I have a successful friend who this week went out with 4 women off tinder and will probably do the same next week, why? Because he can, I'm lucky if I get a date once a month and so I'm more open to more than sex, but when I was younger and more attractive I didn't care either, because there was always a new girl in my life with little effort. The men I know settle down with a woman mainly because they are tired of the effort it takes to get laid. If it's not difficult, then why stop.

    8. Anonymous, I think you're right. I guess after a while you just start wondering if it's your issue. I suppose I just need to have more patience.

  2. Andrew,

    You've mentioned before that women should emulate underwear models and celebrities as a benchmark for looks and fitness. For most women this means devoting a lot of free time to eating and preparing healthy food and working out. To some, this could mean an extreme lifestyle overhaul just to achieve these results.

    I think it is very important for women to be fit and look their best, but at what point does this become a "mask" in the same sense that pouring yourself into academics would be? Men obviously appreciate when a woman is fit so there is an inherent reward, but it seems to be the other side of the same coin- overcompensating because you feel inadequate. In the same way that men overcompensate by getting "jacked", do women run the risk of overcompensating by devoting too much energy to fitness and looks?

    1. Eating and preparing healthy food shouldn't take more time than eating and preparing unhealthy food.
      You should exercise for an hour everyday just to take care of yourself and be healthy whether or not you want to attract guys. I think that as long as you're not working out for more than two hours everyday and you're not a professional athlete, then you're gonna be fine.

    2. I disagree that a major lifestyle overhaul is necessary for anyone to be fit. Like nochol said, an hour of exercise a day (and even that is probably more than is necessary to look fit) and eating well are not going to overhaul anyone's lifestyle.

      Fitness is just as much a psychological problem as it is physical - in many ways it is more so. The only reason some girls (or guys for that matter) struggle so hard without fitness results is that they are trying to correct the physical problem but they completely ignore the psychological problem. If you take care of the shame, fear or anxiety that underlies your being overweight before hitting the gym, you won't need to do much to look great in a bikini.

  3. Blaming the power outage on the government LOL I love your metaphors. Nice post!

    BTW it is difficult to comment and I would probably do so a lot more if I didn't have to sign in to my accounts. Would it be possible to make it so you can comment just entering your name or something?

    1. Yeah I'll try opening it to anyone. I put up the block to prevent these goddamn "spellcaster" spam comments but clearly that isn't working. I'll take it off for a bit and see what happens.

  4. We have to be honest with ourselves. The last year, I was overweight and was socially awkward, also never bother me with my appearance. And I was thinking that I didn't have boyfriend because I'm smart (jeje).
    But I changed a lot this year. I lost 20 lbs, hung out with my friends and started to use makeup. A few guys wanted to date me.

    I fallen in love with a guy, but I was too shy that I couldn't talk with him. I felt terrible, but I took my responsibility.

    I made a lot of mistakes, but now I'm sure that I'll find somebody.
    Thank you Andrew!

    1. Sounds like you have a healthy attitude. I'm sure you'll find someone if you continue on that route.

    2. I think you're definitely on the right track! The same thing happened to me this year - started taking care of myself, lost about 20lbs as well, and that changed the way I dress. I met a really great guy with whom I fell in love with and am currently dating, but I also think a lot of it can be attributed to the things I learn on this blog - define your boundaries, have self respect, be confident but don't show off, etc. So thank you, Andrew!

  5. Although accurate and excellently concise in content, this blog always like a pothole of depression in my day. Goodness, what a price to pay. Please don't read within 48 hours of a date. So cold.

    1. Actually, I don't think it's a cold blog, he's just saying things that perhaps we don't want to hear.

    2. if it is "accurate" and "excellently concise" then why is it depressing for you? it is only by accepting the truth that we can really look at our dating situation objectively and improve it.

    3. Relative to men, you have it much easier. As Andrew says, looks are much more controllable, can quickly boost your rating and only require tweaks and alterations to habits. Men have it much more difficult to change their score to the same extent.

    4. Men don't have it more difficult. That's a complaint common from men who don't want to admit that they're going to have to work.

    5. To answer some of the comments, I was just providing my personal visceral reaction. There's little absolute truth in my experiencing the blog as "cold", and it's almost certainly highly colored by my personal life as what is happening at the moment. I've been giving dating a good amount of effort in the past two years and have probably experienced much in the way of improvement, but my observation was more directed at the process of mentally prepping oneself for a date. Part of the fun of feminine energy is being mercurial and highly sensitive to environmental factors so reading a blog that inevitably creates a laundry list of items that you might of already worked on just sends that energy into hyper-defensive-shutdown mode instead of the really nice nurturing-peaceful-grace thing I prefer to enter dates on. Really the solution is to not read dating blogs before a date which might seem counter-intuitive, but at least someone might recognize their problem in mine.
      Some things I do find nice to do before a date (BTW) are any sort of crafting whether that be painting or baking, a long run in nature, or reading light fiction.

      As far as whose grass is greener... I think the nature of my comment was unclear. It wasn't about being Right, and I admittedly have difficulty seeing things from a masculine point of view (hence the continued reading of this blog).

  6. What about salary? This might have to do with men being intimidated that they can't keep up monetary wise or Don't want to be the Lower earner

    My current (and wonderful) boyfriend was highly intimidated by me after finding out I was an engineer. He had never had 'the whole package' before... Aka before me, his girls were skinny and nice but plain/unattractive face and low paying jobs.. And him being happy that she had ANY job.

    In his words, he had never met anyone like me... Sweet kind generous good looking and with a good education and career

    He did have a hot female nurse friend and she and her friends were completely full of themselves and very fake and materialistic which led him to make bad associations with very good looking and /or high income females. Having both qualities in one person was very intimidating for him as he always had felt he should be the primary breadwinner and a girl like that would be high maintenance, or leave him for someone else.

    He made a lot of assumptions about me which I'm Happy to say we worked through and we are now happy... But this took quite a few dates to clear up and months of dating for him to stop being so intimated (he says I didn't do anything to provoke that, but that his friends also agreed I was out of his league)

    On the flip side, I did encounter my fair share of men who assumed the worst of me (rich stuck up) or assumed I'd be the money maker and wanted a 'rich' girlfriend. Once they found out what I did for a living, they would retract their offer to pay and demand I take them out next time, often after a 1st date (I believe in who asks, should pay... But the other person needs to give back and this would apply only in the early dating stage)

    It had almost gotten to the point where I didn't want to answer questions about my work anymore... I'm glad I didn't but it was definitely an 'obstacle' for me dating at first...

    So might not be an intelligence thing, but a salary /primary breadwinner thing

    Andrew, have you come across this? My female friends husbands friends call him 'Mr wife' because she is an engineer and they (correctly) assume she makes much more than he does

    Again, she also does nothing to provoke it, they just know our careers are well paid

    1. This is Me replying to my own comment... I realise rereading all this that this does show Andrews point... Despite my job, I still got lots of attention from men

      My issue was that they would assume that I should pay (as if they have the right to tell me how to spend my money on the first few dates) and that they'd want me to pay for them even though THEY were the ones to pursue me/ask me out, etc

      So getting a date was not an issue but not getting taken for granted was.

      I didn't date any guy again who would demand this, they would keep pursuing me and wouldn't understand why I didn't want to go out with them

      However,I have known friends who are low confidence guys who said they would love to date me but know they can't afford to keep me (this is them assuming)

      My boyfriend had to work on his own confidence level and I was nurturing of this and this is why we worked out

      I agree with Andrews post... It'll make it tougher but a confident guy who likes you will pursue you regardless

      You don't what a non confident man anyways

  7. I lost 60 pounds from 176lbs to 116lbs. (I'm 5'5'' in height.)

    But I can not control from regaining the weight. I have already regained 22 lbs.

    The improvement is my strength and cardiovascular circulation have been improved solidly.But I feel painful about my regaining weight. I can not possibly get myself starved all the time since I have to focus on high intensity brain work at the same time and brain work + starvation just would never work out and only drive me mad.

    I tried using very high intensity workout plus eating no junks in the hope that it can let me free from starvation while still fixing my weight. But it does not seem to work and still get me to regain weight compared to if i just starve myself a bit.

    I now feel embarrassed to even see anyone who saw me when I was lightest.

    Who can help me?

    1. First of all, I think you should aim for a HEALTHY weight rather than a SPECIFIC weight. A BMI of 23 is well within healthy weight range. Due to your individual biological/genetic make-up, this may be your natural weight which your body defends at all cost. The important thing is that you eat healthy and work our regularly. If you are still at an unhealthy weight despite this, then you most probably have a hormonal problem that you should seek professional medical advice for

    2. The other thing to note is that you should always be healthy for reasons of your own self confidence and self respect. If you are trying to be slim and healthy only in order to attract or/and keep a man (and I admit that this may not be your case), then you really need to address those psychological issues first.

    3. Hi Grace,

      If you have successfully tried dieting, you keep exercising and eating healthy whilst controlling your portions, but you are still gaining weight I'd go to the doctors asap. There are legitimate medical conditions that can cause sudden weight gain. However, it's not generally the case. Usually we just overestimate our calorie consumption or how much calories we may have burned at the gym.

    4. Thank you Anonymous and Star.

      I'm going to change the way I cook. Maybe I put too much oil I don't know. I checked with intake recommendation from nutrition books again and would see what happens.

      The most annoying thing is, whenever I let go of myself for a few days, I would put on weight quickly. But once the weight is on, it gets very very hard to drop it off. It's not a fair game, like I can put on 10 lbs in a week then I have to spend an entire month in starvation to drop it off again during which my performance doing other things can get effected.

      When I watch well it does not regain. But it then means I have to be constantly in alert. And for each few days off I gain a few pounds. After they are accumulated to, say, 10 lbs it becomes a nightmare to me again.

      I try to re-examine and fix my diet to an extent that it both does not starve me and limits calorie intake while combining it with high intensity workouts. If I can at least manage maintaining it(or better still even lose some) I might decide that after maintaining it for a few months I purposely spend a while again in the weight loss starvation model just so my work results would be maintained later. But let me try to find a maintainable style and see if it works out. Since the vicious circles of starving to lose and then regaining do not seem to be fun. (Plus when I attempt on programming work which is what I do, starvation messes it up seriously when my brain feels short of nutrition and starved.)

    5. Hi Grace,

      Are you measuring portions? I know some people might say it opens the floodgates to ED related thoughts, blah blah blah, but it works for me. I used myfitnesspal to track, and not only did it help me lose weight and keep it off, I am much more aware of how many calories there are in the food I eat (like how much liquid calories I used to consume, for example).

      All the best, and I hope you succeed in keeping the weight off!

    6. Grace,
      here are two simple changes you can make that will change your weight management drastically.
      (1) cut out all wheat from your diet - bread, pasta, cookies, cake etc. adult bodies can't process this well and we put it right on as flab. whole wheat has important B vitamins so don't eliminate it completely, just limit yourself to whole wheat 2x or so a week, and be very strict otherwise about cutting out wheat.
      (2) don't eat after 7pm. if you are starving and can't sleep, eat fruit only.

      that's it. eat anything else you want (in moderation of course). no need to measure portions or count calories. keep exercising and avoid wheat and you will see the pounds come off and stay off.

    7. Fruits contain sugar - some more than others. Therefore I'd not recommend to eat fruits only after 7PM. Vegetables such as carrots are a better options IMHO. Eggs are good too, but in moderation.

    8. you can't eat enough quantities of fruit in one sitting for it to cause a problem. fruit like apples contains fiber, which is good for you, and berries and cherries contain so many antioxidants that they beat other foods handily. wheat/flour is the real problem. and honestly, who likes carrots, as in "oh boy, I get to eat a carrot". it's like a punishment. consistent weight loss works when the associations with food are pleasant, not punishing.

    9. Rinjin and Anons, thank you!

      Other than struggling with physical issues, I also have some psychological issues related to this.

      Firstly I feel good about the excitement it has brought to me so far. Like, never in my life time did I receive certain types of attentions or compliments from males. Then I managed to have gotten some, for once or twice I was secretly thinking "Gosh you are the first one in my life time who has talked to me and called me things like a beauty." But I managed not to tell what was calling on my mind because I was afraid once I told them the truth they would freak out. But I'm still unhappy with my body and I feel insecure that I would have my results lost.

      At the same time, I probably have some psychological issues as well. I have no problems with men who meet me for the first time regardless how I look like at that time. But I do have baggage problems when the same men meet me in different times where my looking changes. It causes issues when I change from worse to better, and it causes issues when I change from better to worse also. And the most annoying thing is not just that men show the interest or disinterest clearly but more annoying when men still seemingly deal with you in the way but different in subtle ways such as attitudes become shitty only. And I would never know if the changes should be attributed simply to my change of looking or particular things I've done or my personality issues or the dispositions of other people who always treat people like this. Though the gut feelings are like generally my looking approximately have a macro influence on certain things related to male attentions and relations.

      For many years I used to deliberately make myself look bad in order to shield attentions. I am unsure if I did it right. Nowadays struggling to get the lost things back, just it is not as easy as I thought it would be.

    10. I think for now I would keep high intensity workouts regularly for several months first. During this I would not expect any weight dropping off except it would get me more fit and at least keep weight off. And will see how it goes. Maybe after several months would switch to starvation model again for a while.

    11. If you are "starving for a month" to take off 10lbs, you are doing it wrong. Maybe at first you'll feel hungry, but not for the entire month. You need to make sure you getting a good about of fiber and protein. I personally do not agree with discarding a food group, so small portions of complex carbs are also good. Vegetables, especially green ones, are your best friend getting through those hunger phases.

      You especially have to take into mind how much you are eating if you are exercising. If you are exercising, then you need an extra boost to give you the energy you need. Keep in mind..if you are starving, you are simply telling your body to go into survival mode..holding on to the fat.

      A site I've found really good help is They have transformation pictures. Do you want to be a body builder? Maybe not, I didn't. But there are tons of people that became really fit after been obese. If they can do it, anyone can. They describe what they did and how they continue to maintain. Don't want to get so "shredded" then stick with cardio/light lifting once you reach the look you want. Check it out:

      It bothers me when people are starving while trying to lose weight. At first you will, yes...but not all the time. That's wrong. Measure measure measure. Buy a food scale, measure everything, document everything. Tedious at first, but we are creatures of habit...soon you will know how many calories are in everything. Then calculate what you need to eat in order to lose weight. There are many sites that help with this. If you are not losing weight, then you are not counting all your calories. Calories in, calories out. It's not that difficult, but requires motivation and consistency. And once you start doing it right, you won't dread "starving" cause it's not there.

      Make eating clean and exercising a lifestyle change...not a diet. Then you will succeed. I'm sorry if I'm coming off harsh, but I feel a bit passionate about this. Please look for a calorie counter app/food diary to help you calculate what you are eating and how much you should be eating to lose weight. Find one that factors in your exercising. Go to the site and look at motivational photos and stories. You can do this and you don't have to starve. I did it myself and it really does work.

  8. Andrew

    I'm currently working on myself and doing a Mind-Body-Soul life makeover. Working on the many facets of my life.

    Well I have a healthy body weight and slight curves, and my ex said that I have an hour glass look.

    The problem is I have BDD - a self image problem, so I don't think that I'm pretty enough, and have curly-frizzy hair.

    However, I can still look nice when I put the effort in, i.e - nice dress, hair and makeup done - but I feel that BDD is holding me back.

    Some times I get nice compliments, but my beliefs are ingrained so its hard to feel different.

    My hair is long, but it will always be the same. Some people have affros, and my face isn't round shaped, but everything is pretty much in proportion.

    Am I worrying too much or do you think I have valid reason to worry based on what I've wrote.

    1. Honestly I don't think you have BDD unless you have been specifically diagnosed as such by a medical professional. Sufferers of BDD are usually so debilitated by their mental illness that they can't hold down jobs, enjoy any kind of relationships and otherwise lead a normal life like anyone else. The fact that you had a relationship (you mentioned an ex) and that you acknowledge compliments, suggest that you really don't have BDD.
      However, many women can't seem happy and satisfied with their looks, even if they appear beautfiul to others. It has to do with the deep seated insecurity most if not all women have - the knowledge that the course of their whole lives depends on their looks (to a greater or lesser extent). In the past, a woman's very survivial, and sometimes the survival of her children, depended on her looks. What can you do ? Acknowledging this for one, is a start. Acknowledge that you are not sick or different or unusual. Then realise that looks are very controllable. I believe Andrew has an earlier post on this. Work with someone, preferably a professional stylist, to achieve the look you are satisfied with. Realise that no matter how attractive you make yourself out to be, there will always be men (or whoever) who will not think you are attractive. Attractiveness is very subjective after a point. For instance, my husband thinks Angelina Jolie (even when she was younger) is very very unattractive. He even called her a gargoyle. He thinks the same of Mila Kunis, who is the wet dream of many a men. He thinks the girl next door/co-ed look (think Blake Lively) is his kind of beauty. Finally, you need to develop real happiness and self acceptance within yourself if you are going to survive the distance at all. What happens when you lose your looks to aging or illness ? Are you going to fall to pieces and become suicidal ? And also remember that many many "average" looking women find love and settle down with men for the long term. And all because they bring value and happiness to a man's life, and not just their looks, which will definitely fade with time.

    2. Hi :)

      Thankyou for taking the time to reply.

      I've had a self image problem since the age of 9 which I've never had any help with. I'm due to go for an appointment with the mental health team some time in the early new year.

      I've suffered with mental health issues in the past, and the way I veiw myself has had a large impact on my mental and emotional wellbeing.

      Thats exactly what concerns me is when I'm closer to middle age, I'm not sure how I'm going to cope. Suicide has crossed my mind many times as my emotions can become pretty intense when I'm focusing on my physical apperance negatively.

      I guess that I haven't found a way yet to resolve my fears about my physical apperance, but hoping with treatment for BDD will help and doing a life makeover will help also.

      I'm currently not working whilst I find a way to restore my mental health.

    3. Sorry to hear about your current situation, but you are on the right path by seeking out professional assistance. Like you, I had mental issues with my looks since childhood but only because of a very very bad upbringing by a very beautiful but narcissistic mother (who probably also had a personality disorder). She prized looks above everything else and I felt totally worthless to her and to the world if I was not pretty - so I can sympathise and empathise with you.
      I think it is really hard to erase inital programming in your head while you were a child, but if you start on little steps now and work constantly at it and expose yourself to the right environment and people, you will get there by the time you are middle aged. I took that path and though now more or less "recovered", still feel I missed the best years of my life (while at the peak of my youth and looks) spent in angst and self-hate. I should have enjoyed whatever attractiveness I had back then and enjoyed the company of men instead of worrying about whether I looked good enough for them. Well, this is just a regret, not something that tears my soul apart, given all the emotional work that I have undergone.
      I also acknowledge that my insecurity led me to reject a number of men who would have made great boyfriends and even husbands, all because of my fears and insecurities. I am living with those consequences now, which I can only now peacefully accept.
      Women who lose their looks in old age generally take two paths :
      1) loathing, unhappiness, pain, suffering, hatred and anger towards younger and more attractive women. These women tend to see aging that something that has "taken" from them the only thing they had in life.
      2) peace, accepting and calm and the realization that they did enjoy their beauty while in their youth. They see their youthful beauty in their daughters and grand-daughters and are hardly resentful when they see such beautiful products of their own beauty. They know and embrace nature and the cycle of life and change. They epitomise true divine feminine beauty that transcend the physical. Sure all these do not mean squat to young male strangers. But they mean hell of a lot to older women, and to the men who love them and have stayed with them for more than half their lives.

    4. Yeah... My dad, after getting divorced, married a woman 17 years younger than himself. She was really pretty, arguably a 10, knew how to have fun, is probably deep down a good person, but she had (and has) 10000 insecurities and mental issues.
      After marrying my dad, she got pregnant and stopped smoking, and she gained A LOT of weight. Now she's fat and older, and her insecurities and mental issues have only gotten worse. My dad really regrets marrying her, but they have a 5 year old son now and there's no way my dad's gonna get divorced AGAIN. Or maybe he will, I don't know.
      I think she's a good person deep inside, but I don't think she's happy. My dad's a good person too. He's also very smart (emotionally and intellectually), very charismatic and genuine, but he trusted his animal instincts too strongly. She's extremely feminine and caring and all, but she's not as smart as he is, she's very shallow while my dad's very cultured, and she's very emotionally unbalanced while my dad's very emotionally intelligent. Now he always comes to me to vent, and I can tell he doesn't even like her anymore. I listen, observe, and try to learn from their mistakes.

      My father's wife could have married any man she wanted. In fact, something like four men had proposed to her before she met my father. She would have never needed to read this blog because she was already able to attract guys and to keep them. But just because there are women who can get away with having terrible personalities and marry whoever they want doesn't mean they're gonna be happy.

      There's some level of truth to the sayings "Happiness comes from within, do not seek it without" and "you have to love yourself before anyone else can." Part of the reason we end up rejecting people who we later think are amazing is that we think that anyone who loves us can't possibly be enough, since we don't think we're enough ourselves. My dad never really loved his wife, he married her because she was pretty and easy going and cared about my siblings and me, and because he felt he needed to "settle down" -- she, on the other hand, always knew he didn't love her and this somehow made her think my dad was "the one."

      I know that in the past I've rejected guys that were GREAT, loved/liked me, were smart, tall, physically fit, good, confident, rich... but then I'd concentrate on their flaws, or their availability made me feel like I didn't like them. I always thought I could do better.
      And this year, for the first time in my life I thought I really liked a guy, but only after I found out he wasn't interested in having a relationship with me. That's not healthy at all, but it's probably a blessing that he didn't reciprocate my feelings, because now I'm trying to improve myself holistically.
      I guess that what's important is to recognize our faults and try to fix them, whether or not things are going the way we like. Not only because it's gonna be good for us, but also probably for other people in the long-run.

    5. Bless your heart :) ♡

      Thankyou from the bottom of my heart for your lovely message and words of wisdom - it was the lovliest thing to happen in my day and brought my sense to life with happy emotions.

      I'm sorry to hear what you went through with your mom and so glad to read that you found a way of coming to peice with whats happened in your past.

      I'm not sure if your faniliar with Renee Wades work, but she's the founder of the feminine woman blog - her work is really inspiring and has provied me with confidence that what energy a person puts out to men matters aswell.

      I wanted to recomened it as I highly value the message that she puts out.

      With love.

    6. Thank you. And thank you for recommending Renee Wades. I found her blog very beautiful in more ways than one. Very inspirational and spiritual. I have a Christian friend whom I think would find this very useful too, as she is having problems with her husband at the moment.

      I think we also need to recognise that a lot of problems we have with men don't just arise from our lack of understanding of them (though it is a big part). but also from the fact that many of us have emotional issues that carry over from our childhoods. We expect and desperately want men to somehow magically heal us of our psychic wounds, to be our emotional saviours rather than actual human beings that may be damaged themselves. So if we had to work for our parent's conditional love, then we may get upset that we don't get what we think is unconditional love from our partners, or we get upset if we think our partners are not appreciative enough of the work we put into our relationships. Things like that. My mother was very damaged as well, and she in turn caused a lot of damage to her children and the men in her life. It is of vital importance that we recognise this, which you have, and deal with this before we even think of finding mates and having families - or we will just be perpetuaing the cycle of abuse for another generation.

  9. Hi Andrew,
    I'm a math major, pretty intelligent, working on being more attractive. I found by experimenting that guys at parties are more likely to ask for my number if I tell them I'm a french major - definitely more feminine stereotypically - than if I tell the truth. This point seems in accordance with an earlier post, What Men Think of your Intelligence, here's the quote I'm thinking of:
    "So to conclude: a woman's intelligence is undoubtedly an attractive quality, but it has the negative side-effect of undermining a man's ability to feel powerful, and a woman's ability to admire him. The moral? Seek out men that are smarter than you, or at least, men that you still admire greatly in spite of their lesser intelligence."
    This point seems slightly contradicted in your post...

    1. I think it has been discussed in this forum before, that it is not so much the ability of the man to feel powerful, as much as the ability of the man to feel that he is needed and appreciated by his woman.

    2. @math major

      (I'm the engineer)... I totally know how you feel and it does seem to suck... Coming from someone who experienced the same... why would you want a guy that you need to lie about who you are to get him to date you

      Think of your math major as a plus... It weeds out the guys who are not as open minded or want to perhaps have a less independent woman

      You won't be happy in the long run with a guy like that. He could also be low confidence, and again, consider that to be a bullet dodged

      My boyfriend is wonderful in that he is accepting of me and we. Both reap benefits of being with each other

      So if they're intimidated by you, it's your job to continue to exude feminine energy... Being sweet, pretty, happy, supporting (aka how I proved my boyfriend assumptions wrong)

      In the end, although your options may seem more limited, you will find the best for you and bethat much happier and have that much more of a quality man

      You do not need or want a guy that would not want to date a math major

      He's low confidence, possibly wants a meek girl under his control, or assumed that you are boring, etc

      One person below states the assumptions a guy may have about u that u can make up for with your feminine enter

    3. Sorry, but it seems a bit presumptions to label all men who do not want to date math majors as having low confidence and wanting control over women. You seem to be displaying the same kind of stereotyping you accuse men of having towards women with math majors. At the end of the day, men can pretty much date who they want, just as you can. They may make decisions that are not truly based in reality, just as many women do.
      It is possible that having a math major is not the sole reason why they did not ask you out or show more interest. It could be that they were not attracted to you enough in the first place, and the math major just pushed it over the line into disinterest. Probably because they think having conversations with you may be difficult if they don't share the same interest.
      Andrew explained that from the male point of view, a woman's intelligence and achievements are not the primary force which drives a man's attraction, but would be a consideration in deciding the fate of the relationship down the track. I am pointing out that it could also be an additional make or break if there wasn't already a strong attraction there in the first place, an attraction based on physical looks and other personality factors.

    4. My question to all of you is, what do you provide to the table that HIS friends' don't?

      He can talk to his colleagues or buddies about math, sports or whatever any time.

    5. ^ That's a good question everyone should always make. What are YOU providing to the table?

      I think everyone should read this article:

      and stop complaining.

    6. Whoops, I missed writing in a couple 'may's in helping explain the men possibly being intimidated by the math major or having assumptions

      At the end of the day, if a guy is attracted to you, he will pursue you.

  10. I'm not quite sure where the contradtion is. A previous post (according to you) is telling women to select men whom they can admire, irrespective of what their (men's) intelligence is. This post is telling women that intelligence is not a primary consideration by men when they make the decision to approach a woman or to ask a woman out.

    So the story goes like this : A man decides he likes the looks of a woman (doesn't care about her intelligence or achievements) and she agrees to date him. They proceed to date until such point where they both decide if they should break it off, or if they should take their relationship in a more serious direction. He then decides whether or not her intelligence/achievements is helping their relationship or harming it, and makes his decision on that basis. That's how I see Andrew's post anyway.

    1. In that case, why would choice of major change someone's mind about taking a girl's number? It's an initial interaction.

    2. May not be your intelligence per se, but the fact that you are into different cultures, new experiences, eager to broaden your horizons and open minded. I'm sure the response would have been similar if you said you were a Japanese or Spanish major. Different majors indicate different things about the women pursuing them.

    3. With a math major, you are probably perceived by men as calcuating, joyless, boring, humourless, well you get the picture. This is stereotyping of course, but let's turn the tables for a minute are ask you if you are more likely to be attracted to a guy with a Math major, or to a French major. If you use your intellectual math brain, you will probably say math major due to intellectual compatability. If you use your lizard brain (hypocampus) you will instinctively say French major because it is different and thus exciting. It is unknown to you and a mystery. It connotes romance, passion and excitement. Your date with a math major is likely to be a chess championship or a computer fair. Your date with a french major, well......

  11. Andrew,
    given that looks are easier to control than personality, what exactly should a girl focus on in terms of personality? You mentioned being sweet elsewhere. But what traits make a "good personality" in the eyes of males?

    1. A woman should be kind and generous. Basically, men like to spend time with women who make them feel good.

  12. Please, no more post... until we get THE BOOK! we are sick of waiting :)

    1. The hold up now is not writing, it's editing. Hang in there. The finished product will be better because of it.

    because at the end of the day : there is only love, that s all there is, it s the perfection of it, all seeking for love, all seeking to go back to the source. Love seeking itself

  14. i do not mean to spam, i just, it s because sound travels fast, it alters brainwaves, it shows the way, not my way, your own way. ps : no i am not stoned! :o)
    Andrew, if you want me to stop just say it and i ll obey.

  15. open yourself up, what you need, what you are, raw, wild, deviant, be proud.

    But I do, yes i do.
    get turned on, by yourself, by your own stength and weaknesses, all pefect.
    Give yourself what you need. " through mass manual stimulation : salvation " type o neg

    1. fuck, the link don t work : it s SUNSHINE - NIN SUNSPOTS with images of Sunshine, the movie

  16. show me your inside world, show me your mind, not words : images, sounds.
    Feed me, feed my starving mind, feed me

    1. fail, fail at everything, and be beautiful while failing, fail your life, no glitz, no superficiality, be as real a can be, as crazy as can be. Men, be yourselves, dress like slobs and shine from the inside. Women, be yourseves, be clumpsy and innocent and shine from the core. Fail forever, you are beautiful when you do

  17. why do i reply to my own posts ? lonely much ?
    a last dance maybe :

  18. i need to know what you think, A. i need to see your scars, i need to see what you don t show, unleash it.

  19. if you don t want me on your blog : say so
    just say it, one word will do.
    If you don t push me away, i ll come back.
    If you do not want me : say it and i ll be gone.
    Dis le A. si tu veux pas

  20. Andrew, could you write a brief post about what it means when men do/don't give a present at Christmas (if you both celebrate Christmas) to their girlfriend .... and what which kind of gifts from men mean to the men giving them.

  21. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for writing this blog - so informative!!

    Question not covered: Why do guys think it's hot that I can drive a stick shift? I get that it's uncommon for girls to drive manual cars and therefore crosses gender boundaries. Do I seem more capable of being independent? Or is this like the banana phenomenon, where guys are turned on by girls touching phallic shaped objects?

    Thanks again & good luck on the book,


  22. Dear Andrew,

    I just wanted to say thank you :-)
    Your blog is awesome and since I started reading in July I lost 10kg (~22lbs), improved my overall appearance and thus my relationship.
    I'm looking forward to your book and will advertise it to my single lady friends as I already did with your blog.

    So thank you again and greetings from Germany :-)


  23. Andrew,

    How should a woman respond to a suggestion for a date, but not an exact plan?

    "We should get you to XYZ Game soon!" (a basketball game he had hinted at going to together)

  24. Andrew, is this response too flippant (sent via text)

    "We should get you to XYZ Game soon!" - him

    "I'll consider!" - me

    I didn't like his lack of concrete plans so I responded in a vague way..

    1. Great reply! Even better if you waited a couple of hours. Let him organise everything and pick you up etc.

  25. Andrew,

    I recently had a man say that relationship/commitment-oriented men do NOT want women who are "10's" in the looks department (as in, girls who turn every head when they walk in a room). They want "pretty" or "cute" women but not drop-dead gorgeous. They view "10's" as either too much work, too much of a liability or messed up in the head/crazy (or some combination all of the above)....

    Instead they go for the solid 7's or 8's.

    The only men who will approach and ask out a "10" are either a) players who want sex or b) idiots who are just testing the waters. The good guys in the middle who have something to lose will NOT pursue or approach.

  26. Look at Joseph Gordon-Levitt and George Clooney... We are living a sexual revolution right now. Rich, famous, and good-looking men are starting to look at women differently. They are starting to care about intellect and personality, sometimes placing more importance on those than on looks. Girls, improve your looks but do not neglect your intellect. Although many guys, as Andrew points out, care first and foremost about looks, you probably don't want to date such guys. Don't give up your ideals!!!!

  27. careful about your conclusions concerning Clooney. he's dated a long string of eye candy with no careers, has been dogged by gay rumors for years, and suddenly marries a women he'd known less than a year who makes it seem like he's trying to compete with Brad Pitt in a spouse re global mission creds. some say he wants to run for office & trying to look credible. the facts don't add up to "Clooney cares about a woman with intellect". jury's still out on this one.

  28. What is your take on casual dating wo sex? Is it ever a good idea for a woman to attempt this, or should your end goal for dating only be for long term commitments?

  29. Hi Andrew, I know that a guy i'm dating currently is playing me. Should you let him know that I know he's playing me, or will it backfire? Pls respond...

    1. @ Mary
      Play him back. See if you can win...

      He could be a good case study to refine your dating skills. May the person with the best game win!


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