Sunday, June 24, 2007

Must I change to make a man love me?

Went to a lecture Shabbos afternoon:

Come hear one of our most popular speakers. His classes range from Medical Ethics to Dating and always inspire stimulating and thought-provoking conversation. Topic this week: "How To Choose a Marriage Partner." We encourage single and married folks to join us. Because you can always use these insights to help your friends!

The speaker is a physician with a counseling degree who now works for a pharmaceutical venture fund. He's quite opinionated, and definitely stimulated a lot of conversation.

Afterward I spoke with a longtime, very flirtatious male acquaintance. He's got a PhD in math or philosophy or physics, something difficult and esoteric. So he's extremely bright. But he told me something extremely troubling.

"When I'm open to a woman," he told me, "what makes me open to her is my physical attraction to her. Women need to respect and admire a man to feel that attraction toward him. But men don't need to feel that for a woman in order to open up to her emotionally. I know you'd like that kind of respect and admiration, but that's just not how men are."

Now on the one hand, I'm inclined to believe him. If a man with at least one, maybe two PhDs doesn't care about respecting and admiring his woman's intellect, then what man would?

Should I just not "list" my intelligence and accomplishments as selling points when I'm trying to attract a man's love? Should I not expect -- or even want -- the man in my life to appreciate me intellectually?

On the other hand, he's 51 and single. Maybe he's not the right person to ask about making an intimate relationship work.

Maybe I should call that venture-funding doctor and ask what he thinks.

Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Ugh. Rule # 1, never go to a lecture about relationships. I always found someone said something that irked me. Is the speaker married? And yes, I would definitely discount what that 51 y.o. said. You deserve someone who likes you for yourself, the entire package. An emotionally mature guy will look beyond the externals.

  2. i think that guy is right on. for a man, physical attraction is the gateway towards MORE. he may need to think she's a babe FIRST and then admire all her degrees, yada yada. it doesn't mean he won't appreciate the total package, it just shows what the priorities are.

    so you *should* let a man know how smart you are, and what you can offer intellectually and emotionally. just charm him with your looks, first. if he doesn't find you attractive, it doesn't matter how smart you are.


  3. p.s. don't date any zeidies.

  4. I agree with Riva, and I am not 100% sure I agree with Maven. Respect is an important part of any relationship, and you don't respect a woman because of her looks; you respect her because of her accomplishments and her personality.

    I think, just to be "yotzei" according to all the opinions, you should post a photo of yourself in a tee-shirt that reads: "All this, and brains, too!"

    And you should wear that on dates from now on :)

  5. As a guy, I just have to come to Maven's support. Enough of the wishful thinking already. Guys pick women because they think they are "hot" after that everything else is a bonus, and of course a lot of shallow guys are intimidated by brains and smarts. But those of us who are not intimidated but maybe even turned on by a smart woman will still prefer a svelte sexy genius to a dowdy michelin woman. Is that clear enough?