Intimidated by a successful man...what to do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2014
Intimidated by a successful man...what to do?
Sun, 01-05-2014 - 7:08pm

Hi... I am in serious need of advice.

I just started dating an exceptionally accomplished man.  He is wealthy, smart and articulate.  On top of it all, he is a really nice person.

Here is my issue.... even though I am a successful, professional woman, I feel SOOO intimidated by him.  It is plaguing me and making me question how I act and look, whether I am appropriate, rich enough, etc.  Please note... he knows that I do not have what he does and never makes a point to boast or anything of that nature.  Still, though, I feel inadequate and I hate the feeling.  I am never prone to low self esteem and, frankly, this is the first time that I have dated a man whom I actually admired.

Is it wrong to playfully tell him that I am intimidated by him?  I am looking for any way to put myself at ease.  I am hoping that he will respond with something that allows me some relief! 

Thanks in advance for any advice!



Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 2:44pm

Maybe because I'm in the technology industry, the men I know (and mostly I know men) have successful, interesting wives with lives and careers of their own.  I know several whose wives are far better known than they are, and there are some very successful women in business whose husbands you've never heard of.  Can you name the husbands of the women who run Yahoo (Marissa Mayer), HP (Meg Whitman) or IBM (Ginni Rometti)?  I can't, but if you ask me who runs those companies, I sure can tell you.  Sheryl Sandberg's husband is successful in his own right, but he's not a household name.  Then again he wasn't chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Larry Summers at the age of 27, like Sandberg (oh, and her *mother* is a PhD - so much for women having careers being some new thing).

Granted, I'm not in the dating world, so I don't have your perspective, and you know we agree on most things.  But I'm as offended by the statement that the only reason a man I'd date would care that I have my own career would be that he's thinking, "Oh jolly good, she has her own company, that will keep her pretty little head occupied while I go about my Big, Important Business until I'm ready to have sex with her" as I am by the idea that every woman out there is looking for a man to provide financial stability for her because she can't do it herself. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010
Wed, 01-08-2014 - 4:54pm


Sorry that I'm not politically correct enough for you. I'm just telling it like it is--what does and does not matter from a typical man's perspective. Women generally care more about their partners being successful at work than men do.

Men today are fine with women having careers, but it just isn't a make or break factor for us, unless the woman is say a movie star or Playboy Playmate.

Relevant factors for us men are:honesty, loyalty, compassion, intelligence, altruism, being reasonable and fair, having common values, having common interests--and of course, a woman's appearance and willingness and ability to satisfy in bed.