Some Men Want the Wallflower Girl Who’s Just Happy to be There

“I love all the dynamic things you do in your life and your career,” he said. “But it’s those things that prevent me from wanting a serious relationship with you.”

Um, sorry? Yes, that happened…in a bar in Toronto and within the past week with someone I’ve had “a thing” with for the past year.

Finally, we live in a time when long held notions of what it means to be a male or female are disappearing and being replaced with a collective dialogue that women can excel any role a man can. Armed with that insight, I enjoy a colourful career that takes me to memorable places, introduces me to influential figures and leaves me with a jam-packed, sometimes impossible-to-manage schedule. Many of my single girlfriends kick ass in careers that are equally as fulfilling and stimulating. Not to mention, we all lead full lives of fitness, hobbies, passions and growth. They’re dynamic, successful, progressive and independent.

When it comes to dating a dynamic, successful, progressive and independent woman, however, some (note: some) Toronto men (and, presumably, guys in other cities too) – many successful in their own right – would rather stick to the women of times past.

They want the girl who is just happy to be there. She’s easy enough on the eyes, but not intimidatingly beautiful; she has a close circle of friends, but not too many; she has a good, respectable job, but not a dynamic career; she has her own opinion, but won’t often challenge her partner’s. They want a woman who will take care of them the way their mothers did – who will have the homemaking skills of a Molly Maid employee and be able to whip up an Instagram-worthy meal in minutes that tastes like it was made from one of the city’s top chefs. She’ll make a great, reliable mother, and sit comfortably in that role as one that dominates 99 per cent of her life.

Sad, but true: when it comes down to it, many men don’t want to date the modern, progressive woman. Don’t shoot the messenger; actual men – and from different careers and backgrounds – have openly discussed this with me. The common theme is that, while they believe in successful and progressive women, they themselves are more interested in someone who will be an anchor at home for their future families.

Why is that? For some, in my opinion, it has to do with their ego. They hate the fact that your life involves constant introductions to new people, social events and self-sustaining career success. Some men (and, ironically, the men you’d least expect it from) are simply too insecure for the “dynamic” girl. This either comes from jealousy (they can’t handle knowing your job involves interacting with other men) or a selfish desire not to share the spotlight in terms of career success (especially among the more successful set of Toronto gents). For some men, their reasoning could be innate; perhaps they feel a sense that they should be the provider and protector in a relationship. Either way, even those men who proudly identify as feminists may feel inadequate on a date with a woman who is just as impressive on paper as she looks sitting across from him.

Admittedly, some successful men simply want to be with someone who has a less hectic schedule than they do; it literally comes down to logistics.

Whatever the case, it’s impossible to ignore that some of the most successful, interesting and opinion-filled females are also the ones who are single: they’re the ones some men only want in theory.

Of course, this has not gone unnoticed to the pavement-pounding ladies: According to the book Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women, over 50 per cent of single women feel that their success is intimidating to men. One thing is for sure; we shouldn’t have to downplay our successes, layers and all the things that make our lives dynamic to be perceived more like “wife material.”