Dear Dr. NerdLove:
I’m a single 35F cis/straight who’s nearly at the end of my rope with dating. I’d like to think I’m a halfway decent catch- good family, reasonably cute, well educated, no criminal record, etc. The problem is I think maybe I’m intimidating to guys? I’m a physician and am used to making life-critical decisions every day; medicine is still a fairly male-dominated industry, so I have learned to stick up for myself and not take BS from people; I make pretty good money and can afford what I want, so I don’t need a man to pull out his wallet and treat me…. In fact, more often than not I want to pay on a first date (1. I don’t think it’s fair that dudes have to go broke just to date, and 2. If I pay then I don’t owe you anything- we’ve all heard the stories about the jerk who Venmo’d the girl the cost of her drink cuz she didn’t go home and blow him).
But it’s not just money. All of the guys I’ve ever dated said they wanted a Strong, Clever, Independent woman, but when they get me it’s like they can’t deal with the fact that I’m strong or clever or independent (all things I love about myself). My last boyfriend actually got mad at me when my car broke down and I called AAA before I called him. He said my not being “more damsel-y” made him feel unneeded and emasculated. This has been a recurring theme in most of the ends of my post-college relationships. To make matters worse, I’m into BDSM and the rougher stuff… while I think being submissive in bed is a great way for me to balance the scales, turns out this seems like another reason guys turn tail and run.
At first I thought I was being too picky, but over the past 7 years I’ve taken my Deal Breaker list and refined it down to 1. Actually single, 2. Non-smoker, 3. College educated, 4. No kids. I don’t think I’m asking for that much! I communicate my feelings, don’t play games, and don’t expect a guy to know what I’m thinking or what I want unless I’ve explicitly told him. And yet, I’m about to rip my hair out. So I turn to you. How do I stay true to my inner Wonder Woman without inadvertently doing an emotional Lorena Bobbitt on my relationship?
-What’s Wrong With Being Confident?