Why Do Smart Women Struggle in Love? Are Men Intimidated?

Why Do Smart Women Struggle In Love? Are Men Intimidated?

Are you a smart woman struggling in romantic relationships? Do you feel it’s hard to find the right partner? Or, when you find someone, you feel that you don’t connect with him? Did you ever get a sense that men are intimidated by smart women?

Or, maybe you found a man that’s equally intellectual as you are, and you are a good fit, but somehow you feel you are missing something. You didn’t feel that he loved you in the way you needed to be loved perhaps. If you can relate to any of these questions, you are not alone. Many smart women struggle in love. You may feel very competent when it comes to career or academia, but when someone mentions romantic relationships you want to run for the hills. This doesn’t mean that deep down you don’t yearn for a deep romantic connection. It’s just not an area of life where you feel the most competent as you do in other aspects.

What’s going on? The situation is a little complicated, but one way to look at it is by looking at the skills that smart women needed to rely on. The skills that you needed to develop were geared towards intellectual and career development. The fact is those modern women who wanted to succeed in a career needed to rely on the left-brain skills.  These are traditionally considered masculine traits, but I don’t like to categorize them as such. It’s evident that we, women possess those, just as men possess the right-side brain skills. In order to make this clear, here is some information about left and right side differences.

Left Side Brain Skills: The Reason for Smart Women’s Struggle in Love?

These skills served us to help survive in the male-dominated world, where analytical skills were valued more than emotional connectivity or creativity. This is not only true for the women, but also for men. These skills are valued in school and workplace, so we naturally cultivate them more. It’s important to note that these skills shouldn’t be considered inferior nor superior. They ideally work in synergy with the right side of the brain skills.

However, when it comes to human relationships, especially romance, relying too much on analytical skills, can cause you to feel perplexed. A typical example of this is when you try to analyze what went wrong on a date. For instance, a guy doesn’t call you back, and you analyze all your conversations, replay everything in your head, conclude that you’ve done everything right, and still wonder what went wrong.  You may know that there is more to the attraction than polite smiles and clever conversations, but you were not able to sense it emotionally during your date. You were perhaps stuck in your head trying to “do everything right.” However, you missed the opportunity to connect romantically or you didn’t sense that he is just polite and that there was no chemistry during the date.

I want to note that left brain skills are not irrelevant when it comes to figuring these things out. The left and right brain always work together, to enhance each other. What matters is that we integrate them and don’t rely solely on our analytical skills when dealing with emotional issues.  You can analyze certain things so much intellectually, but none of that will matter. If you struggle connecting on a deep emotional level, you will have problems with relationships.

Three Ways in Which Smart Women Struggle in Love

Why do smart women struggle in love Dalila Jusic-LaBerge, LMFTAll these left-brain skills that you relied on helped you achieve amazing accomplishments in life. But they don’t come without the cost. This often reflects on your romantic relationships. Usually, smart women see these three negative consequences in their lives.

  • You keep choosing men that are emotionally unavailable
  • When you meet someone that you really like, but when he is ready to give you full love and dedication, you freak out and lose attraction to him.
  • You may be in a relationship with a man that’s a good fit for you, but you feel something is missing. You don’t have the connection because you both may be lacking in the ability to connect emotionally with the right-side-brain ways of connecting. I am not saying that you don’t connect emotionally, but you feel unfulfilled, and yet you may have been very attracted to him.

Don’t get me wrong. None of this means that you are not capable of deep love.  If you are yearning for it, it’s definitely in you. Have you ever met women who are not necessarily successful or particularly beautiful, but relationships seems so easy for them. Men are just somehow mesmerized by them. Makes you wonder. Right? Similarly, have you ever met a guy that you were attracted to, and he seemed to be so much into you, but somehow conversation continued into quantum physics or latest neuroscientific research. And, nothing happened.


Left Side

Smart women struggle in the relationships because of left-side-of the brain dominance

Logical, smart, reasonable left

Negative aspects of relying solely on these skills:

      • We get confused. This happens when everything is aligned logically, but some things still don’t work out. This is especially true when it comes to relationships
      • We lose the ability to be creative and innovative. We don’t deviate from preapproved protocol
      • Logic is based on our limited knowledge, and therefore it’s not foolproof
      • We can become close-minded and avoid taking risks. Again, this is especially applicable to our relationships.
      • Because we all tend to do more of what makes us feel competent; we may wind up caught into workaholism. Our work may require more left-brain skills, and that’s where we feel comfortable because we have mastered it. This goes along with keeping away from relationships for the sake of feeling safe



Right Side

      • These skills are related to intuition
        Right side of the brain skills help us to connect

        Artistic, creative, emotional right side

      • We connect with people emotionally using these skills
      • We are able to understand nonverbal information
      • Rights side is in charge of creativity
      • We are able to sense things that we are not able to understand. This is essential for relationships







Neuroscience brings you down? No worries. I won’t beat it to death. I wanted you to be aware of your skills. Furthermore, I want you to know that there is a lot of hope here. I’m not on the quest here to make you dumb yourself down just so you can get into a relationship and get the love you yearn for.  You’ve accomplished so many things in life, you’ve learned so many skills, and you can definitely become more intuitive when it comes to relationships.

Are Men Intimidated by Smart Women? Is This What Causes Smart Women to Struggle in Love?

The research about dating and intellectual achievement for women shows mixed results. But, that ultimately doesn’t matter much. A lot of these studies are reduced to the statistical data that don’t necessarily explain causation. They wouldn’t tell you why men may prefer less or more intelligent women. This doesn’t help you find the answers anyhow.

You may infer that men may be intimidated by smart women and close the case. If you want to stay in the same place where you are, you can conclude that men are intimidated by smart women.  Now you don’t have to make efforts to make things work for yourself the way you truly want, to be in a loving fulfilling relationship. But at least you can feel good about yourself. You are smart.

Usually, most women that I work with are intellectual women, and they want deep connection and love. If you are one of those women, your job is not to figure out why men are intimidated, but to figure out how you can connect with the right type of men who will adore you just the way you are, nerdy, sassy, smart, confident, etc. You want a man who will be attracted to those characteristics.  Do I make sense here? Now, will you be able to receive what he has to offer? You may need some healing or personal growth to complete in order to be aligned with your quest.  In other words, if you go through the healing process, you can be able to receive the love you really want.

If you are logical and left-side of brain oriented, you may think you know what kind of man is right for you. You may even find him and start a relationship, but you may feel something is missing. It doesn’t need to be that the man isn’t right, but it can be that you have a difficult time connecting with him and nurturing that relationship.  One of the reasons, as already stated, may be the educational focus on the left-side-brain skills. Similarly, your family of origin may have nurtured left-brain-side skills. Don’t get me wrong. None of this means that they didn’t love you. In some families, love is expressed more by left-side-brain activities, such as doing something practical for each other, helping each other out, discussing interesting philosophical points, etc. Note that these all are wonderful ways to express love.

The Good News: You Can Do Something About It

Don’t worry. You don’t have to dumb yourself down. You can rediscover this additional skills that can help you be more in touch with yourself. These skills are innate, and you just need to work on rediscovering them. Obviously, there are various types activities that can help you do this. Activities that can help you nurture skills of the right brain.

      • Arts and crafts
      • Playing a musical instrument
      • Yoga
      • Dance
      • Meditation and mindfulness
      • Anything that has to do with creativity and movement
      • Anything that has to do with mind-body connection

If you are interested in a really quick progress, I recommend working with a therapist that focuses on helping women in romantic relationships and who utilizes somatic work in her/his practice. This work can help you make big strides in developing emotional intelligence, becoming intuitive, aligned with your true self, and being able to receive that love that you truly crave and have to give in return. Read more about the importance of working on both body and mind here.  Learn more about Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. 

I would love to know what your thoughts are about this. Feel free to leave a comment or contact me.



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About the Author

I'm dedicated to guiding women from feeling confused and frustrated to feeling competent and joyful when it comes to matters of love and romance.

  • […] to find a partner as they age or if they are highly educated. Read more about other reasons Why Do Smart Women Struggle in Love? They also learn that men are usually looking for younger women, which makes them feel powerless […]

  • VR says:

    What I like is that you didn’t mention anything about “feminine” and “masculine” energy (which is nonsense), but instead went with the analytical vs intuitive sides of us. Everyone possesses them, but I think we live in a lopsided society that promotes one over the other based on gender, less so now than in the past but still.

    My analytical is a bit stronger than my intuitive. I never had trouble attracting men, the trouble was they were either too needy or had intimacy issues, both of which relate to low self-esteem/self-respect and not being wholly emotionally developed, which was exactly my problem as well. See the connection there! So I agree with the three ways you listed that women can struggle in love.

    I worked on myself for a long time and reversed all that. What you say on this article reflects my experience pretty well. During my journey, I “awoke” my intuitive/creative side that I had been suppressing for a long time, and finally became integrated. When I come across the types of men I used to be attracted to, I know immediately that they are lacking and aren’t healthy, it’s a total turn off now. They also won’t interact with me. We’re a mismatch and I’m happy about it.

    • Thank you for the response VR. I didn’t feel comfortable with masculine/feminine dichotomy. Some women are very analytical, while some men are very creative, Ultimately for both of those functionalities of the brain the other side needs to be highly involved too. In order to be highly logical, there is a lot of creativity involved. Likewise, to be creative, there is a lot of analytical skill involved. So, I almost don’t feel comfortable utilizing this dichotomy, but this was just for illustration. Bottom line is relying on logic without integration with emotional intelligence can be an obstacle in matters of the heart.
      Thank you for sharing. I was smiling while reading your response because I can so relate.

      • VR says:

        Thanks Dalila. What is interesting to me is that there ARE obvious differences in how men and women think, generally speaking, but nobody knows whether these are fundamental biological reasons or because we’ve been taught to be like this starting the day we were born. I tend to take the latter position, and it makes a lot of sense to me that when you promote one set of traits to one gender and the remaining set of traits to the other (it’s not so clean cut, but I gotta talk in generalizations), you get a very dysfunctional society because people are “halved.” That’s not to say there aren’t biological differences that can explain some of the differences, I just think they are vastly exaggerated.

        In order to be whole, every individual must also be whole. No wonder people often have the idea that a relationship is comprised of two halves and that partners “complete” each other, which is backwards and unhealthy. I’ve physically felt my ‘void’ when I gave so much more importance to my analytical side, something was obviously missing. And it’s just as you say! I produce my best work now that I’m integrated. Creativity without logic is aimless. Logic without creativity is narrow. Put the two together and the possibilities are endless.

        All that being said, I do believe some men are intimidated by smart women. In my experience, they tend to be insecure and base their worth on that whole stereotype that men must be smarter than women, they must earn more, they must be dominant, etc. That just means they have their own inner work to do.

        In the end, it’s a people problem. We got a lot of people walking around trying to fit into a box, repressing themselves, and being ashamed and scared to live their truth. I think it’s slowly been changing. =)

        • Hi VR,

          Thank you for great comments again. You bring up so many different points to this topic You talk about this in a different way than I do, but the conclusions are pretty much the same. I too agree that we need to be pretty much whole as an individual in order to have happy relationships.
          I also agree that some men are intimidated by smart women, but as you said, you just don’t feel attracted to them. It’s just some healthy chemistry when you work on yourself.
          Again, Thank you for your comments.

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