Successful women have difficulty finding partners – 01/04/2023 – Equilibrium

Successful women have difficulty finding partners – 01/04/2023 – Equilibrium

Engineer and federal public servant Roberta Mota, 40, “wanted to grow professionally” and her husband – now an ex – thought the goal was bad. After the divorce, her next relationship also ended. This time. with what she calls an “absurd proposition”.

Balancing the two daughters from her first marriage with leadership positions, trips to national and international conferences and a master’s degree, Mota remembers that her then-boyfriend wanted her to quit her job to travel, take care of him, cook and have a child. “Another, more recent one, put me on a pedestal and kept making himself inferior”.

The feeling, she says, is that women who are more educated and in positions of power have more difficulties finding partners. And her analysis is corroborated by experts.

“The impression”, says Roberta, “is that issues such as position and good education scare men. And the guy has to be very successful and secure to feel up to it”. “I believe in love, but I have no patience for anyone who puts me down”.

For Felipe Novaes, doctor in social psychology and professor at PUC-Rio (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro), this phenomenon is recent in Brazil, although it is not surprising.

“There is a natural effect of women being more selective than men, a valid explanation also for the game of conquest that takes place in dating apps”, he points out.

The literature points out that women’s criteria rise more and more as their qualification also grows. Lorena Hakak, economics professor at UFABC (Federal University of ABC) and president of GeFam (Family and Gender Economy Society), observes that the frequency of marriages in Brazil among people with at least higher education has increased.

“But as you have more women, on average, with more education than men, some end up having more difficulty finding a partner if they are looking for that level of education.” Increased participation of women in the labor market, more education and fewer children are important changes that have taken place in recent decades, points out Hakak.

“Some men might think ‘the woman is more successful, earns more than me, can I handle it?’ But that’s an old thought that ends up getting in the way,” says Hakak.

There is no academic consensus on the causes. Some studies rule out a possible male aversion to these women, while others point to the possibility that they are seen as less desirable.

One of them, by researchers at Harvard, Chicago and Princeton Universities, observes that even in the 21st century, men prefer partners who are less professionally ambitious than themselves and tend to avoid those who exhibit characteristics normally associated with this ambition, such as a high level of education.

The work found a possible reflection in the classroom. Single women avoid, according to them, being more ambitious in front of their colleagues in relation to issues such as salary expectations and willingness to travel and work long hours. They also record lower participation scores, which has negative repercussions as performance is part of the final grades and sometimes a requirement of potential employers.

Another study shows that, in Latin America, the more education a woman has, the harder it is to get married. The article considers that men value the domestic role more than professional and academic skills. So, in some cases, they prefer to stay single.

“This is a cultural issue and how can we break this barrier?” asks Hakak, suggesting awareness. “You can try to change that for children, showing that activities like cooking, caring, computer programming, studying math or sewing are for everyone, that it’s not a matter of being a boy or a girl.”

One of the surveys signed by the professor indicates that there are women “marrying downwards”, that is, with men with less education, although this movement is not a rule.

Biologist Érica Ferreira, 27, is also single. “I’m a doctoral student and just hearing that title makes the guys tremble at the base,” she wrote on a social network.

The comment, a response to a publication that asks “Does a well-resolved woman scare you?”, refers to a suitor who said he felt too little to stay with her and another who felt inferior. “She’s doing a doctorate, what am I going to get to talk to her about?”, he said.

“I think that speaks volumes about the insecurity of men,” he says. “Guys are left feeling inadequate and it’s not something that only I notice.”

Suitors who don’t care about titles also exist, but for now, they don’t interest you. “The partner has to be someone who adds and not someone who can. Schooling is one of the attributes that attract me, but it doesn’t have to be the same level”, says Ferreira.

With more than 890,000 followers on Instagram, relationship coach Luiza Vono claims that women complain that men sometimes disappear because they are afraid of powerful women. There are men, she says, who are “lost, insecure and often inferior”.

“But it’s not the power that scares. What scares are behaviors”, he points out. The growing offer of courses available on relationships, according to her, is an indication that women are concerned and looking for a solution.

“In an ideal world, both parties would seek their own evolution, men too”, he says. “But in practice this is not what happens.”

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