How to talk to intimidating girls
If such a pair actually go out, the man’s mindset isn’t guaranteed to be very different.
Kate Ratliff, a psychologist at the University of Florida, led a recent study in which men in a dating relationship were asked to reflect on a time when their partner was successful in an intellectual or academic domain.
Asked to reflect on a girlfriend’s failures, however, their self-esteem increased, as did their perceived odds of being together in the longterm.
(Female self-esteem, meanwhile, was unaffected by a partner’s success.) Not every fellow has the confidence of actor George Clooney, who calls his wife Amal, an accomplished international lawyer, his intellectual superior and himself her “arm candy.” Men often feel they need to defend their status as competent and competitive, Park explains, and being outperformed is a threat.
He might fear that a woman who outperforms him is out of his league, or that she’ll leave him for a sharper go-getter.
If a man reacts negatively to the perceived superiority of a woman, he’s probably unaware of it.
Motivated to impress an impressive woman, some men rise to the occasion.
Park’s latest research found that these men, once primed with romantic thoughts, actually perform better than they otherwise would on science and math tests.Two women in their late 20s walk into a Manhattan bar.One, an energetic blonde named Jayne, is the cofounder of a financial technology start-up.When the man’s score was higher than the woman’s, he was more likely to put his seat nearer to her and express romantic interest.But when his score was lower than hers, the study showed, he was likely to feel less attracted to her, less masculine himself, and less interested in getting her contact information or going on a date with her. Park is quick to clarify that previous research has shown that men are attracted to female intelligence; in fact, it’s one of the strongest predictors of romantic interest.