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Smarts are OK, smart attitude is not

Updated: September 5, 2013 4:33PM

We recently heard from I Can’t Help it if I’m too Successful, a Harvard-educated single woman, 36, who said she “intimidated” most men because she was more successful and made more money than them. Her brothers told her men like to be more successful than their dates.

Here’s what readers had to say:

Eddie: Her brothers are idiots. I would love to meet a woman who’s successful in her own right.

It’s her “I’m a Harvard graduate” in the first five minute of conversation that ticks people off. I have never asked someone where they went to school. I’ve never been asked where I went to school. I have co-workers who’ve known me for years who don’t know where I received my degree.

When she’s on a date, she should talk about her hobbies and the things she likes to do, her favorite movies and TV shows and where she likes to vacation. There are tons of interesting things to talk about other than a Harvard degree.

Mike: I’m not intimidated by successful, well-compensated women. Intelligence and confidence are very attractive to many men. It’s the weak-willed guys lacking in self esteem who require their mates to earn less and be less intelligent than them.

Nan: Really smart people don’t feel the need to make others feel stupid.

Charna: When I’m on a date, I want to know what he’s like outside of work. If I choose to start a relationship with a person, I probably won’t be seeing him much while he’s at work, so I want to know who he is when he isn’t trying to meet a deadline or keep the boss or the clients happy.

I want to know who he’ll be when he comes home to me at the end of the day. A person’s job is an important part of life, but most of us have interests, passions, and things that make us tick that have nothing to do with how we earn our income.

I don’t think most people are looking for someone impressive. They’re looking for someone they feel comfortable with, someone they can trust, someone they find interesting, someone they can be themselves with;

Louisa: I’m just a low-paid public interest lawyer, but I understand that people in certain professions (including law) want to know where you went to school. I don’t think it’s fair to assume that she’s bragging. It could be a common topic among her professional circle. And maybe that’s her problem — she needs to widen her circle to include interesting people who have nothing to do with what she does for a living.

Molly: I’ve met people socially who flaunt their pedigree within moments of an introduction. All I can do is secretly laugh. I got my undergraduate degree from an excellent state school and my graduate degree from an Ivy League school. Believe it or not, the professors at the public school were better, the workload was much more demanding, and the grading standards were harder.

Are you a woman who earns more money, is better educated and more successful than your partner? Are you a man whose partner earns more money, is better educated and more successful? How’s that working for you? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to And check out my new website


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