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From a date to a relationship

Career women and dating

If a woman has a successful career, does it really make it more difficult for her to find a partner?

Career women and dating

Everybody now acknowledges that women can reach the top of their career in business, politics and other areas. But if a woman is a high-flyer, can it compromise her chances when she’s looking for a relationship? Well, when Susanne (35) changed her job title in her Parship profile from ‘economic adviser’ to ‘office worker’, she suddenly found that there was a massive increase in the number of contact requests she received.

Take the initiative
Are men afraid of successful women? Relationship expert Eric Hegmann doesn’t think so: “The latest studies of online dating show more and more that men are refusing to subscribe to the old cliché of looking for a woman who has a less demanding career than they do.” The problem remains that men do sometimes feel that they won’t live up to the expectations of a woman who is a high-flyer; so even if they are attracted to the profile of a woman who has an impressive career, they can be reluctant to send a contact request: they still see successful women as too much of a challenge. The solution, according to Hegmann is for women to take the initiative: “The more contact requests a woman sends, the greater her chances of meeting the right man.”

Some day your prince will come?
Just firing off a quick message to 50 of your recommended partners is not, however, the route to take. It is important to narrow things down a little first, but a woman should first of all have a careful think about the kind of man she really wants. “Many successful women have very high expectations of a potential partner,” explains Hegmann, “but often they can’t say what is really important to them. They start building up a picture of some kind of Prince Charming - and no man is going to live up to that.” Hegmann recommends focusing on the quality of the relationship rather than the perceived quality of the partner - and this should be reflected in the way you write you your ‘About me’ page.

Be yourself
Don’t feel that you have to be anything other than yourself on your first date - you don’t need to play yourself down. A man who doesn’t feel comfortable with your achievement and lifestyle probably isn’t going to be right for you anyway. But that doesn’t mean you should make a point of telling him in your emails or over a drink what a big deal you have just pulled off, what a high-powered meeting you have just attended in Beijing, or what kind of smart car you are going to buy yourself as a reward. It could look as though you are using your success as a shield - as a way of not letting someone get too close to you.

Honesty is the best policy
What matters to you? Try to get to the root of the matter, rather than just saying the first thing that comes into your mind. Forget those intimidating lists of qualities you are looking for in a potential partner and instead write about yourself and the place a potential partner would occupy in your life. It you mention your penchant for sun, sea and sleeping late, it doesn’t really say a great deal about you: that list would appeal to almost anyone. What will make you really stand out from all those other high-achieving women on Parship? Maybe you would even do better to say that you like the idea of taking a leisurely cookery course in Tuscany because at the moment you find yourself eating far too many ready meals from the late-night supermarket!

Give love time
An online dating service like Parship makes finding a potential partner less of a lottery, but that doesn’t mean you should use it as some sort of catalogue service. You might have to devote some time to it, and time is at a premium for busy women. Eric Hegmann points out that high-powered women often think “It’s got be love at first sight or it’s not worth bothering with”, but that can put you on the wrong track. It is a good idea to maintain contact with several men at one time, but you shouldn’t reject possibilities too readily. “There can be a tendency to want to keep on the lookout for something better, but a kind of supermarket mentality is not conducive to the gradual blossoming of love.” Love takes time to grow - and it also demands the courage to open up (even gradually) to another person.

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