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“He said, ‘If you give this up now, I will support you in whatever you want to do later,’” Yi recalls. When she started vocalizing her career aspirations, he’d throw out comments like, “But who will make dinner?
” He did want a smart wife, Yi says — just not a successful one.
Others, though, tone down their ambition — or even drop goals altogether — in order to attract or keep a guy around.
As Yi S., 31, a finance professional, learned the hard way, the latter can lead to bigger problems down the line.
When Lauren S., 27, a mechanical engineer, met her now-ex at a festival, she fell hard. Until her picks for dinner spots were “too lavish.” One night, he asked about her salary — then everything changed.
“He made me laugh, the sex was great, and he was intellectually stimulating,” she says. “He couldn’t look past the fact that I made more money,” says Lauren. workforce is female and 40 percent of those women are their family’s breadwinner.
Multiple studies show that, when asked, men say they prefer dating ambitious go-getters. As a result, many women are playing down their drive — at work or on dates — to make themselves seem like “relationship material.” When single female students were told their answers would be shared with male peers, they acted less ambitious and leadership-oriented — claiming a desire for smaller paychecks, fewer travel days, and fewer working hours, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Meanwhile, their partnered female classmates didn’t waver.
“If he’s genuinely interested, his enthusiasm will be obvious.” A red flag: “If he doesn’t respond or just gives you platitudes.” But don’t dismiss him simply because he shows that he’d like to provide for you in small ways, such as paying for the date or making dinner.“He even told me I was overpaid.” He confessed that he felt emasculated by her career, and later, while she was on a work trip, he cheated on her. But as they strive for success, they’re hitting a snag.