IT HAPPENED TO ME: My Career as a TV Producer is Scaring Men Away
Growing up, I believed that all men wanted to date/marry a smart, classy, accomplished woman. I had proof: my father. He is educated, successful, and married to a woman who is also educated and successful. The awards she has won do not diminish him, nor does he feel inferior because she, like him, has a Masters degree. In fact, I believe he might be her biggest fan.
My father might be an anomaly. As an adult, I've found there are many men who take issue with women, like myself, who are smart and successful. They do not want to date/marry a woman who has her life together. It makes them feel inferior, insecure, and/or uncomfortable. I know because I have met them. In fact, I feel as though I may have met them all!
I am 26 years old. I live by myself in a fabulous apartment in a nice part of Los Angeles. Like my parents, I have a Masters degree. I am a working TV producer. And I am single.
Last year, on a road trip with friends, a new acquaintance asked me why I was in grad school. She did not understand why I had such high ambitions. She told me that I’m really pretty and did not have to work. I could just marry a wealthy man and have children. I laughed at her. But, a year later, it has become clear to me that our conversation might have been foreshadowing.
Since I began producing TV earlier this year, the men I have dated (ages 26-35) have either dumped me out of insecurity or tried to use me once I revealed my job title. A select few reassured me that they felt completely comfortable with my line of work or told me it was “no big deal.” A few more dates determined those were lies.
When speaking with a prospective date, the reception to what I do tends to sound the same. “Well, I’m not doing anything fancy like you,” “I’ve been an assistant for three years. How did you get your job?” On one particularly memorable first date, a recent Stanford grad asked me for my job, over dinner. I laughed but he told me he was not joking. He suggested I quit my job and give it to him. Nevermind the fact that he had just arrived in Hollywood and barely had any experience; he somehow deserved my job, because he attended Stanford University.
Dating actors is pretty much out of the question. Once they find out what I do, most rule me out as a romantic prospect. Or, they will try to use me. Almost immediately, the YouTube reels start flooding my inbox. I get pitched TV shows that of course, star them as the leading man. I have been asked make a personal introduction to the person handling casting on my shows.
A few times, when I thought I was speaking with a regular guy with a regular job, I have been disappointed to learn he is secretly an aspiring actor. And he is trying to use me as his “in.” I am all for supporting my man, but no one wants to be used, especially so blatantly. These guys do not even bother building any kind of relationship with me. They just try to use me, right out of the gate.
Case in point -– I chatted with a doctor I met on a dating site. We went on one date. A week later, I was invited to an exclusive dinner party in the Hollywood Hills with major TV executives. A few nights later, the doctor called and we spoke about how our weeks were going. When I mentioned the dinner party, he yelled at me! Apparently, he was infuriated that I did not invite him. He demanded to know the guest list and was annoyed that I did not bring him with me. We had only been on one date.
The last guy I was seeing completely disappeared the night before my very first show premiered -- we were supposed to celebrate together! The premiere also coincided with my 4-year anniversary in Los Angeles. He lamented that he had not accomplished a fraction of what I had in his 20+ years in Los Angeles. Then, I never saw or heard from him again.
Honestly, I never saw that coming. My feelings are still hurt. He was educated, our conversations lasted for hours, and he had a promising career himself. He seemed different. I was mistaken.
I am embarrassed to admit that sometimes, I downplay my Masters degree. I have adapted and perfected the “wide eyed look of wonder” whenever the guy takes it upon himself to teach me something I might know already. I have always been comfortable complimenting other people but now, I do it even more –- to ensure that his ego does not take a hit if something good happens to me.
This is the first time in history that men have experienced droves of driven, intelligent women. And it is apparent that many are not handling it well. While I have learned to not take all of my experiences too personally, I sincerely hope that this will not follow me through my life.
It would make me incredibly happy to share my world with the right man. However, I have done my research. Many of the married but uber successful and fierce women I look up to married in their mid-late 30’s or beyond. All of the single women I know are fabulous, smart, and successful. Many of them are nearing 30 or heading toward 35, without a prospect in sight.
I want to get married one day. I would love a great relationship. Thankfully, I am a hopeful romantic and I am only starting my journey.