Dumbing Down for Guys: Should You Do This to Snag One?
One expert tells you to play dumb; another says don’t. What should you do?
Do men really have fragile egos? Is the only way to get a guy interested in you is to pretend you’re a dim wit? This is what happened to me on a date. The guy and I chatted about bands and music. In the middle of the convo, he looked at me and said, “I don’t like it when a woman knows more about music than I do.” I ended the date shortly thereafter.
Jane Atkinson, the author of The Frog Whisperer: A 3-Step Approach to Finding Lasting Love, thinks dumbing down is just plain dumb. Jane says, ”Recently, it was reported that Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger’s advice was to ‘dumb it down’ if you wanted to snag your man. Really? Is this what fabulous, intelligent women are reduced to these days…. games? Yeah, I’m gonna pass on the millionaire, Patti, especially if he’s looking for a vacuous bimbette to serve as arm candy.”
Think about it: How comfortable would you be if you had to pretend to be someone you weren’t whenever you were around him? If you married the guy, just think of the stress of being two people all the time! Would you be the smart chick at work and the dodo at home? What would happen if you just decided not to play dumb anymore?
Jane wants to know how guys feel about this. She states, “And gentlemen, I would be surprised if you weren’t questioning this as well. If you’re going to spend the next 20, 30 or 40 years with someone, wouldn’t you like to have an intelligent conversation once in a while?”
“Full disclosure. On my path to finding my perfect partner, on many occasions I thought, ‘What am I doing wrong?’ In sheer frustration, I’m pretty sure I might have tried something as ridiculous as dumbing it down. Fortunately, it dawned on me right around my 40th birthday.
“I wasn’t truly open to love; I was way too comfy and safe in my stylish little condo built for one. I had a successful consulting business, travel, great friends and family. The walls had gone up and even though I paid lip service to wanting true love, I really kept it at bay.”
We’ve all heard that amazing Marianne Williamson quote,’“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.’ And fearful I was. I was playing small and safe in my little cocoon.”
So Jane stepped back and realized that there were three things she had to do. Here’s her checklist for changing the way you think about relationships, love and live.
1. Challenge yourself
Ask yourself, “What do you want?” Jane feels that you should “challenge yourself to check in and ask yourself if you are playing small. What is it that you truly want?
”I think after a while so many of us start to think, ‘I’m just going to be happy being by myself,’ or ‘I had my one true love; that’s it for me.’ And for those who are married to the job, let’s really think about that. Is the job going to come and visit you in the hospital when you’re 80? Ah, no!
”And, you know, if you really are happy, then that’s cool. I do believe that it’s possible. But if you’re holding back out of safety, I challenge you to break free and really go for it.”
2. Let go
Jane recounts, “One of the final steps in my own journey was letting go. My girlfriend Kris was at the end of a harrowing divorce when she came up from Minnesota to join me at the lake for a chick’s weekend. We drank wine, made fabulous dinners and went out dancing every night. Our mantra was to have a great time with no attachments, to let go of old patterns.
”So even though we were surrounded all weekend on the dance floor by a basketball team (AKA The Tall Boys), we’d leave the bar by ourselves laughing all the way home. We never once thought, ‘I wonder if that guy likes me?’ We stuck to the mantra despite an abundance of opportunity.
”At the end of the weekend, we went down to the beach with a piece of paper, pen and barbeque lighter in hand. At sunset, we sat and wrote out what we wanted to let go of in our lives. A couple of the things on my list were ‘the comfort of being single’ and ‘playing small in my life.’ When our lists were done, we held a little ceremony, dug a hole in the sand, and burnt them.”
3. Change the game
Become the best version of you. As Jane remembers, “Once I gave myself permission to be the best version of me (intelligence and all) and to truly be open to love, I was liberated. Two weeks later, I met my husband, John. Did I marry a millionaire? No, I didn’t. But I’ll tell you what, I feel like a million bucks every morning when I wake up and step into a life where I can be myself. And when my husband looks at me with love and respect, well, that’s just sweet, sweet icing on the cake.
To learn more about Jane, her book, The Frog Whisperer: A 3-Step Approach to Finding Lasting Love and her blog, visit her site.
Tell us: Have you ever pretended you were dumb so you could date a guy?
PJ Gach is Senior Editor: Style + Beauty at BettyConfidential.