Guys, are high achieving, ethnic women unapproachable?

I know South Asian women are seen as never dating out, but keeping that stereotype aside for a moment... why is it I am never approached? I am sick and tired of hearing that I am intimidating, smart, and mysterious.

The intimidating tag comes from being power-dressing and walking confidently. I am not talking about getting hit on on the streets, that is harassment. People who get to know me, either think I am cute because I am very petite, or they then become intimidated when they see that I have an alpha femme personality. They usually expect me to be meek when they see an introverted Asian, so it comes as a shock. I am friendly, but I also know my own mind. The other day, I heard two men (who know me) say behind my back that I was sexy, but they would never dare say anything to me that would hint interest. I just don't understand why...

I have a certain maturity. The mysterious tag comes from that and the fact that I am from an ethnic background. I think people just assume that women of my race are mysterious. Wish people saw the person rather than the background for a change. After getting tired of not being approached, I even asked out a man who was showing all the signs of being interested. He totally freaked out and started behaving weirdly around me, it was like he could not believe a woman would do the asking out.

Maybe at this point only one thing can be blamed, my looks. Perhaps I am not all men's type. Generally, I have been called pretty, though personally I am a little more hard on my looks. I power-dress, have the confidence to go with it, and have naturally straight hair. In short, while I may not be gorgeous, I am presentable and have a lot of other qualities. For example, I am a published academic, went to some really nice schools, and I speak different languages. Achievements don't make someone datable, I know, so I don't tell that stuff to people, but this is just a general picture.

So what is my diagnosis, guy? by the way, I am not as old as the number above suggests. I am in my 20s.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Well, clearly it's not your looks because you have guys saying you are sexy.

    Whether you wanna hear it or not ethnicity may be playing a part. A lot of guys will be intimidated by your confidence. Power dressing all the time says you are career focused, which is fine but will send a signal that you are not available or not interested before you even meet a guy. It seems like the power dressing thing is overly important to you so I am picturing an attractive well presented lady, very professional and intelligent but also overly confident and overly serious. This makes you difficult to approach because a guy will believe you are likely to reject him.

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    • I agree that your picture comes close to my real personality. But someone at work recently said I was kind, very sweet and approachable. What gives then? Does he like me or not? He's the same one who called me sexy.

    • Well, hard to say from here, but usually if a guy says you are sexy, that's enough to mean they'd like to go out with you. I'd say that if he only sees your workplace personality he may not see the whole of who you are. The serious, attractive, intelligent, career minded lady is not going to be someone that a guy is going to approach easily. There are a lot of complexities in the work place. If you are interested in him, try just being friends so he can get to know you as something other than a co worker.

What Guys Said 5

  • In reading your question I can't help but paraphrase it in this way:

    "I am a very successful man in a woman's body. Why can't I attract the romantic interest of any heterosexual men?"

    I don't know how to answer such a question.

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  • I don't know what "South Asian" means, but as much as I'd like to date a girl with your personality traits, there's this reluctance to do so because I feel that those sort of women will look down on me for who I am. It'd be great to date a MD, lawyer, business executive, it's very attractive. But what is that girl who went to an Ivy league school and has this powerful, high paying position going to think of the guy who works an entry level accounting position? Or something else?

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  • No they are not unapproachable just someone of them have a superiority complex and I just can't be dealing with that nor the high maintenance.

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  • I don't really know. Maybe you don't come off as a friendly or approachable - maybe you should change your body language.

    I don't think your looks are the problem. Personally I'm not into petite or short girls, but any body type has it's fans out there so that shouldn't be a problem. Maybe guys your age think that a confident, published academic who went to nice schools and all that is something they can't match. Or they want Asians because they assume they'll be submissive and you're not so you don't match the stereotype they were looking for. Be approachable, smile, hint interest. Don't just be a successful business person, be a girl too.

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    • I tried being a girl with someone recently and he found me very sweet. He flirts with me and we are very friendly, but he doesn't go further.

  • "... they then become intimidated when they see that I have an alpha femme personality"

    Women who consider themselves "alphas" are not what most men are after. Not because they are intimidating, but because they are not feminine. After all the changes in society and gender dynamics, some things haven't and never will change. One of those things is the fact that men are attracted to feminine, not masculine women. That will always be the case because it's in our DNA.

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