Black Men: Afraid of Successful Women?

Ask Demetria: Plenty of guys seek a strong partner. It isn't always your job that keeps them away.


Their core problem isn’t with a woman’s success or anyone else’s; it’s with them. Don’t bother trying to change him, accommodate him and play small to make him feel big. As soon as you identify this type of man properly, call it a wrap and don’t look back.

I find that some successful women assume that any man who isn’t interested in them must be the type of man I just described. “He’s intimidated by my success!” has become a go-to scapegoat to make women feel better about themselves while they lick the wounds of rejection. It’s also a way for women to avoid taking stock of how they played a role in the untimely demise of a relationship. Sometimes he’s just not, or is no longer, interested, and it has nothing to do with your success and everything to do with you being clueless about how to make a relationship work. 

Sometimes a guy stops calling or offers up a “you’re too busy” as an excuse to stop dating or end a relationship because the successful woman he was seeking acted as if her salary or degrees were stand-ins for things that actually matter to him, such as attentiveness, spending time together and support.

The complaints I’ve heard from secure men about successful women are rarely about a woman’s actual job but about her inability to spend quality time; to turn off the critical, demanding “work mode” persona; and to know how to make a man feel that he’s needed or appreciated. Some guys might bail because they’re intimidated by your success, but more lose interest because they don’t like coming in second to a woman’s job and being treated less like her man and more like the help.

Good luck!

Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor to The Root, and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at

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