One of the most common mistakes both men and women make when trying to attract the opposite sex is projection.
Men who don't understand women will woo them with displays of devotion and declarations of passion (and come off appearing pathetic rather than attractive), because they think what men want is simply what people want.
And women who do not understand men will attempt to increase their allure by making a show of confidence they don't feel, and "playing hard to get" with a show of challenging aloofness, because they think what women want is simply what people want.
When women have significant academic or career accomplishments, they tend to fall into a particular example of this trap... assuming that men care, or should care, what they have accomplished. This can take the form of "resume courtship" (attempting to appeal to men by showing or speaking of accomplishments or capabilities), attempting to attract a man's attention by competing with him (a real turnoff), or even actually becoming angry that men do not value her small business, her executive title, or her PhD.
This is a form of projection. While women use a man's accomplishments to evaluate his character, but men do not... they have other ways to do that which they prefer.
Simple. Because men like young women. A 21 year old cannot meaningfully be evaluated by asking "Does she have a PhD in philosophy?", because no 21 year old does. A man who wishes to court her must find other ways of evaluating if she is intelligent enough to understand the world around her, a good conversationalist, and possessed of a sense of curiosity. He cannot simply ask "has she built a business from the ground up?" because she won't have done that, either... he must find other ways to evaluate if she resourceful, self-disciplined, and capable of sticking to a goal.
So, you might think that if you have a PhD, and your husband has a PhD, your PhD matters to him... but it doesn't. It didn't make him pick you. What made him pick you was the traits that enabled you to get it, coupled with the fact that he ran into you in that environment because you were there in the first place... that's how you met.
To understand this, it helps to hear a tale I was once told by a sports reporter. Apparently, the athletes' village at each olympic games is the site of a great deal of promiscuity. (Anyone surprised? Didn't think so.) But apparently the dynamic shifts as the games wear on, and more and more events are completed. As event results come in, female athletes begin to display a marked preference for male medalists. (Anyone surprised? Didn't think so.) But the instructive part is that the males do not display a corresponding preference. Female olympic athletes are highly desirable because they are pretty, healthy, energetic, and vital... but it doesn't make a damn bit of difference whether they won or not. The losers are still all of these things, and the men still seek them out.
The takeaway looks like this:
- Men don't care about your victories, only the traits you used to get them.
- Men don't use your victories to measure your traits or character.
- Never expect a man to love you for your accomplishments, you will be disappointed.
- Never build a resume for the sake of attracting a man. Only do it if you want it for some other reason.
- Never assume you are unable to attract a high-status man because you lack the accomplishments of other women in his life. All you need is the combination of traits he desires.