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Smart women, bad choices: Why DO high-flying, successful, attractive women consistently pick bad men?

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It’s a disturbingly familiar sight: a wealthy, high-achieving, good-looking woman paired up with a less than desirable man.

A man who’s not half as attractive or successful, someone who cheats and treats her badly or is so dull, you lose the will to live after five minutes of sitting next to him.

“Why did she choose him? She could have done so much better” is everyone’s immediate reaction.

Except hers.

There are many reasons why successful, smart women make poor choices in partners.

Here are some of them:

Successful women have less choice not more

Ever noticed how all the great men are always taken but all the great women are single?

The more successful you are and the better looking you are as a woman, the harder it is to find a partner.

It’s the complete reverse for men.

Society has always rewarded men for business and money-making skills and women for beauty and it remains the same despite women fighting hard for equality.

A high-flying man is seen as a catch. A high-flying women might be admired but she’s also threatening.

Most men don’t feel ‘good enough’ to approach her and assume they’ll be rejected, so don’t even try.

This is why all the smart, successful, good-looking women you know are single and your more average looking and achieving friends are in relationships.

Men might drool over pictures of supermodels but it’s Ms Average most will seek out for a relationship.

Read virtually any profile of an A-list female celebrity and they’ll admit that men never ask them out.

Jennifer Lawrence, Kylie Minogue, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry – some of the world’s most beautiful and successful women have all complained of never being approached by men.

And all have made atrocious love choices.

High achieving women are asked out and chatted up less often – so are far more flattered when it does happen.

Starved of love and sex, they’ll grab onto the first guy who approaches them, often making hideous choices because it’s usually the sleazy ‘womaniser’ who has the arrogance and guts to take a punt.

Any man looks good if you haven’t had a cuddle or sex for years.

High-flying women don’t have time for relationships

The most precious commodity for a high-flying, successful woman is time: it’s what successful women have the least of.

Forming good relationships takes time and focus and most of that is directed towards their careers.

Smart women often settle for second (third) best simply because they haven’t the time or energy to look for someone better.

Any guy who is half decent and wants a serious relationship soon realizes he can’t compete with her career and fades away. Most of the time she barely notices he’s gone.

The busier you are, the less likely you are to spot the red flags.

It’s career first, relationship second for most smart, successful women: they pay less attention to what’s going on with partners.

You start to get glimpses of ‘red flags’ around three months into a relationship – this is the time to pay the most attention.

It’s when the best behavior stops and you get a sense of the real, flawed person.

Successful women often miss the ‘you’ve hooked up with a loser’ warning signs because they’re too busy and less invested in the relationship than other women.

We see what we want to see at the start of new love, not what’s really there.

The busier you are, the more guilty you are of this common mistake.

This is also the reason behind why successful women don’t get rid of bad men when they do see their true colours.

It takes time and energy to split up with someone and new relationships take even more effort.

If your career is draining everything you have, it’s sometimes worth turning a blind eye to get the rewards of a nice, warm body in the bed at night.

They don’t have time to fix the problem

If you acknowledge your partner is treating you badly, you have to do something about it.

Doing something about it means arguments, long discussions, therapy – none of which she has time for.

While others look in and shake their heads and ‘tut tut’, she’s too busy running a business, jetting about the world, making deals and worrying about staff to notice an errant boyfriend.

If she does notice, she knows everyone perceives her to be strong and expects her to dump the b*****d, but sometimes a rubbish partner is better than none at all because…

It’s lonely at the top

You have to be tough to make it big – especially as a woman.

It’s hard work being fearless and feisty and to always have to appear strong – just ask Katy Perry who recently said ‘I’m really strong as Katy Perry, and sometimes I’m not as strong as Katheryn Hudson (her real name)”.

We perceive smart, successful women as not needing someone to look after them because they’re so capable of looking after themselves.

But you don’t become a robot just because you’re successful: it’s human to be vulnerable.

We all need hugs and kisses and to be feel safe enough to able to show weakness.

This is why…

The real attraction isn’t always obvious to others

You’ll often see confident, bright women who rate a 9 or 10 on the attractiveness scale with men who hover around the 3 mark.

But that’s the rest of the world looking in.

To her, the ‘three man’ might well be a 10 because of attributes that aren’t as obvious.

A man who is kind, supportive and let’s them truly relax and drop all their defenses is worth more to a woman at the top of her game than a wealthy, handsome banker boy who is time poor and emotionally unavailable.

Lots of successful women want their man to be ‘a wife’ and perform the nurturing, support role women traditionally do.

Others choose powerful partners that will help to further or enhance their career.

Beyonce and Jay Z are top of the ‘power couple’ list, one reason perhaps why she forgave his dalliance with ‘Becky with the good hair’.

The phenomenal success of Brand Beckham may well be why Victoria appears to turn a blind eye to husband David’s rumoured indiscretions.

It might look like a silly choice to outsiders but, to her, it makes sense.

Visit traceycox.com for more of Tracey’s views and advice on love, sex and relationships.

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