Ask Dr. Nerdlove by Harris O'Malley

Why Don’t Women Appreciate My Emotional Intelligence?

DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I’ve enjoyed your YouTube channel and just bought your book! I really love your breakdown of topics from both the male and especially the female perspective. Listening to your work has validated for me, I am for the most part… on the right path for a deep, compassionate, loving connection.

Challenge/Problem: I think where my struggle lies or maybe that’s what I feel is that most women (not all) that I choose to date are not accustomed to a man with this much depth or emotions. Often don’t know how to respond, haven’t reflected on themselves or I’ve gotten “you just talk way too much for a guy”. (That lasted a brief 11 days lol) No worries.

I do not see my emotions as a “handicap” or negatively. I am very self-aware, ask a lot of questions, confident, giving and work on compassion and empathy daily. I try to understand a woman’s boundaries, how she likes to receive love and what is the best way to communicate with her. BUT my choices in potential partners to date seem to only want or go one maybe two levels deep in conversation about emotional intelligence and self-awareness. Those two are HUGE for me. I am a natural born conversationalist. I love to initiate interesting conversations via in person or on the phone (audio/FaceTime). Now more so, within FB groups. I’d rather talk than text because texting can only go so far to drive a deeper connection. I don’t offend easily and I like to create a safe space for people to be vulnerable (including myself) and speak freely. With COVID and our current environment my social methods deepened in the online space, both on apps and FB groups.

WHAT I am doing to overcome this challenge: I work in tech and been on dating apps for almost 8+ years. I have literally re-constructed/white boarded iterations of a new app that could pull depth in a person rather than preferences and looks. User experience of Bumble and Hinge seems to be the best for deeper connections. Woman making the first move shows “emotional availability” (they ready) rather than she’s good with seeing her match count go up like a scoreboard. OkCupid I thought was good at first because it lets a man write freely and introspective women love to read and therefore “hear” a man’s voice through his writing. Tried that BUT! I noticed that any guy can message ANY girl and so they are flooded with first time messages.

About me: I am an extrovert, I consider myself a loud “bag of s--t” who has many close platonic female friends “best friends”. I swear, my wedding line and bachelor party would consist of amazing GroomsWomen. I take pride in what I do, Tech Project manager (career) Yoga instructor (Passion to connect and help others)

SO! With that small snippet of what I believe is my challenge to find depth, passion, and emotional intelligence within an impatient, “I want it now”, technological, self-gratifying, unaware, lack of true connection dating pool. You either get lost within the millions OR she lacks the emotional maturity/experience to go deep with me.

……. HELP me

Reflect on this differently. The natural technique of approaching a woman in person to spark up a conversation safely, has gone out the window. Dating apps are saturated with people. It’s either too fast or too slow. Women don’t know how to respond to such depth and if you take the friend route….. now I feel like a mentor.


Talk To Me

DEAR TALK TO ME: I think I can tell you exactly what the problem is TTM: you’re going from 0 to 60 in the span of seconds when you’re talking to people. I’m going to take a wild shot in the dark: are you someone who prides himself in the fact that he hates small talk and wants to get right to the incredibly deep and intimate conversations?

I hear a lot from guys like that, often complaining how hard it is for them to meet women who want to talk in depth about philosophy or plans for the future or making deep emotional connections. The problem isn’t the grandiosity of their vision or the passion they have for philosophy or emotional intelligence or what-have-you… it’s that this is the FIRST THING they want to talk about. And while I get why you might want to leap off with a conversation about love languages or emotional cores… most people don’t want to get that deep with someone they’ve only just met. The issue isn’t that women aren’t used to a guy with depth or emotion, it’s that more often than not, those guys aren’t displaying actual emotional intelligence.

Here’s the thing: having depth of emotion doesn’t mean much if you don’t also have the wisdom to know when to reveal it or deploy it. If you’re trying to get into deep conversations about self-awareness immediately… well, most folks aren’t going to want to follow you there. You rarely have built up the connection with them that would make them feel comfortable with you. You may be proud of the depth and breadth of your emotions… but you’re not paying that much attention to theirs. 

One of the reasons why things like small-talk are important is that it’s the comfort and connection building phase of meeting someone. Think of the conversation you want to have like a freeway. Small talk is the on-ramp to that particular freeway. By getting to know someone, making those early, initial connections, you’re taking the on-ramp, merging seamlessly at the flow of traffic. The way you seem to be approaching things is the conversational equivalent of trying to just plow straight onto the freeway with no warning whatsoever. That’s a great way to either end up in a car crash or cause one for someone else. Which, in this case, is why you’re getting people who tell you that you talk too much “for a guy”.

If that’s all you want to talk about, especially with someone you’ve only just met? I’m not the least bit surprised that you’re getting resistance. That’s simply not how most folks operate. And your unwillingness to concede that maybe your approach isn’t working out for you is going to be the main reason that you aren’t finding these connections, rather than an impatient, pool of unaware people who lack true connections because of dating apps.

So, you basically have a choice. You can either keep going as you do and hope to find the rare bird who works on the same wavelength that you do. Or, you can adjust your approach and slow your roll. You can dial things back, spend some time getting to know somebody, getting comfortable with them and being more aware of their feelings, interest and comfort, instead of charging in like you’re auditioning for the conversational equivalent of the next Fast and Furious movie.

A little more time working on empathy and connection and a lot less time judging people and making assumptions about them because they don’t move on your exact schedule or your exact preferences will go a long way towards your meeting some women who actually do want to talk about emotions and get into deeper, more meaningful topics. But not if you either drive them away by not paying attention, or assume they’re shallower than you just because they aren’t your conversational clone.

Good luck.

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