Why are guys no longer interested in potentially dating you when they find out you are a startup founder?

I’m a female founder and have worked extremely hard to get to where I am with my tech startup. I’m trying to make time to date. However, when interested guys find out that I’m a founder and how very ambitious I am, it is like a light switch flicked off, and the interest is gone. Why is this? Do others have the same problem and how do you deal with it?

  • Some guys refuse to date women who are more ambitious or financially successful than they are. It’s just insecurity. Successful women in all fields face this issue, this isn’t specifically about startups or silicon valley.

    Just move on to the next guy and don’t worry about it. Unless you come across as arrogant/braggadocious. If you give the impression you look down on people who are not as ambitious as you are that’s going to be a problem of course.

  • They are most likely intimidated.

    Starting a business is a very bold thing to do. Most people have thought about it and most of them have never found the courage to do it. Maybe discovering that you are a founder makes them think about their own ambitions and why they never followed them. In this sense, you would be dominant in this area. Most men unfortunately still have a problem with that.

    You are rare and you’re going to have to work hard to find that rare fit. Best of luck to you.

  • I’m a guy startup founder. I would welcome the chance to date a female founder.

    “You are rare and you’re going to have to work hard to find that rare fit.” – I think that’s true for many guy founders as well.

    • I agree with you here and in general that the majority of founder/start ups have a bit more difficulty in finding a partner.

      I’m not even looking but if and when people have expressed interest in me and they find out about me (mind you, I never mention it unless someone actually asks), I find that they seem to view me differently as well. Like, they’ll still be interested but not like they were before.

      Don’t take it personally though. I could care less and you shouldn’t either.



  • I don’t think this problem is faced by female founders only….

    people who have not been a founder or have not been part of an early stage company get scared by us founders……. we are too ambitious to be considered good partners….. until you become super-duper rich…… thereafter people would love to be around you 🙂

    so best of luck finding a date/partner

  • These guys are intimidated by you probably.

    Don’t change your ways. As a startup founder I would be happy to date another woman that also runs her own startup.

    You just have to find the right guy.

  • Although guys do get intimidated by women who are founders, they’re not men. The other motive here (if we’re talking about real men) is the problem with having a wife/girlfriend unavailable.

    The truth is that feminism is the enemy of relationships.

    Real men know that. Real men don’t want feminists.

    Why have someone who will work 14-16hs per day, get home all tired with no time for love making, movies or whatever? Why have other men have more contact with their woman? Most people cheat with someone from their office. Men go to work so they can make money to enjoy life with their spouses/family. There’s no logic in both the man and the woman hustling for money, if they end up as two strangers sleeping in the same bed at the end of the day.

    But again, this is the case if we’re talking about MEN.

    If we’re talking about “guys”, then all the other answers are correct. They feel intimidated. Real men won’t feel intimidated, but they’ll likely flee as well.

  • Because they assume that you go after what you want more aggressively than they ever will. They sniff their own inability to please you and walk away. Let them.

    There are smart enough men out there who will know that you’re just like any other woman with the slight difference of being able to take care of yourself. This translates to not being needy. Good men don’t want needy women because they know if suddenly he had nothing, she’d flee because she can’t make it through the tough times. Women Startup founders are rare and if a man claims the heart of one, he knows he’s found his woman that will be there in sickness & health, until death…. she’ll still keep him on his toes because if he treats her like crap, she will walk away without hesitation. More than capable of being on her own.

    They don’t make men that understand this anymore. They make lazy men who expect her to take care of them or not be courted and treated sweetly.

  • It is all about self-esteem, if a person has high self-esteem a person does not feel freighted by what you do. If this is the reason people don’t date you anymore, be glad. Down the road this would have been more trouble then it is worth. And some day you meet a person which does not feel threated. 🙂

    ( I am a female software engineer & know this problem)

  • Maybe they just want a family and family takes time. And maybe as a founder you will never have The time for a family.

  • My few cents from the other side of the pond…

    I adore independent and ambitious women. I could never date a women who seeks happiness as a stay-at-home mom (although I don’t find that a bad thing). I am truly convinced that in a relationship both parts still have an own live and should pursue their idea of happiness because in the end by that the relationship will flourish.

    On the other hand I have ti admit pull back if I get the feeling that the woman I am dating is driven by her ambitions rather than driven by a vision. I don’t want to be with someone who spends time with me when she has free time. Instead I want to be with someone who makes herself free time to spend time with me.

    I guess in this case most decent men are not much different to most women. We don’t wanna be just some detail in the life of our partners, but one of the most important thing – or at least have the feeling we are.

    That being said, I believe that quite a few guys have an issue with strong, independent and successful women because they stick to an outdated family ideal where the husband is the main bread winner and patron of the family.

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