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Instead, you hear about the single women who want to be married, as if that’s the only story.” Kim’s own observations, however, are different: “It’s a misconception that smart women don’t get married. And most of them have gotten graduate degrees themselves.” But Angela, 31, added, “Getting those degrees delays the process. And that’s when [women] freak out.” The deluge of dire findings about these women’s chances at love don’t help, either.

It’s dated.” Star and Angela agreed that the media are on the wrong track: “The men I’ve dated my career ambition,” said Star. In the years between Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s research and Maureen Dowd’s best-seller, two depressing studies garnered national attention.

Successful men are romantically interested only in their secretaries.

They’d think we were argumentative, pushy, feminazis.

Really, we’re traditional in a lot of ways and are afraid of being judged negatively like that.” Given this prevalent conventional wisdom, it perhaps comes as no surprise that the romantic lives of accomplished women make front-page headlines only to tout bad news.

The stereotypes are powerful, and many high-achieving women have created similar strategies.

When Zara, a 26-year-old business school student, was an undergraduate at an East Coast Ivy League school, she and her friends used to fabricate identities that they assumed would be more attractive to men. My friends and I pretended we were from Southern Mississippi State University — which doesn’t exist as far as I know — and put on southern accents to top it all off. We thought they’d be intimidated if they found out where we really went to school.

Dating a man without a college degree