What it Means When a Dude Calls You Intimidating (guess what, it's a good thing!)

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Have you ever been told you’re intimidating on a date?

It’s one of the most frustrating and confusing brush offs in the history of rejection.

When I was rejected like this I would get pissed. Then sad.

My clients deal with this comment often in their dating lives. And it’s hard not to let it throw them off their game.

Because what I see day in and day out is that women’s opinions of men, of themselves and of dating in general have been shaped by being called “intimidating”.

“Dating is impossible because all dudes find me ‘intimidating.’”

“I don’t know if there are men out there who want to date someone like me… I’m just too much.”

“Maybe I need to dumb it down on a first date?”

Whether we're aware or not, being called “intimidating” in our romantic lives has created a story that we're playing and replaying. Most of us have internalized this rejection.

Why does this comment sting so much?


On a date, you’re putting yourself out there, you’re opening yourself up to possibility, which means vulnerability.

Vulnerability is tough. Just ask Dr. Brené Brown and her top five Ted Talk and 36.5 million views on the subject if you don’t believe me.

And when you’re vulnerability is met with being called intimidating, it is isolating and discouraging.

I'm here to decode that comment so we can rewrite our “intimidating” story. Because being intimidating is actually awesome.

Here’s why:

As Tara Mohr says in Playing Big, "Feedback doesn't tell you about yourself. It tells you about the person giving feedback."

So the question you need to be asking is not “what does this say about me,” but what does his comment say about him?

Does it say he’s insecure? That he’s nervous around people? That he’s never met as stunning a creature as you?

His insecurity or assessment of you is none of your business. It says nothing about you and everything about his story.

I think what is so disappointing about being called intimidating is that he is essentially saying, "I can't/don’t want to meet you where you are." Which is what we deeply desire and hope for on a date and relationship. This sucks.

Instead of internalizing this sort of rejection, here are three ways to flip the script.

Here's what is dope about being intimidating:

1. ”If I’m too much, then you’re not enough.”

You need someone who can keep up. It’s obvious he can’t. Quoting Dorinda from the Real Housewives of New York, “Clip!”

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2. You probably are really passionate and intense about what you care about- this is amazing.

This “intimidating” fact about you will only serve you in your career, friendships and yes, your eventual love life. Your relationships are going to be full of passion and love and support, all because of your intensity. Yass queen.


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3. You won’t settle for mediocre. 
You’re a shining star. And this person’s opinion that you’re intimidating means you have another opportunity to not settle. 

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It’s not your responsibility to prove how awesome you are to someone who looks at you and sees their own insecurity.

So, next time someone rejects you by saying you’re “intimidating,” try thanking them. They are telling you everything you need to know to move on and be happier with yourself (and someone else).

What are some ways that being called “intimidating” is a gift? How do you deal with it when someone calls you intimidating on or after a date? Comment below with your thoughts. 

Be sure to share this post with another “intimidating,” awesome, sparkly friend who could use a boost.

Lily WombleComment