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Thus, they suggest, when a woman is nearby, some men may actually feel her competence as a threat to their masculinity, whereas this is not the case when a woman is distant. Have you, like me, seen them borne out in some situations?

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But now that she was dating again, she was worried that her mom might have been onto something. A study published in July, 2015 suggests that she might well have been, much to the consternation of many women—and some men.Lora Park, a social psychologist at the University of Buffalo, and her colleagues Ariana Young and Paul Eastwick studied the reactions of men to women they experienced as smarter than them and found an interesting phenomenon that might very well explain what happened between Sara and John.In three separate studies, the team found that men were attracted to such women .In one study, male undergraduates were asked to read about a hypothetical situation in which a female student in their class outperformed them, or underperformed them, in either a math or an English class, and then to imagine how they would think, feel, and behave in such a situation.Up close and personal, it appears that men prefer women who are so smart.

A third set of experiments revealed much the same data, with some possible explanation of why this happens.

Everything went smoothly—until they met in person for a cup of coffee.

They had many things in common and talked for about 45 minutes.

Then John looked at his watch and said that he had to get going.

He didn’t mention getting together again, and that was the last Sara heard from him. There are many possible reasons that John might have decided not to pursue the relationship further: He may simply have decided he was not attracted to her after all, or that she was not as interesting as she seemed in her profile.

Or he may have difficulty with intimacy or some other issue she could have no way of knowing about. She wanted to know if she had done something to drive him away.