Many good male characters have supporting female characters to back them up. In Encyclopedia Brown, the titular 10 year old detective employed his best friend, Sally Kimball, as the brawn to his brains. Sally was described as pretty, but also one of the best athletes, and the only person in town under the age of 14 who physically stood up to Brown's recurring nemesis, the bully Bugs Meany and his "Tigers" gang, and at least one story per book would feature Bugs trying to get either of the pair in trouble to break up their success in stopping his various schemes. Note that Bugs would target Sally as much as Brown as either failing would be a win for him. Sally was the only thing stopping Bugs from kicking Brown's ass.
As mentioned in other answers, Lois Lane has largely been an intellectual equal to Superman in terms of their day jobs, if not a better journalist to Superman. Her early characterization was a working class girl and her damsel in distress nature was easily forgiven because she was much more aggressive in finding a lead... and thus trouble... than Clark Kent/Superman was... and that usually means getting into trouble with the villains before Superman. The only journalism thing that Clark is her superior is spelling, which in her field is important, but not crippling.
Other characters in this line are Spider-Man's Mary Jane, who wasn't introduced as Peter's love interest but rather the romantic rival to Peter's girlfriend Gwen Stacy (And much of that dynamic was inspired by the Betty-Veronica dynamic from Archie comics... Gwen was the "good girl" to MJ's "wild girl" persona. For nerdy Peter Parker, MJ was too wild and he wasn't interested. When the writers realized that the next logical step in Peter-Gwen's relationship was marriage and how it would age Spider-Man too soon, they instead opted for telling "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" which... well... made dating Gwen no longer an option. Even then, Peter didn't immediately start dating Mary-Jane... but rather grieved and swore off relationships for a long time. Her iconic line of "Face it Tiger, you just hit the jackpot" was her telling Peter to get over his hang up on dating her and admit that she was someone worthy of his attention. Stan Lee even said, at the time she was introduced, Gwen Stacy was Peter's Lois Lane. Mary-Jane was a bit of a shake up... but what got the switch to happen was realizing Mary-Jane had more personality a better dynamic than Gwen Stacy, but getting her to be the "girlfriend" wasn't their goal.
Another "love interest" who was anything but a well developed character came from the Doctor Who character "River Song" who was the only woman out of the Doctor's 50 years of traveling with mostly female companions that he ever romantically found interesting and part of what attracted him to her was her mystery. Since both were time travelers, they didn't have personal time lines that progressed linearly. Suffice to say, they were fated that the first time the Doctor met her, was from her perspective the last time she saw him before she died... and because of their interactions in her past, she knew that the man she was infatuated with being so clueless to who she was, it was a bad omen. Through their storyline, we find more encounters where River does not know of adventures we've already seen... but that she still has knowledge of future events she'd rather not discuss with the doctor... both because they are difficult for her and he is not yet as involved with the relationship as he needs to be... despite her knowing it turns out for the better. Here, the relationship is interesting and her character is anything but Shallow... because even when she's happy to see him, because each time they meet, he is more the man she loves and yet she is less the woman he loves... and vice versa... can you imagine life knowing the first time the love of your life meets you... will be the last time you will ever see him? And then realizing he'll grow more in love with you as you know him less and less?