Some of the most common complaints we hear from women about dating are:
"I'm too much for men."
"I intimidate men."
"I drive men away."
Many women experience this, but usually what women think is them being "too much" is actually something else entirely.
In certain instances, driving men away is exactly what you need to do. Of course there are instances where you don't want to do that and if you're driving away the wrong people, that will put a serious damper on your love life.
When you're dating a man, you'll want to test him to see if he is even worth hanging around. Oftentimes, though, when you think you are putting him to the test, you are actually doing the very things that drive good men away.
While you are putting him to the test, you'll need to balance it with being flirty and feminine to make him want to pursue you. This can sometimes be a challenging balance to achieve, especially for confident and powerful women who don't "need a man" so to speak.
So how can you be confident and powerful while still being intimate and feminine?
Well read on, because we're going to break this conversation down like you've never heard it before.
If you're driving men away, we find that it is usually due to one of a few reasons.
Reason #1: You aren't dating men, you're dating boys.
Now obviously we don't mean boys in age or stature. We mean that they are boys in intention.
Men in the dating world often act like boys in the sense that they want a woman they can manipulate. They want someone who will tolerate games and vague commitments, and will place her desire for a relationship over her self-respect. We understand that these men have caused a lot of women a tremendous amount of pain, and while we're not justifying their behavior, it's important to recognize that they aren't being malicious. Simply put, they are immature.
Allowing yourself to be hurt by people like this and resenting them doesn't improve your confidence, self esteem, or your ability to find Love. It only causes you more pain and removes your attention from where it should be--looking toward the kind of relationship that you want. The only thing to do with men like this is to not allow them into your life.
This kind of man will be intimidated by your wanting clear answers and decisiveness from him.
He will be intimidated by you speaking your mind or having intelligent debates with him.
You being clear about what you want, going for it, and not waiting for him or anyone else to do so will make him uncomfortable.
He will also be intimidated by you knowing your boundaries and not allowing him to compromise them.
Because he is being a boy rather than a man, what he is really looking for is a girl rather than a woman.
In a way, you want to intimidate this man--that's not a bad thing. It allows you to discover him sooner and will save you time and heartache down the line. The qualities that intimidate him are actually the same qualities that the right man will find incredibly attractive. So being powerful, assertive, dignified, having boundaries, etc., are the qualities that you never have to compromise. They always attract the right people and intimidate the wrong ones.
Ask yourself, "Is he intimidated by my unwillingness to play foolish games or my unwillingness to be disrespected?"
If the answer to either of those questions is "yes," then you're doing it right. Relax your self-criticism and trust yourself; no relationship that started with disrespect has ever fared or ended well. If you tolerate it in the beginning, you're only setting yourself up for a challenging future.
Reason #2: You're being guarded and dominating.
This actually doesn't intimidate men--it drives them away.
If you are difficult to connect with and they feel like none of their efforts are being rewarded, men will usually give up.
Something most men will never tell you is that they have a primal need to be a hero in the eyes of a woman. On a first date, he is basically doing everything in his power to look heroic (which is also why some men who are actually really great end up looking like idiots--he's trying too hard to impress you). If you like him and want him to continue to pursue you, you have to make him feel that his efforts are being rewarded.
Many women have ideas that all men are manipulative, you can't trust them, they are only interested in sex, they are liars, cheats, and so on. Even if that's not the way you think about it, these ideas are probably going on for you to some extent because they are so prominent among women in our society. You've surely heard it at some point from your mother, your friends, in girl talk, etc.
It's completely understandable that women feel this way, especially because a lot of the men who are really putting themselves out there in the dating world are behaving in those exact ways. Still, it's not the truth about all men.
If you think it is, you will be guarded around men and you will try to overpower them. This makes them feel small and no man wants to feel that way.
Being guarded will masquerade as self-respect, but it is not. Personal power has nothing to do with being more powerful than someone else--that is weakness in disguise. In fact, women who are truly powerful are also graceful, because they know that a man (or anyone else) cannot really threaten their power.
Say that you're on a first or second date with a man and he tries to be physical in some way, and you're not ready for that. Maybe he leans in to kiss you or places his hand on your leg or touches your hips. Nothing inappropriate or violent--you're just not ready to go there yet.
Most women, in this position, feel like they either have to forfeit their self-respect and go along with it or shut him down and make him feel rejected.
But there is a much more tactful way to handle it.
You could instead, place your hand on his chest (or hand) and gently push him back, look him in the eyes, smile, and say, "Not yet."
Now he doesn't feel rejected. You didn't say "No"; you said "not yet." Now he knows that you are interested and that you want to take things more slowly. While his effort may have been turned down, it was not entirely rejected, so he feels like a hero because he took a risk, and in a way, you rewarded it.
Being tough is not feminine and if you want to attract a masculine partner, you have to create that polarity. Be open, smile, laugh, and make eye contact. Send the mental and emotional cues that say, "I want you to keep pursuing me" and he will.
Reason #3 He doesn't feel like there is space for him in your life.
The masculine principle is a "doing" principle, the part of us that goes out and gets things done. Powerful women access this masculine principle frequently, especially those who have important business roles or maintain a household.
When you're dating, you have to relax into your more feminine aspects, otherwise he will feel that you don't have space for a masculine partner in your life.
If you're just getting to know someone, don't dominate the conversation with all of the things that you have going on in your life. If you go on about how busy you are, the drama of your life (whatever that might be), how important your job is, or how much money you make, this could lead him to feel like you are not available to him. He may feel like he can't compete with everything else that is filling up your time and may not want to pursue a relationship with you.
You have to give him the sense that there is space for a man in your life and that if he is the right person, you would let him step into it.
We understand that today women don't "need" a man the way they did in the past, but you can still show him that you want a man in your life. It's not that you're desperate for a man or are willing to settle, but honestly letting him see that you want a relationship, that there is space for it in your life, and there is a possibility for him to fill that space.
One of the best ways to do that is by asking questions about him. Be interested. Learn about him, and listen rather that talking only or mostly about yourself. Likewise, answer his questions openly, share yourself with him. Let him see that you are open to another level of depth.
Another way you can do this is by telling him. Be upfront about the fact that you're looking for a relationship. Share with him about the kind of future you envision for yourself and your partner and find out if he wants the same things. This is really important for you to know anyway.
By telling him what you want and demonstrating it by being open and interested in him, you send a very clear message that you are available. Whether you end up with him or not, if you want the relationship to go past today, this is something he'll need to understand.
A key to remember in all of this is to be OPEN. If you know what your boundaries are and you know that you will not allow him to cross them, there is no reason not to be. You can openly invite him in all they way up to the boundary, and if he attempts to cross it, you can gently and kindly let him know where the line is.
If a man is turned off by that, then he is not not a man worth your time. But many men will find this very attractive and actually become more interested. Without diminishing your power or self-respect in any way, open the door and let him see inside. Let him see how kind and loving you can be. Let him see your strength without feeling like he has to compete with you.
Let him know that if he is willing to be the man that you need then you will happily be the woman that he needs. Honestly give him the opportunity to step into that without being harsh, critical, or defensive.
Never compromise your power. Instead, recognize how much power there is in grace and gentleness.
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