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Remember that old line about girls being sugar, spice, and everything nice? Elizabeth Lambert saw that societal mold coming and extended one of her long, muscular legs for a perfect trip. How? By playing soccer like a boy:
(If you ask me, the ponytail maneuver was pretty bold. She didn’t get a yellow card for that though. Not condoning her actions, but I love her pep and think the Refs were sleeping.)
Most guys aren’t interested in dating women like Elizabeth, Condoleezza, Hillary, or Michelle. Why? Because strong women with talent, focus, and goals are intimidating to those who aren’t so well equipped. Not just to men, but to people in general. It’s not just that men are avoiding strong women. Guys tend to avoid spending time with other guys who are much smarter, stronger, or somehow better-equipped than they are.
It’s a simple matter of the regular dude trying to avoid situations that will leave him feeling inadequate. In a first date scenario, most guys feel inadequate about something. Even the truly modern fellow who is well-educated, confident, and ready to treat any woman as his rightful equal gets nervous during the early stages of a relationship and will balk at the appearance of intellectual competition during a first or second date.
Your women’s studies professor (who may have been a male) probably told you that in order to be taken seriously you must be aggressive in letting the men around you know how much of an equal you are. If that approach is working out for you, fine. If it isn’t working so well–and this is my guess–you might do well to avoid thrashing your dates with punch lists of why you’re strong, confident, and a fantastic equal.
There are many other things that are important for a good relationship that can be discovered without being overly aggressive. If he turns out to be thoughtful, kind, funny, and quirky enough to be uniquely sexy, there’s a good chance he’ll be game to stay up late discussing the finer points of your thesis on Joan of Arc.
I have dated women who used both approaches:
Krista went through her equality punch list (even rattling off her SAT scores) and was disappointed with my lack of enthusiasm for her onslaught. In Krista’s case, I wasn’t intimidated. I just don’t care for such conversations during a first date. (I supposed I DID get to know her, though!)
Meaghan was different. I could tell she was classy by the way she carried herself. I could tell she was smart by the way she spoke and the words she used. I could tell she was confident when I went to pay the check (I typically go by the “I invite, I pay” rule) and she laughed me away with, “It’s okay, grandpa. I’ve got it this time.” Her joy for living and tremendous accomplishments in face of a terrible circumstances showed me amazing strength without ever having to say the words, “I am a strong woman.” Meaghan is my equal. Hell, Meaghan is better than me. I’m lucky to have her as a friend.
My point? If you are a strong, talented, and amazing woman, you don’t need to worry about the men who don’t want to date strong women. Let them hook up with the bimbos and get fat together. But you? Oh, wonderful creature, please don’t do yourself a disservice by trying to prove yourself to the men who are already happy to greet you as an equal.
Do you have anything to add? Leave me a comment!
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