Are You Playing the Traditional Woman?
It’s hard to know how to handle dating at our age. Many of us have been, or still are, business owners, managers, corporate employees, professionals. We run households, raise children, manage budgets and more. We are smart, capable and used to dealing with complex lives. Successful women. And yet here we are trying to figure out if we need to play the demure ‘little lady’ so he can ‘be the man’. Put on our flowery dresses, buy some new lipstick and sit back and wait for Prince Charming.
What a load of …………
How do we go about finding a man if most of the older men are used to being in charge? When these men want a more submissive and traditional woman? Does that mean we can’t initiate the first offer for a date? Are we going to sit around and wait for him to make the first move?
I’m probably not the best one to offer advice here as I’ve always been accused of being a little too forward and outspoken for my own good. But. I want you to consider abandoning the typical advice about gender roles and be yourself.
I’m testing this dilemma out in real life.
I’ve met a man who frequents the same bar I like to go to. We’ve been there, at the same time, on the occasional weekend night, for a number of years. Only in the last 8 months have we started talking to each other. I have decided to see if there might be some potential there. So, now I have to figure out how to go about it.
Though we’ve talked, the conversations have been brief and I can’t tell if he’s just being polite or showing interest. He’s quiet. The brainy type. Our chats have been brief–this past week I was with a friend so didn’t give him my full attention. It might have looked like I was dismissing him.
My instincts tell me that if I come on too strong he might withdraw. My girlfriend thinks I should ask him out on a date. So, I have 2 options–walk away, as I’m probably not a good match with someone who’s extremely introverted or find an approach that I think will work. I’ve got a plan. I will focus exclusively on him next time I see him. Treat him as more of an interested party rather than a random man in a bar. I might be sliding into a more traditional female role (by not asking him out), but that’s because it feels like the right way to interact with him–given what I know and don’t know.
If we choose to take a certain approach because it feels more natural, that’s OK. You, and only you, get to decide how you want to ‘show up’ when you date, just as with any other activity in life. It’s when we contort our normal style because of societal expectations, or a well-meaning friend, that we aren’t going to be happy. A woman can be feminine and assertive. She can let a gentleman feel like a man and still feel very authentic and capable all at the same time. The goal is to be conscious of what you’re doing and be true to who you are.
We are each very different in our approach to relationships. And, we have different goals. Some people are seeking marriage. They want to be taken care of or to be in charge. I’ve met men who were looking for a wife, cook, laundress and companion. I’ve also met men who just wanted a sex playmate. And, I hope to meet the man who wants an equal partner in all things–who seeks emotional connection paired with communication, trust and respect…mixed with a playful passionate life. If he comes along and asks me to wear a delicate lacy apron occasionally I might just do so!
The take away for you?
Be true to who you are.
Don’t let others try to tell you how to go about a romantic search. If you’re typically gregarious and flirty, then be that person. If you hate makeup and would feel really strange with lipstick and mascara don’t wear it. That first date, meeting or phone call is where you need to be you–authentic. Comfortable. If you try to be what he wants, or try to remake yourself the insincerity will show through. You don’t want your date showing up pretending to be someone he’s not? Right? So, don’t do it.
How are you balancing this gender role, traditional approach in dating? Do you feel the pressure to compromise in order to find a man? Which is different from making some subtle adjustments in order to meet someone half-way.
For you guys–the conversation is similar. I think you feel that pressure to be a certain way as well. Maybe you’d love for a woman to take the first step. We often feel bound by societal expectations about how men and women have to act. I think we have come to an age and a time where it’s permissible–welcomed, to change it up.
Give yourself permission to be bold. Risk. Dare.
Be willing to embrace a new way of life.
Let go of expectation and have fun.
Do you wait for him to make the first move? Are you trying to change your image as you date?