Time to Take Off the Man Pants

Too many single women complain that single guys prefer dumb women, when what they really prefer is a woman who can embrace and express her feminine energy.

How to attract men

I went to a party the other night with a single friend, an attractive, brilliant, successful woman who would like to have a man in her life, maybe even get married. While we were chatting, she mentioned that another friend recently told her if she wanted a boyfriend, she’d need to dumb it down — not be one of those self-sufficient, got-it-all-handled women. She’d need to do the “dumb woman thing.”

My friend thought it was pretty disheartening that men would only be interested in her if she adopted some kind of Marilyn Monroe persona. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard this concern: men go for the dumb ones while their brainier counterparts are ignored.

But I don’t think that’s the case. What’s really going on is that these days, too many single women have learned to paint feminine traits with the “dumb brush” while they paint masculine traits with the “smart brush.” We’ve been conditioned to devalue our feminine characteristics and instead embrace and emulate masculine traits. I’m not talking about their outward appearance, because many are drop-dead gorgeous, I’m talking about how we think, speak and act.

Women have decided it’s a good idea to be like men because masculine traits help them succeed at work. They’re tools for survival in a world where many of us are no longer living under the protection of a husband. It’s tough out there and being “girly” is not an effective strategy when negotiating a contract, competing for a promotion at work, supervising employees, or managing your investment portfolio. In order to survive, we’ve learned how to be no-nonsense, competitive, straight up, direct, independent, don’t mess with me or I’ll take you down — just like men.

The trouble comes when we carry that same attitude into every area of our lives, including our dating life. Guys don’t want to date women who act like men, who remind them of their guy friends. Sure, you can be one of their buddies, but when it comes to making a romantic connection, men are attracted to their opposite energy: feminine energy (not to be confused with being “sexy” either).

In fact, the more feminine you are, the more masculine they’ll be. How many times have I heard women complain, “Where are all the manly men?” — never realizing that they’ve had the solution all along and it starts with them.

So what does this feminine woman look like if it’s not about acting dumb?

  1. A feminine woman is not controlled by her ego.
  2. She’s not interested in competing with her man — even if she is better at chess, soccer or math (see No. 1).
  3. She doesn’t need to be right, win or have the better solution all of the time (see No. 1).
  4. She has no problem asking for his help and lets him know she appreciates it. (see No. 1).
  5. She’s interested in hearing what he has to say. She actually listens to him and allows him to have his own opinions (see No. 1).
  6. She can be soft on the outside because her true strength comes from within. It’s in her integrity, her sensitivity, empathy and her awareness of the world beyond herself (see No. 1).

Being a child of the feminist movement, I’ve dealt with sexual harassment and gender discrimination. I’m grateful that an employer can no longer put his hand on my knee, or higher, without risking serious legal consequence. I’m delighted that these days, there are just as many women managers as men. We’ve come a long way and it’s been a tough road and we’ve fought hard for equal rights — including the right to do what we want — with or without a husband.

But for those — and there are many — who also want to have a successful romantic relationship with a man, and wonder why it’s not happening, try taking your “man pants” off and put on a dress (both literally and figuratively). When you rediscover and embrace your feminine energy, magic will happen. That doesn’t make you dumber — that makes you smarter, way smarter (just don’t tell him that).

Copyright © Kim Calvert/2014 Singular Communications, LLC.

Kim CalvertKim Calvert is the editor of Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.


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15 thoughts on “Time to Take Off the Man Pants

  1. Heatherr is spot on. Anyone who has ever suffered through a weekend just because she was hotwith someone who couldn’t shut up about stupid inane things knows that by Sunday he is saying, never again.

    The issue really is what is feminine and what is intelligent or intellectual and these are very personal matters dependent on upbringing, conditioning and education. It is also very helpful to reach a point where you can see these things objectively and without judgment

  2. Kim, Dennis, I couldn’t agree more. Men don’t want dumb women! Well, maybe insecure men, who want to assuage their feelings of inadequacy. But most men want women who are smart…and powerful. But in a feminine way! Women who understand and “own” their feminine power (and use that power not to control or manipulate, but for the highest good!) are completely intoxicating to men. Those who encroach into the province of “masculine” energy are likely to find that it alienates rather than attracts men. We are drawn to femininity! And I’m not quite sure what that is…some odd combination of beauty, strength and vulnerability. I just know that when I am in the presence of it, it makes me feel more masculine! And conversely, women are drawn to masculinity–that amorphous quality in a man that makes a woman feel more feminine! If everyone just simply took note of how this dynamic works, I think we’d all be happier and more fulfilled in our relationships.

  3. I have friends who often tell me I’m feminine by appearance, but have strong masculine energy. It has to do with life, where I’ve been, where I am, and what I’m doing. They say the presence of certain men makes my feminine energy come out more. I’m still trying to figure out why they’re so up in my business to even notice. Anyway, I am who I am and I’m not going to be for everyone. ..Some guys don’t like independent, self-efficient, and intelligent women, but that’s alright because I’m not trying to be their’s.

  4. I’ve learned to shift gears between my business life and my romantic life, and since I have, the romantic part of my life has flourished. Not only that, I’ve come to enjoy my feminine side. It’s a relief to let the “go get ’em” attitude take a rest and be softer and at peace with my feminine side. And the guys I date are relieved to not be told how to get to the restaurant, have me rush up to the hostess and say “table for two!” and then spend dinner one upping him about work, places I’ve traveled, etc. Why is it that so many women insist that being feminine is weak, dumb or archaic?

  5. If a woman dumbs herself down to be what a man wants, she’s going to end up getting a man who doesn’t appreciate her for her talents. Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of men that would be reading your articles, Kim, appreciate smart women, so, we may not be the majority. But, why go for the majority anyway, when they may not be the right choice for you? Women (and men)…. just be yourself and spend your time with people who appreciate you and want to see you grow even better over time, whether there’s a romantic interest or not. If you present yourself as someone else, maybe more people will fall for you, but in the end, they will expect you to be that person you impersonated and not yourself, breaking two hearts in the end.

  6. Great article Kim and great editorial on dumbing it down. By and large men enjoy intelligent successful and beautiful women in a single package. You touched on remaining feminine and sexy even as you act confident, smart and opinionated. However there’s a line not to cross and that’s the emasculation of men.

    I wrote something about this on my blog, http://www.thenakedtruthforwomen.blogspot.com after learning of Alison Arnstrong and the seminars she offers on how to let men be men. The number one thing an alpha woman needs to learn is how to give up control. Allow the man the freedom to be in charge, make decisions, etc. you can suggest and offer opinions but I think most successful intelligent men want to feel like they’re in charge . If this doesn’t sound like its something that you can handle there’s plenty of men willing to be the submissive ones in and out of the bedroom. It all depends on what kind of man you desire.

    And one other thing. Stop listening to your girlfriends! Listen to your heart and your head. Only you know what works best for you. Have some courage to act how you want to! Men respect women more when you clearly say what you desire! Never dumb it down for anyone. They’re not worth the act.

  7. If you don’t think there is a difference between genders, except on a physical level, watch very young children at play … or ask a transexual why they will sacrifice so much to become the gender they feel they truly are.

  8. I’ve heard this advice before too: that you have to dumb yourself down to be attractive to men. But I hear it mostly from men! For example, I have an astrologer friend (a man) who often tells me, “Men are like deer, you have to be very careful what you say to them or you’ll scare them away.” I hear similar things from other men, like you can’t come on so strong, don’t be so direct, try to be more sweet and persuasive.

    Then on the other hand, I belong to a few coaching groups organized by and made up mostly of women and the messages I get most often are: don’t try to do things the masculine way – don’t force things, don’t be so ego centered. There is a feminine approach that we focus on in the groups. The feminine approach is team oriented, network oriented, supporting each other and helping each other and celebrating triumphs as a group.

    So, I see all kinds of approaches and opinions out there. I don’t think it is all one way. All women are being too masculine, all men are too turned off. Also, women get bombarded with not measuring up in so many ways, is this just another thing we have have to worry about? Am I too masculine, am I not feminine enough, am I too fat, am I too loud, am I good enough, are my eyelashes long enough, do I have a thigh gap? On a personal level I’m just saying NO to any more self judging! It is not helpful. We are all different and have our own unique approaches to life. Let’s celebrate that! Relax and be yourself no matter what gender or sexual orientation you may be.

  9. My mother was one of those take charge kind of women and never once, ever, let my dad be “right” about anything. Then she was shocked when he took up with another woman and then made him the evil, cheat, liar “like all men” person to me and my siblings. How’s that for prepping your kids for successful relationships when they grow up?

  10. @brian. Sounds like some of that “metro-sexual” gibberish. Growing up in the 80s evidently did not make you familiar with the concept of periodicals. They rely on ad revenue, DUH! They produce thoughtful, interesting, topical and, yes, relevant articles to attract readers. Advertisers then pay them based on how many readers they have. I’ll be the first to admit that there is a lot of crap out there, sensationalistic and improbable, but what I take away from the above article is an anecdotal editorial about the real experiences people have in interpersonal relationships. This is in keeping with the general tone and quality of the material on Singular, and personally relevant to many of it’s readers.
    @Dennis good points, I would enjoy seeing you expand on the subject. Why don’ you write a follow up article?

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