When polar opposites like male and female come together, energy is created. Though dating experts agree that’s a good thing — because it sparks romance — here’s what some won’t admit: all that friction and energy is not entirely pleasurable.
Along with excitement, curiosity, and (hopefully) attraction, feelings of fear, anxiety, vulnerability and doubt may also be present. That’s normal… but uncomfortable.
To get rid of the awkwardness as quickly as possible, we sometimes downshift into gender-neutral behavior. You know: harmless co-worker mode. On a first date with an online match, for example, you might start in with humor, reference a trending Upworthy, or just ramble about your day, to relieve the tension. That approach works well in a professional setting. But a habit of diffusing ALL sexual tension, all the time, can lower the temperature of your dating interactions. Your choice — to get comfortable, quickly — might be killing attraction before it can develop.
Aside from the natural desire to smooth away social tension, women sometimes carry additional inhibitions related to fully expressing their femininity. I have three daughters and I’ve seen that while girls are born feminine in the most authentic sense, something happens along the way that can cheapen the whole idea of being a female. As if it’s only about Barbie and pink accessories. If you’re a woman and that’s not your thing, then you might be tempted to distance yourself entirely from (what seems like) being plastic and fake.
True feminine nature runs deeper than that. How YOU ultimately choose to express your femininity may be different from the examples you see in popular culture. In fact, you can probably think of some “masculine energy” women who rock an ultra girly or over-the-top sexy persona — many celebrities fall into this category — but it’s mainly superficial. These women look beautiful and desirable in high heels and skimpy dresses, but may still be emotionally disconnected from their feminine essence. They attract sexual interest, but not lasting love.
Living fully in your feminine can feel risky. Displaying a soft, nurturing side at work isn’t always welcome. Your colleagues may not understand the underlying value that feminine characteristics bring to the team. It’s partly a diversity of style — like being quiet or introverted — that some managers struggle to appreciate.
Outside work, there are social risks. The feminine instinct is often at odds with what is considered normal (by both men and women) in today’s society. Below are examples of reactions that may feel right to you when you are fully in your feminine, along with the perceived social risk of asserting them. You may not identify with each example. But be open to the idea that you may be suppressing at least some of your feminine instincts because you question their validity, or are worried you won’t be demonstrating your social value otherwise.
Feels Right: Rejecting behavior, humor, and language that is crude
Perceived Risks: Appearing uptight, not a good sport
Feels Right: Actively listening, but choosing to be silent when others are sharing jokes and stories
Perceived Risks: Appearing boring, not smart or funny; losing points because you’re not participating
Feels Right: Expressing your sensual side; wearing clothing that is soft, touchable, and welcoming; surrounding yourself with color, scent, and decoration
Perceived Risks: Appearing unprofessional, less serious; attracting unwanted sexual attention from men
Feels Right: Wanting more details before agreeing to a date; saying no to “hanging out”; refusing to meet in an unfamiliar or inconvenient location
Perceived Risks: Appearing high-maintenance or difficult
Feels Right: Keeping conversation light, when a new date tries to probe for personal or sensitive information
Perceived Risks: Appearing aloof, superficial
Feels Right: Waiting a while before becoming physically intimate with a man
Perceived Risks: Appearing cold, old-fashioned; losing him to a woman who is more compliant
Bottom Line: Go ahead and own what feels right to YOU.
Maintain high standards and the right man will respect them. Women with healthy boundaries attract men who are equally empowered and emotionally mature. Embracing polarity — and appreciating the diversity of differences between men and women — is essential for building romantic attraction as well as fully realizing your most authentic self.
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