It’s 2020 and yet somehow, there’s still pressure on women to have to worry about protecting men’s egos. We’re supposed to follow so many ridiculous “rules” when dating, it’s exhausting. You shouldn’t be too clever, too funny, or too beautiful. You shouldn’t make him feel like he’s anything less than an alpha male. I’ve sat through too many terrible dates, playing down my strengths and pretending a guy’s are more impressive than they actually are and I’m finally calling BS.
- It’s infuriatingly easy to do. The most frustrating thing is how easy this is to do and how often we feel the need to do it. Subtle changes and tiny omissions or half-truths that play down the assets we should be proud of are all too common. It’s like it’s become ingrained in our psyche as something we just do naturally, and that’s so not okay.
- It stems from dumb and totally outdated sexist ideals. Just to clarify, dating is not the only circumstance where I have ever felt the need to dumb myself down. That said, it’s certainly the main culprit. Ultimately, it comes from a ridiculous taboo where we dare not damage the precious male ego. Gone are the days where the man has to feel like the main breadwinner and provider, but sadly a lot of men don’t seem to feel that way yet.
- There’s more to me than my looks. I don’t want to be just somebody’s arm candy. Sure, it’s nice to feel attractive, but I don’t want to feel like that’s all I should be. I’m not just a pretty face and I have no intention of pretending I am. Physical attraction is important in a relationship but mental stimulation is more so. I want someone who appreciates all aspects of me.
- Loneliness doesn’t scare me as much as wasting my time on someone does. In the past, I hated being alone. It terrified me, so I fell victim to pandering men’s egos as I didn’t want to scare them off. Now, I hate the idea of wasting my time on someone not worthy of it.
- I’m not ashamed of my ambition. I know I want a lot from life. Sometimes I have no idea how I’ll ever manage everything I want in life without 25 hours a day or 8 days a week, but I’ll be damned if I don’t try. I need a man who’s on board with that and who has ambitions of his own too. It also doesn’t make me arrogant just because I can own my strengths.
- I need a man who can match me intellectually. Whether you can match me on a math quiz or beat me at scrabble couldn’t matter less to me. What I do want is to be with someone I can have intellectual conversations with, whether it’s about politics, world events, traveling, or just anything you’re passionate about. Everyone is unique and can be intelligent in their own way. I just want someone who stimulates me intellectually and can keep me on my toes.
- Now, I’m more concerned I’ll lose the right guy by not being myself. My “Mr. Right” is going to be someone who appreciates my intellect. They won’t be intimidated by the fact I’m good at most things but be proud of me instead. If I’m trying to hide my true self, I could inadvertently chase away the guy who actually is right for me, because they’re looking for those things and I’m hiding them. I don’t want to end up kicking myself because I’ve done that.
- I don’t care if you think I’m intimidating. If the worst insult someone can throw at me is that I’m intimidating, then quite frankly I’ll take that as a compliment. All that really shows me is you are too insecure to deal with a strong, independent woman. If your ego is too fragile to deal with how awesome I am, it’s not my responsibility to pander to it. In my experience, when men are intimidated by a woman, it usually means they aren’t able to step up to the challenge.
- My self worth is finally too high to compromise myself for a man any more. There have been too many people I’ve encountered in life who tried to make me feel small and unworthy. For a long time, I let them. Now that I can finally appreciate my self-worth, I’m not going to let anyone take that away. Anyone who makes you feel like you can’t be your truest, biggest, boldest self is not worth being around in the first place.