I need a man!!! Not so he can pay my bills: I’ve got that. Not so he can help raise my kids: I’ve got that too. Not even so he can “complete me:” I’m already perfectly imperfect. To be quite honest… I need a man… because it’s just unnatural to have to wash my own back in the shower!!!
If A Woman Is Willing To Do It All… Don’t Let Her
I read a two-part article titled “The 20 Lessons to Learn About Women and Dating or Be Single Forever” by Andrew Ferebee on KnowledgeForMen.com. Ferebee promoted his book The Dating Playbook For Men: A Proven 7 Step System To Go From Single To The Woman Of Your Dreams in the article. Overall, the article was well thought out and seemingly accurate despite undertones of personal pain and rejection. Although I loved it- especially Part 2- I felt some clarity must be presented for those open to hear it. 🙂
I especially appreciated the emphasis on masculine and feminine differences and how each can promote the other (i.e., despite slight disagreements with it):
“Because when you’re soft (expressing feminine character), you put the woman above you on a pedestal (forcing her to take on the masculine role). Typically, a woman can only feel attraction for a man when she is in her feminine, therefore as a man you need to step into the masculine dominant role.”
Men are not the only culprits of this role-reversal. Women- perhaps after years of being “forced” into the masculine position or fighting for the rights to have that position- assert themselves as the caretakers of men (i.e., to fix or “mother” them) or to “get the job done” because the men in their lives choose not to take the lead. Men too have become accustomed to taking the softer role, but it doesn’t have to remain this way. My first article on TheSaltStone.com, “Men and Women Being Men and Women” briefly touched on these principles and the belief that men and women create Tao as complimentary opposites.
Ferebee used the phrase “put the woman above you on a pedestal” in two diverse contexts in the article. The first implies that a woman in a masculine role is in a superior role, yet the second described the “golden throne” men place women on when they adore them. Unlike Ferebee, I don’t believe the second is a bad thing, simply worded wrong and often prematurely executed. A woman should be her man’s queen on that golden throne: “Under every great man is a strong and dedicated woman that makes him a better man.” Now I word this with “under” instead of “behind” to maintain the idea of a pedestal. I do believe the man should be superior to the woman, but I also believe he must know his place as a spiritual man with a strong relationship with his God. His direction in leading the woman will be based on wisdom rather than whims.
She also has an important role as the feminine part of their unified relationship (i.e., premised by the note that I only describe the parts of her role in context to this article): She nurtures and promotes him. She holds the world, the worries, the values. She loves him in spite of his flaws, but emphasizes the amazing qualities that he has, so those flaws disappear. She follows his lead in decisions- even when “she knows better”- because she knows that learning from mistakes will build his confidence. Here is where most women fail…. they scold him for making a wrong decision. Most women are no longer in the habit of loving their man in his weakest, most embarrassing moments; hence, the stereotype that women nag and men refuse to make decisions.
A woman who is his queen will allow herself to be vulnerable so that he can be the protector: Feminists would disagree, but should digest my reasoning before making a rash decision based on that statement. A woman’s curse since the beginning of whatever time you believe in has been that she carries the world on her shoulders: Rearing children, solving problems, multi-tasking to no end. More recently in history, she has been made to feel as though perfection is par. Ferebee says, “Women are regular people who eat, shit, bitch, sleep and occasionally go through the McDonalds drive through at midnight just like you do,” yet we feel like we have to be those 9s and 10s we see in the media or in his article! Simply put, when the world demands so much from a woman, wouldn’t she want to come home and be vulnerable in her man’s arms? To “take a load off,” to have a listening ear and a warm embrace? I don’t want to “work” when I am with my man: I want the world to melt away. A strong and masculine man can create that environment because frankly, I don’t want that “one-more-thing-to-do.”
Another “issue” I had with Ferebee’s insightful take on how men should behave in dating became clear with the portion expressing that men should make women chase them. Yikes! A woman doesn’t want to chase a man, but she feels like she has to out of frustration to try to get him to open up. The article stated that a man shouldn’t be “feminine” by opening up to a woman because she will see him as being weak; yet, women expect this of a man in the initial phases of dating. The author didn’t state that once you have found a woman with whom the energy, passion, compassion, love, commitment, and stability can flow, it is appropriate for a man to disclose his inner thoughts and feelings to that woman. This intimacy sanctifies the relationship: It sets it apart from all others with friends and maybe even family. Intimacy is that energetic glue that binds two people together. A woman searches and grasps at this- yes prematurely- because she wants that “hard” tough guy exterior who can be “soft” around her only. It makes her feel special to be the only one he opens up to. It can be related to the generalization that men want a librarian on the outside, but a dirty and adventurous vixen on the inside. It makes him feel special when she reserves that secret for him.
I understand that men feel undervalued due to the role reversals and other social norms that have come to play in modern times. Yet, this thinking creates conflict, not love. One of the biggest complaints from women is that they are always having to guess at how a man feels about them. I describe it as flailing in a stormy ocean where the life preserver is drifting just out of reach. The article stated that men must use nonverbal communication to instill a sense of desire in their mate, which will make her “begin to seek validation from you vs what most men do is seek validation from her.” Yes! Women want validation! I wish the article took it further to express to men that the women will seek validation from him, but then “the man will give her that validation…” Most men stop at “women want me” and refuse to validate that “yeah, I’m diggin’ on you too! So don’t worry that I didn’t respond to that text right away, babe.” Perhaps this description can help men sympathize with those “crazy women” who bug them about their feelings and harass them with constant texts or who rudely attempt to pry into their emotions (did you detect the sarcasm?). Even the most sane of women have been driven to this feeling of insecurity and have been lumped in the category of “crazy” because a man has a fortress around his heart or too seriously “plays the game.” A bit overly dramatic, I know, but I want to bring to light what is going on in the woman’s head after having to overanalyze a man’s lack or abrupt reduction of communication. My response to women when this occurs is that the connection isn’t there if he is not willing to tear down the wall after an appropriate amount of time (i.e., look for someone who is willing to be intimate with you). Sometimes this “moving on” sparks action in a man, sometimes it just allows both to be open to a more suitable connection. (**His other bits of advice in Lesson 11: Communication are solid!)
I agree with the author when he states, “women hate being put on pedestals.” Although some women feel entitled to it, others believe they are not worthy of such adoration. Both are sad thoughts because women deserve to be treated like queens (*not the same views expressed by the author). Granted, they should be humble and not demanding of such treatment, but often feel that men don’t treat them as such so they will take it! This attitude does not enable him to make the choice to treat her like royalty. If a man is not able to treat you that way, then he doesn’t see you that way (or the woman doesn’t see herself that way and heavily resists being treated that way)! If he doesn’t see you that way, he is not the one for you! (If you cannot receive that positive treatment as a woman, then please consider seeking assistance from family, friends, counselors, massage therapists, artistic expression classes, etc.). There should not be any chasing or grasping at what is not there. The desire to give and receive love should flow freely without the drama that fear and insecurities bring about.
Ferebee brought up an excellent point, “Don’t change her mind, change her mood.” He stated that men often try to provoke change through logic instead of creating a sensory experience that enables the woman to feel differently or the needed change. As stated above, the role reversal leads to men being the ones who make self-serving decisions based on feelings rather than logical steps to create an environment conducive to feeling: “How does this girl make me feel?” “I will say I want to hang out with her because it makes me feel good to not disappoint her… but I have not real intentions of taking her out.” “This relationship doesn’t feel easy anymore, I’m out” (Yes, I too have undertones of pain and rejection). The logical man would question “Why does she react in this way and how can I reassure her?” “I will let her know flat out that I don’t feel a connection and would like to continue to explore my options even though she will probably be disappointed.” “This relationship is at the end of the “honeymoon period,” but I am willing to figure out a solution to maintain that passion we felt before.”
Whereas, women now overanalyze each text and lack thereof. We “read into” each instance of touch, location of the date, whether a response led to further conversation with questions or was just a quick phrased answer. Women must practice receiving and trusting again and letting go of the burdens of minor details or what-if worries in the dating process.
Women have become the thinkers/ “logical” and men are the feelers/ “emotional.” Honestly, it doesn’t work because it is so unnatural to play the roles we weren’t designed for. Men should be changing our moods with sensory experiences and reassuring words. Women should be okay in receiving these things from a man. Men must communicate with logic so that women are not left to wonder. Women should trust a man’s reasoning and decisions.
Overall, the article wanted a man to realize that he may want the woman of his dreams, but he should act as though he doesn’t need her. This is true to an extent. First we are dependent on our parents or caregivers. Then we find independence within ourselves, trying really hard to avoid co-dependent relationships shaped by our youth. Finally, we meet someone who is also healthy and independent and become interdependent with them. In ourselves, we don’t need the other. But having knowing them, it is hard to think about life without them. (My mom used to say this all the time, but I am not too sure where she learned it- so I apologize for the lack of proper credit).
I am grateful to Andrew Ferebee for bringing to light the importance of maintaining the natural balance of masculine and feminine energies within a relationship. However, there is a need for exposure of playing “the game” versus seeking a lasting love affair. Many of his insights lead to “more women,” yet some ideas ultimately lead to a lonely and unsatisfying end. I believe that men and women will find each other when they have that hope and openness to love.