MATT: You know who sort of drives me nuts? Mariah Carey. She treats every note like a water-park slide and she pours herself into dresses so short that I feel like I’m going to see her little Mimi every time she steps out of a fur-lined limo. Plus, I feel like she’s made a conscious choice over the years to look less black (you know what I mean?), which really bugs me. But, here’s the funny thing…for every complaint I could make about her, there are probably ten times over a boatload of folks who love her (many of my gay brethren amongst them).
I think your male friend’s comment might have been well-intentioned, but he’s not commenting on what’s wrong with you, he’s commenting on his preference. For every one of him, there might be another guy who is totally revved up by this whole “pack-leader” vibe you’re apparently working. So, I say you just go right on being your assertive, direct, powerful, sexy self because the bottom line is this: your friend was really just expressing his taste, and he doesn’t (and couldn’t possibly) speak for all men, just like I can’t speak for everyone’s opinion of Miss Carey. Tell him you appreciate the feedback…and then growl at him and order him to fix you a drink.
ERIK: Being a powerful woman is not a bad thing; it’s a fantastic thing. Your friend sounds like a wimp. Anyone who views confidence as something that one can possibly have too much of is sick in the head. Maybe he meant you’re too pushy or domineering, in which case that may or may not be a fair point, but being “too much of an alpha” is no better criticism than “too good in bed.” Your strength of character might push some people away, but that’s because they feel insecure next to you, not because confidence is a bad thing. That is, unless you like wimpy men.
ART: Fuck that guy! When did being a confident, independent and powerful woman become such a bad thing? The same day that guy was born with a tiny prick. A strong, confident man will love a strong, confident woman. If you have to change who you are to be with a guy, kick his ass out.
JMAGIC: At our core we feel like we need to be providers, but some of us actually enjoy a woman like you who is strong, ambitious, and doesn’t always look to us to ‘fix’ things. But be careful, because based on your question I’m wondering if your attitude about your abilities comes off as more arrogant than confident. Especially your “rough around the edges, but once you get to know me…” comment. Nobody likes arrogance. Be sure of yourself, but not just to prove a point and you’ll find what you’re looking for.
ALEX: Some men don’t want strong, confident and independent women. This is because they themselves are not strong, confident, independent men. They don’t want you. You don’t want them either.
JOE: One of the biggest thrills of dating is to become a special part of someone’s life – to be different because you are allowed “in” in a way that others aren’t. The expectation is that, when a person feels close to us and feels we’re special, they’ll show us facets that others don’t get to experience. That exposure of their sensitive side is part of what creates the bond in a relationship, as does feeling mutually needed and wanted.
I suspect that perhaps, in relationships, you’re so concerned with showing how capable and self-sufficient you are that maybe you’ve forgotten to let your guard down and to show that you care about your partner and that he’s special to you. Tell him how you feel about him. Let him do (some) things for you, not because you can’t do them, but because it’s a chance for him to show he cares. Let him see that you’re not always 100% ready for everything, not because you’re weak but because you’re human. The problem isn’t being too “alpha male.” The problem is being afraid to truly let him into your life and past those rough edges. Be strong enough to be vulnerable.
* If you’d like to ask the guys a question, simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “His Take” in the subject line and I’ll pass your question along to them.