Really? Intimidation?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by runsw/scissors, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I was out with some friends last night and the subject of singlehood came up. Basically one guy (who is married) said "Boy, I'd hate being single. It must really suck. What do you guys think?" refering to the three of us at the table who are unattached. One girl kind of started in on a what-do-I-do vein. She is 28, owns her own house, works full time, is training for a marathon, and feels she has very little in common with her male peers. She is also VERY interested in politics and finances as those are integral to her job. The guy who opened the discussion told her that guys are probably intimidated by her strength and independence even though she is a wonderful and likable person. She brought up a not-so-hypothetical of an older man (mid-40's) who seemed to have similar interests as her, she kind of liked him, he seemed to really like her, etc. And so it went. I just listened to the whole thing and kept my mouth shut for the most part.

    But it got me thinking. Are guys truly intimidated by a woman who is independant, not to the point of callousness but is able to take care of and provide for herself? How does such a woman try to overcome their fears that they have nothing to offer or feel she is completely out of their league? I must admit I started thinking of my own situation, and while I don't own property and care very little for national finances and politics, I have often thought of myself as just such an independent woman. It is a new way of looking at things, but I have no idea what the answer to the puzzle might be. Men, feel free to chime in. Your POV and opinions are of great value here.
     
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  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I think for some (some, not all) men they feel most valued by a woman if they are able to provide for her. If a woman doesn't need anything, she has it all already, I can see this not necessarily being a turn off, but more of a feeling of "she doesn't need me."
     
  4. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    See, in my experience, the more comfortable a man is in his own skin, the more he values a woman that is independent.
    It's the men who have their own insecurities who have issues with women who can provide for themselves, be their own best companion, and aren't needy.
    That's not to say that a well-adjusted man does not want to take care of his partner, but he does it to supplement what she does on her own.
    Anyone, man or woman, should be independently self assured. They should have their own self worth, both emotionally and financially, and be able to provide their own needs. It's when we stop being needy or dependent on others to fulfill our needs, that we usually find a partner who is willing to meet us on equal ground. Until then, we are really better off alone.
    I know my husband gained more respect for me when I returned to college while raising my three kids, working part time and still managing a 4.0. But I am doing this for ME, not for his adoration.
    Because my previous husband emotionally and occasionally physically abused me, tried to make me completely dependent on him, and tried to make me feel like I would never amount to anything because he could not handle the truth in himself.
    I ended that marriage, he got the emotional help he needed, and is now kicking himself in the ass on a likely daily basis as he sees me grow in every way he never wanted to see before.
    But regardless, I am here for me, and for my kids, and everything I do and say and choose and every single choice I make is going to be what is best for us. I am lucky I found a man that understands that, but if he didn't, I could easily go it alone.
     
  5. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    OK, so is there a magic (or even approximate) age when men grow out of this? I'm not talking about issues so deep they lead to abuse, although those do exist. I think I'm about the least intimidating person I know, but then what do I know. I've never seen myself from the outside. I'm sure it's a very different picture. The thing is, even if a woman has a paycheck to support herself financially (HA! that can't possibly be the issue here as we know how paltry teacher salaries are) or a good job or various interests of her own, she is still human and craves contact with others. Friendship is wonderful, even vital, but dating is nice too. Connecting with others on a level other than friendship, well that can be a poverty of sorts, can't it? Lack of closeness can sometimes leads to feelings of emptiness (sp?) or pointlessness.
     
  6. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    I don't think it is age, so much as it is maturity. You can be 18, and wise and mature beyond your years, and be a 50 year old child emotionally.

    It all comes down to self worth and how a person sees and values themselves. Once you achieve a place where you are happy with you, and value your achievements, you don't need to be everything to someone else, or need someone else to complete you. Then you have a relationship on equal footing, that fits two people of independence to a whole. There is no one compensating for another. That, to me, is the best relationship to have.

    There is a neat book I read after I separated from my first husband, that touches on this in a unique way. It is called The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. I strongly suggest it. It really helped me focus on what really matters most.
     
  7. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Aug 24, 2008

    I think for the most part, men like to feel that they're needed & can provide for a woman. (Although, there are plenty of men who don't mind if the woman takes care of their lazy butts). But, every time we hear men talk of their ideal woman, INDEPENDENT is one characteristic they usually say. So, although they do want a woman who can stand on her own two feet, they just like to feel needed.

    It's a bad idea for women to play the helpless, damsel in distress role just to catch a man.

    I wish more women really felt like they can stand alone, then they wouldn't put up w/ these lousy excuses for men the way they do. (I mean putting up w/ their cheating, drinking, verbal/emotinal abuse, even physical abuse, etc.)
     
  8. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    I want to add, that when you project this confidence, and REALLY feel it, you will attract the person meant for you. I would have never believed it, but it happened to me.

    There is nothing wrong with craving companionship. Being independent and happily so does not mean you don't crave or want human touch or connection. But you want it for the right reasons. You don't seek it out to make you feel whole, you seek it out because it feels good, dammit. :D You'll know the difference when you find it.

    Also, independence is more than financial. I consider myself independent and I don't have a pot to piss in, but I know I have the ability and means to make it on my own if push came to shove, and have safeguards in place to support myself in that case. Meanwhile, I work hard toward my degree, work hard to have my own sense of self and interests and friends and life of my own, and the life I share with my husband. They usually overlap, but they don't always.

    There was a time when I would be petrified to walk in a restaurant alone and eat. I'd be afraid what everyone was thinking about that woman alone by herself. Not anymore. Now I relish those moments of solitude, and actually try to make that time for myself as much as I can.
     
  9. kickatstars

    kickatstars Rookie

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    This makes me crazy! I've heard the same thing from various people, but I think Mrs. I is right. It's just a matter of finding the guy who understands the balance of being independent while needing him. If he exists. :p
     
  10. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    While I see your point, I just want to say that there are a lot of reasons why a person stays in an abusive relationship. There is not a cut and dry answer to that, as it is different for every person in that situation. I consider myself an extremely strong person. I was a strong person then. My ex was not always abusive; he had an up and down battle with alcohol that contributed to the situation. I also had three children to consider, and while one might think that would be reason enough to leave in short order, it is not so easy. I also fortunately had very supportive family on both sides who tried helping my ex many, many times. In the end, it was not enough and I finally made the difficult decision to end it. I was fortunate that I came out the way I did. So many others in the situation lose a lot more, including their lives. But please know, there is not a cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all victim suit. We come in all sized, shapes, intelligences and backgrounds.
     
  11. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    And the man who values independence while being needed as a partner on equal ground does exist. Just have to be patient. ;)
     
  12. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I'm still curious to hear what the men have to say. Where are IrishDave and Sarge?
     
  13. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I understand your point as well. God only knows why anyone will stay w/ a no good loser any more than they have to. It could be low self- esteem, financial reasons, scared for one's life if he threatens to kill you for leaving, the woman thinking that he'll change one day, etc., etc., etc. But, then the thing is, when they finally make it up in their mind to get out, then they say, I should have done that long ago!

    Well then, people are either weaker than I thought or I'm stronger than many because I personally would not put up w/ all the crap many women seem to give another chance for. And if I had kids, well that's a whole other story. I'd be outta there just as quick if not quicker so their lives aren't in danger.

    My mom raised me to never be surprised by anything in life & the moment the man I'm w/ doesn't want me, I don't want him either. I may bawl my eyes out in private, but you won't find me begging, pleading & crying for him to stay w/ me. Plus, all women need to save money throughout their marriage & keep it in some account that he doesn't know about so when that day comes when he doesn't want to be married anymore, I can say see ya sucker & I won't be so down & out that I don't know which end is up. My mom also thinks that every woman should hire a private investigator just to make sure her fiance is on the up & up BEFORE getting married.
     
  14. TemperanceFaith

    TemperanceFaith Comrade

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    Aug 25, 2008

    I find offense with your comments. They imply that I was weak, and had low self esteem. I am not going to debate this very personal subject with you, but I will say two things:
    First, you cannot say with any accuracy how you would handle yourself in this situation. I, too, felt much as you d, and made similar judgements. Then I was in the situation and everything changed.

    Secondly, I strongly suggest you visit your local women's center and talk to the counselors there so that they can reiterate everything I just said. Stereotyping situations and passing judgments is the last thing people who have been in this situation need. Educate yourself before you make so many of them.
     
  15. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    I would have come back with a smart remark like "If being married to you was my only option, I'd soon stay single." and gave a witchy smile his way.
     
  16. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    There was some alcohol ingested that night. I know he is a really great guy most of the time.
     
  17. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    TemperanceFaith, this is the last I'll reply to what you said, but don't take what I say personally. This wasn't directed at only you. I'm not saying you're weak. I'd feel this way w/ my best female friend, an acquaintance, or any woman. But of course I realize that everyone's situation is a little different.

    Now, regarding YOUR particular situation, if you felt you handled it the best way you could at the time, more power to you. If you felt you could have done something differently, so be it. After all, you're the only one who had to go through what you went through.
     
  18. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    The only bad part about being single is people trying to fix you up. Ugh.

    "Social Anxiety Disorder" + Blind Date = NO

    :lol:
     
  19. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I think that it isn't all men at any age. However, I do think that it is a little bit regional and depends on your experiences. It might be harder for a man in the south who grew up in a two parent home with a stay-at-home mom to get over than a man on the east coast who had two professional parents.
     
  20. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Understand I'm not trying to cultivate sympathy or throw a pity party for myself. I would like some insight on the working of the male mind. I have no intention of slowing down (I just might come to a halt!) or stop saving and planning trips or anything like that. I won't turn myself inside out for anyone. But it never occurred to me that a man would find me intimidating. I mean, I'm good but I'm not that good.
     
  21. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    I have held off posting here because I still can't explain the difference without sounding like a ..... well If I do I might be called a sexist
     
  22. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    We want to read Irishdave!
     
  23. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    In most Mammal groups they are either patriarchal or matriarchal with an edge to patriarchal, Humans are patriarchal.
    Males have been the hunter & warrior and female has been the caretaker for so long it is basically a hard wired brain thing.
    When the individual male encounters an independent woman he is taken back things are “out of place” how to “deal” with an independent woman, a men must reeducate themselves to the point of acceptance. If they can’t accept it they need to find a different type of woman.
    Just as each woman wants a different type of man, each man wants a different type of woman. Independent women are just not in demand just as slovenly men are not in demand .
     
  24. Carmen13

    Carmen13 Groupie

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    I wouldn't worry at all. Just be yourself and the right man will come your way. :)
    Being independent is one thing, being "self-sufficient" (in an exacerbating way) is another.
    We can feel good about ourselves and still long for companionship and the person who will complement us. And that is a healthy feeling! I am happier now than I was 4 years ago.
     
  25. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I love it, IrishDave! Thanks for sharing!

    For me, it was when I finally felt 100% okay to be alone that Mr. Right showed up. Now I'm a newly-wed!

    As an only child, being alone was never really a big deal for me. But, I still had the idea of my future having a husband. When I could finally see a future with no husband being an okay option, that's when I met the guy that was my best compliment.
     

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