Being receptive is feminine. I previously thought (along with probably a lot of women) that I was the spirit of receptivity just by letting men pay for dates, but this was just the tip of the iceberg.
Sometimes, still, my partner gives me the bigger/better piece of meat at dinner and I reject it, then bite my tongue. A lot of us may reject things like lavish gifts or labor (say he offers to carry all of the groceries in) for various reasons such as:
- It’s too expensive and you’d rather he save the money (like going to a fancy restaurant)
- It’s not what you envisioned receiving (like a surprise road trip)
- You want him to have the nicer piece of meat, or keep his jacket when you’re both cold
- You’re worried he’d be tired (for groceries, driving you to work etc)
You get the picture. I think most of the time, we reject out of love. “I can drive myself” you say, so he can use that time to do something for himself.
However, I’m learning that any rejection of what a man gives feels to him like a rejection of himself. He feels un-useful, that the ways of making you happy that he thought of and will happily do are not good enough.
We also reject to maintain control in a subtle way. Say he offers to spend lots of time and labor to build you a table, but you envisioned buying one from Ikea, so you reject.
We should reject things that will cause actual physical or psychological harm or significant discomfort, like if he planned a rock climbing date but you have bad knees, by all means reject it. But otherwise, go with the flow, receive his gifts and plans, maybe you’ll love it. In any case, you’ll get to relax and let him take the lead.
When you graciously receive from your man, you make him feel useful, powerful even, like he can make you happy, that he’s needed. For the labor stuff, you make him feel capable, strong, tough.
To cultivate the spirit of receptivity, one can practice on one’s man and/or other people, like friends, and even strangers to an extent. Just don’t receive dangerous things like a drink from a sketchy guy. I’m talking about stuff like:
- Compliments - graciously accept them instead of denying they’re true
- Gifts small and large
- People opening the door for you
- On the house coffee from the barista
Etc. We know you can pay your own way and carry your own things, but people, especially men, especially your man, feel good when you graciously receive what they willingly give.
Don’t nag and expect him to give, but enthusiastically receive what he spontaneously gives. If you’ve been routinely rejecting all of his little gifts (like calling the plumber for you so you don’t have to deal with it), don’t be surprised if he stops “being romantic.” So switch your default mode from “no because” to “yes thank you!”