I had taken the blue pill without even realizing I swallowed it.
10 years ago, I was a raging, hippie liberal feminist. Fresh out of my college indoctrination, angry at George Bush, and fighting battles with anyone who was to the right of me, I rode on a bus with other angry college kids to protest drilling in ANWAR, and I was knee deep into the CODEPINK culture.
I look back now, and I laugh. I loved that girl -- her fiery passion, her fearlessness, her desire to change the world... but MY GOD did she have it all wrong.
Thankfully, God, the Universe, a higher power of sorts, had a different plan for my life. When I turned 23, I met a guy -- a raging conservative -- who took each and every one of my world views and shredded them. He challenged all of my arguments and annihilated them. At first, I was lost, angry, and super confused. But as I began to learn more, read more, and understand more, I learned to appreciate this young man's frame of mind. I willingly swallowed the red pill, at least from a political perspective.
We dated for 2.5 years, but I still didn't know what I wanted in a partner. We split up, but 8 years later, I'm still friends with this man.
While normally we discuss politics, history, or religion, we began talking relationships a few months back. We had an interesting discussion.
So, here's a little back story on me. I'm a smart, independent woman -- I have a college degree, a good job, I own a rental property, I'm almost debt free. I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge, I (usually) take good care of my body and I cook & clean as well. I'm positive, and I'm outgoing -- I also went through a pretty nasty break-up 2 years ago, and have really just been working on getting myself back to "good".
I took a solid inventory of myself and what I offer in a relationship and realized the things that I want in a partner. In fact, I do most of them myself. I just figured, at some point, I'd find someone to mirror that... lead by example, right?
But nobody ever told me what a man would want from me. Actually, that's not entirely true.
You know who I got my advice from?
- Magazines (Cosmo, Seventeen, Redbook)
- Hollywood (TV, Movies... Super realistic, I know)
- My girlfriends (Not men...)
Never once did I sit down and ask a man what he truly thought would make a good girlfriend, partner or wife.
Now, when men do tell us what they want, feminists call them misogynistic and the media tells them that they're wrong. Imagine that -- a man, being told that what he chooses for himself, is wrong...
Anyway, back to our discussion. So, I asked my friend pointe blank -- what do men actually want in a relationship or a marriage.
He said, "Men are simple. We want a girl that lets us lead. This doesn't mean she's a doormat, but she doesn't try to take control of every situation. We want her to take care of her body. Ideally, she'd be younger, but there are some young girls that are flat out idiots (look at you when I met you, he said. Haha). There's good physical chemistry, she knows how to communicate and resolve conflicts. If she can make me feel good about who I am physically and mentally (and she can cook, he added) she's worth my time."
Interesting. We talked a little more. Basically, none of my accolades mattered to him (except the cooking part. Ha).
He said being debt free is a bonus, but he makes decent money, so some student debt was okay. He said major credit card debt was a red flag. He said it was nice that I owned property, but so does he -- and he wouldn't live in a girl's place anyway. He said college degrees are nice, but not necessary. He said keep learning and keep working out. A sexy mind and a sexy body do wonders for women.
Then he asked me why I was trying to be a man.
I was taken aback by his question. He said, "All of the things you do, you are essentially your own provider. Where does that leave room for a man in your life?"
I had honestly never looked at it that way. I always thought that I'd find a good partner because I embodied things that I wanted in a partner -- but it turns out that I've actually become my own worst enemy because, well, he's right. I don't technically need a man, even though I'd really like one.
His words struck a chord -- and although my sample size is quite small (yes, a whopping 1) I think there's a lot of truth in what he said.
Here's what's interesting... I'm not the only woman who's living like this. The woman who, although she's feminine, has adopted a lot of "masculine" traits. Who believes and supports TRP philosophy, but is still living in a very BP world.
But nobody ever told me what men really want. Who knew you had to go to the source?!
I started taking his advice a few months ago and have been poring over TRP, RPWomen and other books, blogs and articles for answers.
Now that I know what my biggest obstacle is (myself) I can work on healthy ways to make a man feel needed and appreciated.
It's time we start adding men back into the conversation about their wants and needs, and not trying to dictate that for them. I'm glad that this group exists because it's providing much-needed insight to the male mind and how we, as women, can be better partners.