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Striking the right balance

May 15, 2017

I spent the past year improving myself, trying to be happy and radiant and graceful. I made a lot of progress but then I had a fallback this past month or so and I have been anxious and fighting with my boyfriend, which is completely unlike me. Also, work has been stressful and I have needed to put my nose to the grind to control things and get results, which is a masculine trait. I'm a teacher, and this term I have learned a lot about disciplining students, which I found is also necessary as a maternal trait. I realized that a man isn't going to ask a doormat to raise his children, he needs a functional woman who can do a good job of raising his offspring as well.

Also, my boyfriend has been having some work problems and I've been very compassionate, but now I'm getting impatient and he also mentioned he wondered how far he can push his fallbacks onto me before I say something.

How do you ladies strike the balance between being sweet and pleasant but also being functional? And also being sweet but having boundaries? I feel like I'm either one or the other. Do you just learn to switch personas?

I also constantly go through the fear of being too much of a doormat (he'll find a more functional woman) and being too aggressive (he'll find a woman who won't call him out).

tldr; overall I have been feeling more masculine and combative because historically I have let people walk all over me and have been too agreeable, and my boyfriend has also been saying I'm a bit of a pushover. Now I've gone the complete opposite way and I feel like I don't know how to be sweet but also not a pushover.

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Post Information
Title Striking the right balance
Author vanBeethovenLudwig
Upvotes 5
Comments 16
Date May 15, 2017 6:23 AM UTC (6 years ago)
Subreddit /r/RedPillWomen
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[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

which is completely unlike me

What are you doing to manage the stress that you know makes you act in a way that is unlike yourself?

I don't know how to be sweet but also not a pushover.

It's all in the delivery. This is a complete guess, but do you tend to bottle things up inside of you for a while, only to explode later?

Have you read this post on assertiveness?

I think everyone has to practice how to be more conscious of emotions/feelings as they show up. And we can all do a better job of managing how we communicate those emotions when they do show up. Regardless of gender.

Setbacks are natural. Take a long bath, focus on the progress you have made, and consider that you are not your emotions; that they are simply chemicals moving around in your brain. And that you can actually turn them on/off.

Edit: Be careful of assigning everything to "feminine" or "masculine" traits. Doing this creates an easy absolution of behavior and ultimately responsibility. With awareness, we all have complete control over ourselves. Just because we are women, does not mean that we cannot 100% fulfill or accomplish that which is traditionally "masculine", like working hard to get results.

[–]vanBeethovenLudwigEndorsed Contributor0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

What are you doing to manage the stress that you know makes you act in a way that is unlike yourself?

I manage by exercising and eating right (not eating too many sweets). I know the past two weeks I haven't made it to the gym and I will been eating way too much chocolate for my own good. So have been more unable to control my moods.

It's all in the delivery. This is a complete guess, but do you tend to bottle things up inside of you for a while, only to explode later?

Yes this is exactly me. I'm always so scared of being told no or worried what will happen if I ask or call out something. I'm afraid of coming off as rude. So instead I'm super sweet but then I can't take it anymore and explode. I know I need to work on this. At work I usually have enough boundaries but I'm trying to figure it out in my relationship. I'm being too submissive but I don't know how to make my boundaries clear without exploding in rage. Or maybe I should just let it go instead of having too many boundaries, which makes me too uptight. Again, in the past I am very easygoing and readily able to go with the flow but then I was called out for not being aggressive enough.

Be careful of assigning everything to "feminine" or "masculine" traits. Doing this creates an easy absolution of behavior and ultimately responsibility.

This is a really true comment. I think I'm so caught up that I'm not feminine and graceful enough and being too masculine. But you're right, it shouldn't be one or the other.

[–]isabeavis0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I agree with your comment and just wanted to say thank you for the link you provided!

[–]Shaela901 point2 points  (10 children) | Copy Link

I believe it's easy to be balanced in your relationship when things run smoothly in your own, personal, individual life. More specific, think of a tank of energy/motivation/happiness etc. When the tank is full, you are easy going and ready to give, since you have plenty to. When the tank is almost empty, you are more inclined to ask/nag/etc. The thing is, no one can fill up your tank, you have to find those activities which fuel your energy levels and motivation and do them on a regular basis. Sometimes life will get in the way and that's fine, no one is their best self at all times. Sometimes, the best you can do is just admit you were in the wrong, apologize and dissect the situation to figure out why you screwed up, so next time you recognize the cues leading to the 'breakdown'. Of course, this is not an advice for everybody, since usually people don't even bother with bettering themselves, but I believe in your personal case, you are well versed in RP theory and try to do your best adamantly. So, just relax.

Also, from your post (and history), I somehow get the impression you have your bf on some kind of pedestal( 'he'll find a more functional/pleasant woman'). Why does he have to be the prize and not you? Not saying you should display an entitled attitude, but appreciate yourself more for your efforts. Is he ever afraid you'll find someone else? I think a bit of passive dread on both sides is a sign of a healthy relationship.

If you are putting your bf on a pedestal due to things you dislike about yourself, my only advice is to work on those first and foremost. Do not ever try to compensate a lack of self esteem or love for yourself and your body by being sweet/nice/submissive because that is a sure way to abuse.

[–]vanBeethovenLudwigEndorsed Contributor1 point2 points  (9 children) | Copy Link

First off thank you for your comment it was very helpful overall.

Why does he have to be the prize and not you? Not saying you should display an entitled attitude, but appreciate yourself more for your efforts.

I thought about this and I think I read too much of the "don't compete with your man, let him win" theory and I'm afraid I've gone the whole other way. I used to be very independent and successful. Actually I would say I'm more successful than my boyfriend because I have a higher salary. I think in order to dumb myself down I started saying things like "no you're better" or "I'm scared"

Is he ever afraid you'll find someone else?

Yeah he is but here's the thing...he says if I want to find someone else I should. The inner bitch says "I'll show him I can find someone better" but the RPW side says "well being disloyal and hypergamous isn't going to make him want to marry you." But all in all I feel like I want him to work for me but I haven't been able to show it. Instead I'm too submissive, thus I haven't been able to tell him my boundaries, and thus he says he's afraid I'm not able to call him out. That's why I ended up yelling at him about his faults (I know not good) but that was my way to "overcompensate" for being walked all over. I know I shouldn't yell but I need to figure out a way to establish boundaries and call him out on his shit while still being compassionate, does that make sense? Right now I'm being too compassionate.

Do not ever try to compensate a lack of self esteem or love for yourself and your body by being sweet/nice/submissive because that is a sure way to abuse.

I think I'm treading these waters now. And I realized I'm relying way too much on him for validation. Tonight I decided I really need to be more independent and work on my self-esteem. But I do know that at this moment I'm wondering why he hasn't dumped me yet because I've been difficult lately. That just tells you something about my self-esteem. I can't even tell you what I bring to the relationship anymore.

Also I don't want to insult RPW but I think the very qualities that drew my boyfriend to me in the first place are a bit anti-RPW. When we first started dating he was attracted because I was independent, adventurous, intelligent, curious, artistic. He likes these qualities in me because a lot of his friends are lazy asses who don't want anything more than just survive. Then I read RPW and things like "he doesn't care about your success or intelligent" "men don't like independent women" so I tried to dumb down. But now I have low self-esteem because now I'm relying on him for validation and not me as an awesome woman.

I love him, I know I need to work on myself, I'm really afraid of ruining this relationship because of me. And here's the catch 22 - when I work on myself and act less submissive, I feel less loving towards him. When I'm submissive and clingy it's because I like him so much. When I'm independent and have high self-esteem I look down on him and he seems to want to chase me more. But then I don't feel for him when he's chasing me!

I seem to swing from extremes and I can't figure out how I feel love for him without being too needy and validating.

[–]Shaela900 points1 point  (8 children) | Copy Link

I feel for you, you seem to be in a bit of an internal turmoil right now, that's why I thought I should try to reply with my 2 cents. You seem to do a great job introspecting and musing over you conflicting beliefs.

Anyways, there are a lot of currents of thought going around, especially in this day and age. Being aware of them is awesome, as it can help you be a much more rounded and evolved individual, but none should be followed blindly, not even the RP. Also, I'm sure different currents work differently in various cultures. I've never lived in the US, not even remotely since I'm European and I don't really notice the hard-RP truths largely applying here. Ofc, there's always the clueless young woman who could benefit from the hard truths of the praxeology, yet I believe most people here don't really need the extreme parts of it. In my experience and my (somewhat) intellectual circles, guys could not care less about a normal woman's n-count but they would care a lot if she does not seem to have anything interesting to add to a conversation, no hobbies or interests outside her relationship. Classic 'submissiveness' would be deemed boring, as both men and women seem to need to be intellectually challenged. Now, this should not be confused with being put down or walked upon, obviously. Point is, to each their own, we`re all so different and we have different turn-ons, there's no point trying to be someone you are not. Some men care for your personal success, some for your ability to raise successful kids. Some care for connection, others for that HB10, none of these wants being inherently wrong.

Play up your qualities, be the woman you want to be. Being happy in your own skin and having your own mission are the most attractive qualities in anyone, man or woman. Don't dumb yourself down and don't submit just for the sake of submitting, because someone on the internet told you that's what men want, against who you feel you are.

We all care for intelligence and success and physical attractiveness and a number of other qualities. I wouldn't bother with what the guys over at TRP say they want in a woman since true connection and sharing intellectual pursuits are VERY important to me and they seem stuck on sleeping with the most attractive female they can find. We're just looking for different things.

[–]UnrelatedCommentxXx1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Swimming is a confusing sport, because sometimes you do it for fun, and other times you do it to not die. And when I'm swimming, sometimes I'm not sure which one it is.

All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.

[–]Shaela900 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

This is my life and it always will be, there's just us...and the cameras

oh wait here goes my all time fave:

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to die.

[–]vanBeethovenLudwigEndorsed Contributor0 points1 point  (5 children) | Copy Link

Where in Europe are you from?

I'm American but Asian so some of our values are different too. My boyfriend is southern European. There are some things I'm learning like the man and the woman have their own social circles and seem to not really hang out with each other unless it's at home. Whereas I grew up that the man and the woman basically do everything together except work. It was something strange for me to grasp because he comes from a traditional culture, that's why we got along, and he said he wanted a submissive girlfriend (because apparently all the modern girls are feminists) but I'm slowly learning what that means. I think for him it means he wants an independent woman who is cultured and intelligent but who will still do the domestic duties and see him as head of the family. But then again, for an Asian family, head of the family means the woman basically relies on the man for most things (like taking her out to events and taking her traveling). I feel like this is not the case for his culture. I think the woman is expected to have her own social life and not rely on the man for that. But to me it meant a man is needed for his intellect and to show the woman the world. It was quite confusing. I'm still debating if these cultural differences are big enough that it might be a problem long-term.

And he would say confusing things like I don't have to work, I don't need the stress of a job (his mom was SAHM/SAHW) but then again he likes me for my ambitions and independence and culture. It's all very confusing

Also he comes from the poor part of a European country if that makes any difference.

[–]Shaela900 points1 point  (4 children) | Copy Link

I am Romanian, so that would be more central-eastern Europe, but still a (somewhat) poor, ex-communist country. I can totally relate to what you are saying about your boyfriend. The issues you mention are, I think, all too common in developing countries, especially if the individual experienced the development and transition during their lifetime.

I can see these issues in myself and the people around me as well. Experiencing a less stable economical climate during one's formative years makes up for a very ...conflicted individual. On one hand, you tend to want stability, reliability, and have high standards of a SO, since your family is very important, almost to the point where it suffocates the individual, because when you experience financial hardship, you need to be close to people who can help. Basically these features amount for a very traditional individual. On the other hand, as these countries go through financial booms where the individual has more 'space' and resources for intellectual pursuits, not just making sure he has a roof over his head and food on the table, he starts looking for those in a partner as well. But years of traditional wiring are hard to surpass and that is where the conflict comes from, in my opinion.

Your bf might be conflicted as well, he's attracted to an ambitious, independent woman who can pull her own weight, since he experienced hardships growing up and culture won't really help putting food on the table, yet he knows there's more to this life than just having your basic needs met. Intellectual stimulation and a fulfilling, meaningful existence in which he can express himself are also important.

The dislike for feminism in these parts is almost a cultural norm since they it appears to be a non-issue, first world problem. Nobody who's truly worried about the ever changing political climate or job security will take seriously issues like the pink tax or the patriachy, lol. There are more immediate things to worry about.

The thing about women and men hanging out separately is also somewhat a cultural norm, since efficiency is also very highly regarded, women should do woman things and men should to man things, so that they all contribute something, if the need arises.

It is basically a very, very different culture, a bit Westernized lately yet profoundly traditional.

[–]vanBeethovenLudwigEndorsed Contributor0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

The issues you mention are, I think, all too common in developing countries, especially if the individual experienced the development and transition during their lifetime.

My boyfriend is Sicilian. So he grew up quite poor because all the money is in the industrial north. I think you hit it right on the head about development and transition. He worked in Milano previously and saw how the girls there were very independent and cultured but at the same time he couldn't get along with them because they were too modern, individualistic and feminist. But I do observe how he likes me because I am independent, hardworking and cultured and because Sicily is poor, part of the problem is people don't care to work for more and are lazy. So I think he's stuck in between this modern type girl who is interesting and ambitious and can bring some money but also wanting a traditional setup where he feels useful by providing for me because he grew up like that. As do I, because I'm Taiwanese but also with the American upbringing I have more of a sense of purpose with my career and my interests but my family upbringing influences me to be a submissive wife.

You made another insightful comment a few weeks ago to my post about men settling. I am that first woman, the one who stimulates him but wants more and is hypergamous. And the problem is what you also mentioned - I wanted a better provider. I was the one who left all of my ex-boyfriend's and moved on quickly. I think I was trying to be "easier to handle" so I started being more submissive but as I mentioned I am slowly observing he wants that stimulation. But again I'm afraid of coming off as competitive or dominating with my career success.

My mother and his mother were both housewives that were provided for by their husbands but I saw how both sides lacked stimulation. I see it. Things become calm and boring. But the wives were dutiful to their husbands. That's why it's so hard to be dutiful to him when I'm independent...I start caring less about him. But I know this doesn't help for a sustainable relationship. And I WANT to be submissive. I get off on it, it's how I can respect him. When I feel like I need to stimulate him I feel like he's lower.

[–]vanBeethovenLudwigEndorsed Contributor0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

As a side note regarding the social circles, at least with him I've noticed he has a lot of friends that are girls and he really has no interest in sleeping with them. They're just for intellectual stimulation or business Ventures. But I actually grew up with a more separated social circle, my father did not have any female friends, my mother did not have any male friends. So that's what I mean by that. He actually laughed at me when I said I don't make friends with men unless we are colleagues, because to me if I willingly go out with a man alone then that's a date. Also in my experience it has always been like this for me. I can never seem to befriend an adult man long-term - after a certain point if we haven't started being romantic then the friendship is over. That doesn't mean I don't talk to men as friends, I have plenty of side conversations with them in passing but the point is I would never actively seek them to go out on the weekend, for example if there was a concert I would not ask a male friend to go. I would ask my boyfriend. During work hours I do go out one on one with a male colleague occasionally though.

And that just brings me back to the question, why get married nowadays? To me marriage was to provide benefits for each other (typically man supports the woman and the woman does domestic duties) but also the woman a companion to the man and the man protector of the woman. But if now we're all expected to be independent and have our own friends and lives, what's the point?

Lastly, I find it difficult to make female friends because most of the single women in their late 20's or early 30's are independent career women who don't care to have a family or a partnership. It's a slippery slope. They go out to ladies night together and scope out the prospects and have group dinners where they complain (I live abroad so these are mixes of European women). I'm successful but I'm not at that level where I need ladies night. So it seems like I can't make any female friends, men always want to befriend me but then it's a fine line to tread.

[–]Shaela900 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

I remember first reading the RP idea that men and women are not supposed to be friends and being like 'so..all these guys I know just wanna sleep with me? impossible, they are such different people with different tastes I can't believe they`re all into me'. That also lead to some personal turmoil, when I read too much into guys being just that, friendly.

But this issue made me realize that it might be a cultural difference at play. Actually it's pretty common here to just hang out as friends or have lunch together or anything really, even one on one activities. But we also do not have too much of a 'dating' scene. I have not been on a proper 'date' since I was in high school and all of my relationships blossomed from hanging out as friends or knowing each other for a while or being part of the same social circle and keep bumping into each other. My current bf, I know him since I've been 16, we used to play an online game together and chat about music. He moved abroad for Uni and work, but most of his friends went to Uni in the same city I studied and currently live in. One year ago he decided to move here as well, as he kind of disliked the danish weather. Sometime after, he saw me at a concert, we reconnected and this time hit it off amazingly. So, a mix of knowing each other for some time and being part of the same (extended) social circle based on interests. This is mostly how it goes around here. If either of us would have been in a relationship at the time we reconnected, we probably would have still gone out together for a chat and turn out friends, since we have so much in common, with or without a romantic relationship.

As to marriage, I do not know, really. I think we live in the age of Marriage 2.0 where the point is not about what which practical benefits can one provide for the other, but more of the commitment to a lifelong partnership with someone who shares your long term goals, interests, passions. What made my bf and I want to commit was the realization that we both envision the same life for ourselves. We are both interested in a certain kind of music/festivals/events, we both like working out and eating healthy, we both like to travel, we both envisioned our own house with a personal gym and private bedrooms, etc. Basically, we found a like minded individual in each other with whom all enterprises can be fueled and expenses shared (on a house, for ex). I realize we do not need to get married to be able to share all this, this is why marriage is not really on our minds. If we ever decide to buy property together or have kids, then probably we will get married, but just for legal reasons.

As for friends, not sure either, maybe try to find like minded women who share your interests? You seem very intellectual, cultural and interesting yourself, it should not be very difficult to meet women with the same interests. Also, maybe your bf's friends's gfs?

[–]vanBeethovenLudwigEndorsed Contributor0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

As to marriage, I do not know, really. I think we live in the age of Marriage 2.0 where the point is not about what which practical benefits can one provide for the other, but more of the commitment to a lifelong partnership with someone who shares your long term goals, interests, passions.

That could also be a cultural difference. In Taiwan at least in my parents generation, women were pretty dumb. It was a chauvinist culture. They needed men to show them things about the world and the wife would in turn take care of the husbands wellbeing and health. I'm pretty sure my boyfriend still prefers it this way to some degree - he still gets off on showing me things and I couldn't respect him if he wasn't intelligent. Since I grew up like this it's the only way I understand how a marriage works ...because growing up in the US it's still a bit similar to what you described in Romania/Denmark where we all just hang out with each other and relationships slowly form. But then I found there was no point to staying with each other. We would have 1-2 years of LTR then once our life trajectory changed, we'd break up. No one was willing to sacrifice for anyone anymore (things like quitting a job or moving to another city etc). We didn't need each other anymore.

As for my current relationship we do have the privilege of sharing life goals and interests, so we're stimulating to each other, but I still have at the back of my mind the man needs to be the provider and more successful or else I don't respect him. This respect is very important to me. Otherwise it does not make me want to stay, I start seeing him as just some fun guy to talk to. I think Italy is a little similar to this where the men really feel the pressures of providing. As for the legal benefits for us, I work as a freelance artist and in the US that translates to no health insurance. If we married I could get health care in Italy. On the other side if my boyfriend ever decided to look for a job in the US, I have that American passport. But I come from a rich family whereas he comes from a poor family. It's all very strange to me. I'm used to the woman marrying into a rich family.

I do think friendship and intellectual stimulation makes a more sustainable relationship for sure. It keeps things going. Life is not just about provision, housework and sex. I saw how because my mom wasn't stimulating, she grew depressed after the kids grew up. However my father is committed to his vows and he still stays with her even though she's not really offering so many benefits anymore. I still have a romantic part of me that hopes a marriage lasts a lifetime but I feel like most won't. People change and want different things. It takes a certain match to be compassionate and flexible in moving along in life. At the same time I think it's good to not let yourself go. People let themselves go and expect their spouses to still stay. It is good to have some pressure but at the same time you have to be forgiving.

[–]cynicalhousewife points points [recovered] | Copy Link

I think being a push over is when you let someone over step your boundaries and so the tension builds and you begin to resent your partner or spouse. I think there are certain boundaries that all women should have if they respect themselves.

  1. Don't let a man be financially independent on you. This kind of reversing of gender roles isn't healthy for the majority of couples.
  2. Don't date men who are physically violent
  3. Don't date men who take drugs or drink excessively or men who are delinquents
  4. Don't date men who don't have shared goals with you and who could be stringing you along. Get a clear idea of where you stand fairly soon into the relationship.
  5. Don't​ partake in sex acts that you are morally opposed to or disgusted by just to please a man or keep him around. Unless you have an unusual aversion to normal intimacy, then there are going to be men around who are sexually compatible with you. No woman needs to do things like anal, threesomes or even blow jobs or receiving oral herself if she doesn't want to. On the reverse, don't settle for a partner who won't fulfill your sexual needs. Find someone compatible. If you marry this person you are going to be having sex with them for the rest of your life hopefully and you want to enjoy it.

[–]Wissenschaft851 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The right balance is realizing that a Dominant - Submissive relationship is not about Master and slave but having clear and define roles for both partners.

Cynicalhousewife has the right idea. The Submissive partner has a right not to be abused and to demand she is treated in way she proves of and has consented to.

Two notes:

1) On financial dependence, not working while a mother is for the benefit of her kids. So she can be a full time mom. On the other hand, its useful for women not to be totally financially dependent on their SO to avoid potential abuse. But thats a decision for each individual woman to make.

2) Don't expect oral sex if you refuse it yourself. Its not fair to your SO to deny oral sex but then demand he preform it on you.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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