After my divorce, I felt pretty confident about getting back out there after almost two decades of being with the same person. I knew full well the times had changed with online dating, the fact I’d had kids — and, well, I wasn’t in my 20s anymore.
Nope, I was a women in my 40s and after the fog had lifted a bit and I had my fun, meaningless sex (that I chose to have), I felt confident in getting back out there for more than just a good time.
Until I stumbled upon some Instagram accounts run by men who were supposedly cracking the code and letting all the secrets fly about how you could hook any man you wanted.
It was then that my heart sank. There were so many rules, I felt like I had to take notes to get it all straight.
Text, but don’t text too much — that’s needy.
If you are mad or upset about something your partner, or a man you are newly dating does, let him know but be kind about it, always.
If he likes football and you don’t, learn about it, and tell him.
Keep up with the blowjobs at all times, ladies!
These are the words that will make a man fall in love with you.
These are the texts you should send if you are trying to get his attention.
You should be super exciting and adventurous all of the time.
This is the kind of sex men want and you should be open to it.
Anyway, you get the point. And I was guilty of trying to fit into all those boxes until I realized the consequences it was having on me.
I no longer felt like myself; I felt like I was living in a play. A play written by a man I didn’t even know. I began to realize I was over-functioning for men and under-functioning for myself.
If I was upset, I was either blowing off my feelings or trying to be really easy-breezy and kind about it because tone is everything (or so these male relationship coaches were saying).
Fuck that bullshit. There are times when being pissed off is in order. There are times when I’m not giving a blow job because I don’t fucking want to. There are going to be times when I need to say something because I want to say it and it needs to be said in whatever way I choose.
What happened to just being yourself, working on yourself, and treating others the way you want to be treated? How did this era of manipulating ourselves to make a man happy become such a thing?
Oh yeah, when we started listening to this bullshit. I implore you, don’t do it.
You can forget me catering to a man and researching football stats and the like, just to make him more interested in me if I don’t want to. I kid you not, some of these accounts tell you how you should walk to attract a man. Really, just fuck off.
I mean, there are things you do because you love someone — and I’m all for learning something new and trying new experiences with someone I love and care about in order to enhance the relationship. I believe it’s important. But it also has to be deserved.
I certainly don’t expect a man to become interested in knitting or baking (two of my favorite hobbies) if that’s not his thing.
But more importantly, the message should be to invest in a person who is investing in you. It has two streets. It’s a partnership and has nothing to do with acting a certain way in order to manipulate and contort yourself into someone you aren’t, just to attract someone.
It’s 2020. And these accounts are just updated versions of the sexist advice women used to get how we should look nice for our husband when he gets home from work, make him a nice dinner, put the kids to bed and have sex with him. Basically what they’re saying is that women should do all the heavy lifting in the relationship. And I am not here for it.
What is going to happen, sister, is that you are going to feel so inauthentic you are going to burst. Your man will think you love football and will watch five hours of it on one of your date nights and instead of wanting to give him that blow job they say keeps things so spicy, you are going to want to give him severe paper cuts. Nobody wins here. And suppose you do all those things and attract that man into a long-term relationship — what happens then? Do you struggle to keep up the charade for the rest of your damn life?
You attract someone that’s right for you by being your true self, always. That doesn’t mean trying to be perfect. That doesn’t mean not putting any effort in to compromise, be compassionate, and allow room for someone else. And that really doesn’t mean acting like a shell of yourself who is always ready to fuck, keeping your mouth shut when you’d rather speak up, and when you do speak, doing it at the right time in the perfect tone with the perfect dialogue.
I’m absolutely exhausted thinking about it. Women who are looking for love, I beg of you, don’t fall for these accounts.
I highly doubt you want to spend all your time thinking about what you can do for him. This will leave you feeling depleted and unhappy, which is the exact opposite of what you want.
Relationships are about coming together, finding your person, and learning to grow together. These accounts have women thinking they are the ones who have to do all the growing and changing. This is brainwashing to make women think they always have to be perfect and men don’t have to do shit and can fuck up.
Listening to this fuckery for the hot second that I did was the biggest waste of my life. And when I stopped, I met him. My man knows I’m not perfect, not always sexy, and I have opinions I’m not afraid to express — he’s said he loves how feisty I am several times.
While I have work to do on myself (hello, we all do), trying to conform to make the men of the world desire me was unfair to me and to the men I was dating.
Another tip: You’ll notice relationship accounts run by women are more about finding your authentic self and what works for you. Not morphing yourself into someone else to fit into a man’s love and trying to keep up the charade until the end of time.
Oh, and news flash, men don’t do this type of research and change themselves for anyone. All my men friends have told me so. Just something to keep in mind.
The best thing I ever did was to stop listening to the bullshit and really look at a potential partner to see if they were worth my time, and if we could come together equally to make something work. And I beg you, single women of the world, to do the same.