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Dear Mr. Insecure,

After ending a significant relationship two and a half years ago, I began to dip my toes into the dating pool with extreme caution. This last year as I began to feel more open and ready to genuinely explore the possibility of finding a long-term relationship, I decided to full cannon ball plunge into the depths of the single scene. I should have worn a life jacket.

Along the way I’ve met a few men with potential. However, most of the men I’ve connected with voiced a common objection to my company that I found quite perplexing at first. Recently, one man (we’ll call him Mr. Insecure) really brought this recurring issue to my attention.

Being self-employed as a Marketing Agency Owner and Consultant, I’ve done more than my fair share of networking, public speaking, and teaching.

So, I feel comfortable meeting new people face to face and speaking confidently. I prefer to discuss big ideas and thoughtful insights instead of small talk, so if there’s ever a time I mention my accomplishments, it’s reflective rather than hubris.

I own my weaknesses as well as my successes since they’re all part of who I am, but while some men feel my confidence and openness make me approachable and attractive, a great number of men tell me that I’m … intimidating.

One guy even went so far as to advise me on how to tone down my confidence so that men might find me more desirable in the future. Excuse me?

When I look at it from the man’s point of view, I understand how hard it is to put yourself out there. The expectations about what it takes to “be a real man” these days are convoluted and confusing.

Men want to know they shine amongst the competition, so it’s disheartening when they show up ready for validation only to find that the beautiful woman across the table is just as successful if not more, can meet the basic needs in life herself, and is looking for something deeper and more profound than what the conventional paradigm offers. Accomplished women are just harder to impress.

But let’s be crystal clear about something here, ladies: When a man says, “You’re intimidating”, what he’s really saying is, “I’m intimidated.” And there is a BIG difference between the two.

When women feel criticized, we inherently look within to see if there is any truth to the harsh judgment……we can’t help it. As such, women often instantly assume that because a man said it, that comment must be true. We’re the problem. That’s nonsense. You can’t “make” anyone feel a certain way.

There’s no way you “make” a man feel intimated. Every person comes with their own story about themselves (and their own self-worth, or lack of it) and what they want in a partner. We are rarely privy to knowing any of that during the introduction stage of a relationship.

The hot guy who is used to dating women who are impressed by his dedication to a job he hates and the fact that he owns a car and home, is bound to feel intimidated by the woman who is financially independent and doesn’t need a man but chooses a man.

What can a guy like that offer a woman who is already taking care of herself? In his mind, not much. 

So, don’t internalize “you’re intimidating.” Sure, absolutely self-reflect. And if you find work within yourself needing to be done, learn from it and do better. But, if you find that you are showing up whole, real, and unassuming then keep on being your big, bold, bright self.

Men who feel good about who they are and what they bring to the table feel emboldened by happy, confident women, not diminished by them.

As for Mr. Insecure … I am using my experience with him to hone in on what I really want in a partner.

Dating for a strong, powerful woman is usually an ongoing process of elimination, and that’s OK. Perhaps I’d feel happy with an everyday achiever, after all, his life is fairly uncomplicated. Now just uplevel that notion to add “everyday achiever” who is ALSO genuinely “happy with where he’s at.” Because those men are out there. Or maybe I am starting to realize that I really do want someone who sees something greater in himself and is willing to do the scary work it takes to rise into that. I’d like to believe those men are out there too.

Either way, I am learning to hone in on what works for me. And that’s a gift that only comes from putting myself out there in as real a way as possible.

I’m learning not to cave to the temptation (e.g. social pressure) to slow myself down or make myself smaller to give the potential greatness in another person a chance to catch up with my own. Dimming my light and power only enables their weakness and creates co-dependency, which is the opposite of what I truly desire.

Playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

Though I haven’t found my “forever” romantic partner yet, and the pool of prospective partners shrinks a bit the more I stand in my joy, confidence, and power. I will use the bumps in the road to my advantage as I move closer to the “real thing.”

My dating advice to you, stay true to your greatness and wish guys like Mr. Insecure all the best on their journey as they grow into their own greatness; while you continue to pursue men who are ready for a high-value woman.

Allison Rose

Allison Rose

Founder at Filter Free Bullsh!t Free

Entrepreneurship is my addiction, Sharing my story and empowering others is my passion. My girl gang, my family and tequila shots fuel my soul & calm my head. I’m here to inspire and to be inspired.

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