I was a teenager, eager to get into the dating game, when I was first told that I was too strong for boys. Mostly from my mum’s girlfriends and I remember very clearly not understanding the message. Wasn’t strength something very positive? Something desirable!?
In fact, I didn’t believe them. I thought they were being polite by trying to not make me feel bad because I was still single while most of the other girls at school were already deeply in the first big love craze.
Fast forward to a while ago. As I already mentioned in previous posts, I have been single for some time now and the idea of giving online dating a try never really did it for me. It’s just that I’m an old-school romantic and I have this image of how it’s supposed to be and swiping left or right most definitely isn’t part of it.
However, after a lot of back and forth I thought I might give it a try and worst case scenario I would delete my account after a few days. (Spoiler alert: that’s what I did in the end. I lasted a whole seven days.)
I heard good stuff about one specific site and after a few clicks I had set up my profile and lo and behold the messages from guys kept popping into my inbox. Mostly very harmless but equally uncreative ones, one creepy one from a dude asking me if he could lick my boots and a few really nice and original ones. Well, especially one of the messages caught my eye and while I only responded to about a handful, this was one of them.
The guy immediately wrote back and generally seemed very witty and smart and just nice to talk to and at some point the idea of a real-life date was born. We were supposed to meet for coffee the following Saturday.
To be honest, I didn’t really expect much from this date – not because of this exact person, but because…well, online dating. Still I figured I had nothing to lose and if nothing else it would be good practice.
On Friday I texted him to make sure that our date was still standing and all of a sudden the tide had changed significantly. I absolutely didn’t expect the response that I was about to get.
He told me very openly that he wasn’t sure whether he was still interested in meeting me in person, because – drumroll please – he was too intimidated by me.
He felt like I was ‘out of his league’.
Let me say very clearly that I by no means want to bash this poor dude who was pretty sweet besides this little (ehm, big) detail and who, I’m sure, is a really great person and very courageous for being so honest, but still this aspect of the story serves as a pretty perfect example for the point I want to make.
Upon reading his response my initial reaction was sheer surprise, followed by me trying to uplift and comfort him. (Don’t judge me. I was panicking.) And obviously I did such a great job that after just a few minutes he was like ‘well to be honest, I’m starting to change my mind’.
I mean, seriously? You fucking kidding me? What did you think initially? That you were going on a date with Kim Jong-Un!?
So after making it clear that this wasn’t an option anymore (go figure), the story still had me thinking about the way I am obviously being perceived by some men. And truth be told: at some point it hit me hard that I am in fact proud that
men boys are starting to feel intimidated by who I am and how I am deciding to show up.
Here’s the thing: I am not willing to dilute my persona just in order for someone else (be it male or female) to feel comfortable. If necessary, I want to be perceived as challenging because compromising any part of me would be a disservice to everyone. It would not only take away a huge chunk of how and who I really am, in the end it would make me despise and disrespect my opponent.
When I started digging deeper into this topic and the question where this confidence suddenly came from, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to take this distinct position if it weren’t for the amazing role models I have in my life. The ladies who are not willing to shrink in order to fit into narrow molds and stereotypical as well as antiquated views of female-ness.
I am fortunate to not only have those women in my real life, but also through social media it really is so easy to follow people who inspire you to be more and to show up as such. Tools like Instagram really do allow you to curate your content into whatever direction you need – be it in a positive, be it in a negative way.
One of my personal role models for that matter is (amongst many others) the amazingly powerful, strong and inspiring Mrs. Erin Brown who is neither afraid to speak up loudly nor does she hush her own voice to conform. As a self-proclaimed nasty woman and the founder of the #queenshit movement, Erin also co-host one of the best podcasts ever. With her friend and fellow nasty lady Neghar Fonooni they are not afraid to dig deep. Long story short: I want to be like those women when I grow up.
But all humor aside, be mindful of whom you’re letting into your news feed, mind and life. And as woo woo as it may sound, I want to believe that only if we each individually raise our vibes will we collectively benefit.
Here’s to the strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them. And last but not least, may we intimidate the boys.
What a relief.. to be a woman. To be a terrified, vulnerable, always anxious, forever worried, far too loving or far too lusting, loud mouthed, moment grasping, baby-bearing, romance obsessed, super delicate, heart aching, weight loss eager, insecure, over passionate, under cooperative, soul throbbing, idol worshipping, elegantly swearing, cuddle needing, attention seeking – yet always grabbing, breath taking, strong, and beautiful woman. We aren’t given enough credit. In no way am I asking for recognition but I think it’s important that women celebrate themselves. I think it’s important that women continue to educate themselves, uplift themselves, speak for themselves, stand up for themselves, take care of themselves, touch themselves, and forever and ever love themselves – far more than anyone ever could. It’s important that we remain ourselves, for ourselves, and stay true to everything and everyone that makes sense to ourself. Sometimes we get lost in the idea that we should be or look like others but all of our flaws are what make us so goddamn beautiful. And… sometimes I don’t want to be pretty… I wanna be fucking powerful. I wanna be approached like a woman and not a piece of meat. I want a man to look me in my eyes and say “What a relief.. A woman who loves herself.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Reyna Biddy – What a relief ⠀