A magnet's north pole will attract another magnet's south pole, but when two north poles face each other they push each other away. Based on this anecdote, we often hear the phrase 'opposites attract', but beyond the obvious opposite sexes in heterosexual relationships, have we ever really thought about whether this saying bears any real weight in our romantic relationships?
As women affirm themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the work world and academia, many are complaining that is extremely difficult to find a good man. The complaints range from not finding a man who matches our educational background and vocation, to the available men being too 'soft' and/or emotionally inept.
Author and relationship coach Caleen Diedrick says that while on some level these complaints might be valid, many of these ladies fail to see the role they play in the man-woman dynamics, and the traits that they attract or bring out in a partner.
“Women have taken pride in their ability to do all things — life has forced us to be strong and take charge. This is awesome as we continue to strive in the corporate world, but there is a flip side to all of this that many don't recognise,” she said. “In order to be taken seriously in the work world a lot of women are of the view that they must be more like their male counterparts. They arrest many of the natural female tendencies to ensure that they don't come across as flaky, emotional or sexy when doing business.
“Years of leading with their masculine energy might get them the top position in management, but it is usually at the expense of losing much of their feminine power,” the expert lamented. “This can dramatically impact the dynamics in their love relationships as many no longer know how to access their softer side.”
Diedrick said that these women unwittingly take the lead in their relationships from the onset, causing the men to feel like subordinates. The women will sooner or later start 'repelling' the men who want to assert their masculinity, or realise that the men lead with feminine energy, or what Jamaican women call 'soft'.
While pointing out that it will require practice to find and bring to the forefront the all-powerful feminine energy, Diedrick gave these pointers for women to assert their femininity in their relationships.
Get in touch with your emotions
“For some women it will require getting in touch with your emotions,” the coach said. “This means unlocking those things that were perhaps painful for you at some point, and dealing with them. Talk about them and allow yourself to become vulnerable with your significant other. Showcase your heart so that the man may be able to do what is supposed to come naturally — protect and provide.”
Surrender to your man
“For a lot of independent women the idea of surrender is sacrilegious,” Diedrick noted. “You cannot wrap your mind around it. For you, it is as if you are giving up everything you have fought for. But surrender is about allowing the man to lead and to take control, and recognising that you can guide and sway this man and influence him in a way that doesn't emasculate him in the process.”
Be sensitive to his needs
Not every single man is going to be an academic or will be chasing after the corporate vocations. A man gets satisfaction from different things — you must recognise those needs, be sensitive to them, supportive of them, and allow him to go after those things, Diedrick noted.
Learn how to serve
“Recognise that it's OK to serve your man and learn how to do so,” she advised. “For some men the idea of coming home to a meal that was prepared by their significant other is service. I'm not suggesting that a woman who has many positions in corporate should come home and prepare a meal everyday, but at some point, even once per week, try to come home and make his favourite meal and do something that he likes.”
Bring the romance
Part of you accessing the feminine energy is bringing the romance, Diedrick explained. “It could be giving him a massage every now and again. Surprise him with lunch. Book a room at a hotel and take him there. The things that would make you feel wanted and appreciated in the relationship, do those things for the man. Too often we wait for the men to bring the romance to us.
“A lot of us, especially single moms or those women who have gone through a lot emotionally, forget how to speak to a man for him to feel honoured and respected in the space,” she admitted. “Be tender. Be attentive. Allow him to handle some things. While I understand that we are independent and we make our own money, we can still allow him to feel needed. Allow him to feel like his presence is important in the household.”
“Get back in touch with your sensual side,” she recommended. “A lot of very accomplished women have lost their men because they have forgotten what it's like to cater to a man sexually. Many times they don't know how to, because it's a skill that they have not groomed any at all. You have to get in touch with your inner temptress. Access whatever material you might need to help you to let loose and unleash that important portion of your womanhood.”