I was reading your piece "How to Have Serious Game in Today's Unserious World" and it got me thinking...
I'm a very rational girl and have always been. I was often complimented in my late teens and early 20's to be very mature for my age (meaning I had control over my emotions just like you said).
Now I'm 25, being single for a long time, and after some readings and self evaluation, I'm being convinced that this too rational side of mine is blocking my "heart/emotional side" as a woman.
Isn't being genuine and "feeling"-oriented something that catches men's attention?
I don't mean being all over the place, but a flowing energy, something naturally very feminine and the opposite of man's nature.
I wonder if my having my "act together" didn't put off the men I had in my life until now?
Can you please share some thoughts on this? You've been helping me a lot and I'm very grateful for your content.
Thank you <3
Dear Mature Gal,
Congratulations on being a mature young woman and handling yourself with poise and dignity. Which is pretty farfetched considering today's culture from which we've all seemed to become accustomed to folks being anything but.
But I'm also more curious about your backstory and would love to somehow spy and catch a glimpse of how this plays out in your interactions with men. Obviously I can't.
I admit that I'm very cold and calculative at times because I had to be. It was very much an ongoing stimulus-into-action compromise for me as a young woman among various types of men who attempted to come at me full throttle with game-playing, being "unreachable" and emotionally withdrawn.
That is, until they themselves felt safe to open up to me (more on that below).
In other words, they were f*ckboys as they term them today. And not a single one was ever able to get one over on me because I've always been 10 steps ahead of them and their all too predictable tactics.
I'd also learned a lot from my brother in this department and got a bird's eye view on how he'd play women.
One minute he's picking them up and taking them to the movies, the next minute he's insisting I tell them he's not home when they call.
I paid very close attention to his behavior and knew what to expect from guys just like him who would soon reveal they were interested in me.
I grew up in a completely different culture and environment where maturity and having game i.e. earning people's love through respect was the standard.
It wasn't that I never let my guard down and never expressed emotions, it was the fact that once I did, these guys would suddenly change. Much like my brother did. And they would often change overnight.
So I'm suddenly being bamboozled by a guy I just had a two-hour long, loving conversation with on the phone and the next day at school he's passing me in the hallway pretending like we didn't just spend two hours on the phone together the night before.
Fun stuff huh?
It's very much a pattern with these guys. They don't want you to encroach on their freedom and their desire to live life on their terms.
And confronting them with emotional displays on a more transactional basis, like many young women seem to do today, would get me absolutely nowhere. And I knew it.
This is how most girls would react in the above situation:
"I hate that you're never here! I need you to spend more time with me!"
"Who is that girl? Why are you talking to her? Do you think she's more attractive than me?"
"What are you thinking about? Are you thinking bad things about me especially? For God's sake, WUT.ARE.YOU.THINKING.ABOUT?"
Again, I learned early on these types of men do not respond well to this if they even bother to respond at all. The only thing they seem to understand is the stone coldness they dish out and only then, when they receive it back, will they be nicer and come more correct.
And the great part is, when they do open up...
They respond to tenderness. Thoughtfulness. Sweetness. Consideration for their feelings, especially when they don't want to share them, which is quite often.
It wasn't that I never shared any feelings nor expressed any emotions. These guys just can't seem to deal with them in large doses, especially with any conditions attached to them.
Thus, I learned to become much more passive. Instead of expressing emotional dismay at them and their behavior, I was much more reserved.
I backed off.
I went to the arcade with my friends.
I let them wonder what I thought, instead of being overly preoccupied with what they thought because they went out of their way to make it seem like they weren't thinking about me at all.
However, when we did share tenderness, it was in the moment, when it felt right and fun, when it could be received well and it was irresistible to them.
For example, there was a guy I liked a lot and we would always play fight and wrestle around a bit. He pinned me down on the couch (fully clothed so get your mind out of the gutter lol) by my wrists and I gave him what he called "puppy eyes."
I would peer into his eyes with innocent and arresting feminine vulnerability and it would drive him absolutely nuts.
That's how I would express my emotions to men. Let them catch a glimpse of my vulnerability against their toughness. And I didn't need to say a single word.
So you see, it's a healthy mix. Where the healthy parts are much more tolerable to these types of guys. They don't like whining, being a crybaby, asking them too many questions or talking too much.
They just don't. And woe to any woman who thinks this is the way to reach these men. It isn't.
Plus, it doesn't help that we live in a world that is steeped in duality.
You can't be both sweet and strong as a woman.
You can't be all business while being fun and exciting in-between.
I don't play by those rules. Never have. I'm everything and nothing all at once when the time is right and the context is appropriate to be so.
Thus being mature is being conscientious in how you handle your emotions and when and how to properly display them. And most of all, it's being conscientious of how men of a certain character may or may not come to appreciate them and honor them.
I'm stone cold to people who are stone cold to me. I'm warm and inviting to people who are warm and inviting to me. I know that sucks and it seems like a lot of work, but unfortunately, this is how we teach people how to love us.
You can flow with this flavor of everything and nothing at the same time like a bird riding the north wind. The key is to flow with it in the moment, and never against it.
So perhaps you might have shut yourself off from your emotions and had your guard up unbeknownst to you. Or perhaps, you might not have felt safe in the company of men of whom you could express yourself in such a way that leads to passionate and tender moments.
It's not wrong to be emotional as a woman. But it's dignified and very smart to think a little more carefully about how that might be received, and by whom.
That's maturity. Understanding where and when to be vulnerable with a man. And realizing when it's very wise and in your best interests to be, or not to be.
Love and Many Blessings,
Questions or comments on this column? Have an advice question you'd like answered?
Write me: email@example.com