The queer men and women I spoke to had never been given the excuse of intimidation as the reason why they weren’t finding dates (though, admittedly, my findings are 100% anecdotal).
So, being a woman who used to mold and fold herself to meet society’s standards of “the girl he wants to date,” I started Googling to see exactly what men found intimidating in a woman, all in an effort to fix it in myself.
The answers I found were actually super enraging — especially on one particular Reddit post I’d stumbled across.
Some answered, “If she’s better looking than me,” while others brought up words like “smarter,” “stronger,” “funnier,” and “outspoken.” Women who made more money than their male counterparts, or had a better job or seemed more successful in general, were also penalized.
The men who I wanted to be dating, on the other hand, wouldn’t call me for a second date, because they’re men who like forthright, independent, complicated women — and that’s not who I was being.
It took me a while to understand that, by covering up my supposedly intimidating attributes, I wasn’t “fixing” myself; I just wasn’t being true to myself.
) I got a whole slew of responses, but versions of the same question kept popping up over and over again: I myself have been called intimidating a lot throughout my life.
It all started with my father who, trying his hardest to console a weepy teenager who didn’t have a date to prom, told me that it wasn’t my fault that men didn’t want to date me. He totally meant it as a compliment — he’d raised a strong, outspoken young woman, and he knew it — so I tried to take it as such.
But I now also believe that you need to still be yourself, not the person you think your date wants you to be.If I disagreed with him on anything, I’d avoid even a friendly debate, and smile tightly and change the subject.I tried to make myself appear smaller so I wouldn’t overshadow the man I was out with. A string of egocentric assholes who wanted to me small so that they felt bigger.I quit hiding parts of myself from my dates so that they could really tell who I was, and this made me a better dater in a lot of ways.It allowed me to fully discuss my standards and what I was looking for.