You want to meet that special someone. Maybe you fantasize about love and connection and starting a family with your perfect soulmate. And so, you keep putting yourself out there- only to be disappointed, bored, or even resentful.
From ghosting to monkey branching to catfishing to peacocking, modern dating trends somewhat resemble words in a child’s storybook!
And if you believe that dating was easier several years ago, you might be onto something. In fact, 47% of Americans report that dating is harder than it was ten years ago. Today, women face numerous obstacles when interacting with men.
So, with that said, does true love really exist? Are relationships so hard- or are these challenges just in your head? Let’s dive in.
Understanding Male and Female Energies
Ever heard that phrase that men are from Mars and women are from Venus? As it turns out, the two sexes do operate, think, and approach dating differently.
First, it’s important to note that we all have masculine and feminine energy. Think of them as two poles, and we each have a unique balance of both energies.
Masculine energy typically consists of traits like:
- Seeking strength and power.
- Having a sense of control or dominance.
- Being single-task oriented.
- Desiring autonomy and freedom.
- Wanting success.
- Protecting others at all costs.
- Desiring competition and challenge.
- Focusing on the big picture.
Feminine energy, on the other hand, typically consists of traits like:
- Seeking connection and intimacy.
- Intuiting and leaning into emotion.
- Nurturing others.
- Being able to multi-task efficiently.
- Desiring close relationships and a sense of belonging.
- Focusing on smaller details.
Keep in mind that none of these traits are inherently good or bad. To some extent, most of us have varying degrees of them. When we’re in a healthy mindset, we can embrace this equilibrium. We can also learn how to attract and commit to partners who exude a stable equilibrium themselves.
At the same time, an excess or deficit of one can cause relationship imbalances. For example, if you’re both competing with masculine energy, you may feel like you need to one-up each other. Or, if you’re both only focusing on connection and intimacy, you may overlook the need to set appropriate boundaries.
How Do These Energies Affect Dating?
Do you seem to feel all the feelings? Do you intuit how others interpret situations? Do you often give more than you receive, and do you identify as being an empath or overly sensitive?
If so, you probably have high levels of feminine energy. Your strengths include compassion, authenticity, and generosity. There’s a good chance that people gravitate towards you because you help them feel loved!
Of course, this energy can become problematic in the dating world. That’s because you may be overly forgiving, patient, or optimistic when meeting new men. You might ignore someone’s various red flags because you feel convinced that you can see his potential. You also might sacrifice your own needs because you want the benefits of commitment.
Now, let’s look at another example. Do you identify as being a natural leader or a fearless boss? Does everyone listen to what you have to say? Are you assertive and confident in what you want?
If so, you may have higher levels of masculine energy. Your strengths include high levels of achievement, power, confidence, and motivation. You know you get things done, and you don’t let people get in your way.
As a woman, this excess energy might also be problematic in the dating world. Men may be intimidated by your personality- they may experience envy over your success. In addition, they might worry about being dominated or controlled.
What’s best? In most cases, it’s a balance. Both parties should have some masculine and feminine energy. On the other hand, if either of you is 100% on one end of the spectrum, you’re likely to become resentful.
Are Women Being Forced to Use More Masculine Energy Than Before?
We have been inundated with messages about being a strong, independent woman. We’re constantly told that it’s essential to stand up for ourselves and go after what we want. Other women cheer on our successes and our independence, instilling the cliched message, need no man!
Make no mistake- women’s empowerment is an essential part of living in a healthy society. After all, we’ve faced the extreme brunt of harassment, objectification, and abuse.
But is there a downside to all this shift in momentum? Is it affecting our energy levels and impacting our dating strategy?
In some ways, yes. Today, women often feel compelled to use both their feminine and masculine energies. Let’s explore some reasons why this is happening.
Unrealistic Standards for Women
Let’s be real. The modern woman is expected to have it all, and she’s supposed to have it all today.
She needs the Pinterest-inspired home, killer career, beautiful family, perfect body, zen-like personality, and a social-media-worthy life. To meet these impossible standards, you’re also expected to be fearless, attractive, compassionate, assertive, humble, sexy, patient, authoritative, confident, submissive, relaxed, independent, and loving- all at the same time.
Not only is this list exhaustive, but it’s also damaging. It requires women to try to maximize exceedingly high levels of masculine and feminine energy at the same time. Not only is this challenging, but it’s unsustainable. We have a natural equilibrium, and trying to disrupt that repeatedly can cause massive burnout and low self-esteem.
Feeling Like You Can’t Be “Like Other Women”
Do you want to be seen as low-maintenance, as someone who just goes with the flow and doesn’t have needs of her own? Do you look down on other women for being needy, emotional, or clingy to their partners?
If you genuinely believe you’re not like other women, it probably comes from feeling like you need to prove your uniqueness or worth. But, unfortunately, it also may mean you look down on other women for their feminine energy.
While you don’t have to be someone you’re not, you shouldn’t feel pressure to consume yourself with masculine energy, either. This is a fast way to feel resentful during the dating process.
Limited Supply of Emotionally Stable Partners
Unfortunately, many people just aren’t very suitable for dating. They may have unresolved emotional baggage or skewed misconceptions about relationships. Or, they are still working on themselves- and they aren’t ready to enter the dating scene.
There are also more narcissists coming out of the woodwork than ever before.
Of course, the shortage of healthy men can be frustrating. It’s painful to want something without being able to secure it.
Unfortunately, some women start settling because they don’t believe they will find the perfect person. So instead, they settle for what feels like “good enough.” But good enough may mean compromising their values and overlooking problematic behaviors- we all know this can have devastating consequences in the long run.
Aside from instability in dating, women are being forced to be in their masculine energy more often with single parenting, running a household on their own, and making all the decisions. This is especially true when it comes to having narcissistic partners or exes, as narcissists do very little in the way of responsible parenting or co-parenting.
Shifting Dating Standards
Does romance feel dead? Maybe. But it could also be because we’re prioritizing new needs. For example, up to 40% of young adults want to “accept themselves” before looking for love.” Furthermore, 20% of people indicate wishing to reach a certain income threshold before dating.
These dating standards may be promising, but they don’t tell the whole picture. For example, many people trade romantic dates for fast sex. Additionally, people are more likely to cohabit for longer without securing commitment.
Finally, 21% of men indicate being unfaithful to their partners at some point during their lifetime. Men are also more likely to have a positive attitude about extramarital sex.
You may feel the need to “accept” this new reality. You might feel like you need to “step up” in your masculine energy. However, this pressure can undoubtedly make dating difficult- you know you deserve better, but you also aren’t sure if true romance is really out there.
Why Exuding More Masculine Energy Isn’t the Answer
Even if you feel like you’re supposed to be stronger or tougher or more something, it doesn’t mean you need to listen to that pressure. You’re allowed to be who you are. And beyond that, you should wholeheartedly embrace who you are.
If you gravitate towards having more feminine energy, that’s part of what makes you special. Lean into it. If someone wants to control, shame, or change it, that person probably doesn’t have your best interest at heart.
It’s normal to want to be a good partner when in a relationship. It’s also normal to want to work on yourself and make various improvements. But the core essence of you shouldn’t need to change- you are who you are.
Final Thoughts: Stop Discounting Your Needs!
Dating and relationships require some take-and-give, but you shouldn’t consistently sacrifice your needs for someone else. If you are, it’s a red flag that you might be in an abusive dynamic.
Having a balance of energy allows you to focus on the right priorities without compromising your self-esteem. Similarly, you deserve someone who also has an appropriate balance of energy- a chronic mismatch will only result in destruction.
Healing may take time, but you are worthy of love, respect, and a healthy connection.
Now, more than ever, it is essential to find ways to rest and commune with our souls, a journey not only to manage emotional stress and the disorientation that many of us are experiencing right now, but to strengthen our relationship with our hearts, and to reconnect with the sacredness of who we are and why we’re here in this lifetime.
This likely feels impossible to do if you have a narcissist in your life.
If you can, stop thinking about the narcissist. Stop thinking about all the wrongs you’ve suffered.
Instead, focus on yourself and your healing journey.
Many of us are still reeling from the outcome of the pandemic, feeling tired, wearied, and numb. Try to heal the soul-level exhaustion and gently befriend yourself once again. Align with your true, authentic self so you can call in healthy love and relationships.
Never give your power away again.
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