by Caitlin Boos
Hollywood cliches have convinced us for decades that the unapologetic, single woman with a lucrative career, non-negotiable standards, and/or lofty ambitions has something inherent to apologize for. While owning your independence and excelling in every aspect of life is celebrated in most spaces and revered by a majority of people, why is the concept of being ‘intimidating’ still such a scare-off to men? Personally, and like most women, I vehemently disagree with the notion that “being intimidating” is somehow something that needs to be accounted for when searching for a partner, but alas, we do live in and are dating within, the patriarchy. For some women, unfortunately, this fear of daunting a man forces them to downplay their successes or ease up on their autonomy, but that’s unacceptable and never a ‘solution’ that should be considered! The following will propose perhaps why suitors tend to find you intimidating, and not what you can do to quell such a presence, but instead, how to go about navigating relationships without it being sacrificed!
You Exude Confidence and Accept Nothing Less
Palpable confidence is often intertwined with the notion of “being intimidating,” as the awing air which surrounds someone who knows their self-worth can often feel like a stunning force, startling all onlookers. When insecure observers witness these displays of unashamed assuredness, they errantly misconstrue it as arrogance because they don’t personally possess it and are subsequently bitter about such. Men who lack similar self-assertiveness or, are unwilling to accept that a woman could be capable of fulfilling her esteem, will likely do the same, as they simply cannot comprehend the concept of you not needing external affirmation. An alarming number of women dial back their confidences to appease their male partners because of this but, I advise the exact opposite: if he can’t exist amidst your self-reliance without being intimidated, then move onto the next! Similarly, given how aware you are of your self-worth, it is likely you expect a potential partner to be equally assured of his, and I, highly implore you, to make it known that you won’t settle for anything else!
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Domination is the Dynamic You Prefer
Possibly the characteristics most archetypal of “being intimidating” are wielding immense power and asserting control over all situations for whichever ingrainedly sexist reason. While I’ll refrain from diverging fully into feminism, the image of a dominant woman demanding obedience and ordering around those in her vicinity can sometimes come off as, annihilating, to a fragile man’s inflated ego. Toxic masculinity (even if it’s repressed), mandates a female partner assert a more submissive role to fulfill a less domineering position than, her male counterpart, and thus, we have the ‘intimidated man,’ and the ‘overly powerful woman.’ The most common iteration of this concept is he who is frightened of his lover’s executive position at work or, likewise, the vast successes in her career. He may be similarly unnerved by you, if you approach life with an ‘unwilling to compromise’ mindset or, refuse to adhere to any dynamic other than ‘calling all the shots.’ I would advise avoiding any man whose misogynistic insecurities negated the ability to accept and embrace your authoritative ways or imposing outlook; why be with the guy too fragile to give up power?
Sex is A Particularly Practiced Skill of Yours
While I loathe entertaining stereotypes about the sexes, men are biologically more predisposed to desiring and prioritizing sex, and so, when pursuing any woman, they tend to become quite invested in, and analytical of such. Not to make too sweeping of an assumption, but most men wouldn’t be overly pleased with the possibility of not satisfying their lovers and doth, we introduce the woman who is incredibly experienced with, and objectively skilled at, sex. If perchance you possess a particularly advanced appetite, you may have encountered a handful of guys who react adversely to your breadth of knowledge and/or familiarity with positions they aren’t yet acquainted with. For some men, sex is their magnum opus, and you incontestably ousting them at their perceived area of expertise is very crippling to their egos. Couple this fragile pride with society’s condemnation of female sexual liberation and alas, you have the erroneous conclusion that being experienced with sex, equates a cause for distress. Honestly though, if I were you, I would flaunt that elaborate skillset unapologetically; why hide certain tools from the toolbox just because he isn’t up to par?
Independence is Your Permanent Mindset
In our modern age, women are allotted a plethora of paths to honor in life and thus, we can choose to pursue any of the endeavors we-so-desire! Between schools and careers; passions and ambitions, we are free to entrench ourselves in as many ventures as viable within our resources and so, we do; alone. I am the foremost proponent of fully independent women and ideally, we would live in a society where unrestrained female self-sufficiency is as embraced as it is ample but alas, we do not. Some men are intimidated by unbridled independence, as that insinuates that any contributions, he adds to your life are unneeded and that he, by extent, is unnecessary. He who genuinely fears being disposed of due to an absence of sufficient enhancements may just require earnest assurance to quell his insecurity-based “intimidation.” The man who allows this paranoia to corrupt an otherwise thriving relationship, however, is simply unworthy of all the energy necessary for affirmation. Navigating through life entirely on your own merits, efforts and successes are incredibly impressive and I would never advise downplaying that for any man, in any capacity.
You Approach Your Everyday with Aggression
The last, broad reason why a man might find you “intimidating,” is if you project an outwardly fiery disposition or, possess a propensity for confrontation. As potentially detected amidst my prose I also, am someone who fits into this characteristic category, but I do not necessarily consider it a fatal flaw. Though gender norms have become less rigid, misogyny is far from abolished and equality still has eons to go so, given all the adversity instated by the patriarchy, combative nature and bellicose attitude are well warranted. While aggression, as it pertains to temperament is innately intimidating, so too is it in regards to ambition. If you pursue your aspirations particularly ardently – proverbially, “attacking the day” – then it is likely men will find you similarly daunting. Of all the qualities which intimidate men, these will aptly be the ones they are most unwilling to accept, as well those which you will want to stifle more frequently. However, despite their discomfort and your apprehension, aggression—much like intimidation as a whole—is not something to minimize for the sake of men and their perceptions.
Be boldly combative, unapologetically independent, and open about your sexual prowess. Don’t refrain from domination, keep secret your confidence, or, worry about altering your behaviors so men can feel mighty in your presence. Society wants intimidating women to remodel themselves into softer, sweeter, less threatening creatures, but from one male distress to another, stay unrestrained in your startling ways.
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