Boy, was I fuming when I flipped to the next chapter, to see Rule #3 ‘Don’t Stare at Men or Talk Too Much’. The first part made sense, but the second part stung. Reading didn’t help – I don’t have space here to repeat every painful word so, lets start with ‘besides, most men find chatty women annoying.’ (p 35)
I don’t know about you, but nearly every woman I know has been told at some point that they talk too much. So, to have another woman tell me that I need to talk less… wow. Thanks bitch. But, after I cooled down and thought it over, I realized that what Ellen & Sherrie must mean is that if you talk too much you’re going to miss the vital signs that decide whether you want to be with him.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before you get a chance to observe him he needs to notice you and make his move. Women often ask me ‘If I don’t make the first move or show I’m interested, how do I get his attention?’ Ellen & Sherrie nail this one: ‘We suggest simply smiling at the room (or the universe if you will), and looking relaxed and approachable.’ (p 33) Seriously, like I mentioned in Rule #1, no man can resist the radiance of the feminine.
It sounds so mysterious and amazing, but it is simply you feeling good being you. It doesn’t really matter if you are a goth gal with a sinister pout or a reserved, demure computer nerd, as long as you are genuine. Secondly, you must be totally into your own scene and consequently almost completely unaware of what’s going around it. We’ve all been told that Mr. Right will come along when you aren’t looking for him – this is what they’re talking about. Be you, and be totally into whatever it is you’re doing and you’ll be a magnet for the perfect match.
If feminine radiance attracts Mr. Right, then what kind of men do you attract when you initiate eye contact or when you draw a tiny bit of attention to yourself and then look away like you don’t know what you just did or when you place yourself conveniently in his line of site? The kind of men we talked about in Rule #2: the men who are looking for a piece of ass or who will never be the kind of man you really want. So get engaged with what you’re doing because if ‘he doesn’t notice you first, he’s probably not interested’ (p 33) and if he’s not interested, you don’t want him!
A note on circumstances: If a man is interested, he’s not going to let anything get in the way of his making a move. But to make yourself more comfortable, surround yourself with the sort of people who support your style of attracting the right guy. Go out with other couples, a couple of girlfriends, a small mixed group, pairs, by yourself and stay away from the ‘friends’ who contrive for the whole group to look over at him, then at you and then run to the bathroom to ‘leave you with the purses’. Regardless, he’ll figure it out (and the harder he works for it, the more he’s going to enjoy his prize!).
One way or another, he’s made it over to you, and he’s striking up a conversation – or, he’s gotten your number and the phone is ringing. Either way, we’ve hit the part of the chapter that enraged me at first. According to Ellen & Sherrie, it’s time to ‘hold your tongue’.
I am a very chatty woman. My chattiness is helpful sometimes and sometimes it’s not – such as when I should really be listening. This is why I was initially triggered: what I had to learn from this rule was the difference between ‘shut up, you talk to much and I think you’re annoying’ and ‘shut up and listen for your own good’. There is a not a clear distinction in this chapter, so allow me…
We women have a tendency to talk through everything. There is nothing wrong with this. The important thing is that you know why you are chatty – is it genuine expression & curiosity or insecurity? For example, I used to be very insecure and talked because I was trying to make myself comfortable. Now, I am more comfortable with myself I talk to express myself. On a first date I am all for showing him how expressive (chatty, loud, opinionated, abrasive, straightforward, witty) I am, but I am not only there to make sure that HE likes ME for who I am; I am there to make sure that I like HIM too.
The most important criteria I look for in a man is that our values match. So, I talk when I want, but I make a pointed effort to look and listen closely to him. For example, I like a man to get up when I enter a room. I like him to dote on me a little until I get comfortable. I like him be able to carry on an engaging, reciprocal conversation. I want to see him light up when he talks about his purpose, his family and his friends – and mention all three of those things. I like him to go on and on if it is something that really means a lot to him. And I want him to stop and be a little embarrassed when he’s gone on for too long. If I stole the conversation at every turn, I wouldn’t get to see him in his natural habitat, so to speak, and I would have no idea if he meets my criteria.
If a guy is worth his salt, he’ll want to see you in all your glory and will encourage you to express yourself too. So do it! Be who you are without toning it down or reigning it in AND make sure you get an opportunity to observe what you are looking for (this focus helps A LOT with any first date jitters).
I’m not going to lie
With all that being said, this final paragraph still doesn’t sit right: ‘On the date itself, be quiet and reserved. He’ll wonder what you’re thinking. if you like him and if he’s making a good impression. He’ll think your interesting and mysterious, unlike many of the women he’s dated. Don’t you want him to think about you like that?’ (p35)
I am not quiet and reserved, but I have acted that way to get a man to like me. And it did make a man think I’m interesting and mysterious. And it was nice to be thought of that way. But deep down I knew that if I am acting a certain way on a date to get a certain result, it’s eventually going to blow up in my face (and it has). Ellen & Sherrie are pointing to something that cannot be achieved through ‘acting as though’ alone (which is maybe why this chapter is such a sore spot for me). At its core, this rule reiterates that you must look deeply at the sort of creature you are, and get very, very comfortable being her.
Fucking Fabulous Feminine
The only way to have a man truly think you are interesting and mysterious (if he likes you in the first place) for the long haul (’cause this rule will work for a little while) is by doing your work to completely embody your feminine. You have to treat yourself better than you would treat your best friend – don’t talk down about yourself, don’t belittle your work/hobbies/lifestyle, don’t act childish or cute to get attention. Instead, step forward into your whole self – especially your eyes and your voice. Give yourself the encouragement to honour your needs and boundaries and stop settling for anything less. Look at him as an equal, but at the same time as your potential King, and expect that he do the same for you.
The feminine is not all pretty, sparkly things and soft fabrics. It is the full spectrum of your power – black lipstick, dirty fingernails, pushing a baby through your bloody, glorious vagina, leaving a bad relationship, sitting in the forest crying, screaming at your lover and nurturing your dying mother. You can’t be afraid of it, or afraid to show it.
When you know her, you can go on a date and not worry that he’s not going to like you. Instead, you start to wonder if you’ll like him. That’s when you can genuinely close your mouth and open your ears & eyes without feeling like there is something wrong with you that you have stuff down till he puts a ring on it (longer actually).
How does it work in the long run?
Basically, I think it’s pretty clear: there is a distinction to be made between talking for the sake of talking, and speaking to express yourself. The former comes from insecurity – you are looking to get him to like you so that you can like you. The latter comes from confidence and being comfortable with who you are – you want to make sure he likes you for who you are, and that you like him as well.
‘Holding your tongue’ like Ellen & Sherrie describe in this chapter will help to manage your dating life for a little while, but the real work comes from learning to express how powerful you really are and being comfortable doing it. It is hard work at times and requires tenacity, but it’s worth it. This rule is a little easier to stomach when it’s in the context of a journey, as opposed to being the final goal.
As you become more comfortable with who you are, you will attract men who love all of you, and you will never have to hide your power from them – that is true interest and mystery!
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