Am I too masculine?

Dear Lisa,

I end up trampling every man I date. I am an outgoing woman, not annoyingly outspoken, but I know what I am here to do. I have a great professional career and a fabulous network of friend. I am often the hostess in my inner circle, throwing dinner parties or organizing little day-trips or getaways. I have a busy life, filled with great hobbies and lots of fun.

With men though, I find that these great social skills seem to pull me out of the running! They have a hard time keeping up. Intellectually, I am a well oiled machine. I’m very used to multitasking and thinking on my feet. The guys I’ve dated have often mentioned something they can’t figure out and I’ve got a solution that works in a few minutes. I can tell it embarrasses them. I also tend to be able to talk circles around them. In the couple of long term relationships I’ve been in, when we’ve argued, I’ve always ‘won’, which has come up more than once in the breakup conversation. It’s not that I want to win, it’s just that answers come to my head when people say things, and they happen to be answers that no one can argue with.

What really hurts is that men don’t treat me like the other women I see around me. They don’t seem to open doors for me, or pull out chairs. I see women around me all the time with men doing things for them – carrying heavy boxes, pushing elevator buttons, letting them go in front of them in line ups. It’s so sweet and romantic! And then, there’s me. One of my girlfriends said “Well, you are a little intimidating!’.

I don’t want to dumb myself down or pretend to be weaker than I am, but I want men to find me feminine and attractive. I want to experience the chivalry that seems to go away with competing in the professional world. What am I doing wrong!?

–Too Masculine? ( ♀ )


Dear Too Masculine?,

This is one of the most difficult situations of our time in the western world – how to integrate chivalry, strength, femininity and masculinity into a post-liberated era. It is hard to talk about this in a way that doesn’t upset somebody’s tea cup. So, as usual, I’ll give my opinions and take the feedback I get in the comments!

The first thing that strikes me is that you possess the successful A type personality that our society favors right now: you enjoy working the spotlight. You are a capable, self driven, goal oriented, natural leader, which makes you a good competitor in the professional world. And you’re right, these are all masculine qualities. It makes sense that you are worried.

I have to commend you for not dumbing yourself down, or reigning yourself in to appear less masculine. What I would recommend though, is starting to cultivate your feminine qualities to the same degree you’ve honed your masculine. That way you will be able to use all the flavors of masculine and feminine to cultivate a dynamic and powerful relationship with a man.

Two essential qualities of the feminine are sensuality, and radiance. Here are some explanations and suggestions for getting in touch with these parts of yourself:

  • Sensuality: depends on your senses of touch, hearing, taste, feel and sight, but also emotional feelings. I recommend choosing a different sense each day, and spending time noticing what that sense perceives with your whole body. For example, if you hear birdsong outside your window, take a moment to let it ring in your ears and see if you can feel it in more than just your ears. Then, as you become comfortable feeling your body sensations, try to feel emotional sensations as viscerally.
  • Radiance: begins in the body. I suggest starting by using the breath to soften the vulnerable parts of your body – your mouth, neck, chest, belly, vulva and inner thighs. Practice softening and notice whether there is a contrast to how you hold your muscles and bones at work.

One of the reasons many women feel out of touch with their feminine is because there aren’t many daily situations where we feel safe to sink into our more feminine qualities. So, when you are starting a feminine practice, it is much easier to relax when you have taken the time to protect yourself. Try and find a time where you can be alone and uninterrupted in an enclosed space (like your room, the bathroom or your car). Think of the masculine part of yourself creating a container for the feminine part of yourself to be expressed.

If this resonates with you, you might also enjoy the book ‘Dear Lover’ by David Deida. He attends beautifully to the question of femininity and masculinity within the woman.

Let me know how you do,

– Lisa



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