Sunday, June 30, 2013

let your intensity flag fly

Yesterday Potamus told me about her friend "Janet", who is setting up an online dating profile.  Janet is an ambitious person, with two degrees from Harvard and a hobby of running marathons.  She's afraid of intimidating men with her intensity, so she toned down her profile.  She listed demure hobbies such as baking, and omitted the marathons.

I think this is a mistake.  She is going to attract guys who want a domestic girlfriend.  These are the very guys who are going to be intimidated when they learn her true self!  The guys will say "I liked you better when you spent Saturday baking instead of training for a marathon" and she'll feel dejected and want to hide her true self even more.

Instead, if she makes her profile reveal the full level of her intensity, she will attract guys who want that.  They will be the type of boyfriend who helps her get ready for her Saturday mega-runs, and who talk proudly about her degrees without feeling threatened.  By toning down her profile, she is making it less appealing to these guys, who will skip over her and head for the profile of the power woman who doesn't hide who she is.

People occasionally asked me in the past, "Do you feel inclined to act less outspoken / smart around guys so they will like you more?"

Obviously no.  Then you attract guys who want a demure girlfriend.  That's never going to work.  Obviously act 100% as smart and opinionated as you are, so that you attract men who want that.

There are many men who want to be with the smartest woman they can find.  Some are themselves very successful.  Some are domestic and want to be the househusband.  They have been searching for a powerful woman and will consider Janet their dream come true.

I understand the urge to repress part of yourself in order to fit in more.  I have not felt it with romantic situations, but I have felt it with the chinese community, when I was young (19, 20 years old).  Once I was in a group of 20 chinese people who were recently immigrated from China, and they did not understand a particular English word.  They looked it up in the dictionary but still didn't really understand it.  Everyone in the room was talking about how this word is very unfathomable.  Finally they asked me if I knew.  I did know what it meant.  But I felt that it would be too awkward to stand out as the only person lecturing the whole room on the word definition, so I shook my head and implied that I didn't know either.

Then I felt extremely awkward for the rest of the evening.  I had hidden my true self in an attempt to fit in, and actually it made me far more isolated.

Let your true self show!  If someone is too intimidated by this, it is better that they self-select out early.  It is doomed anyway, so it's better that you don't waste time on it.

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