I used to think that being feminine meant that I had to dumb myself down. When I started dating again in my forties, it finally dawned on me that I could be playful and seductive in a way that felt authentic to me. When I was younger, my mother had scared me into thinking that all men were like my father in that they would eventually abandon me for younger, prettier women. Taking her advice to heart, I hid the most beautiful part of me —my vulnerability. For the longest time, I acted like a man. I figured if they could have sex whenever they wanted, then so could I. Sex became my primary mode of relating to men. The problem was that if all I offered was sex, then that's all I got in return. Because I had buried the part of my personality that would have made me most attractive to a man, the kind of deep, emotionally connected relationship I longed for eluded me for years.
I realized that I didn't know the first thing about what a man wanted from me other than sex. So, I stopped having sex and started to explore other ways to capture a man attention. Contrary to what my mother had told me, it felt empowering to embrace my feminity and show vulnerability. I not only discovered how to capture a man's attention, but I was also able to keep him interested in me. As women, we don't want to sleep with men only to have them disappear. We want to find ways to open up and be feminine to keep men coming back. Here are a few tips that helped me rediscover my femininity — and made men want to keep seeing me:
- I vowed not to have sex with anyone until I was in a committed relationship. We all know that jumping right into bed can sabotage a relationship. Many relationship experts advise to wait as long as three months or seventeen dates before sex! Some ways to prevent yourself from having sex too soon are to limit your drinking on the first few dates or to avoid going to a man's place for the first month. This way, you won't create situations where you are worried about letting your guard down. You need to learn how to hold yourself accountable to the boundaries you set. I don't care how good a cook he is — don't have dinner at your place or movie nights at his for the first few months!
- I stopped trying to impress men and started letting them impress me. Everyone loves an ego boost! I felt like I was trying to sell myself by appealing to men with how intelligent, worldly and sophisticated I was. How boring and narcissistic! I was so worried about how I looked and seemed that I was ignoring the men right in front of me. No wonder they weren't calling me back! I learned how to express that I was genuinely interested in them and I truly mastered the art of compliments. You can always find something to compliment. The more you show that you like someone, the more they will like you. Be careful not to overdo it but you can pay compliments, ask questions, listen and let a man know you're interested.
- I learned to take the lead and be playful on my dates. I stopped making men work so hard. One of the things that my male clients tell me over and over again is that they don't want women who are "easy," but they do want women who are easygoing. I stopped waiting for a man to make the conversation sexy. The truth is that openness and playfulness are contagious. As women, we often think that men should take the lead in every way. Many women think the man is supposed to ask her out, plan the date, make it fun, pick up the check and know the perfect moment to turn on the sexual energy. A lot of women don't realize that they're putting all their energy into getting dressed and looking beautiful. Then when they're on the date, they think that it's enough to sit there and look pretty and wait for a man to do all the work. Both people need to put themselves out there. You can let him know you're interested by touching his arm, throwing him a sexy look, or even using a sexual innuendo or two. All of these things will spice it up and make the date playful and sexy.
- I stopped thinking that I knew what it was like to be a man. As I explored men through dating, I began to find them fascinating. It was honestly like exploring a different universe. I realized that I had a preconceived idea about what it meant to be a man. Men can be anything from bold to shy, brave to kind. Knowing this allowed me to appreciate different kinds of men — even the players. I could see where their energy was coming from, even if I knew I didn't want it for my own relationships. It allowed me to develop a compassion for what it means to be a man, and it made me less naïve about things like sex. By opening up and letting myself see men as who they really are, I wound up with a man who totally gets me and loves me and you can, too!
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