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07 November 2005


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» Dear readers: Need advice. from Kat with a K
So. Humor me for a minute and imagine a hypothetical scenario, okay? You are a manager at one of a big chain of stores. Someone who works at the sister store up the street stops by to see your new... [Read More]



Juno, just got to reading this post, and WOW! I had just been thinking along these lines as I begin a new relationship and how the dynamics in this seem so different from previous ones, because I took responsibility for my part in the "dance" Thank you for your insight, in language clearer than mine.


I think my college roomate said it best: "You want to leave the choosing up to them? Who knows what you'll get!"
I think my relationship with Moxie has been pretty balanced, with each of us taking the lead at any given time. It's nice that way. And it's good when both people know what they want, and get it. Enjoy the journey.


Fab post. So true. Sadly, smart women usually intimitate most men. And who wants that? Sigh. Excellent points all the way thru. Love the LBS too.


Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I am so totally buying you a drink next time I see you.


So complex. Roles we learn from our parents, all the weird messages from society at large, and trying to reconcile that with what is good for US. Clashing. I couldn't figure out what wasn't working at my tender age with the first type of guy you describe. DH DID propose, but the approach to it was the second you describe. (I'm sure it helped we had an on-line relationship first, and he was raised by European parents.)


I have had a blog draft in progress for the last week, trying to give voice to the tumult of responses that were brought to mind by Maureen Dowd's latest piece. Reading your entry gave me a kind of peace knowing that you had expressed just what I have been trying to spit out for so long. Bravo.


You are a very wise woman! thank you for your thoughtful post:)


Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. As a young woman, desperate for my father's approval and finding it not forthcoming, I cast about wildly for men to pay attention to me. But it was always their choice, their move, their decision. I was told later in my life that as a teenager I was intimidating, too confident, too self-contained to be approachable. The only men who responded well to me were the ones who were much older and more experienced. Why is it though that being swept off one's feet, carried by the momentum of someone else's desire is so intoxicating? Is it the replication of that relationship we had with our father? The lack of responsibility for one's actions, where someone else is calling the shots is in some cases in and of itself what we desire. Part of the challenge is in knowing what we truly want and finding a way to communicate that. It feels like a tremendous risk. Women are programmed to run as fast from rejection as they can, retreating into that passive role for fear that our worst fear will be realized: that we are undesirable, we are unloveable. And so in some twisted way we hold fast to that belief that we have to put up and shut up and agree tacitly to things we might not really want in order to be loved.


ahem: correction. WE raised OUR daughter to be the same way. Honestly.


Ditto 100% what Margene said. Same here in my marriage of 23 years. And after we had been dating for two years, living together for one, I actually proposed marriage. And I have ruminated on this recently, as well -- I think in a conversation with Cate at my home? Can't remember specifically. I do know that men don't/wouldn't ask me out. If I were suddenly on my own and without David, guys would NOT come around, because I believe I intimidate them. I don't think it's because I'm unattractive or undesirable. I think they believe I'm untouchable or unattainable, which is really silly, but Cate said, "confidence can be intimidating." So there you have it. You go, girl. (and, P.S., I raised my daughter to be the same way. And she is. And she's got a guy who can handle it. Pretty cool, that.)


Well said. Have had similar thoughts about how heterosexuality works if we assume gender equality. Nice to read the musings of another.

Kat with a K

Very interesting. I am just starting to consider dating as an adult (I was with the man I started dating at 17 until very recently) and am more or less scared to death about the whole thing... but I should try to keep the things you said in mind.


*applauds* Very well written post! And I've been through that realization as well. After 2.5 years of marriage, I'm finally shedding those ideas of how a wife should behave, etc... And we're happier and I'm more confident than I've ever been before.


You have stated pretty clearly the dynamics of the realtionship Smith and I had as we started to date. If I hadn't made the first move we wouldn't be together 26 years later.


A beau once told me "the woman always chooses". With that kind of attitude - a woman can make a safe choice (no rapes - date or otherwise - etc etc).

julia fc

The boys I missed the boat on, it really was just as well. Personally, I function better with fewer junked relationships cluttering up the old belfry. But that said, if you want to live an entertaining sex life, wouldn't you be happier with partners who were comfortable with you as you are, rather than as some idea of what you should be? I concur, dear girl. And well said.

Lee Ann

Thank goodness Beauty woke up, eh? Gives new meaning to the concept of a power nap ;-)

Go, you. Desire, know it, and be happy. Ayuh, it most certainly does work better that way.

Rachel H

Very thoughtful and well said. Cool post.


Nicely done Juno. A+. Now, how interesting is it that what you have observed is (and now of course you will note that I am generalizing wildly, as well as procrastinating on writing a book) that the more confident and experienced a man becomes, the less aggressive he behaves, and that the more confident and and experienced a woman becomes...the MORE agressive she behaves.
Interesting. Very interesting.

(Also quite gripping is that it seems to work better that way, but that's an argument for another morning.)


Wooo! Wooooooo! (rambunctious cheering breaks out)

Now how scary is this Alito thing? Sheesh...


Ah, it's all so complicated. My partner and I started out in somewhat nontraditional roles--I proposed to him, after all!--but then it's so easy to slide into those cultural gender patterns. We are constantly reinventing things. Which, you know, keeps life interesting!


Nicely said. Perhaps you'll be coming to Boston more?


YES! True partnership is an amazing thing, without games or subterfuge of any kind on either side. So freeing, really, to be able to just talk and *be* with another person instead of staying within the "proper" role someone else assigned each one. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we were all simply ourselves, without the crazy dances most people go through each day?

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