Damsel & the Dominant

 

LBF Dominant Definition: Taking charge of yo shit; being able to perform without excessive guidance, teaching, or hand holding in love, finance, and life. In general, being a developed adult who can share “control” “power” within a romantic setting I.e dating/relationships.

 

What comes next is not a generalization but an observation.

“Either be dominant and happy or submissive and miserable…”

My guy friend told me that after our discussion of sharing power in a relationship delved into me venting about how I’m tired of always being the “adult”, teacher, breadwinner, and “dominant” in relationships.

He stated those two options like they were my only choices in the dating/marriage realm. Be dominant or don’t. Where’s the balance in that? Is that what we’ve come to in our dating as women? Either we accept taking on dual roles unequally or allow ourselves to be yoked to a man who doesn’t know how to lead in our life. WELP. I choose the third option of excessive flirting and whimsical dating while remaining single. I’ve grown tired of raising adults. I have my hands full raising myself.

My mind chewed on his dating ultimatum and I began to question whether my natural leadership was also my natural dating downfall?… I wondered what are the stories other women have when dating while dominant, how do men feel about it, and if we only have those two choices then who in this day-n-age is the damsel and who was the dominant?

Is dominance the curse of the modern woman’s dating world?

let me make my case:

EXHIBIT A: Strong Women Vs. Damsels aka alotta men

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I’m fully back into the dating world. When I say I’m back I mean I finally, at age 29, learned how to connect with multiple people and actually find it enjoyable. Coupled with this enjoyment, however, comes a spotlight placed on my independence (also labeled “strong” “dominant”) presence. A light also illuminated the fact that I am more dominant than most men who approach me; how does this happen. My strength is a quiet one but still real strength nonetheless. I found myself once again taking on roles to cover down for their lack of self-awareness, financial instability, communication, one-dimensional thought processes aka limited worldviews, and general immaturity in countless areas with various men.


Let’s stop here to discuss the obvious…

Could I just be attracting the types of men that are “lazy” or not self-aware; possibly but this phenomenon is not just one that keeps happening to me; friends, associates, women who don’t even consider themselves dominant all share these similar experiences of dating men who don’t know how to take charge or step up in their own lives or connections with others.

There is truly a surplus of men acting as damsels; waiting to be rescued by a woman with the ability to take charge, teach, communicate, and understand them all in the name of “men weren’t taught those things.” The romance of dating has shifted from beauty finding her beast to women becoming the beast while still expected to behave beautifully. The responsibilities of mature, adult dating now rest upon the backs of those once considered damsels.

 

Let’s pause again to quiet all the men yelling “WOMEN BE THE MAIN ONES LOOKING TO BE SAVED!”

Most just want you to have your shit together and so they hold you accountable when you don’t which gets them labeled…EXHIBIT 1A

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I am fully aware that there are many women who still use the “damsel” trope to be saved by a man financially, emotionally, and all-around…I’m not speaking to that at the moment, we all know that they need to fix their shit and stop relying on strong men to carry them to a comfortable life. We speak to that point often at this age. What doesn’t get talked about enough is men being submissive in the world of dating in a way that is not only toxic but tiring.

Back to my Point.

 

Exhibit B: Even women who don’t consider themselves dominant feel like they have to be dominant because so many men don’t know how to step up.

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And let’s read another…

 

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We love the first feelings of things when we’re dating. Like a new car smell surrounding the person of interest. When it wears I begin to notice how many men seem to lack the most basic functions for dating and long term relationships. A reoccurring theme has revealed itself and made me question how women are required to be dominant in being not only the nurturer but the teacher, healer, communicator, and even sometimes sex therapist. We’re not the damsels…we’re the dominant and we’re exhausted.

 

Now would be a good time to address the “Y’ALL WOMEN DON’T KNOW HOW TO LET A MAN LEAD”

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Calm down Tyrone…I hear you in the back.

It’s true there can never be two alphas at the same time but a sharing of power makes it possible for two people to perform as such in different areas, at different moments. If a strong female doesn’t sense you can match her strength then why should she yield to you? She got shit to do so move.

Ladies and gentlemen; when you’re a leader, about your shit, dominant or whatever you want to call it; no one has to LET you do it. YOU JUST DO IT. This idea that strong women get in their own way is tired. It’s grounded in just enough truth to help you miss the entire point. When a strong woman connects with a strong man she doesn’t ask him to stop being strong and immediately trusts that she “got him.” She remains herself while working alongside him to show how she contributes to his life experience; she earns his trust and with it his vulnerability. She requires that in return. She knows it takes time (not forDAMNever) but time. Stop thinking women owe you submission just because you speak and perform as a strong male; which brings me to my next point…

 

Exhibit C: Performance doesn’t equal dominance

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Men. Performing in exactly the way you’ve been socialized to doesn’t make you the dominant; simply because society actually didn’t teach you how to communicate or share your hard emotions and thoughts; it didn’t teach you that beyond being the “provider” of your household is a responsibility to be emotionally, spiritually, and mentally there as well.

Simply because you’re performing as a man doesn’t make you a dominant one; it doesn’t even mean you’re a good one. Women today find themselves filling in the gaps even when pride dictates there are none. From knowing how to have hard conversations to planning in real ways like saving for the future; women are leading their relationships. Instead of a helpmate, we get men who only expect help, love, adoration, support, and experience without having those things to offer in return.

We want balance.

Balance is something we talk about often but something I rarely see in the connections we have romantically…when you do see couples with true balance, it’s beautiful.

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I Rest My Case

The goal isn’t to control but to share…the exchange of power in a relationship is just as important as the love because it too requires trust. Can I trust that when my schedule is crazy you will still find time to fit me in yours even when it’s a role I usually fulfill? Can I fall apart even when you’re used to me having it all together and find that in your wholeness my emotions are safe?

Can I trust that my opinions are just as important and valued as your own? Can I trust you see me as your equal, your partner…not your bank, not your mother, not you’re hoe. Can I trust you to lead me and be led by me in our journey? We don’t want to dominate you; we want to trust you, love you, grow WITH you, and rule the world like Beyonce and JAY Z. It’s that simple but modern dating makes it so hard.

But there is hope…

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