4 Ways to Step Into Your Feminine

Clueless note: This fabulous post is brought to you by Farnoosh Torabi, author of the forthcoming book, When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women, which is now available for pre-order. I love Farnoosh’s advice about how to step into your feminine – especially about asking for his help even when you don’t really need it.

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4 Ways to Step Into Your Feminine

As strong, successful women, it can be challenging to let our hair down, even in our own relationships.

I spent the better part of 2 years interviewing relationship coaches and psychologists for my upcoming book, When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women. During that time, I realized just how misguided I’d been in my own dating life as I tried to find Mr. Right.

Like you, I’m someone who’s extremely passionate about my career. It was natural for me to share details of my ambition and drive on first dates. As someone who was also raised to stand on her own two feet, I felt that chivalrous acts – like letting him pay – sent the wrong signals.

Now I realize why those first dates rarely carried to a second.

It’s because I wasn’t exactly “stepping into my feminine,” and playing up the fact that, at the end of the day, I’m an alluring woman with charisma, charm and a love for things beyond just my career… and the person across the candlelit table (or bar) ought to learn that. Because as a man, he’s attracted to that.

By emphasizing my femininity, I complement his masculinity.

Women sometimes equate being feminine with men to being weak. But it’s still important to claim the feminity. Men want to be men and are often worried about women turning away from that. It’s up to us to give them permission to follow their instincts.

This topic can be slightly controversial, but relationship experts tell me it’s essential for men and women to connect.

Men these days don’t know how to act around women. Couples coaches and therapists encounter men who feel insecure, or like failures because they feel like they “just can’t get it right.”

The women need to take the lead in letting them feel comfortable in treating us like ladies.

Chivalry is not dead.

There’s a way to maintain your self respect while still playing up your femininity.

Even as we throw gender roles up in the air, some of our instincts and expectations as men and women must be respected and nurtured, if for nothing else, to establish healthy and lasting relationships.

Consider these 4 simple and effective ways to play up your feminine power and build intimacy with your partner.

#1 Talk up your passions, not promotion.

You should be extremely proud of your professional success, but talking up your work accomplishments is not exactly the best first date material, says relationship guru Marni Battista. It can kill the potential for connecting on a personal level.

“We don’t want first date conversations to be about work. Then it’s a business meeting. You’re networking,” Battista says.

Of course, mention what you do, but steer the conversation towards a discussion about your passions and discuss specifically what it is about your career that’s meaningful to you.

When you talk about the personal part of your job, it’s a whole other conversation, says Battista. And one that’s sure to create more sparks.

Try saying this, instead: “One of the things I love about my job is I get to make an impact. I love what I do because I get to be on the forefront of change.”

Or, if asked what you do, turn it into a game at first and act coy. Start with this: “What do you think I do? Take a guess!”

No need to get down to business so fast on the first date. Leave the nitty gritty for next time, says Battista.

#2 Don’t Be Afraid of Chivalry.

His chivalrous acts (opening doors for you, offering his jacket when it’s cold outside) and letting him choose the restaurant or pick up the tab can be tough to accept when you’re an independent lady. It may seem like you’re “letting go of control,” being vulnerable and stepping backwards in time.

But these gender-driven gestures – no matter how antiquated – can benefit the relationship.

They help him feel more masculine and you, more feminine. And there’s absolutely nothing shameful about that.

In our relationships, it’s important to remember how biology and social conditioning shapes our expectations and instincts. Men generally feel the desire to be the “alpha” in order to feel attractive. Women, no matter how much money we make, still want to be “taken care of” in some capacity by their mate.

So, “step into your feminine,” as Battista coaches, and allow him to take the lead sometimes in social settings. It’s an easy way to respect each other’s instincts and grow closer.

#3 Ask for His Help…Even When You Don’t Really Need It.

As women, we’re exceptionally good at asking for help. We’re strong in that way.

In our relationships, though, we can sometimes forget to involve our partners and ask for his help.

Truth is, we can probably handle most things on our own, but when you’re in a partnership, asking for his help, even when you don’t quite need it, is another way to demonstrate respect.

As couples coach Kavita J. Patel explains, in order to feel deeply satisfied in their relationships, men want to make their women happy and provide for them in some way. So, take advantage of that!

He may not be taking care of you “financially” but what are some other ways – big and small – that he can provide? “Get vulnerable and let him in some way, whether emotionally or physically,” says Patel.

Together, it’s important to have this conversation and position the talk in such a way where you are clear that by him taking on these responsibilities or tasks, it’s a huge, huge help. That word has proven to be very powerful.

#4 Continue to find ways to play up your feminine.

Gender roles are very much up in the air right now. And that’s a good, progressive thing.

But it’s also good to have some comforting reminders of what you can do that’s exciting for both the woman and the man.

Take a look at how you operate on a daily basis, and have some fun finding the spots where you can play with your femininity.

For example, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of putting on sweatpants as soon as I get home. It’s to the point where my husband will jokingly say, “Sweatpants already?” But when I get dressed up to go out, he always tells me how nice I look. So, as comfortable as those sweatpants are, I could make more of an effort to bring the sexy back.

Farnoosh Torabi is the author of the forthcoming book, When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women (May 2012, Hudson Street Press). If you want to thrive in your relationship (and in your career and motherhood) as the top-earner or as a money-savvy woman, then this book has the goods you need. Pre-order your copy here and earn some amazing gifts!

Comments 35

  1. this year has been a tough one and im finally doing all these things… thanks for the reminder! never be afraid to ask!

  2. I hate letting a man pick up the check! I try to just let it go but, it bothers me when a date does that. These tips are dead on!

  3. I have a little bit of trouble asking for help from anyone because I’m to proud and stubborn. I learned if I don’t ask for help, I will fail miserably.

  4. This was a great article and I need to think on this a bit and explore it more. I was married for twenty five years and the divorced my husband for being abusive the whole 25 years. When I started dating again all I really found out there were men that wanted a sugar momma. I did meet a very respectful man who treated me like a woman. After we got married he quit his job and let me be the person to support our lives. I finally left him after six years. I have definitely been doing something wrong. After this divorce I decided to give up. Thank you so much for sharing this article

  5. I think in todays world women have forgotten these things. This is a great article with alot of information to think about. Thank you so much for sharing

  6. This is great advice, especially asking for help even though you don’t need it. Anyone likes to feel needed and often helps in most relationships. My husband hates when I do everything by myself.

  7. I agree with asking for his help when we don’t need it. My husband is an officer, so due to his hours, I had gotten into the habit of just doing it all. Well, when I really wanted him to back me up, he would say, but I know you have this. Well maybe I do, but I like being helped sometimes, so I had to start asking for it again!

  8. I think there are major differences in gender roles in my home. My girls all like to do certain chores, have certain issues, and like certain things. Whereas my boys all like different items. It is great to be able to divvy out different chores to the ones that are more willing to do them. I showed my girls this post. Being true to their femininity is a teachable moment.

  9. Great tips. I think that for me I was always expecting someone who would ride up on a horse and scoop me and to everlasting happiness. This post could have helped me in my dating years.

  10. You definitely have to play up the “woman in distress” side, when dealing with men! They need to feel like they have the “power”! The “rescue the woman” instinct takes over, and the men have a 100% need to “fix it”!!!

  11. It’s funny how women have to suck up to men in order for them to feel superior! We get to hear about their promotions, and gains in their employment…but, we have to downplay our success’s!

  12. Thanks for the advice! Meeting people isn’t an easy thing for me to do. I shake, get nervous, and can’t wait to go home. But, if I found someone that I could feel comfortable around, I believe all of your tips and tricks would go a long way!

  13. I love the chivalrous acts in a relationship! It’s also the little things that you both do for each other, that can make or break a relationship!!! I also agree with what you said about asking him for his help, even though it may not be required! He will appreciate the fact that you are leaning on him, and men love to be able to “fix” things, that may be “broken”.

  14. I know a couple who desperately need to follow some of your tips! She doesn’t want to have to ask him all of the time, for help. She feels that he should offer it. But, I agree with you, that sometimes we women, need to ask a man for help…even if it’s not really required!
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  15. This is a fabulous post! I am one of the women who have a very hard time with any man taking care of me! I will fix my own car, open my own doors and whatever else for myself! It is very hard for me to let a guy do anything for me and like you said I need to learn to let go a bit and realize they aren’t trying to control me but take care of me!

  16. Good advice. It is hard to be a woman in the workplace and remain strong but feminine. Males do not always know how to understand/respect women.

  17. these are all great tips Carin and thank you so much for sharing them with us, sometimes in my relationship I often find that I am wearing the pants loll but then again I think he likes it that way, he never complains unless I complain loll

  18. I love this advice. I’m always looking for ways to spice up my relationship with my husband and not only do your tips help with that, it also helps boost self-esteem. Feeling more feminine always makes me feel sexier and more attractive, and my husband picks up on that. Win-Win!

  19. “Men these days don’t know how to act around women.”

    I must say that this is true. I always get into arguments because I’m clumsy and forget easily and he can’t be patient enough to accept what I do. There are times where he lets it slide but I have a feeling that he is getting tired of me forgetting easily and being clumsy. I mean it’s not that I do on purpose. It just happens.

    Anyway, these 4 steps are pretty right on the spot. Let’s see what happens when I do these. Thank you!

  20. These pointers are great for married women or long-term committed women. Sometimes we lose ourselves in daily life and forget that he still wants to be a man for you.

  21. I appreciate these tips. I definitely have difficulty with injecting business into personal social situations, but I’m working on it.

  22. Thanks for the tip you should all-was be your self my husband would not care if I made more than him then he would not have to work so hard , but in this day we all have to work just when you get home be yourself and make him-feel good

  23. Yikes. I really don’t get the idea that we have to act differently just so a man doesn’t feel intimidated. You should just be yourself and if a guy doesn’t like that, then he’s probably just not for you. I don’t want a man who’s so insecure in his personhood that he needs me to pretend to be weak and needy.

  24. There are so many women who come off as Alpha these days…and actually prefer it! I agree that a woman must be feminine. I enjoyed your review and thank you for the tips.

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