I am attracted to strong men. Yes, I said it. Strong men. I love them.
So, what is my definition of a strong man? Well, here we go…
- A strong man is a man that has the right amount of “swag” (too much swag can be a turn-off) when he is dealing with the world. Basically, when he walks in the room, you know he is comfortable in his skin. He has “presence”. (My friends, who find Jay-Z to be rather unattractive, tease me because when I look for a great example of a man with “swag”, I go to him. I totally understand why Beyonce would be attracted to him. Total “swag”).
- A strong man is comfortable with me and all my “layers”. I am not an easy person to love. I have come to embrace and accept that notion. It takes a strong man to truly love me. So, a strong man is a man that encourages me instead of discouraging me. He doesn’t try to make me fit into a box. He allows me to be. He wants me to reach for the stars and is my biggest cheerleader.
- At the same time, a strong man is effective at reeling me in so that I don’t feel like I am being chastised or judged (We all need that person that can reel us in sometimes).
- A strong man is comfortable with my emotional side. He doesn’t make me feel like I always have to have it together (I put enough pressure on myself to do that).
- A strong man is comfortable communicating his feelings.
- Now, here is the kicker! As complex and independent as I am, a strong man is a man that is financially able to and feels it is his responsibility to care for his household.
Okay, stop clutching your pearls independent women, and, just think about it for a second. Does independence mean that we should have to completely give up our desire to be taken care of?
Fifteen years ago I was that woman singing along with Destiny’s Child:
Always 50/50 in relationships The shoes on my feetDESTINY’S CHILD
I’ve bought it The clothes I’m wearing
I’ve bought it
The rock I’m rocking
I bought it
Cause I depend on me
(If I want it)
The watch I’m wearing
I bought it
The house I live in
I’ve bought it
The car I’m driving
I’ve bought it
I depend on me
(I depend on me)
Flying around in my “Superwoman” cape, I was quick to let a man know they were not necessary.
I could do everything on my own. I could raise my kids on my own if necessary. I could maintain my household on my own. I could run a successful business on my own. As a result, I found myself doing most of it on my own.
As a woman, I would look down on women being taken care of by their men.
I labeled them as weak and wondered why they were disgracing the sisterhood. Didn’t they realize how hard we were fighting for gender equality? Their dependence was setting us back.
As a mother, I beat my girls over the head with the idea that they needed to make sure they could take care of themselves, financially and emotionally.
I taught them the key to attracting the right man was to be a strong, independent woman. And, they were breaking the “Superwoman” code if they could not go out in the world and kick ass on their own.
At forty-six, boy, am I kicking myself. Here is why.
That “Superwoman” mentality led me to live in a world where people don’t ever think I need, or want, help or support. Except for my dear mother, who is an “OG” in the Superwoman club.
While I seem to attract financially independent men capable of taking care of my needs, they don’t.
I don’t believe it is intentional on their part. It is all my fault!! I have entered into relationship after relationship with the mistaken belief that if my man saw me hustling and grinding, he would work that much harder to provide for me. Absolutely not true!
In reality, a woman must possess, or act as though she possesses, the “helpless gene” to get a man to kick into action.
The more helpless you are or act, the better the reward. Don’t want to buy groceries for the house? Don’t do it. Eventually, he will do it. Don’t want to pay your bills? Don’t do it. Eventually, he will do it. Don’t want to cook? Don’t do it. Eventually, he will do it. Don’t want to get out of bed to eat the food he cooked? Don’t worry. Eventually, he will bring it to you.
So, here is a thought. The next time you start crooning with Alicia Keys:
I am aSuperwoman Yes I am Yes she is Even when I’m a mess I still put on a vest With an S on my chest Oh yes I’m a Superwoman
Think about it. Do you want to spend the rest of your life having to put that vest on and figuring everything out? Or, would you like to have someone take some of that burden off of you? This feminist chooses the latter.
Oh boy, I can’t wait to hear from all of my independent women and strong men!