How empowered do you feel when you aren’t treated well by a man?
To be confident in yourself and have a happy dating life, it doesn’t matter if you are successful in your career or have a full social calendar. When you spend time with men who don’t treat you well, odds are you will not feel very empowered or successful no matter what your situation is. These negative feelings can even start to change how you see yourself.
But it doesn’t have to be like this.
You can change your approach to your dating life so that you don’t accept bad treatment from men or let substandard treatment by men affect your self confidence. We already know that modern dating doesn’t make many women feel confident. How can you start to approach dating from a new angle to get the sort of stellar treatment from men that you deserve?
Two Women, Two Dating Strategies, and Two Very Different Outcomes
If the men in your dating life don’t show you the sort of respect or effort you expect, there is no doubt that they are at fault for their bad behavior. That being said, you make the decision between staying with that man and allowing him to continue taking away your self confidence or of cutting your ties with him and going separate ways. By identifying how you participate in these situations, you may be able to find the power to change them.
Here are two stories about women named Jeannette and Dana. Both of these women had to deal with men whose behavior they didn’t like, but each chose different ways of dealing with it and faced different consequences as a result:
Jeannette met Alex at a party and was immediately attracted to his lively banter and his good looks. When he asked her out, she was very excited. After they went out a few times, she was disappointed that he no longer asked her out for the weekends. She was demoted from seeing him most Friday nights to seeing him only on weeknights. She thought he might be busy with his kids or work, but she knew intuitively that he was probably seeing other women. She really liked him, so she kept accepting whatever date night he offered, but she couldn’t stop thinking about who else he was dating and what he liked better about them. She wondered if she wasn’t attractive or thin enough. Pretty soon, she stopped enjoying her dates with Alex altogether.
Dana met Tim at her local café. He was a barista there and always made her coffee with a heart in the foam. She was really excited about dating Tim until, after a few weeks of dating, he stopped asking her out for Saturday night. She thought this was a huge red flag and that it meant that he was no longer into her. She figured that she couldn’t have done anything terrible on their past dates, though, or he wouldn’t be asking her out at all. The next time he called to ask Dana out during the week, she decided to turn him down saying she already had plans. She wasn’t sure if Tim would ever ask her out again, but she figured that the relationship wasn’t going anywhere in any event if he already did not want to see her on Saturday nights. She decided to make plans for the week to see a film and visit some friends, activities she was sure to enjoy more than a date with an uninterested man.
What can we learn about dating life from these two different stories?
How Empowering Yourself Can Help You Find Self-Confidence
Jeannette was willing to put up with not being treated the way she wanted by Alex to continue having a relationship with him, even when it started to affect her confidence in herself. Dana wasn’t interested in going on dates with a guy if it meant she wasn’t going to be treated well. Dana may be going on fewer dates than Jeannette, but she feels good about her decision and the way she handled the situation with Tim. She knows the sort of treatment she deserves and doesn’t mind waiting for it to come. In contrast, Jeannette is doubting her looks and feeling insecure about her ongoing relationship with Alex, who is starting to show a few other red flags at this point as well.
Part of the reason modern dating doesn’t work for so many women is because of our hesitation to say “no” to treatment we don’t like. We’re afraid of losing the relationship or their attention, even if that relationship is not really satisfying anyway. Some men may not show you good behavior as a test to see what they can get away with. They learn quickly that if you can’t say “no,” they can walk all over you.
We can transform modern dating and take back our power when we learn to say “NO” to what we don’t want with men. By doing this, we aren’t just helping our own love lives, we are setting a new standard for what good treatment by men is for women everywhere.
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