It’s an odd realization to make, because part of what makes dating so complicated is the idea that you need to perform for the person sitting in front of you.People have written over and over again how first dates are like interviews, and that you have to put on a shinier version of yourself so as to not scare away the person across from you.I quit hiding parts of myself from my dates so that they could really tell who I was, and this made me a better dater in a lot of ways.It allowed me to fully discuss my standards and what I was looking for.(Yes, this is one of the things certain men found intimidating.) And I like these parts of myself a lot.
I’d ask my date a lot of questions about his life, so that I wasn’t talking about my job or my studio apartment all that much.
I’d love to say that I woke up one day and realized all of this on my own.
But actually, it was my therapist who offhandedly made the connection that the qualities I liked best about myself were the ones that were intimidating to the men I was dating.
But as I got older, and the men I’d date started calling me intimidating as a way to weasel out of the situation we were in, I realized that the opposite sex didn’t always see intimidation as a positive thing.
And in talking to my queer friends, I found that this phenomenon seems to mainly occur in heterosexual relationships.