You’re always being tested
I went out for coffee last weekend with a guy friend of mine in Brooklyn.
We got our drinks and were waiting for a table to clear where we could sit and talk. There was only one table so we waited it out while 2 kids and their dad finished their apple juice. The kids, being kids, made a mess and when they left, the table was covered in juice. My friend quickly grabbed the messier of the two seats and told me to wait while he went inside to grab napkins. He came back out to clean off the table for us to sit and talk.
After our coffee banter, we walked across the street to the book store. I had wanted a magazine and he needed a book for his book club. The magazine I wanted was an odd one. The kind you can only find in a store with an extensive magazine display. I’ve had a hard time finding it in the past but eventually, I always do.
I tell him this.
We were able to find a teen version of this mindfulness magazine but not the edition I wanted. My man-friend did not stop looking. He started an investigative hunt to find this magazine calculating where it could be. “I got it!” I hear and sure enough, he’d tracked it down. It was underneath a bunch of other magazines. He actually found me two copies and I ended up buying both.
My friend gets an A+ for having absolutely exquisite attention.
See, the feminine is always sensing out. Are you really here? If I let go, will you know what to do with me? If I open, will I be well received?
Men, your exquisite attention is what has us open.
It’s what has us feel safe. It’s what has us trust you and want to share our desires with you. It’s what has want to come out and let you feel us.
Even though my coffee date was completely platonic I’d be lying if it didn’t slightly cross my mind what dating him would be like. I can tell he’s done a lot of self-work.
We’re in an extremely attention-starved age. Pulled in so many directions and being asked so much of. Especially in 2020, our brains are at capacity for decision making.
Your focused, present attention is a commodity. It is quite literally what you have to offer people.
Men, your attention makes you irresistible.
Go Slower Than You Think Necessary
The key differences between masculine and feminine energies are that the masculine likes to act — execution and vision. The feminine holds the desire, is the what, and can sometimes feels invisible. The masculine likes to “effort” through, the feminine likes to feel through. Sometimes the masculine gets frustrated and can’t understand. The feminine experience is “what, what can’t you see?” It seems so obvious to us, our lived experience.
Men, go slower than you think is necessary. Patience will be your superpower.
My friend with the magazines. There were probably 100 other mindfulness and lifestyle magazines at the book store that afternoon. None of them caught my attention and my friend, the perceptive man he was, caught drift that I wasn’t settling for anything but the magazine I came in wanting.
Another note: feminine desire is very exacting. Often substitutes won’t do. I like this magazine for a few specific reasons. The content is probably very similar to another mindfulness magazine but for me, this one feels good. I like the matte cover. I like the graphics. I like the feeling tones of the pages and what’s inside. For me, this magazine is an expression of my own feminine nature and essence. Simple yet distinct.
This is where my friend won. He didn’t shame my desire for this very particular magazine. He didn’t tell me to just pick something else out. He didn’t say, “Oh well, doesn’t look like it’s here.” He instead went on a hunt to find it. Like it was his most important task of the afternoon. He was patient, was willing to look under the stacks of other issues. Was willing to trace a path and gather clues. He was willing to slow down and widen his attention, ultimately, to fulfill my desire.
Go in the Direction She’s Going
In my relationship coaching practice, I fill the masculine role in the dynamic so that my female clients can experience and explore more of their feminine nature. I hold and create a strong container so they can let go, feel through things, and have the experience of receiving exquisite attention. In my coaching training, much of which was on masculine and feminine dynamics we were always instructed to go in the direction the client was going.
When I sense my client is on an up I follow their lead. When I sense my client needs to go through the muck of something, I give them tools and we’ll voyage down into the depths. Taking them abruptly in an opposite direction to where they’re at would be jarring for their system.
Men, your role will be similar. Follow the direction she’s going. Widen your attention, your curiosity, and go in with her. She can’t hear you if you’re on the sidelines trying to get her to go another way. Be willing to let her lead and follow.
You’re Being Tested
In my most recent relationship, having done extensive training in masculine and feminine dynamics, I felt very comfortable with my own feminine nature. Previously, I never knew or understood what was going on inside of me. I was so deeply disconnected from my own femininity that it made relationships really challenging. I didn’t have enough awareness and paired with men who were equally confused by the feminine nature, it usually made for a challenging dynamic.
This time around, I knew I really thrived with men that had steady attention, who displayed presence, and who had a reverence for all that was inside of me. I first had to test though.
I tell my clients: the first few weeks of getting to know someone are crucial. It’s good practice to throw out some tests to see how they react. The feminine likes to test. She is sensing, she is vigilant. “A woman’s hippocampus, critical to learning and memorization, is larger than a man’s and works differently,” describes Bruce Goldman of Stanford Medicine. A lot of this is simple biology.
I paid close attention to the cadence of my conversations with this new partner. Was he a consistent communicator or did he leave me hanging after I said something and opened up? The more I shared and displayed emotion, did he retreat and withdraw or did he get curious, ask me questions and also offer something back? When he dropped the ball and I let him know how it made me feel did he shame my feelings or take responsibility and show up differently?
Men, we’re paying attention to all your little moves. We’re noticing. My friend wiped up apple juice and it made an impact. We are all about these small things, they matter to us. These small gestures are the building blocks to winning with us. Don’t overlook them.