Hearts in a handI am a dating veteran. Having never married, I have spent my entire adult life in dating mode. And now I have learned that I have been doing it all wrong. I was unaware I had been emasculating men when it came to matters of the heart. That is, until I left the corporate world.

My success in a business environment depended on effectively honing attributes that are associated with men. Directing and taking the lead is rewarded and valued in a business setting. At times I was labeled bossy, aggressive and direct. In contrast, my male counterparts were not perceived in this way. A woman is considered unfeminine when she shows such qualities. In other words, she is in the masculine energy at these times. It is a double-edged sword.

In dating, I mistakenly continued to use these same business traits to take control and ‘help’ a man ask for my phone number or make the plans for our dates.

Here’s how it showed up:

Handing him my phone number without him asking, and proposing where I wanted to go for dinner once he asked me out. It was suggested that I was in the masculine energy in these instances. Masculine energy? I’m a girly girl. I like pretty things, getting my hair and make up done, wearing dresses, and flowers; things that are considered feminine. But, that’s not being feminine in the realm of romance. I needed to regain my feminine grace.

Businesspeople with check at dining table

To be in one’s feminine grace means to be a gracious recipient of a man’s gifts when he is in courting or dating mode. A man is the host when he asks a woman out. He asks for her number and then he plans the date. As a single person, I have to take the initiative if I want anything and I am not accustomed to someone else doing for me. Whereas, I thought I was being encouraging and helpful by directing our plans, on the contrary, I was taking away his motivation to pursue me and make me happy. By behaving as I would as a successful businessperson, I was taking away his opportunities to reveal himself on his own terms.

My epiphany:

It came when I transitioned from the corporate world to self-employment as an executive coach. Suddenly, my new circumstances made it easier to be in my feminine grace. For me, this means I had to let go of the need to control, direct and take the lead. Trusting and letting go of the outcome has been easier since I have awareness of how I was neutralizing potential dates. I have realized that it is a gift to receive a man’s pursuit and date planning.

Where are you revealing your masculine energy in dating? Consider experimenting with complimenting your date on his restaurant choice and see his chest puff out in a way that says, “I did that! I did that for her and she’s happy.” You’re on your way to being in your feminine grace.

Embrace your own femininity. Your experience may be different from mine, but consider softening your successful work demeanor and opening your mind and heart to someone new. Welcome the unknown, and experience someone as he may want to offer himself. It’s working for me!