My incredibly talented cousin and writer, Marnie Mitchell-Lister, wrote this and I think it’s worth a discussion.
*A note from Anne Dennish: Please note that this article was written in the context of men and women, yet it is meant for all relationships.
I can speak from experience about this subject, and from the heartache it causes.
I’ve been told I’m a “strong” woman, which I would say is true. I’ve handled divorce, raised five children, survived breast cancer and handled a million other responsibilities at one time. Although to me, being a strong woman is much more than what you handle; it’s HOW you handle it. And I’ve never NEEDED a man in my life to handle any of it for me, but I had always WANTED a confident man in my life.
A few years ago I started asking men of all ages this question: do you want a relationship with a strong woman or a weak woman? While their responses may have been slightly different, the answers were all the same.
They told me that as far as dating, they want a “weak” woman because she makes him feel important; she makes him feel needed; she feeds his ego to levels beyond belief; and that it makes them feel more powerful and stronger to know that a weak woman is in their “control.”
In other words, weak women turned them into strong men.
Yet strangely, there was another piece to their answers. They said that while a “weak” woman was great for their ego and self-esteem, in the end they wanted to settle down with a “strong” woman. One who didn’t “need” them but “wanted” them; one that wasn’t always whining and asking them to do everything for them; one who challenged them and made them want to be a better man.
Confused? I sure was at the time, but it all made sense.
A confident man doesn’t need a “weak” woman; they need a “strong” one to keep them in balance. After a terrible day at work they want to come home to a woman who understands and makes their night better than their day (a weak woman would expect them to do that for them); they want a woman who can have a conversation with them that isn’t all about them (a weak woman would sit with gazing eyes at them, hanging on every word as they talked about themselves and not her); they want a woman with a life of her own, a passion, a career, a life purpose that they can share in(a weak woman has none of that except for him).
A confident man wants to be called out and held accountable by a strong woman, because they know they’ll be honest enough to do it (a weak woman will tell the man that he’s perfect); they want a woman will engage with him on occasion in meaningful conversation (a weak woman has nothing important to say); and he wants a woman who knows what love is, knows her truth, and doesn’t settle for less than she deserves (a weak woman will take whatever she can get.)
A confident man knows how to treat a strong woman; he knows her worth and value; he knows her heart, mind and soul; he takes the time to listen to her and understand; he’s sure to always let her know how important she is to him.
A confident man knows that if he stops paying attention to a strong woman she’ll find someone else. After all, if you’re not paying attention to the one you love, most assuredly someone else will. While you’re making her feel invisible by ignoring what a wonderful woman she is, someone else will see her and put her on a pedestal.
A confident man will know that he’s blessed and lucky to have a strong woman loving him, supporting him, and caring for him. He’ll know that he can always count on her, no matter what. He’ll always let her know how important she is; how loved she is, and how “wanted” she is.
A confident man won’t “need” a strong woman; he’ll “want” one, at least if he’s smart he will.
Healthy relationships aren’t based on boosting each others’ egos or self-esteem; they aren’t built on the other person making us happy; and they aren’t based on being controlled by another.
Healthy relationships are built on two strong people who love each other and know how blessed they are to have one another. They are sustained on feeling gratitude for each other on a daily basis. They are kept moving forward by keeping the love alive.
Yes, it was an interesting response of answers I received from men, young and old, but I guess in the grand scheme of settling into a long term relationship or a marriage that will last a lifetime, the song remains the same: the confident man wants a strong woman.
And the strong woman wants a confident man.
“A confident man not only understands that, he realizes how incredibly special that actually is.” ~Marnie Mitchell-Lister~
Wishing you love and light,