There is an interesting article in today’s Sunday Telegraph (not on their website yet, so no link) about the “Surrendered Wife” phenomenon, and more particularly, the new book that is coming up by the same author (Laura Doyle), The Surrendered Single.
For those that are not familiar with this work, the basic premise is that men don’t know how to handle modern women, and are daunted and intimidated by powerful, successful wives and girlfriends. This, the author believes, is a barrier to a successful, lasting, loving relationship, and is the cause of many divorces and failed relationships. What she goes on to suggest is that wives and girlfriends should adopt a more submissive role, almost to the point of becoming doormats. The new book will essentially advise single girls to adopt similar tactics in order to get the man they want.
The Telegraph amusingly does two things with the article. Firstly, to get the male point of view, they interview one man. Just one. A 32-year-old city lawyer, clearly representative of the male populace at large (not!). And judging by what he says, and his photograph, he is clearly a complete wanker. His advice is that women shouldn’t “scare the poor bugger off” by being too assertive – he says this as he relaxes in a recliner in his garden, peering over the top of his sunglasses, smoking a cigar as a “blonde bit” brings him a beer. Tosser.
The second thing about the article is the little panel giving “Doyle’s Advice For Singles” (meaning single girls), reproduced here:
- Let him ask all the questions
- Talk about his interests
- Let him reveal what he wants to…. don’t press him
- If he offers you a compliment, accept it gratiously
- Don’t try to change him
- List the traits you like in him
- Never ask him out
- Bite your tongue even when you really disagree with him
- Don’t list your achievements, you will make him feel inferior
- To get a second date, offer him your telephone number
- Think: “There is no such thing as the perfect man, but there are lots of imperfect men to have wonderful relationships with”
I can actually see quite a bit of truth in all this. The part about not trying to change your partner is true – that works both ways. In my experience, if you try to change someone, you just cause resentment and friction. What usually happens is that some of you rubs off onto them, and vice versa, and that is how you both change. And the part about there being no “perfect men” is also true. It applies to women too. There are no “perfect” people – I know I’m far from perfect (a few people believe that I think I’m perfect, but my true friends know that I have a whole bunch of faults and insecurities).
But I also see some serious pants as well. Why shouldn’t a girl be proud of her achievements? OK, bragging endlessly about them is irritating, but that applies to anyone, not just lovers. Bite your tongue?? – why shouldn’t you have an opinion? I always respect opinion, provided it can be backed up with good reason. Let him ask all the questions? – pressure on or what?!
And as for the thing about giving your phone number to get a second date – I mean, say what?? How else do you get a second date? Stalk him??? Hang around outside his flat until he invites you in?? Or am I missing the point here?
And “never ask him out”??? So how exactly do you show your interest?
I’m always fearful that girls I meet aren’t interested in me, so some sort of positive sign is always welcome. Yes, a big, full-on, “shag-me-now!” approach does tend to cause me to back off rapidly, but you can make your feelings obvious without going that far.
Powerful and successful girls can be daunting. But the doormat approach is not the way to a successful relationship in my opinion. The best way is through sharing, mutual respect, understanding and communication – and plain old lust comes into it too. Put all those things into a package, add that “certain something”, and then you get “love” – or something like that anyway.
Or am I too much of an idealist?