If there is one phrase I'm tired of men dropping, it's, “You're intimidating."
Before I jump up on my soapbox and make myself even more "intimidating," let me write a disclaimer: This article is not intended for the woman you are too afraid to approach.
I can't fix the mean girl who blows you off at the bar or the not-so-mean girl you just said has “resting bitch face (RBF).” (Also, I'm pretty sure my brain-on-fire-and-therefore-deep-in-thought face does not mean I'm a bitch, so please stop using “RBF").
That is, unless you want women to just start calling you a resting assh*le (“RA” for short). Women won't stop at your face; we'll label all of you as that.
I'm not talking about the woman you're too scared to talk to. I'm talking about the woman that you dream of, finally find and chase down, but then are too afraid to date.
I'm talking about this bizarre open conversation that happens at one of two points in a relationship:
You somehow turn “you're intimidating” into an opening line. Why, yes, you now have my attention because I'm now curious about your psyche.
We've been talking for a while, maybe even tried the dating thing, and for whatever reason, you feel the need to inform me (as if I didn't already know) that I'm intimidating.
I applaud your honesty, but why are you telling me this? Do you feel better after getting this off your chest, as if we are in a first interview and you need to shake your nerves by being brutally honest?
Newsflash: This is not an interview and even if it were, you would never tell the person interviewing you that he or she is “intimidating."
I'd rather you just tell me you're nervous because it's endearing. Besides, if you actually took a chance to get to know me, you would realize I am the last person who should intimidate you, and here's why:
Here are five things you should know about the woman you keep calling “intimidating”:
1. She has an incredible story that will forever captivate your attention.
One reason why relationships fail is that one or both parties find themselves bored and develop wandering eyes, ears and hands (sadly).
Guess what: The person who slightly intimidates you is also the person who will constantly keep your attention.
The story behind who she is and the elements you find so intimidating are what you will fall madly in love with.
Her trials, tribulations, successes, the way she expresses herself, captivates an audience, works a room, shows compassion, stands her ground or maybe even how she writes.
All of these are products of her story, and you love them. You love them so much that you proudly tell her story for her; you tell it to your friends, family, colleagues and yourself in the mirror.
She's been through more than you can imagine and somehow, she came out with her head held high and a smile that's brighter than sunshine.
She is exactly the type of woman you want on your arm because he can hold her own. Her story and character alone take the pressure off of you. Everyone wants to learn more, and you eat that up.
Plus, if you're checking her out, you better believe others are as well. Don't people love that arm candy/trophy game?
You're intrigued, not intimidated. Stop punking out. Go get what you want! If you're intrigued, dive in and find out why.
You just might not be able to get enough; and yes that can be frightening, but it can also be amazing.
If you like what's in front of you, take it off the market. Otherwise someone else will, and all you will have is a Facebook timeline full of their awesome love story. #SorryShe'sNotSorry
2. She'll inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
Stop here if you're done growing. If you're constantly trying to better yourself and embrace a higher quality of life, keep reading.
The person who slightly intimidates you — because you admire her character, work ethic, strength, satire, step, drive, passion, etc. — will keep you on your toes and inspire you to be a better a person, leader, son, friend and partner.
With her, you will strive for the 2.0 version of yourself. You will run faster, work harder, inspire more and feel deeper than ever before.
Have you ever noticed how many quote junkies there are in the world? How many self-help success stories people feed on?
They are great, but what if I said you could wake up next to that same inspiration every day by dating the person who inspires (aka intimidates you)? The world is full of “good catches” and natural born leaders.
These people have a hard time settling down because they want to be pushed and challenged, but they don't think it can mutually exist with love.
It can, and the same woman who intimidates you is likely intimidated by you, and for all the same reasons. So now, the two of you are just wasting time and talent.
If you find a prospect who provides this, grab ahold and never let go. Wake up inspired. It's rare.
It's also important that I differentiate between “slightly intimidating” and forced change (abuse). You want someone who inspires you with her loving, well-intentioned actions — not words or demands.
3. She doesn't need you; she wants you.
Ms. Intimidation builds her own career, makes her own money, pays for her own way and carries her own bags.
She has her own friends, hobbies, motivation and passions. She knows who she is and what she wants out of life.
This is great news for you! You're not her babysitter, coach or father. You're her partner in crime.
Clyde didn't have to drag Bonnie around. She showed up to ride or die on her own accord. Sometimes he even let her drive. Just saying.
Please stop mistaking my not needing you for me not wanting you. The fact that I have all that going on and still want to make you my priority person should speak volumes.
I can only speak for myself here, but I imagine it applies to others, too.
This Ms. Independent would love nothing more than a man who can give my independence a rest at times and take the lead.
I think this realization comes with age, but after years of fighting to prove myself professionally, spending my days making decisions from the hip and being the office Morale Officer, there is something incredibly relaxing and enjoyable about being able to turn down the volume on my independence.
It would be great to come home to someone who can take the lead; someone I trust can make plans, carry some weight and let me be vulnerable.
To him, I promise to provide the same broad shoulders. There, I admitted it. The woman you find intimidating wants you and all that you have to offer.
This just got real. Goodbye walls.
4. She's pretty darn "normal."
Albeit biased, I have some of the most amazing female friends; many of whom have been victim to the “You're intimidating” accusation.
They are successful, charismatic, articulate, cultured, hilarious, athletic, compassionate and independent. I could go on, but you get the picture. They are dynamic and dreamy.
These same women are stunningly beautiful, many tall and still rocking high heels because they are confident and not sorry for being 6 feet tall.
They crush careers by day and attend dinner parties by night. They command — never demand — attention, and they do it with mesmerizing grace and style.
She (in the collective form) is a Boss. Did I mention intelligent? IQ as well as EQ.
We are intimidating because we grabbed life by the horns and made it the best damn ride possible, and we're still holding on.
Sure, we might be a gaggle of intimidation when we take the downtown night by storm, but we are also an SNL skit waiting to be written when we're together.
If you were a fly on the wall for our girls' nights, our one-on-one conversations, you would immediately lose all intimidation.
The same woman you find intimidating is also really good at making the same raunchy jokes as you are. She'll crush you at Cards Against Humanity.
She's clumsy and messy, can “man” a BBQ, yells at the TV for her team, enjoys downtime on the couch and eating junk food.
Get this: She enjoys silence and downtime. That's right folks, we don't always talk. The same girl you're too afraid to talk to starts each morning with a kitchen dance party.
Just her, the dog, a cup of coffee and the Top 40 getting down with her wet hair and makeup-free face.
The same women who intimidate you have the same fears, hopes and dreams as you. They probably even snort when they laugh.
They're normal, so stop holding them to some level that intimidates you; you don't know her yet.
5. Give her a chance, and she'll give you a lifetime.
Hearing, “You're intimidating,” directly from a man is not typically a one-time occurrence. The woman who has heard it once has likely heard it a thousand times.
To counter this annoying statement, she likely has awesome friends and family who remind her, “You don't want a man who isn't confident enough to take you off the market,” or as Dad always tells me, “You will work best with a man who thinks you're the best thing since sliced bread. Don't settle because it won't work.”
My point is, you're already winning if you're stepping up to bat.
Women who intimidate you still have feelings and fairytale dreams; they just don't show all their cards on the first (or seventh) play.
This is also good because they won't send you to Harry Winston within the first year. You're welcome.
They want love, they just don't plan on settling for it anytime soon. They respect themselves and their time, and the same goes for your time.
They don't have time for games so they shoot straight, honestly and boldly. They are not rude, they are simply honest and too busy applying their talents to the creation of a great life.
Everyone has talents, but it's rare to have the courage to own and exercise them. Would you expect anything less of yourself? If not, why would you for the love of your life?
If you find a woman who walks the talk and you feel like walking with her, do it. She will be floored.
It will mean the world to her, and if anyone's loyalty is lasting, it's the intimidating one. She understands the value and cherishes it.
The intimidating one will respect, admire and love you more than you could ever hope. Stop wasting time; buy her stock if you find her on the open market.
Remember, if not you, someone else. And, no one likes having a life story about “The one who got away."