I've been self employed for two years, and let's say it hasn't exactly been consistently kind to me... yet. Anyways, I recently dated a woman who has more money than I did, who wanted to me to pay for everything, who wanted to be "in charge," but still wanted me to take charge.
That's a pretty good model for the issue, as I, a man, have experienced it. Men get a mixed message from women, or at least I do a lot of the time, because our biology hasn't caught up to society. We're only 50 years away from the shift in power/relational dynamics, and we're working against roughly 50,000 years of instinctual behavior.
I don't think that's the whole scope, though, as there seems to be a shift in the general mindset of people between the ages of 20 and 34ish. We're having to rethink our command of the world and our roles in it, and a lot of people (myself included) have and are certainly struggling with a metaphysical debate about the merits of channeling that ambition into the "normal" avenues into which men and women are supposed to channel their ambitions.
I'm an intellectual freak, so naturally I experience much of the latter. I also paint my toenails and wear sarongs (and look particularly elegant and "manly" when I do it.) Then I go out in the woods, I blow up a dresser or a grill, I come home and cook a better meal than most women I know can cook (no offense, but I know more men who can cook now than I know women who can cook,) and am a fantastic lover/conversationalist/companion/partner to women. I can and do take charge, in fact finding myself in leadership roles more often than I perhaps would prefer. Oh yeah, I'm good-looking and I have a great butt.
The point is, I'm a great catch as far as what women generally say they're truly looking for in a mate, I have a lot of ambition, and I'll bet you coffee, VENUS, that you still wouldn't be satisfied with putting me in the category with what I suspect to be a fairly stringent blueprint of the ideal man who is going to meet all your carefully and belligerently calculated needs.
I went out of my way to make that last sentence fairly ridiculous. But still, down have I thrown the gauntlet.
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