It’s an odd realization to make, because part of what makes dating so complicated is the idea that you need to perform for the person sitting in front of you.
People have written over and over again how first dates are like interviews, and that you have to put on a shinier version of yourself so as to not scare away the person across from you.
The queer men and women I spoke to had never been given the excuse of intimidation as the reason why they weren’t finding dates (though, admittedly, my findings are 100% anecdotal).
So, being a woman who used to mold and fold herself to meet society’s standards of “the girl he wants to date,” I started Googling to see exactly what men found intimidating in a woman, all in an effort to fix it in myself.
Some answered, “If she’s better looking than me,” while others brought up words like “smarter,” “stronger,” “funnier,” and “outspoken.” Women who made more money than their male counterparts, or had a better job or seemed more successful in general, were also penalized.I believe that to a certain extent — I won’t open up and spill of my neuroses on the table right away, even though I overthink everything.But I now also believe that you need to still be yourself, not the person you think your date wants you to be.But as I got older, and the men I’d date started calling me intimidating as a way to weasel out of the situation we were in, I realized that the opposite sex didn’t always see intimidation as a positive thing.
And in talking to my queer friends, I found that this phenomenon seems to mainly occur in heterosexual relationships.And most importantly, it made me realize that the person in control of my dating life was me — not the person sitting on the barstool next to me.