Being a modern day woman in the modern world of dating…

RATE ME OR HATE ME.

Yesterday, I turned the not so dreaded 30. An age I was actually ridiculously excited about and feel will bring with it many opportunities to see with a clear perspective through a glass half full of red wine. The weekend before, a date I had. False hope he gave me. Rattled off and could articulate the qualities he wants in a partner. Check. Looked longingly into my eyes and told me how he ‘got lost in them.’ Check. Complimented me so much that I recoiled under the unfamiliarity and awkwardness of it all. Check. Told me I was a ‘special woman,’ to which I responded with ‘I am?’ mouth agape like a hooked fish gasping for its last breaths. Check. He said this knowing merely my age, profession, qualities and physical appearance. Thus, the skeptic in me wasn’t that easily sold. Throughout the date, I could feel there was something amiss. However, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until the days following. It was in these days post, the self confessed ‘good communicator’ left me text-less. Forcing me to be the modern woman I am…

This interesting situation caused me to pen the term ‘modern woman.’ I have lived out this mentality in my dating life for some time now because what other option do I have? A woman who takes charge and seeks clarity, no matter the outcome. A woman who knows where she stands and knows what, or who, she deserves. A woman who calls out a man, or a boy for that matter, for the way he has or hasn’t treated her. A woman who is blunt and cut throat, without a second to waste on someone that shows any sign of not reciprocating the worth she knows she deserves.

With this attitude I suspect being a modern day woman probably doesn’t give me many male fans. The thing is, I don’t need any more fans. Men often say they adore confident girls, but when push comes to shove, only one or two have ever really loved every part of modern day me. Women want to take on some of these traits and boy am I happy to offer advice and lessons (ladies, form a line). Whilst in the other camp, men who learn more about me, eventually appear to become intimidated. ‘She stands up for herself,’ they snigger. ‘She knows what she wants!’ they scandalise. I’m so used to it, I’ll admit it and I no longer bat a real- lashed eyelid on the ‘it’s not you, it’s me,’ speech or some such variation I cop on the reg. Instead it excites me to use my real life experiences and thoughts in an frivolous article that can help inform and entertain those aspiring to be modern day women.

One was not always a modern day woman. I was once a passive, perfectionist who was a kind girl, who avoided raising issues that would bring about awkwardness or make the other person feel anything remotely negative about themselves. I would let people walk all over me because I was too nice. Too helpful. Too friendly. Too cheerful. Too generous. Too everything. I grappled with these ‘too’ many feelings many a time. And through the difficult and challenging circumstances I faced and the wake up call of what reality was really like, I began to build walls, grow in assertion and skepticism and lost trust in men. In my late 20s and now the second day of my 30th decade, I have fine tuned the perfect balance of what a modern day woman could look like. And she’s different to every one of us. She might be full of hope, humility or hubris. Or perhaps confidence, cockiness and class. No matter what this modern day woman holds inside, she brings to the world a brazen gumption, an air of confidence, a polarised view of femininity and a heart of self love. Pretty much the only kind of love this 30 year old needs right now.

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