Have Women Forgotten That They’re The Prize?
I recently participated in a Loveawake dating site forum discussion revolving around why it is that people question/nag women over 30 who have not yet married or had children about when they intend to marry and have children. I'm sure we're all familiar with the question "When are you going to get married?" As if you had a crystal ball of some sort and could give them a set date.
During that discussion someone posed the question "If women are the prize, why all these relationship books about how to get and keep a man? Shouldn't it be the other way around?" To which I made the point that men aren't interested in reading books about self help and relationships; therefore it's not profitable for the publishing industry to produce books about how to win women over. The other commenter responded with:
"So it's because women don't feel like they are the prize, folks are capitalizing on their insecurity and vulnerability."
This gave me pause. This statement really got me thinking.
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It is true that the reason why so many dating and relationship guides are geared toward women is because men don't read self help/relationship books- women are much more profitable market. Women are also more likely to want to be married than men, though studies have shown that marriage often has more benefits for men than it does for women, see here and here. After all, there is no such thing as Modern Groom magazine is there so, women naturally take a much greater interest in this subject than men do.
I also think that a lot of our dating and courtship norms have been lost over the last couple of decades and, women and men both need help in this area. No one really knows how to date anymore. Men are just as clueless here as women BUT men learn and process things in different ways. Also, a lot of parents don't talk, or aren't around to talk, to their sons and daughters about dating and relationships. So a lot of people out there are just playing it by ear.
Moreover, the tables have been turned in a way. Women now chase and fight each other over men, preoccupy ourselves with what men want, and treat men like they're the prize instead of it being the other way around. Women have also so dumbed down their standards for what they want and need in a mate that many will just accept anyone that comes their way for the sake of having a man. Hence, men no longer think they have to work for anything or prove themselves desirable to women; hereto the substandard treatment of women from men.
Ultimately though, I think the commenter is right. Women need to stop trying to "fix" ourselves in order to make ourselves more appealing to men.
So put that self help book down- for a minute at least (more on that later) - and take a moment- or ten- to appreciate who you are. This is part of the reason why I don't like to bog myself down with dating a relationship guides. However, this does not mean that we shouldn't be striving to make ourselves the best we can be. It also does not mean that we should ignore our feminine appeal either. Instead it means that we should recognize that we ARE the prize to be won. That there is nothing wrong with us as women and that we don't need to change who we are or twist ourselves into pretzels in order to fit into someone else's ideal or mold.