I'm not interested in women myself, but I'm often surprised by the kind of woman guys are into when it comes to relationships. I can't imagine myself marrying someone I don't respect, and yet a lot of guys seem to be into women who might be called dependent, passive, or helpless. I.e., they don't have a lot of practical skills, they have no or little ambition when it comes to careers, and/or they want to sit back and be taken care of. What I'm saying is they basically fit the mold of the role women are traditionally supposed to have, or are "ladylike." But I think if I were straight, I would want nothing to do with such women, and would instead only be interested in women who have skills, ambition, self-reliance, and overall respectability. So what I'm saying is that I would be into more masculine women (maybe not in appearance, but in attitude and capabilities).

Is that something straight guys often find attractive? It does make sense for guys to want to have someone to protect, but is that the only reason to like the more feminine type of woman? Is there something respectable about that type of woman from a guy's perspective? And perhaps this is a different discussion altogether, but I'm also baffled that guys are interested in women who have no interests in common with them. If you're a stereotypical man with interests like sports, cars, the outdoors, etc. and your wife has stereotypical female insterests like shopping and fashion, what do you talk about?  I guess what I'm confused about is how those people get together in the first place, and what their relationships are based on (if anything other than sexual attraction).

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Uh... no

I'm a bit confused about what in this post would lead you to think that.  Some of my other posts, I might be able to understand given that I'm often wordy and not too direct, but this one?

Thankyou, Jack.  I think you echo my husbands sentiments.  I graduated college on the Dean's list, have been a news reporter, a teacher, an actress, and have been involved with sales and publicity.  For non-paying jobs, I have done volunteer work since I was 12.  I have worked for the poor, the aged, the arts, and historical preservation.  Since I had my daughter, I've mostly been a housewife (except for the volunteer work which children have to see their parents doing).

I guess I could be viewed as passive.  I let dh handle the finances because he's much better at it than I am.  I clean, cook, entertain, raise our child, and am the overall family ambassador to our community.  When dh comes home, he walks into a clean serene environment that contains liquor and the smells of a hot meal cooking.  A few years ago, it included a well-behaved happy child and homemade cookies.  Now it includes news of a daughter in college studying biochemistry in the honors program.  I don't have a lack of strength - I just have different strengths.

Like you and your spouse, we have many of the same beliefs and opinions but have come to them from different directions.  There's a lot of joking and banter between us and he likes to take me to the occasional place that requires an evening gown and white tie.  He likes that I'm a girly nerdy intellectual and I like that he's a masculine intellectual.  Like you, neither of us are so much enamoured with ourselves to spend our life with a carbon copy.

I like this thread.  It's very educational.

Thank you for your perspective.  It's certainly been educational for me.

A lot of guys don't have the confidence to deal with boss-girls. Their independence and go-getter attitude often will push other people around them to be the same, and if a guy is pretty happy being average, the thought of this is going to create stress.

A lot of guys also have savior syndrome where they feel like they wanna save someone. Ive seen different things to you though, instead of saving a pretty normal innocent girl, they tend to try to save trashy girls who cheat a lot. 

Similar to what others have said, I don't think 'traditional' women lack practical skills or ambition, it's just they're more focused on family/home based things rather than paid jobs. I don't think that makes them helpless or unworthy of respect.

If you look back to a time when women generally tended to stay at home (for me, this was my great-grandparents' generation - both my grandmas had paid employment), they would've had a lot of skills, just different ones from the man. There's an old saying that these women were expected to be 'a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom'. The man may have been viewed as helpless with domestic chores etc if the wife got ill or something as she'd have always taken care of it and he wouldn't know what to do.

As for common interests, I don't think these are necessary for a good relationship. I'm big into cars and my fiannce has more typically feminine interests but we've been together 5 years. The same is true of my parents and they've been married nearly 30 years. I think you have to be sympathetic to eachother's interests for example she comes to racing events with me and I take her shopping at weekends etc. You don't have to be into it yourself, you just indulge your partner occasionally because you love them.

I don't really know what attracts people to one another, other than on a sexual level. When I saw the title, I was tempted to put 'buxom English brunettes' but I suspect that's not the kind've answer you're looking for. I've often wondered what attracted my partner to me to be honest. For me I like her personality and sense of humour. She's also the person I feel I can say anything to and who I can be completely 'myself' with.

The man may have been viewed as helpless with domestic chores etc if the wife got ill or something as she'd have always taken care of it and he wouldn't know what to do.

That's interesting.  I've realized that on a subcouncsious level, I consider skills like knowing how to start a fire or change a tire to be more important than knowing how to cook or clean.  The latter are obviously more applicable to everyday life for most people.  And yet, they don't enter into my equation for what is needed for self-sufficiency.  When I think of self-sufficiency, I think of being able to survive in the woods and not having to rely on debt or handouts to survive financially, even though neither of those things is currently applicable to my situation (since I've got student loans and don't live anywhere near the woods).  But I do need to eat every once in a while, and my apartment could use some tidying up.  

It's always fun to take a look at your thought patterns and realize how little sense they actually make.  

This posting has generating healthy, open-hearted discussion and I appreciate everyone’s input. It has helped me to articulate what I have feared: it is not so much that I don’t trust women, but rather that I don’t trust my judgment of them. I can bemoan having a übermother who did all the parenting and let my father disappear into the woodwork, as well as how I admire “strong” women but struggle to set healthy boundaries with them. That however doesn’t shift any my history of feeling emasculation.
I am no longer emasculated. I am a man who is attracted to women but doesn’t trust his attraction and judgment them. What kind of women am I attracted to? I don’t know. But I will show up with an open heart and mind as you my brothers have done in this thread, and it is good.

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