April 19, 2014

Plenty of Dicks


Why women compete for men, and why they should STOP


We all want to feel special, beautiful and admired at one point or another. Naturally certain people experience more attention than others. Perhaps because they're exceptionally good-looking. Maybe they have an infectious personality. Or maybe both. After a certain age when we're no longer passing notes written with colored jelly pens and hiding them in our friend's lockers, girls turn into women and leave the days of Mean Girls behind. For the most part. But if there's one thing that can bring out the worst in a woman - and even bring out the ugly - it's when she competes against another woman for a man. 

Every woman at one point or another has been there. Many find themselves there on a regular basis, and prefer to be there. There, as in, down in the trenches, clad head to toe in camouflage, in either a covert or full blown war with another women, over a man who may or may not already be hers.

Why? Why do women do this? According to Ask Men, female competition is perfectly natural. The main reasons Ask Men believes women compete with each other for men are lovepowerforbidden fruit, and "a few good men". A woman in love with a man will fight for him even if he's taken. Some women just want the feeling of knowing they can steal another woman's man, and do it for the power trip. Women, like humans in general, want what they can't have, so attached men seem like forbidden fruit and therefore more attractive. Finally, women have the belief that all the "good men" are taken, so when they meet an attached man, they automatically place him into this category and believe he's worth pursuing. 

All of these reasons are sound and I'm sure everyone can point out at least one of their girlfriends which whom one of these situations apply. But I'm going to propose a new reason. A reason that I believe most women end up competing with other women for men, and why they should stop. Immediately. 

Insecurity

Insecurity is what separates the women who chase and fight over men from the women who do not. It isn't about whether a woman is a "good woman" or not. In fact, because men believe that the feeling of competition is what women actually want, some bait women into situations that would force them to compete, believing it's the only way they can get and keep her attention. While all of the above reasons for competition may be valid, understand that at the end of the day, a woman in competition for a man is in a position where she is experiencing jealousy and envy simultaneously and on a regular basis, unless or until she "wins" and has the man in question all to herself. "Winning" in these situations is highly unlikely, though. While some women may experience envy alone, and simply want what someone else has as a means of their own validation, once jealousy becomes involved a fear of loss has been triggered. A woman would not compete at all if there wasn't a fear that without doing so she would lose - i.e.: that someone else had the power to redirect the attention of the man that she has, or the man that she wants. And once you're primed to become jealous of any and every woman who might be a threat, there's no stopping it. So at what point do you actually get to "win", to sit back and enjoy your man? The problem with competition is that with all one's energy focused there, not enough attention is being focused on the real issue - the relationship. 

Women don't compete for men because they like it. If a woman is competing, she is doing it because she thinks she has to. Because she believes this is the only way. That if she doesn't, she can't have the him in question, because some other woman who played the game better will have gotten to him first.  And while she's busy doing this, she isn't so busy evaluating the relationship itself, whether the man she's involved with is worthy of her (after all, he isn't stopping her from jumping through hoops) and what trying to beat other women off of him with a stick is doing to her self-esteem. 

Men aren't inanimate objects that are just waiting to be fought over, obtained and protected. They're people. Active participants that cannot be controlled, that can and do make their own decisions. This game of chasing and competing that may feel awful to the women involved, feel wonderful to the men involved, because so much time, energy, attention and opportunity is being showered all over them. And they know it. Sometimes when they're out in the world being human, making decisions, they actually make the decision to use what they believe to be women's "nature" to their advantage. To encourage that instinct to fight for them. To be that ungettable guy that women will pull each other's hair out for.

Remember when I mentioned everyone wanting to feel special, beautiful and admired at some point? A man who a woman thinks she has to fight for is not making her feel those things. She doesn't feel special. If she did, she wouldn't have to worry that someone else might have the power to steal him away. She wouldn't have to wonder about how he felt about her, whether she was enough, whether she should be worried that someone seemed to have her eye on him. She would know they had something secure.

And if she did not - and HERE is where the distinction between security and insecurity comes in - she would walk away. Period.

It isn't "gracefully bowing out". Bowing out is accepting defeat, and this is not a defeat, this is a victory. Women who walk away when they're in situations where they would have to jump through hoops or otherwise compete with other women for a man do so because they understand that in situations like these - there is nothing to compete over. There is no prize. A man who is happy to watch your insecurities surface and uses them to encourage you to compete for his attention is NOT the man who is going to give you the kind of relationship that you want. This is NOT the man who is going to make you feel special, beautiful and admired. If he did that - if he EVER did that - you would stop fighting for him because you would know you'd won. Instead, the fighting, the chasing, the hoop jumping, this will be dragged out and milked for as long as possible. Women who walk away don't want to be with a man that wants them insecure, or tries to make them compete.

So for the rest of you ladies, I have a question...

What are you fighting for?

Think about it. Think about the type of men or situations that put you in that position of feeling so insecure that you think you have to prove yourself to have them. Think about the "finish line" you envision. The kind of relationship you want and how you hope to feel. Now compare that with what you're actually feeling while you're putting yourself down and selling yourself short, waiting for someone to tell you whether you're good enough.

Competing for a man is NOT the way to go. It doesn't do anything for your self-esteem, and it's VERY unlikely to get you the result you're fighting for. "The One" is not going to come in the package of someone else's boyfriend who needs to see just how important he is to you and what you're willing to do before he leaves, so don't compete for love. A man is not a purse - if that's your thing and you want to one up the next woman to feel better about yourself, that's what you need. A better purse. Not her man. People are not things, so don't compete for power. It is human nature to want what you can't have, but it's also human nature to rise above your baser instincts. Don't let the forbidden fruit act lure you in. You don't want what someone else has - you want someone of your own. Finally, though it may sometimes seem like there are only "a few good men" left, there are plenty of dicks in the sea. He is not the last man left on the planet, there is NO reason why you need to snap necks to get him. In fact, if he's the type to try and make you fight for his attention, he isn't one of the few good men you're thinking of.

Insecurity can drive women to do things they neither enjoy nor benefit from, but it's important to be aware of why you do things like this so that you can make the conscious decision to STOP. Remember that the one's worth fighting for are the ones that you won't need to fight for.

So the next time some guy tries to play the ungettable card to see how high you'll jump - keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, and walk. Don't waste your time or compromise your self-esteem fighting for him.

Fight for you. 

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