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Parallax - Advice            December 4, 2000

  She's confident - he's not.

Dear Conversely, Ask us a Question!

I've been dating my girlfriend for about six months, and I love her. She is a very confident person who I've always been attracted to. However, sometimes I feel as though her domineering nature overshadows me, and it is somewhat emasculating (given traditional male/female roles). Generally, I'm a very communicative and generous person, and she appreciates me very much. All in all, I'd say our relationship is excellent, and very loving. It's just her strong personality that makes me feel as though she has the power in the relationship…and, like I said, it can be very emasculating. I'm curious. Is this my problem? Does this have more to do with my self-esteem, or is this an issue on which I should be pressing for change? She doesn't have a problem with any of it and thinks I'm great. I'm not quite used to this dynamic, and I'm not sure how I should react.

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Her view:

Dear Emasculated,

Well, you say your relationship is great - you're just not in charge. Big deal. In every relationship couples take charge on different items. As long as she is looking out for your best interest, who cares? You should both be pretty happy, and the notion of male/female is irrelevant. There is probably an even split between men and women on who has the upper hand in relationships. It's a simple function of personality, and doesn't indicate anything about who loves who more, who is the boss, or any other sort of nonsense.

Just love each other plenty, and you'll do the right things for each other. Stop fussing over this silly concept, and just continue with the nice, loving, relationship you have. Most guys would love to be in your shoes.

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His view:

Dear Emasculated,

You absolutely have to do something about this. Beware my colleague. She'll be fooled by the superficial nature of your 'excellent' relationship and tell you to stop 'fretting' and move on.

You may think this is not a huge deal because your girlfriend doesn't see a problem. She may be okay now with having the top hand in the relationship. She may even enjoy pushing you around for a while, but eventually she will tire of it and go looking for someone else who can be his own man.

This may not call for wholesale change or drastic action, but it does require that you not always compromise. Don't be overshadowed. There is a fine line between healthy compromise (give & take) and becoming a yes-man.

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You Vote! 29% of Women agree with HER VIEW and 71% with HIS VIEW.

10% of Men agree with HER VIEW and 90% with HIS VIEW.

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