What your mom and grandma would have told you if they knew
As a young adult, it made me angry when someone implied that men and women are different because that showed they were prejudiced.
I saw that as the old, unenlightened thinking. I smugly believed I knew the truth: everyone was the same, regardless of gender.
I knew how to be assertive, speak up for my rights, and correct others for their backward thinking.
I was charming like that.
But I didn’t know how to be feminine, or even recognize my own astonishing power as a female.
Looking back, I feel so sad for the clueless younger version of me.
I was so hopelessly ignorant of the valuable contributions that I bring to my relationship and to the world as a woman that I tried to avoid seeming feminine.
I equated femininity with weakness.
I was afraid my gifts were repulsive.
Now that I know what it looks like to be feminine, I find there’s such ease, dignity and comfort in it—such relief! I feel such a sense of rightness when I’m my feminine self.
When I say feminine, I don’t mean manipulative or overtly sexual. I’m talking about honoring my feminine spirit, which I’ll explain.
Learning how to be feminine rocked my relationship and my world in the best way I can imagine.
There’s no makeup, clothes, or plastic surgery that can come close to having the irresistible magnetism of the feminine spirit in a woman.
Here’s what you need to know how to do:
Receptivity is the essence of femininity.
I’m going to repeat that, just to make sure you don’t miss it. It’s the key to blowing the whole mystery of how to be feminine wide open.
Receptivity is the essence of femininity.
To be more feminine, be more receptive.
Here’s how: Consider receiving gifts, compliments, and help graciously.
That means if your husband says you look cute when you have bed hair, you say, “Thank you,” and nothing else. No need to explain that your hair is a mess. He has eyes too, and he doesn’t seem to think that matters. Just receive.
It means if a co-worker says, “Do you want some help moving the chairs back?” and you feel guilty because it’s your responsibility, you smile and say only, “Thank you.”
Receiving graciously also means that if someone offers you a present—your man, a friend, a co-worker—you receive that too.
Hannah decided to activate her feminine gifts when her new boyfriend, Sam, offered to repair her dilapidated car at his shop. She agreed, even though she was afraid she would owe him something in return.
He also wanted her to drive his expensive luxury car in the meantime. To make it even more uncomfortable for Hannah, he put new tires on her car.
It was all Hannah could stand to let him give her so much. She was nervous because she wasn’t used to such generosity, but she was determined to experiment with being feminine by being receptive.
Instead of demanding something in return, Hannah’s boyfriend was happy and proud that he had been able to help her so much. He seemed intent to find and complete his next mission in service of bettering her life so he could make her beam with happiness again.
She got to feel special and got a road-worthy car and he got to feel like her hero. Win-win!
Imagine if she had said, “Oh you don’t have to do that,” and missed the chance to receive? She would have cheated herself out of the special treatment he wanted to give her, and he would have missed out on feeling proud and heroic. Lose-lose.
Women are Built to Receive
Think of your body as a metaphor. When it comes to sex, you are built to receive. So is your spirit.
Men are fundamentally attracted to the feminine. So the more receptive you are, the more feminine you will be. The more feminine you are, the more attractive you will be.
But it’s not always easy. It wasn’t for me at first.
I found it nearly impossible to be receptive at times. So I rejected lots of gifts, compliments, and help.
I always had my reasons.
I thought I would owe a debt. But that’s not possible—by definition, gifts are free! Same with compliments, and offers to help.
Sometimes I was trying to prove I could pull my own weight.
Other times I had another agenda: I didn’t want my husband to buy me flowers because it was a waste of money. I wanted to save money.
Often I felt undeserving, if I’m honest, and vulnerable.
And each time I rejected the things that were offered to make my life easier and more pleasant, I missed a chance to feel special, to get special treatment.
I missed the chance to feel intimate with the person who was trying to lighten my load or delight me, especially my husband!
Poor Receiving Made Me Less Attractive
When my husband discovered he couldn’t make my life sweeter and easier with his efforts because I rejected them for whatever reason, the intimacy suffered.
Today, my priority is to have the intimacy—to choose to be feminine—above my other silly reasons for not receiving. I have good receiving muscles now that I’ve been practicing.
You can start practicing too.
If a man offers to put your bag in the overhead compartment on a plane, say, “Thank you.”
If the bagger at the grocery store offers to help you out to the car, consider saying, “Thank you.”
If your husband offers to change the comforter cover, and you fear he’ll put it on sideways, say only, “Thank you.”
If he says you’re beautiful on a day when you don’t feel beautiful, accept his point of view and honor your feminine spirit by saying only, “Thank you.”
There’s nothing more feminine than knowing you deserve to be admired, helped, and adored.
Laura Doyle was great wife material–until she actually got married. When she tried to tell her husband how to be tidier, more romantic and more ambitious, he avoided her. She dragged him to marriage counseling and nearly divorced. When she interviewed women who had what she wanted in their marriages she got her miracle: the man who wooed her came back.
She wrote books about what she learned and accidentally started a worldwide movement of women who practice The Six Intimacy Skills that lead to having amazing, vibrant relationships. She is a New York Times bestselling author whose books have been translated into 17 languages and helped over 150,000 women revitalize their relationships. She founded an international relationship coaching company and has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America and The View.
The thing she’s most proud of is her gratifying, 27-year marriage with her hilarious husband John, who has been dressing himself since before she was born.