Beauty versus brains. When you feel you have to sacrifice for his love.

“I’m not intellectually connecting to you.”

Then he mumbled something about it’s just the way he feels…or maybe it was related to a stereotype.

These were the words that my most recent lover spoke to me during an honest conversation I suggested we have. We’d seen each other a few times during which I’d stayed at his place for multiple days. And I was noticing that my feelings were rapidly increasing…I was really falling for this guy. But I could sense that my emotions were heavier than his.

Whether a relationship seems off-balanced, or equally balanced, it’s always a good idea to create time to sit down, connect, and share your authentic feelings periodically, or when one person requests it. Never assume you know how the relationship is going or what the other person is feeling.

I was grateful that he was open to my suggestion to have a convo, that he was so beautifully honest, and yet, that one sentence sent me in a whirlwind back to 8 years ago, with tears streaming down my face, remembering my first big heartbreak…

It was 2009. I had been dating a tall, dark and handsome doctor for almost 3 years. I thought I had it made. But when he didn’t show up for Christmas with my family, I was left heartbroken and depressed. Later, he sent me an email that further pushed the knife into my wound. In it, amongst other things, he said:

“I was concerned that we did not have enough to say to each other.  I felt like I was on different educational level and would be bored by the things that you had to say.  Honestly, I was bored at times.”

I’m sharing with you this history from my love vault because perhaps you have experienced a repeated “reason” from lovers/partners as to why you shouldn’t be together, why you aren’t right for them, or something that seems off in your connection…and dammit, it fucking hurts to hear it twice, right?

I used to spend my life attempting to prove myself as smart. I was worried that all people would see were my long legs, blond hair and blue eyes and assume that I was all looks with no brain.

And no, I didn’t make myself “special” assuming that men thought this. I changed my behavior as a product of their response to me. The gas station attendant’s response to me buying motor oil still burns in my blood: “Are you suuuuure you know which hole that goes in? I know how blonde’s are.”

After too many of those comments, it’s no surprise I would put my armor on (as Brene Brown says) and march out into the world with my smart shield on. Fuck sexy. Sexy isn’t respected. But brains are.

Perhaps you have experienced a similar worry about the way you look? Prompting you to either dumb yourself down or pump-up your perceived smartness?

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I can’t help but question…

What is the impact of our looks on the way men perceive/receive us in romantic relationships? Even after they get to know our hearts…do societal expectations of beauty versus brains (meaning you can’t have both) still hold some weight?

I refuse to go back to proving myself to be smart, I know I am, but wow….I can’t tell you how tempting it has been to take the honest comment, “I’m not intellectually connecting to you,” to mean…you’re a dumb blonde and nothing that you say has sustenance or depth.

Ouch. Self talk hurts, right? Be gentle with yourself during these times.

No…I refuse to go back to “manifying” myself. Denying my softness, my sensuality – with short hair and sharp communication. Striving to be what I thought everyone else wanted me to be. It was exhausting. And for what? So that men would respect me more?

The ironic thing here is that once I started to be exactly who I AM – to own my full range of feminine power – The Playful Child, Radiant Rebel and Sexy Feminine – I’ve actually received more respect from men.

No more jokes about my “blondness” or lewd comments about my ass. Instead genuine moments of connection, like the colleague of mine giving me a big hug and telling me he’d marry me if he wasn’t married…that I was a “catch.” Or the guy in the store who shouted to his friend, “Dude, make way for the lady,” as I made my way through. Or even my most recent partner who ended our relationship when he knew that we weren’t aligned…even though it hurt us both, and he could have drug me along for a while longer.

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Me at a low place in my “manified” stage…and me now!

I’m not assuming that the man I quoted earlier in this post thinks that I’m all beauty and no brains. Only he knows what he feels…and again, I’m so grateful he shared because intellectual connection is important to me as well. 

I’m simply curious: When the person you love and adore doesn’t see/feel your intellectual capacity as a woman, could it be because of a stereotype (as my lover questioned), or is it genuinely because he can’t connect to your mind?

There is no right or wrong answer. There is only his truth. All truth is valid. And the only way to know is to ask.

Now, the interesting thing about relationships, is that you can only ever know what you feel NOW…and yet, feelings can change. So, as a dose of hopeful medicine for all of us big lovers out there, I thought I’d share another sentence from the doctor’s email to me:

Ironically, I feel like I am so much more open and connected to you now than I have ever been throughout our relationship.

Later, the doctor proposed to me.

You might be wondering…how did he go from not feeling connected to me intellectually, to feeling connected and proposing!?

The truth is…I’m not 100% sure because I can’t get inside of his mind. But what I do know is that after our breakup, and when he started writing me emails like this (there were several), then proposed…it was the exact time that I began embracing all sides of my Feminine Power – The Playful Child, Radiant Rebel and Sexy Feminine.

I stood for both my beauty AND my brains. And it felt fucking awesome. And…I was able to decline his proposal from a place of empowerment.

Having a choice is a beautiful thing. And clarity of how we want to feel in a relationship is the GPS that leads us to the Big Meaningful Love we deserve.

Now it’s YOUR turn…

Have you ever experienced feeling like you had to choose beauty versus brains or vice versa?

Share with me in the comments below and let’s start a conversation 🙂

To Your Radiance,

jess e-sig

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Feeling like you have to choose between beauty or brains? Embrace your full range of feminine power to attract a man who is right for you. Learn how by taking my FREE “What’s your Feminine Power Archetype?” Quiz!

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