Dear Rachel,

I’m a tomboy who feels more masculine than the men I date. I remodeled my house on my own, while my last boyfriend couldn’t even operate a drill. I want to feel like the woman in the relationship for a change. How can I find a man who’s manly enough to make me feel feminine?

Signed,

Tomboy

Dear Tomboy,

Instead of looking for a macho man to make you feel more feminine, develop your feminine side. Everyone has an inner feminine and masculine side, (also known as yin and yang) and the key is to strike a healthy balance between the two. You’ve probably received a lot of validation in your life from friends, family and even boyfriends for being a woman with a well-developed masculine side. That’s great and that’s part of who you are, but that doesn’t mean you have to neglect your feminine side completely. If you want to feel more feminine in your dating relationships, practice tapping into your feminine (yin) side by allowing yourself to be more vulnerable, receptive and intuitive with the men you date.

How do these qualities translate into dating behavior? Be receptive to letting your date make the first move, treat you to a nice dinner, and maybe even open the door for you. As a woman, it’s not that you can’t open your own door or afford your own dinner, but it’s nice to give your date an opportunity to express his assertive, masculine (yang) side and be attentive to your needs. Let him open the door for you because he wants to, not because you can’t do it yourself.

Once you incorporate feminine/yin qualities into your personality, they will become second nature to you and you’ll naturally attract a man who appreciates both the feminine and masculine qualities within you. Find a man who has a balance of yin and yang qualities in himself, rather than a macho caveman who’s out of touch with his feminine side and, therefore, unbalanced himself. You don’t need a man who’s more masculine than you in every way, just enough to occasionally make you feel like the woman in the relationship. You may always be able to out-drill your guy when it comes to power tools, but you can still let him open the door for you at Home Depot.

Dear Rachel,

My partner is a workaholic! I know he loves me, but we don’t get much one-on-one time as a couple. He works long hours, including most weekends, and when he comes home we eat a late meal and then go straight to bed. When I tell him I want to spend more quality time with him, he gets frustrated and tells me he’s working to support our lavish lifestyle. It’s true that he treats me to expensive gifts, and I appreciate his hard work, but I wish he’d spend less on presents and spend more time with me. I miss him. How can I get him to make time for our relationship when there are limited hours in a day?

Signed,

Neglected

Dear Neglected,

Your partner may be the kind of person who expresses his love by providing you with material possessions, rather than through his time or affection. If this is the case, I wouldn’t expect him to change anytime soon. Therefore, since your partner has an extremely busy schedule, it’s up to you to pencil in some quality time for the two of you on his calendar.

Tell him exactly what you told me — that you appreciate his hard work, but you miss him. Sometimes we assume our partners know what we’re thinking, even though we’ve never said the words out loud. Next, pick a day that tends to be his least hectic and allot some personal time to bond. It may not sound romantic, but it may be the most practical way for you to get some attention from your guy. Make one day your weekly, designated “Date Day” and stick to it. If your partner is a highly structured person, he’ll probably appreciate some structure in his personal life as well.

Preplanning a designated Date Day is your best bet for coping with your partner’s workaholic ways. You’ll be guaranteed at least one day of undivided attention per week, while your partner will feel less pressure to bond at the end of each grueling day at the office.

Rachel Iverson is a freelance writer, dating coach and author, who lives with her husband in Venice Beach. Her book, “Don’t Help A Man Be A Man: How To Avoid 12 Dating Time Bombs,” has been endorsed by Dr. John Gray, author of “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.” For more information on Rachel or her book, visit www.rebelgirlpublishing.com. For dating advice, contact: rachel@rebelgirlpublishing.com.

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