Women often say they want men to be emotionally
transparent with them. But as the vulnerability and
shame expert Brené Brown reveals in her book,
'Daring Greatly,' many grow uneasy or even recoil
if men take them up on their offer.
Indeed, a Canadian study found that college-aged
female respondents considered men more attractive
if they used shorter words and sentences and spoke
less. This finding seems to jibe with Dr. Brown’s
research, suggesting that the less men risk emoting
verbally, the more appealing they appear.
I think a lot of my problems in the dating and relationship realm come down to a failure to understand that although American women say they'd like a guy with character and opinions and who actually talks, instinctively, this culture is programmed with strong-and-silent John Wayne stereotypes.
This differs considerably from the stereotype of masculine ideal promulgated in my native cultures, at least within the intelligentsia. The notion of interesting man that I was inculcated with was clearly very different: interesting, attentive, charismatic, observant, original, worldly, conversant. A man in those cultures is not supposed to be "effete and sensitive" either—no, indeed, they are relatively patriarchal—but he is supposed to be entertaining, intelligent, present and intellectually engaged — definitely quite verbal.
I've found that doesn't play so well over here. In fact, in my anecdotal experience (and I very much realise this does not data make), most of the intelligent and conversationally active women I know seem to end up "dating down", very often with less educated, or in rarer cases comparably educated but otherwise rather introverted, laconic and unassertive guys, despite their stated preference to the contrary. They are not looking for peers like themselves, that much is a very clear pattern. From the vantage point of my native cultures, this would be rendered as "they are looking for simple and pliant pets to command", and it would be seen as humiliating and pitiful for a man to acquiesce to such a circumscribed role.
> Seems as if it's usually a mistake to not be taciturn, not be a blank screen to receive a woman's projections.
Indeed, and I hate to engage in this kind of provocative gender stereotyping, but as a factual matter, it agrees with nearly all of my dating experiences in my adult life.
And yet the common complaint from young women is that men are simple and don't relate or exhibit much emotional connection. Well, I've tried, and it tends to scare them off.