How can I determine whether my new girlfriend might be open to Taken In Hand?
Don't pay too much attention to what she says. We have all—male or female—been conditioned to make statements suggesting that we are into strict equality whether we are or not. Take no notice of such statements. They mean nothing.
Instead, pay attention to how she reacts when you
- make decisions rather than asking her to do so
- tell her the plan rather than asking her the plan
- seek her input not deferentially but more like a company director respectfully and kindly seeking the input of a lowly employee—i.e., it is your decision but that does not mean you want to trample all over the other person, and the other person might have a good idea you could use
- in everything you do, quietly, confidently, actively take the lead as opposed to asking or expecting her to do so
- protect her and act protectively, such a insisting that she cannot walk home alone late at night, checking that she got home safely after work, etc.
- open doors for her, help her put on her coat, insist that she allow you to buckle her seatbelt, insist that you walk on the traffic side of the pavement/sidewalk, and that when ascending stairs, she go first, and when descending, you go first, order for her in restaurants (having asked her what she wants). Ignore her objections and calmly, quietly, institute these chivalrous actions as friendly little unspoken rules. Do not call them rules, but in your own mind institute them as rules that you firmly but quietly enforce with a smile.
Do not do these things hesitantly, or deferentially, or as though you are desperate to please her: do them because you, as a man, want to wear the trousers in your (potential) relationship, and this is a harmless way to take charge from the start.
Most women, when you start doing this, will object. Some will object a lot. Do their objections continue, or do they stop objecting at some point? Is there any hint of a smile on their face when they object or are they looking daggers at you? A woman who wants a Taken In Hand relationship may well object just like other women, so you have to institute this on an on-going basis and see what happens. Does it become more of an issue or less of an issue? Does she find it more objectionable over time or less? This is a good test not because women who want a Taken In Hand relationship are less likely to object in the first instance, but because it is a relatively harmless issue on which to take a firm stand and see whether she adapts to your firmness or gets more and more angry about it.
In a rare case in which a given chivalrous action seems to be deeply upsetting (as opposed to annoying or irritating) to a woman for some reason, and she asks you if you would mind not doing x or y because it makes her feel sad, don't ride roughshod over her wish that you not do it, and do explore with her what the bad association is, or why it makes her feel sad. But such a case should be rare.
Watch her actions and how she adapts to all these things. Even Taken In Hand women will object to being protected and so on. But Taken In Hand women might not be able to hide a little smile as they object, and they will soon stop objecting and accept your firmness. Watch their actions, ignore their words. Is there a sparkle in her eye as she objects? Then her objections are just words.
Keep reminding yourself that just as you have been conditioned to pretend to be a man into equal relationships, so the women you meet have also been conditioned to delude themselves that they want an equal relationship. Don't write your girlfriend off too soon. Give her time to feel safe enough to throw off her socially acceptable mask. Watch what she does, not what she says.
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