Dating and relationships have never been easy realms to navigate for humanity. With love and passion often comes heartbreak, anger, infidelity and betrayal.
But ladies, there is a new solution to this age-old issue. If you simply stop texting a man first and any other masculine activities you do — like paying for a meal or talking about your career — prince charming will find you in no time. At least that’s according to some so-called relationship coaches and dating experts on TikTok.
I understand that there will always be a market for advice on dating and relationships. With a plethora of awkward first dates, ghosting and the prominence of hookup culture out there, most of us have or will have sour experiences at one point or another. It seems natural that many people yearn for a stable relationship that brings love, peace and security.
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TikTok creators, some who call themselves experts on dating or mastering your feminine energy, offer some questionable advice on how to find your dream partner and stop experiencing all the negative emotions and experiences that can come with dating. If you want to take your learning further, many of them offer personal consultations as well.
One creator, @jordanadoesthings,who has over 64,000 followers on TikTok and offers a “Feminine Energy Manifestation Guide” makes videos like “The feminine energy way to tell him something is bothering you.”
Creators like this one often use terms like “soft life,” “high value woman” and “feminine energy” to describe lifestyles and personalities that will supposedly attract ideal men into a woman’s life. They push ideas such as discouraging women from making the first move or “chasing” a man, submitting to masculine energy and focusing more on simply being beautiful before anything else.
One male dating coach tells men to look for a woman with “warm, inviting, open and allowing energy,” in a TikTok video. He goes on to say this type of woman is not “guarded” or “in her masculine.”
Another creator giving dating advice in a video with over 11,000 likes encourages women to stop “bragging [about] accomplishments and overall success” and “dominating the conversation.” She labels these actions as masculine.
Further, one creator states that “feminine energy is all about receiving [and] giving up control…”
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This kind of thinking only further pushes the idea that women are best suited for a life of passivity and submission, rather than taking charge, leading or being independent. But simply embodying traditionally feminine traits will not save women as a whole from the poisons of the patriarchy or the inevitable heartbreaks that can come with being vulnerable and loving someone.
Women already face the overwhelming burdens of keeping up the perfect appearance, taking care of others before themselves and being the victims of high rates of violence perpetrated by men — often former or current partners.
I am worried by the content I see telling women they must embody some kind of “soft feminine” personality to attract a good man who will provide for her and be the perfect husband. Any advice that encourages you to fundamentally change your values and personality should automatically be dismissed.
I do not think relationships and finding your soulmate can be boiled down to a simple formula. There are few rules that work the same for everyone, and life — especially romantic relationships — will unfold in unpredictable ways. Live your life true to yourself, put out kindness and what will follow will follow.
Leila Faraday (she/her) is a freshman studying policy analysis.