Recently, as part of a project, the European Journal of Social Psychology studied 62 couples for eight months. The researchers wanted to find out how each participant’s desire for sex and intimacy influenced his or her bond with his or her partner. One of the main conclusions that came out of the survey revealed that male participants felt more secure in their relationships when their partners acted in a more “feminine” way.
Clinical psychologist Tanushree Bhargava puts this finding into perspective, saying, “Men who want their partners to be more feminine could probably be the ones who have been brought up in a more traditional household. Such men feel that there are predefined roles that women must play. They also believe that women who don’t fit into this predefined frame may cause problems for them or their families,” she says.
Jenny D’Costa*, a 28-year-old nurse, seconds Bhargava’s thoughts. She faced a similar problem with her boyfriend, who used to often be uncomfortable with her “liberal” behaviour. “I would always speak frankly with my boyfriend. If we were on a date, and I found another man better-looking than him, I would say that too. Many times, my boyfriend would go so far as to tell me how to sit if I was wearing a dress,” she says.
But things took a more serious turn when D’Costa’s boyfriend started feeling that her nature was reason enough for her to cheat on him. So, he hired a private detective to keep an eye on her. “Eventually, he confided in me about the detective, and apologised because he knew I wasn’t lying,” says D’Costa.
The survey also concluded that men become anxious when their partners are sexually aggressive. Relationship expert Shyam Mithiya is of the opinion that “these men want their partners to be submissive”. “They feel threatened and get insecure if this is not the case,” says Mithiya.
Echoing a similar stance, relationship expert Vishnu Modi says, at times, if a woman is sexually aggressive, the man might even feel negatively about it. “This may lead to marital discord for no fault of the woman,” he says.
That’s what happened with Niranjan Shah*, a stockbroker. When the 32-year-old got physically intimate with his wife after marriage, he faced a situation he wasn’t ready for. “I had always heard that women were shy during their wedding night. But, it wasn’t the case with my wife. She always took the initiative when it came to getting intimate,” says Shah, who, after a while, started getting anxious about keeping her sexually satisfied. “This started affecting me mentally. After two months of tormenting myself, I finally spoke to her about my fears. She made me understand that she is happy with me,” he says.
Bhargava feels that men who have such concerns “need to think about these thoughts”. In most cases, it is just a result of conditioning. “Instead of trying to change their partners, they should realise that they are dating this woman for several other reasons, and maybe change themselves,” she says, reports internet.