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Domineering. Officious. Intrusive. Oh, the joys of dating a bossy, dominating, demanding woman (or man).
If you're single, it's a well known fact that when you're on the hunt for a suitable date, you avoid the bossy type at all costs. Quite simply, when your new date scoffs at your choice of shoes; berates you for speaking on your mobile phone too loud, or orders you the filet mignon and a glass of merlot at a fancy restaurant even though you're a vegetarian (and prefer white wine), you know you've landed yourself a bona fide bossy boots.
For those of you where it's too late to avoid the droning, humming, whining grip of a bossy spouse? Then sadly my friends, you have no choice but to bow to their every whim, or you're bound to get quashed.
And after witnessing a bossy femme tell her boyfriend off for not listening to her demands, I can assure you it isn't pleasant. Such was the tale of a tete-a-tete I couldn't help but overhearing at the grocery store the other day (along with the rest of the customers) which occurred in the frozen peas section ...
The female casually asked the man if he was having people later that night. "Yes, I am," he responded. "Are you coming babe?"
"No way," she snapped back. "I thought we were doing something."
"We are doing something," he back-peddled, "we can go for dinner before."
But she wasn't having any of it. She pouted her lips, crossed her arms, pushed her nose in the air and responded with this: "No. I don't want to see all your stupid friends either. Why are we always hanging out with them anyway? Can't it just be us for once?"
I eye-balled the bloke carefully, hoping that he'd find some of his own balls to stand up to his bossy chick. After all, isn't it the cardinal rule of relationships that under no circumstances should you ever diss your partner's friends no matter annoying or impossible they are?
Apparently not. Instead of standing up to her, the bloke appeared seemingly unperturbed by her vitriolic tirade and told her he'd cancel his plans with his friends to spend time with her.
"Don't do that," answered the bossy boots. "That's so rude." And with that she stormed off towards the dairy aisle.
The poor bloke couldn't win.
Yet what surprised me was that instead of getting angry, he was simply doing everything he could to appease his domineering girlfriend. And I felt kinda sorry for him. Was the poor sod going to spend the rest of his life being stomped on by a woman? Or was this simply a scenario mirroring the sexual zeitgeist trend?
Anthropologist Dr Helen Fisher reckons that might the case, citing new studies which show that men these days have fewer close friends, are more dependant on their woman, and that the fairer sex are more likely to "get their way" despite the issue at hand. Why?
According to Fisher, men tend to avoid arguments "because men become more 'flooded' by their feelings - along with an unhealthy rise in blood pressure. So it is thought that men avoid disagreeable conversations (stonewalling) to unconsciously preserve their health."
But before you modern blokes start saying "no" to your dominating ladies, Fisher reckons that this sort of power dynamic between the sexes is nothing new. "This new report is actually just another sign that we are returning to life as it was a million years ago - when women commuted to work to do their gathering, the double income family was the rule and women were just as economically, socially and sexually powerful as men. We are moving forward to the past, toward equality between the sexes."
The blokes over at web portal http://nottiehottie.over-blog.com/ aren't so sure. Writer Oliver Jameson writes that you'd immediately want to know if you're dating a dictator or not, so hapless men can jump off the ship before it's too late.
His telltale signs? When she makes all your decisions (including what you eat, how you exercise and what you wear), chooses your mates, schedules your time, plans your budget (ensuring 50 per cent of it is spent on her wardrobe), rings you up to 15 times per day (and not just for idle chit-chat), and finally, she holds the remote control.
Jameson reckons failing the remote control test should be the last straw.
"A man's power over what to watch on the boob tube may be his last domain of command in this world. It's all he has left - this microcosmic god-like ability to direct the course of his cathode rays. You take the power to flip away from a man and you make him precisely half a man. And if the channel she stays on is Lifetime, no ifs, ands or buts, he may as well cease to exist."
True, no-one likes being told what to do. And while it's usually the submissive types who are drawn to the bossy boots, sometimes a few of us really do need a little kick up our lazy butts. Like when you find yourself eating everything in the entire pantry to appease a depressed mood. Or when you decide that getting blind drunk every second night feels a lot better than having to deal with problems at home or work. Or when you're speeding (again) down the highway without realising you're doing it. Suddenly having a bossy boots in the next seat isn't as bad as it may first seem.
And as one reader writes to me in an email: "There's nothing better than a bossy woman; as long as her bossiness is confined to the bedroom."
What do you think? Do you (men) avoid arguments? Is there a time in a relationship when it's okay to tell your partner what to do? Do men like bossy women? Do women like bossy men?
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