Anita Stoudmire is a licensed professional therapist, love mentor, and founder of Better Love Movement, an online coaching business that helps women of all ages master their feminine power and create the relationships they want. Based in Virginia, Anita has a private counseling practice known as Growth Therapy Center, which focuses on couples counseling and relationship issues for singles. Anita is passionate about all things love and relationships as she knows that the quality of our lives are that much richer when our personal relationships are healthy and fulfilling. She is also the host of the Better Love Movement podcast and creator of the “30 Days to Mastering Your Feminine Power” mini-course.
In This Episode, You Will Learn Anita’s Take On:
- The difference between feminine and masculine energy.
- The importance of highlighting the uniqueness between men and women.
- How a woman’s use of masculine energy is positive in the workplace and detrimental in romantic relationships.
- Ways that a woman can master her feminine energy in a relationship.
- How to use your feminine energy on dating apps.
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Connect with Anita:
- 30 Days to Mastering Your Feminine Power – mini-course.
- Better Love Movement
- Better Love Movement Podcast
- Growth Therapy Center
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Anita, thank you so much for taking some time to hang with me today.
Yes. Yes, thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
Well, today we’re talking all about feminine power and energy. I want to hear you describe the difference between feminine and masculine energy, and maybe even the difference between energy and power or if those are interchangeable for you.
This is my favorite topic in the world. It is one of those things that I am really trying to get women to embrace, because I believe the culture has sold us this narrative that as women, we need to utilize our masculine energy out in the world when we’re doing what we’re doing. Which is amazing things and that’s great, but we have kind of fallen back from all the benefits of the feminine side of us. So, feminine and masculine energy, it resides in every single person; both energies. And we need both energies in which to get things done, to relate to the people in our lives, to relate to our loved ones, our kids, nature. But for women, because we have been told that this masculine energy that we’re using out in the world to have our careers and to take care of our children and our households, we’ve been told that’s kind of the way to go and we’re really missing out on the best part of us, which is that feminine energy – that feminine power that resides inside of every woman.
How would you describe the difference between feminine and masculine energies?
So, masculine energy, it’s a very focused and directed energy. It’s the energy we’re going to use to get things done. It’s a very competitive and conquering energy. It resides predominantly in our heads, so it’s what we think. And then our feminine energy is a more creative energy, it’s a more feeling energy. It resides in our bodies and our hearts and it’s that energy we’re going to use; it’s more passive, it’s more patient, it’s more vulnerable. And so again, men and women have both of these energies inside of them and the culture today just – it celebrates masculine energy because it believes that that’s the way to go. You want to be competitive out there and you want to be very focused and directed, but there’s a power in feminine energy that we’re missing and I want to talk more about that.
Yeah, and you’re talking about culture kind of wanting women particularly to focus on that masculine energy. Why do you think it’s important to seek to differentiate between these two? Because in reality, our culture, not just from my perspective, is seeking to have women focus on masculine energy in the workplace but it seems like there’s a desire to eliminate any uniqueness between men and women all together and say that, “Well, there is no difference. There is no difference in these energies.”
Right, and that – it hurts me to hear that, because we are different. We are very different and so what I want to see happen is, I want us to celebrate those differences instead of trying to make it seem like that’s a bad thing and so we’re all the same. No, I want us to accept and celebrate the fact that we are very different and those energies are very different and both of them are equally useful. We’re just going to use them in different ways and at different times, but yes, I see that a lot. That the culture wants us to kind of all be the same, and men and women are different. We’re biologically different, which is pretty apparent. But there is an energetic difference in us as well and I really wish that the culture would be open to accepting feminine energy, not only is it incredibly powerful, it is very useful. It’s useful in our romantic relationships to bring about polarity between men and women.
It’s funny because as I’m talking to women on our podcast, oftentimes they’ll say before a statement, “I don’t want to speak in generalistic terms. I don’t want to speak in prejudicial terms, but there is this difference that I happen to see.” So, it’s like this – it’s a way of kind of protecting ourselves before we even say that there are differences between us. And then, that’s a tough part of conversation because obviously we’re saying there’s no difference in value. And I think that we know that the pendulum has swung in our culture because of the fact that we’re trying to make up for the fact that there has been a greater value on men then there is on women, and we see that in wages of course – that are paid. But I love what you’re saying. Okay, there is a uniqueness, how do we celebrate this uniqueness? So, one of the things that I know you do is you coach women on dating and love and relationships. And so, as you’re coaching women who have been excelling in the workplace using probably maybe a little bit more of their masculine energy to do that, how is that impacting their romantic relationships?
It is hurting their romantic relationships because they have taken on the role of their male counterpart; there’s no real room for him in a romantic relationship. And so, I tell a lot of my ladies, “Okay, so equality exists out there at work. It exists out there in the world, but in your romantic relationship, we are seeking equity. We’re not seeking equality. We’re seeking…”
What’s the difference? Come on now, break that down.
Yeah, so equity says that while we may do different things, we may have different roles at home, those roles are still fair and so that is going to keep our romantic relationship intimate. So, equality on a date looks like me coming to the house and me picking you up and driving to the date and me holding the door open for you and maybe pulling out your chair, and then when the bill comes, we split the bill and then you will hold the door open for me and then you will drive home. So, that’ll be a nice 50/50 date. Whereas in a romantic relationship, because we want intimacy, we want passion, we want romance, that looks like a man picking us up and holding our car door open and holding the door open to the restaurant and treating us, dare I say it, like a girl. Paying for the dinner and then us coming home and perhaps he will get a little something for treating us like that. That is an equitable and fair exchange amongst men and women romantically. So, I want to keep romantic relationships romantic. I want to keep them intimate. I want to keep them spicy, and the way to do that is that we each have a role, we each have a part and those parts are equitably advantageous for both of us. That’s what I’d like to see.
Different roles, same value obviously. Now one of the things that you mentioned there was, it seems like a bit more of a traditional role. You’re not using that term, but maybe of a traditional cultural role of a man playing a role of treating a woman with respect with serving her in different ways, yet you also mentioned the possibility of rewarding him in some way. How does that play out if there’s an expectation on his part? Like, if I do this, then she’ll do this for me. You know what I mean? How does that play out in your mind?
So, I have been accused of having some very old fashioned ways and I’m good. I’m good. I’m good. The tagline for my business has always been “Vintage love in a modern day world.” I do want to see us return to some of the values from yesteryear. I believe they work and I believe that everyone kind of knows what is expected and they work. So, I have been accused of that. I have been accused of using my grandmother and great grandmother’s flirtatious ways in which to engage men with the ladies that I coach. And so, I’m okay with that. I know for a lot of modern day women, they say, “Well, that’s not very politically correct and I should be able to pay for the check as well as him,” or “I should be able to -.” And you know what? Because these energies reside in both of us, there are women out there who are more comfortable in their masculine energy and I would encourage them then to find a man who’s more comfortable in his feminine energy. So, it doesn’t matter which gender these reside in, I just ask people to find – to make sure there’s one of each in the relationship. That’s going to maintain the spice and the spark in the relationship. So, if a woman is in fact more comfortable in her masculine energy, if she wants to do these things, I would really encourage her to find a man who’s more comfortable in his feminine energy. That’s the whole idea about polarity, is that there’s kind of one of each. That’s what keeps things exciting.
Sure, sure. So, I know you talk a lot about – well, obviously you coach women on how to connect in relationships. So, let’s just – I’d love to go down two paths if we could. One path for just a moment, would be a women who’s looking for a partner and the other path would be a woman who maybe already has a partner. Alright, so let’s talk about the woman who is looking for a partner. How would you suggest that she go about this in this day and age? Because maybe she’s had some tough experiences, maybe she’s coming out of a divorce, she’s looking to date but doesn’t quite know how to re-engage. How would you coach her about this – using her feminine energy or power?
So, the first thing I want to find out is, what type of man and what type of relationship she’s looking for. And so, a lot of women, even modern day women, do want a man that I would consider to be more masculine. They want someone who’s more directed and focused, someone who’s going to give and do and he knows what he wants, he’s very decisive. Most women describe a masculine energy man and so, then I deliver the news, “Well, okay. He is looking for a more feminine energy woman. And so, I’m going to want you to drop back – drop down into your feminine energy. I want you to connect more with your feelings. I want you to connect with your heart and that’s how you’re going to engage him. You’re not going to engage him on the playing field of mind to mind or, ‘What do you think?’ You’re going to engage him with your feelings,” and so I help them to get more in touch with their feelings. To come out of their head and drop down into their heart, and that’s how they’re going to engage a man who is more of a masculine energy. And so, that simply looks like taking fantastic care of yourself. Putting yourself first. Focusing more on how you feel. How you feel when you’re with men. How you feel on your own. Just really diving deep and that’s a scary thing for a lot of women, because believe it or not, a lot of women fear intimacy. It’s not really men that fear intimacy, it’s women.
Why do you think that is?
You know, we fear being hurt. We fear a man really knowing us, right? Women have our – we’ve got our stuff and we’re not even sure if we like us, much less does the man like us? And so, there’s a lot of fear there. There’s a lot of fear of, “If he really saw me, would he like me? Would he love me?” So, I really help women to get more comfortable with that. More comfortable with just falling madly in love with themselves.
We have a guest on several – quite a few episodes back, Dr. Shannon Gulbranson. She talks about dating yourself. That in order to date someone else, you first have to date yourself. Because if you don’t know yourself, appreciate yourself and love yourself, then it’s hard – how can I expect you to love and appreciate and date me?
Oh, that’s it. Right there, that’s it. You have to fall madly in love with yourself, and when you do, your confidence soars. Your standards are high. You attract an amazing, high-value, masculine man when you’re in that space. That’s a good space to be in.
Sure. One of the most popular places – dare I say, the most popular place to find a spouse these days or partner, is through dating apps. Now you’re talking about some vintage love here. Now I’ve been married twenty-five years. I was just thinking about this morning in preparation for our interview – thinking, “My goodness, twenty-five years ago there were no dating apps. I had to actually go up to my future spouse and say ‘Hello’ and talk and so forth.” So, how do you coach the women that you’re helping? How do you coach them on how to deal with dating apps? Do you encourage that? Do you tell them, “No, you should stay away from that. You should be hitting the clubs. You should be hitting the bars. You should go to church.” You know what I mean? How do I find a partner?
I’m not a big fan of online dating. I had a webinar a couple of weeks back about online dating and I’m not a big fan of it, but I will say this; I do encourage my ladies to do it practice these skills. Because they’re so – these skills are so unfamiliar to them. Online dating is a great way, a very quick way to meet a lot of men in a little bit of time. And so, I teach them how to create their profile, how to engage men, just to make sure men are actually meeting them in person. And then when that happens, it’s basically all practice, because I tell them, “Unfortunately the odds are against you going onto apps or going online. Most men in these realms, they’re not really serious.” They’re not serious. A lot of them…
What? Come on, Anita.
They’re already in relationships or they’re married. So, the odds are against them unfortunately but I encourage them to use it to practice. It’s a great place to practice your feminine power skills for the real world.
Okay, so what would it look like for me to create – not me – a woman, to create a profile that taps more into my feminine power than my masculine power? What would that look like?
So feminine energy online looks like lots of great pictures. All those pictures of you smiling, laughing, doing things that you enjoy, facial shots, full-body shots, and then you’re going to choose three things that are amazing about you and that’s it. You’re going to talk about those three things in either three bulleted points or just three short sentences. But then you’re going to speak a little bit more about what you’re looking for. Because a woman, she’s the CEO of her and she has an opening and she’s looking for applicants. And so, you’re going to talk a little bit about what you’re looking for, the person you’re looking to hire. And that’s what a man really wants to know. So, “What are you looking for? I want to apply for this position. What types of skills are you looking for? What types of experience?” And once he sees that and sees, “Okay, well that’s me. I’m going to apply.”
You’re talking his language.
Yup, and then you’re going to fish through all those applications and you’re going to respond to the ones that interest you, that could in fact be a good fit for your company. And then you will engage from that place.
Okay, so now I’m – if I’m connecting with someone via the app, I’m messing back and forth. I may be physically attracted to them. Maybe there’s something of interest we have similar, we like to go hiking or whatever it is. How do you suggest that the messaging is there? How does that feminine energy come across in the messaging?
So, feminine energy is responsive first of all. We never initiate or engage men first. So, we wait until we are messaged and then we determine from that message if in fact we want to respond. So, feminine energy is a responsive energy. It responds to the man’s initiating efforts and that’s only if we want to respond. Like if it’s someone we’re not interested in or someone messages us something that’s offensive, we just don’t respond. But we respond and then we allow him to kind of guide and direct us in terms of setting up a plan, when we will meet, and again we let him take the lead and then we respond if that day and time is convenient or that activity is something we would like to do. But we kind of let him take the lead. We lean back and we allow him to engage us and we respond in ways that says, “Yes, I would like more of that.” And then if we do not like it, we simply say, “Oh, is there something else that you’d like to do?” So, we don’t initiate, we simply respond. We allow the man to be the masculine, which is he’s going to decide, he’s going to be very directed and focused on what he would like for us to do together.
Now the women that you’re working with – your clients, when they hear you say this, does their jaw hit the floor? I mean, what is – you sound like from a 1950’s, Anita. What is going on here?
I get lots of pushback. Lots of pushback until they try it. Because my first question is, “So, how is – the way you’ve been doing things, how’s it working for you?” “Well, you know, the last three relationships the guy ghosted me,” or, “It didn’t work out.” Or, “We dated three years, didn’t lead to marriage.” “Okay, so I want you to try this. I want you to try it and let me know what happens.” And it’s only when they go out in the world and they apply what I’m teaching them, and they get amazing results. They’re like, “Man, this guy’s calling me all the time, texting me all the time. He can’t wait to see me. He’s paying for dates and we’re going here. He’s planning dates.” “Hmm, that sounds pretty great.” So, when they apply it and they get good results, they usually are like, “Wow, this is fantastic.”
Yeah. Yeah, it’s amazing. Alright, I’m just reflecting on what you’re saying, because I am more aggressive, masculine. I’m in my head. I’m thinking. I’m a type-A personality. So, when I met my wife, she’s kind, she’s beautiful, she allowed me – I did all the things. I mean, I would take her car and wash it. I would ask her out on lots of dates and she would kind of go along with this. As I’ve gotten older, I will say that she has gained more of her voice and she’s gotten stronger as an individual. Now we got married when I was twenty-one, she was twenty-two, so I’ve seen her excel in that area and I find that to be very – I actually find that to be attractive at this season of life. I’ll tell you a funny story. We took our dog to the groomer yesterday and usually my wife takes her but it was a different groomer, blah, blah, blah. They said, “Oh, do you want the nails cut in a certain way,” and I said, “Oh, we don’t usually do that, but how much extra?” She said, “Oh, it’s an extra $13.” I said, “Ah, it’s okay. Yeah, let’s do it.” So, my wife goes to pick up our dog yesterday and I didn’t know any of this happened. She comes in the front door, she’s got our dog in her hands and the first thing I thought of was – I go, “Oh, hey babe. I forgot to tell you, I added on a nail treatment thing.” She goes, “I can’t believe you did that. I just said to them, ‘There’s no way my husband would add that on. I know he didn’t add that on. I need you to remove that from the bill’,” and they did. And I was, “I can’t believe that!” And she said, “I was going to come home and tell you, ‘Hey, you’d be so proud of me because I stood up for the extra charge’.”
“And I actually stole money from them.”
So, anyway, it was funny because she was using that masculine energy to say, “No, I wouldn’t -.” Funny experience. Anyway, go ahead.
As women get older, they do – the roles do reverse as men and women get a little older. We do see where a man will be more in touch with his feminine energy and a woman will be more comfortable with her masculine energy. So, again, as long as there is a polarity there, then I support it. It’s the same when a man is normally the one to handle certain things but let’s say he got sick or something comes up. As long as there’s communication, there’s an understanding that, “Hey, I’m not going to be able to handle this task I normally handle,” and the woman says, “Sure, I have no problem taking care of it. I know you’re going to be out of town,” or “I know you’re not feeling well.” We can always kind of interchange these roles with communication, because again those energies reside in both of us; masculine and feminine. Your men who are more creative types, the musicians and the artists, they have feminine energy within them that they’re tapping into. So, yes, as you all get older, you’re going to see some of that shift a little bit.
Yeah, yeah. Okay, so if a woman is struggling in this area, you said move down into her heart, focus on the emotions more. Are there some things that she could do while she’s by herself in preparation to do that? You said self-care, you said falling in love with herself.
Oh, gosh yes.
But what are some other things that she could do in preparation? She’s not with a man at this moment but she wants to kind of practice moving in that direction.
So, the number one thing that I usually – the number one skill that I want women to get really, really good at that they’re not good at, and that’s receiving. It is so important. A woman can start doing this today. And what that looks like is, in areas where you’re normally the giver and the doer, I want you to lean back. I want you to start receiving from people, especially men. And that looks like thanking someone for holding the door open for you. Or if they are helping you lift something. Or if they are paying for your coffee. Or, “Oh, I’m going to get something to eat. Anyone want?” “Oh, I would love it if you could get something for me.” Get into the habit of receiving because feminine energy is a receptive energy. So, I get women started on that on the first day. That I want you to stop doing everything. Stop giving everything. Allow people to give to you. Allow men to do things for you and stop saying the masculine women’s mantra, “Oh, no. I got it. I got it.” No, you’re never going to say that again. You’re going to say, “Yes, thank you.”
Sure, sure. Okay, real quick, I want us to take down the path of a women who already has a partner and maybe things have gotten a little stale, right? Things have maybe – they’ve been married awhile or they’ve been dating awhile or maybe they’ve been living together awhile. How would you encourage her to leverage her feminine energy to spice up that relationship?
So, a man’s number one – this is a gift to women and women don’t receive this gift, but the number one thing about a man is, more than anything, he wants to make his woman happy. I hear that 98% of the time in couples therapy. “What do you want most for this relationship?” And he says, “For her to be happy.” And so, I encourage women to leverage that. I want you to express ways in which he can make you happy and you’re going to express it using your feelings. So, you’re going to say something like, “You know what would feel really good? It would just feel so good if we could go out somewhere this weekend. If we could just, I don’t know, go out on a date. What do you think?” And then you simply ask him what he thinks about it, and give him the chance to meet that need for you, but start expressing how things feel, how good it would feel to do something or, “Oh, it would just feel great to have fresh cut flowers in the house. What do you think?” Start expressing that more and start igniting this gene that I believe resides in every man, which is to make the woman he loves happy. And you’re going to do that by expressing desires, ways that he can in fact make you happy. And then you’re going to applaud it. You’re going to appreciate it.
Yeah, it’s so good. That’s so good, “What do you think?” That’s so interesting that you say that. Okay, so, “Boy, it sure would be great to have this project done around the house. It would feel -.” I’ve got to connect to my feelings…
Yes, that’s right. That’s right.
As I’m feeling it. Okay, and really, you’re creating an opportunity for him to be the hero.
That’s right. That’s right.
So, now I feel like, “Oh, look at that. I not only made her happy. I’m the hero who did this.”
Yes, and if a woman can lay down her ego to allow for a man to feel that way – like allow for that, that is the gene that resides in every man. You want to ignite that every chance you get. And so, I tell my women clients, “Lay your ego down to allow for that. Let him be the hero. Let him be the hero and let him keep being the hero. Let him keep doing and giving to you, and in turn, you get to relax. You get to enjoy him wanting to make you happy and meeting those desires that you have.” That’s a win/win. That’s it
“But Anita, I do all the stuff around the house and he never tells me – he doesn’t make me the hero. He doesn’t thank me. He doesn’t cheer me on. Why if he does the dishes one time, do I need to cheer him on and make him look like a hero? Why do I need to do that?”
That is the way in which we are different. Women are multi-taskers by nature. Our brains are designed to do many things at once. I believe our brains are designed so that we get things done and we don’t need a lot of strokes the way men are designed. In order to ignite that hero instinct in them, they need a lot of strokes and I’m okay with it. Like I said, I want us to celebrate and accept how we’re different. It’s okay, we’re just different in that way but men need strokes. They need to feel good about meeting our needs and we do that. Because again, at the end of the day, if all of these things got done around the house, I had time to relax, I had time to read, I had time to take a bath, I had time to get my nails done. That’s what I’m looking for more of. I’m looking for more of that time for myself. If he’s helping out or cutting the grass or whatever he’s doing, I’m doing less. He’s doing a little more and at the same time, he feels good about that. That’s what’s most important, he feels good about giving to me.
When I finish a project around our house, I will literally say, “Babe, just come look. Just come look.” It’s like I can’t just let it be done. I’ve got to, “Come out and celebrate with me!” Yeah, and she does, and I feel amazing. So, yeah, that is one of the ways to get your partner to do a lot more around the house.
It is. You’ve got to appreciate it. Oh, my gosh. It’s that radical appreciation. And I tell every woman, it could be as simple as when he comes in the door, acknowledging, “Hey! Oh, my gosh, you’re home! Wow.” And they laugh because they’re like, “Ugh,” but it just – it speaks volumes to a man. It makes him feel wanted and appreciated. So, I really tell them, “I need you do that when he comes home. I need you to acknowledge, ‘Hey! You’re here! Oh, my gosh, how was your day?’ Just acknowledge, it goes such a long way.”
Anita, you are really swimming up the current – upstream. You’re swimming upstream on a lot of this stuff.
But it definitely resonates with me – some of the things that you’re saying here. Wow. Okay, so you’ve got a course that is out now and it’s called Thirty Days to Mastering Your Feminine Power. Tell me about this course. Who should take it?
So, this course is for any woman. So, whether she’s single and out there looking or I should say a man is looking for her. She’s wanting to be courted by a man or if she’s in a relationship and she wants to have it all without doing it all. She needs to shift her energy into feminine energy in her romantic relationship. And so, she’s going to learn how to do that and she’s going to do it in thirty days. She’s going to see results in thirty days. It’s amazing.
Okay, so if somebody’s interested in Thirty Days to Mastering Your Feminine Power, you can literally check out the show notes right now. The URL is there. If you’re on an iPhone, you can swipe up and it’ll be right there in show notes. Or you can go to www.betterlovemoment.com and of course all the show notes are available on our website at www.insporising.com. Anita, you have a podcast as well…
I do. It’s called Better Love Movement and it gives all types of amazing dating and relationship advice. People write in and they ask questions and I answer those questions. But we tackle a lot of different subjects, so it’s really fun to make for sure.
That’s great. And you’re available for coaching and counseling via online video conferencing, is that correct?
Yes, that’s right. That’s right.
Awesome. Alright, betterlovemovement.com. Anita, you are one unique person and I love it.
Because when everybody’s saying the same thing in the world, it’s always fun to talk to somebody who’s saying something different.
Right, thank you.
Yeah, that’s really fascinating. Thank you for receiving my compliment, Anita.
Thank you for giving it.