Posted by: susanjcaldwell28 | September 9, 2012


I recently saw a picture of Naomi Wolff’s latest book.  It was of a naked woman with a flower on front of her.  It was a beautiful picture and it made me realise how beautiful women are, fragile but strong, amazingly resilient, men and their dangly bits really cannot compare!.

I thought of the two teen girls I am raising and how I hoped they would love and respect themselves, enjoy their lives to the full and have wonderful experiences and relationships, love themselves body, mind and soul and I realised if I wanted that for them I really should want that for me, we all lead by example. I have told them that not loving themselves is a waste of time and energy and they should devote that energy into love and admiration of themselves and their efforts instead. My apprentice goddesses.  Rich coming from me, I know, somebody who grew up with incredible low self-esteem, somebody whose default setting was always self-hatred, somebody who has had to work very hard at liking and loving myself, but I have and I am.

Incredibly, along this very rocky path of life and coming from an extremely misogynistic background, I had wonderful relationships with men. Men became my friends, the brothers and father I never had, and my confidants.  I was still insecure in relationships, but somehow I always had the upper hand, I was the one in control. I never allowed myself to be treated badly and men were never quite sure where they stood with me.  I realise now that was no harm and it’s a good idea to keep men on their toes a little, it is better that they do not get complacent.  I still call John “my current husband”!!  I ended all my serious relationships.

I have been talking to some women lately in relationships and have been quite shocked by what I’m hearing.  The whole notion of casual relationships is a myth.  What is a casual relationship?  Surely, it is when both parties agree that they are coming from the same vantage point, that they both require nothing from the relationship but the odd outing and meaningless sex.  When does this happen to both people at the same time?  In my opinion,  never.  So, Im seeing a lot of women being available to men on their terms, being at their beck and call and convincing themselves that this is what they want, they are cool and exciting and mature, really? There is nothing mature or interesting about being treated badly by another human being, nothing exciting about being the one who is sitting in waiting for the phone call.  And if your idea of a relationship is a guy dropping into you at 12 o’clock on the way home from the pub, you should probably rethink it.  Romance and sexual tension are important to a relationship, a night of talking and flirting and sharing and the wonder of being together and taking joy in each other’s company.  Technology has not helped, texting, chatting on facebook, emailing etc.  When I was last dating, there was only one device, the family phone, a guy had to ring that and risk talking to a member of your family before getting to you.  It took effort and courage.

The rule of thumb should be if it is not good enough for your daughter/sister etc. it is not good enough for you, it’s as simple as that and yes a policy of zero tolerance should be strictly adhered to.  I’m tired of women analysing men, reading between the lines, wondering what he really means. Don’t bother, men are natural hunters, when they want you, they will let you know.  And if they cannot be succinct and concise and comprehensible, really don’t waste your time wondering what they want.  I read an article lately about how teen girls were being put under pressure because boys now did not want standard sex.  Really, they were more than happy to have standard sex or anything resembling intimacy years ago, in fact, boys really did not expect you to have sex with them unless you were in a very serious relationship.  I now look at girls and boys going to discos and the boys are dressed in regular clothes and many of the teen girls are dressed like hookers.  I have discussed this with my daughters and said it is very sad that girls feel they have to display themselves like this in order to get a man.  Thankfully, the girls don’t dress like this, but I have checked their clothes before they go to discos and they know it would not be acceptable to me.  However, I have heard of loads of girls who leave the family home in nice clothes and change at a friend’s house.

The girls have often told me that their dad adores me.  I like the fact that they see that.  I really do think its very positive for them and I have told them life is too short to be with someone who does not adore you.  That’s it in a nutshell really.  Anything less is just not worth it, because you only end up hating yourself and making excuses for your partner.  I’ve seen it time and time again.  Is it really worth all that grief just to have a man in your life?.  So ladies, please love yourselves body, mind and soul. Don’t mind people who tell you it does not matter what you look like and weight etc does not matter, they are usually a size 6, the same way rich people will tell you money does not matter.  Don’t listen to what people say, watch how they live, that is the real key into people. Ten years ago, I was 2 and a half stone heavier than I am now and I felt awful.  I still want to lose another stone and it aint going to be easy because I have to fight for every pound, but I will do it.  Do whatever it takes to boost your confidence and make you feel better about yourself.  Its not about being someone else but being the best version of yourself you possibly can be, enhancing and nurturing your natural qualities,  so if your inner goddess can be uplifted by some external refurbishment, go for it. The way you feel about yourself is mirrored in how other people view you.  If you want to be loved and adored and valued, start by applying these values to yourself.  Its not easy, but nothing less than adoration is worth aiming for. Reveal the goddess within. And if you are in a relationship where you are not being appreciated, dump him/her, its simply not good enough.  Be the woman you want to be, be strong, be exciting, be interesting and never be too available. After all, goddesses should have an aura of mystery about them. Enjoy.



  1. Excellent article Susan. 😀

    • Thanks Strum, and thanks for replying on here, all the comments go on FB. I dont think Karen and Owen are going to fall in love!!

  2. of course and any man worth his salt knows that what you have written is true.

    • Thanks Allen, Owen Marshall is arguing with me, but sure what is new?!!! Did Jerilynn read it?

  3. a nice personal piece Susan and one which will connect with so many of your readers – thanks for inviting me to read it

    • Thanks Maire. It was actually inspired by womenI know who were getting very upset about men and literally sitting in waiting for the phone to ring.

  4. : )

  5. Interesting Susan and very readable..confession to make I was one of those girls that changed after leaving the house coz my father was strict and that made me giggle because I really was not up to anything ( cannot document it here)! i have surrounded myself now with the most beautiful men family and friends..met a few in your hedgerow (another time)! I admire your ability to put down on paper the little incidents and insights of daily life that make it beautiful..and no..I have not lost the run of myself…cheers missus!!

  6. It’s a good read Susan, but I wouldnt knock all bootie calls, sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girls gotta do. I’ve done casual at a time in my life when casual suited me and have no regrets. When I met my current husband (too good a line not to borrow 🙂 I picked him up for a one night stand! We have gone through a lot together since then, we’ve dealt with what life has thrown at us – but I’ve always been glad that we started out on a good footing. I think as a bottom line, if you dont love and respect yourself, how can you expect anybody else to love and respect you.

    Which of course brings me back to your point, Why do women put up with things in their life that they would tell their friend or sister not to put up with? Hate to quote Hollywood right after using lines from a R&B classic, but if a guy isnt willing to make more of a committment that drunk dialling you after the pub, then he’s just not that into you. (I seriously wish they’d made that movie years ago – they should show it in sex ed in school). So many cliches come to mind, if a woman behaves like a doormat she’ll get walked on.

    Looking back on my life I’m not sure feminism sexual freedom and sexual equality have worked out all that well for the majority of women. Those of us who are inherently strong have done fine, but then we’d have done fine anyway. In a way the rules of behaviour that existed when we were younger gave a protective framework for people to work within. The media and fashion have been negative too. I remember when Rob was in and around 8 years old (this is before I had a daughter of my own) bringing him to a kids disco and being so shocked at what some of the very young girls were wearing that I brought him home again (not as mean as it sounds, he hadnt wanted to go and I was being pushy – he was relieved to be allowed go home!). I was looking at these little girls in sexy outfits with makeup plastered on their faces, wondering WHO let them out looking like that? What ejit of a parent BOUGHT those garments for the girls in the first place??? And most of all, how were these girls going to have any kind of respect for themselves when they grew up, if they wernt being thought it when they were young.

    • As I said in the article if both people want a casual relationship and it works for both, cool. Im talking about women who are getting very upset about the way they are being treated, not realising that they are allowing themselves to be treated this way, wanting a relationship but actually just facilitating someone elses needs and yes you do see the world through different eyes as the mother of a daughter. I want my girls to have happy fulfilling lives and would hate to think that they would be doormats for any man. I had 15 years of dating before I met John, from 14 – 29, 45 boyfriends, 6 serious relationships, stupid crushes, drunken mistakes and sometimes just doing things cos I was bored. I would not change a moment of it, it was an amazing apprenticeship. I have had a lot of love in my life, met wonderful men and married an amazing man. As I said in the previous comments Im talking about women who are unhappy and carrying on with the same patterns. Its all too easy to label all men as bastards and users. I have not found this to be the case and Im very grateful for the wonderful men I met and glad I had happy relationships. If you wanted to be treated properly, you have to have a value on yourself.

  7. of course this is all true but we arrive here through experience which comes with age. You cant put an old head on young shoulders unfortunately. Some people never learn and we can only hope to equip our sons and daughters with good information and the sense to use it well.

    • Absolutely Kathrina and I would not change a moment of the journey, mistakes and all, and even thought I talk about teenagers in this piece and I got my daughters to read it, it was actually women in their 40’s who are behaving like desperate teens that were the inspiration for this blog and yes you are right some people never learn. I finished with my first love when I was 17. I loved him but did not trust him. It was a tough learning curve, but I never went out with a man I didn’t trust again.

  8. I completely agree that when a man is interested he will do his utmost to get the object of that interest. Of course, for some men, the excitement is in the chase and once the goal has been achieved the interest is lost. The woman concerned is often left wondering what happened and making excuses, at least for a time. Hopefully there aren’t too many out there like that.

    For a woman in her forties to imagine a man can make her world strikes me as odd and points to some deep seated emotional problems which need more help than recognising an ‘inner goddess’. They’re out there, I know.

    If by ‘inner goddess’ you mean self respect within and outside of a relationship then I have it. Nice blog Susan.

  9. Absolutely Frances, thats what I mean. After some of the things I have listened to, I dont blame men running for the hills!!.

  10. Yes Susan. As Anne says above, if he doesn’t chase you, he’s not that into you – it’s a very simple lesson. When my daughter met her husband (sounds odd, them only being married a few weeks) it was at a ‘works do’. He was a friend of her boss at the time (no longer her boss) who was at a loose end that night and decided to come along. He spotted my daughter as soon as he entered the room and asked his friend all about her. She spent the night chatting and having a laugh with him. Somehow, he said, he lost sight of her at the end of the night and didn’t ask for her phone no. Anyway, he believed, and her boss believed, that he was punching above his weight. Nevertheless he asked her boss to pass on his phone number to her. She replied that she didn’t ring strange men. A couple of days later her boss (who was also her friend and said he felt like a teenager at this stage) requested if he could give HER phone number to his friend. She said she’d think about it. At the end of the week, she decided she had nothing to lose, he was a nice guy, she’d enjoyed his company so why not. She wrote ‘for your friend’, her phone number and signed her name on a yellow ‘post it’. Six years later, on their wedding day, the groom produced a small frame during his speech. Inside was the yellow post it which he had kept all those years as a reminder of the luckiest day of his life. Now that’s what you want…

    • Wow, that was a lovely story and the kind I like to hear. Romance and love and somebody really wanting to get to know you and making an effort, yes thats what its all about and as a mum, you are so happy to know that your daughters are being treated well and adored. Its what I want for mine.

  11. Of course there wasn’t a dry eye in the house haha. It’s all ahead of you Susan and I won’t lie, it’s a worry. I haven’t always liked their boyfriends and there’s precious little you can do about it once they’ve grown up. Thankfully, we’ve been lucky with the guys they finally chose.

    • That’s it, you dont mind the sticky moments along the way as long as the final destination is a happy one Your daughters are beautiful and its great that they both get on so well and are with wonderful partners and someday you may be asked to babysit for their kids. All good.x

  12. All women would benefit from reading this…men need to get a grip but its we who lead by example the example we set for ourselves…a very empowering concept…a thought provoking read and i’ll bet positive results will come from this.
    Selina x

    • Thank you Selina and for the lovely day I spent with you and the wonderful Angel Card Reading, you really cheered me up. x

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