This can easily create a fear of rejection. People who follow the stoic philosophy of love embrace many qualities that can come across as cold, withdrawn, and unwilling to the naked eye.
When people think of stoic dating, they often think of men: because stoicism encourages many outwardly-appearing indifferent qualities, many don’t associate this “emotionless” philosophy to women. And this can make your situation feel even more rare. Is she stoic, or is she just not that into you?
But when it comes to stoicism, noticing the signs and reacting to them are relatively the same as a woman should respond to a stoic man. Stoicism is a steadfast belief system and knows no gender roles. So if you find yourself with a stoic woman, here’s what you should do:
What is Stoicism?
First of all, it’s important to understand exactly what stoicism is. Most of us know that this philosophy has origins that date back centuries to Greece. But fewer know what this philosophy is about. Stoicism aims to teach practitioners to eliminate destructive emotions and thoughts.
Self-control is the main goal; this means having the ability to compose yourself, your body, and your thought process—even when you cannot control what’s happening around you. Because it’s not about what happens to you, but how you react to experience.
There are many stoic principles that guide the stoic way of life. For instance, the ultimate goal is Eudaimonia—exploring the deepest areas of personal growth, and flourishing as a result. The four cardinal virtue—wisdom, justice, courage, and self-discipline—are taken seriously. Stoics believe you should always do what’s right, and not necessarily what’s in the best interest of you or someone around you, including loved ones.
And lastly, stoics accept and embrace everything that happens around them, even when those experiences are bad. The ability to remain poised and to not let “bad” things penetrate them is important. With this in mind, when stoicism is understood, it can lead to a long and healthy relationship.
Stoic Dating Tip #1
Don’t tell them they are cold or emotionless.
This is a common misconception among stoics. Because stoic people practice a non-reactive way of life, it can appear as though they don’t care. For example, if you become upset that she has had to cancel twice on dinner plans, and start to tell her she doesn’t care, this could turn her away.
The truth is, just because stoic people have a stronger ability to control their emotions doesn’t mean they don’t have them. There are plenty of other ways to determine whether a person does or doesn’t care about you. A stoic woman wouldn’t bother wasting her time explaining why she has to cancel or rearranging another dinner; she simply would not speak to you. It’s important to notice these differences.
Stoic Dating Tip #2
Don’t look for traditional signs of “falling in love.”
Today, we have a movie-like concept of what it means to fall in love. Chances are, falling in love for you means being enamored by that person, wanting to spend all your time with them, and embracing a deeply romantic and intoxicating feeling of love. If you have these traditional feelings, and don’t see them in your stoic partner, this is totally normal.
The feelings just described are what stoics attempt to stay away from. It’s not that they don’t or can’t love you, but that the “traditional” way of falling in love relinquishes them of control. When you are deep in love, you are vulnerable to losing control of yourself and your values. You might start to do senseless things, like spend less time with your friends and family or skip a day at work. While there’s nothing wrong with vulnerability, it’s not something stoics care to relate to. They don’t mind if you’re vulnerable, but will handle it in the most righteous way possible.
Stoic Dating Tip #3
Don’t treat it as something to “win.”
Stoics aren’t in the business of playing games. Stoic dating aims to stay pure and honest. And although they are often more difficult to secure into a relationship than others, this doesn’t mean you should approach the situation with an “I’m going to win her” stance. Because chances are if she catches a whiff of it, she’ll turn away, and head to someone who takes her more seriously.
In dating, it’s not uncommon to want what we cannot have. Stoic people can feel just an arm’s length too far away and emotionally unavailable, which makes them an even more attractive option to a man that wants what he wants. So before you attempt to “score” a woman, think about whether you really want her, or whether you prefer the thrill of the chase.
Stoic Dating Tip #4
Talk about stoicism.
And lastly, if you have an inkling that your partner is stoic, or if she has mentioned stoicism, talk to her about it to gain a clearer understanding of both the philosophy and how she approaches it. This is a great bonding experience, and she’ll appreciate your sincere interest in how she chooses to live her life. The more she believes you can understand her and be open to her world—even if you’re a romantic or don’t exactly share the same principles—the more appreciative and fulfilled she’ll feel in your presence.