Ladies, you’re sending a lot of mixed messages – and confusing us men. You want to be the boss, at work and at home. You want to be independent and equal. But when it comes romance, you like it old fashioned, where the man in your life plans your dates, picks up the tab, and holds the door for you. That’s leaving a lot of guys confused.

Dr. Tara Sommer is a professor of communication studies at the University of Nevada. And she says no matter how powerful and independent a woman is, she still wants to be pursued, protected and cared for. Why? 

Because being wooed ties into age-old instincts – and boosts levels of feel-good and bonding hormones, like dopamine and oxytocin. And when a man brings you flowers, or drives you to the airport, it shows he’s taking care of you. And women who are tough at work may feel even more of a need to be treated like a lady at home.

The idea of old-fashioned romance is also drilled into our heads by parents, friends, ads, movies, and reality shows like “The Bachelor.” But technology has made the world less romantic – with dates being replaced with offers to “hang out” and love notes replaced by text messages.  And since the 70s, men have learned to treat women as equals.

So, what’s the fix? Professor Sommer says it’s easy. Don’t make men guess what you want. Instead, communicate your expectations. Say, most of the time you want to be equal partners and share the load.  But on date nights and special occasions, you’d like him to take the lead.

But I want to get your take on this. Men, are you confused by female behavior? Do women want the best of both worlds? Weigh in at Tesh.