Great post, Osa. A few of my girlfriends told me YEARS ago that I had a difficult time meeting men because I didn't look like I needed anything and that aura about me was intimidating to men. I too, NEVER learned how to "stroke the ego," as my friend would say it, of a man. At age 45, I still struggle with this issue.
Currently, I'm dating a wonderful man who is so supportive. He really takes on a very masculine, head-of-the-family role and I, being single, independent, self-sufficient and headstrong, because that is how I was taught to be, have a very difficult time allowing him to be a man for me. He is the kind that opens doors, pays for nights out, and does the heavy lifting, but I often block him from doing these things, which essentially means I am blocking him from filling his male role. I have to constantly have internal dialogue with myself in order to take a step back and allow him to feel that he is taking care of me, which in effect means I am allowing him to be a man. It's tough sometimes because I don't like to give the illusion of being weak, because I am far from being weak. I often try to relish in the idea that I have someone who honors me, but at the same time it feels like relinquishing my strength, physically and emotionally, is as you said, casting a shadow on my own light. What a balancing act.