Srysly, though, looks like ThatGirl went ahead to explain some of what I was hinting at.
@Marm: Yes, a lot of that too.
What I find when talking with my women friends, we like men who engage. That doesn't necessarily mean dominate, or abuse, or control. But it does some level of assertion on the personal level. We don't like feeling like we're completely responsible for all of the relationship or the practical issues involved with having the relationship, there has to be an investment from the guy.
So in a situation where initially you have to choose between a guy who is assertive or has potency vs some guy who seems passive, disinterested, or disconnected, a woman would be likely to pick the assertive guy... then later have issues if he is domineering or abusive. His need for control is too high to establish the desired relationship, it's simply become a master/slave relationship.
Women typically didn't have the option of disengaging, if raising kids... and women typically have a chemical balance that shifts us toward that level of emotional engagement, to some degree. It was funny how feminism shifted in the second and later waves -- a feminist didn't have to hate men, avoid motherhood, have a high-paying job, etc (i.e., resemble men in order to have social power), she was free to engage whatever she wanted to engage.
Men seem to flip more as a group back and forth and don't know where to find the sweet spot in the middle, resulting in groups of domineering men vs passive men. There's got to be some way for masculine power to provide initiative and achieve goals without losing the ability to engage people with that power and make a difference in one's relationship commitments.