I have been seeing someone for around 6 weeks. We met in a bar and he told me he was a police officer, I didn't believe him (because they ALWAYS say either fireman or police man when hoping to get laid IME) but he showed me his badge. Therefore I know he works in a "professional" career but I find him intimidating and I don't know why because he's never anything but nice to me. He's a very masculine bloke whereas my ex was very shy, quiet, cowardly etc and I'm wondering if this is why? The only other thing is that I've noticed he can be quite confrontational towards other men, one example was that we were in a pub, I went to the toilet and bumped into my ex on the way out who started whinging that when we were together I'd always refused to go in there etc etc and the man I was with came marching across, asked ex if there was a problem and was actually quite frightening. Ex backed off straight away so I know it wasn't just me. He never threatened him though. I don't know, I really like him, I just can't quite put my finger on what it is about him that makes me a little on edge. Could it be that the problem is entirely me? It probably is, I just want to know how to get passed it because I enjoy being with him.
Your one example given in your OP would be reason enough for me to suspect the problem isn't you... but then I would intensely dislike and 'bristle' if an 'alpha' male made the assumption that I needed 'rescuing'...
See I reckon this is why men always say they're in the police or fire-brigade, you automatically trust them.
He hasn't done anything else, he calls me when he says he'll call me, doesn't insist on picking me up for our dates (but offers), doesn't try anything on at the end of the night. I am notoriously distrustful though and I don't want to blow it because of my paranoia.
(and to be fair ex is very animated when he's getting wound up so from a distance it would have looked like I was dealing with a very angry/unstable person?)
Aggressive behaviour and manner would be a big red flag for me, even if it isn't directed at you (for the moment).
Obviously we don't know him so can't say for sure whether your reaction is reasonable or not. But I'd say it isn't a good sign that you're feeling this way. Don't think it's anything to do with being 'masculine' either, it's quite possible for a man to be masculine and self-confident/assertive without intimidating people.
The thing is though whether it's him actually being intimidating or it's just his way and you're being sensitive to it, I don't think that this is something you should force yourself to get past. Like everyone else says, your instincts are there for a reason, and either they're alerting you to a potential danger, or the fact you already feel intimidated by him is not great anyway. Imagine if you were living together and had an argument - not good to feel intimidated by someone then. Imagine you've been going out for a few weeks and you want to tell him you would like something slightly different to what he's been doing in the bedroom - if you feel intimidated you might find this harder to bring up.
Aggression even if not directed at you is definitely a red flag, BTW.
Also I'd question this "men always say they are a fireman or policeman" - is this just as a joke, or are the men you are dating seriously saying this as a chat up line?
A couple of years ago I was on a dating site and someone sent me a message saying he was a police officer which turned out to be totally untrue. And my cousin was married to a police officer and when they split he said he wouldn't find it difficult to get back in the dating scene because as soon as you tell people you're a police officer, woman are automatically interested. My friend once met someone who say he was a fireman too which was untrue.
So I've known it happen 3 times, although only once with me I suppose.
I was at his house last weekend as he'd cooked for me and things began getting a little heated and I asked him to stop as I wasnt ready and he got up instantly, apologised, made me a drink and asked me to pick a DVD for us to watch etc so he certainly hasn't been threatning towards me. Quite the opposite.
Ah okay, fair enough. I had this image of you in a bar surrounded by men pretending they were firefighters
I don't know whether to just say keep your eyes open for any other red flags. It might be that he is assertive when he feels the situation demands it (if he thought ex was getting aggressive towards you) because of his police work. But I know that ignoring a red flag can be a bad idea, especially if they are drawing you in with other things.
Is there a reason you don't like "masculine" men OP? I don't but that's because I've been overpowered in the past and I know that I'm very sensitive to even the slightest aggression. If a bf of mine did what your guy did (acted in a threatening way towards another man) I'd be very frightened indeed even if it was a minor thing. I know that's partially my own antennae being very sensitively set but I still wouldn't ignore it as I think I would always be on edge waiting for further aggression. A strong, manly presence isn't necessarily a bad thing but if you're intimidated by it then it isn't right for you IYSWIM.
He sees you being accosted by a twunt and goes to check you're ok. He was assertive enough to politely and without threats intimidate the verbally aggressive ex (who is the one who was acutally behaving badly here, and who you say is a coward anyway) off - well, I'd like to bloody hope so. It's his job.
I'm pretty at all these "oh he sounds horrible he's practically abusive already" shouts, it's quite possible he's just assertive when the situation requires it and the OP is used to a wet rag. OP, if there's any indication he is potentially emotionally or physically abusive I'd be the first to tell you to jump ship but I'm not seeing it. Have you sensed a pent-up anger in him if he doesn't get his own way for example? How about telling him you think he's a bit scary and seeing how he reacts?