It can be awkward being a man. We have these things that we think and feel. Things that aren’t politically correct to say, but matter to us — here are thirteen of them.
We’d like to talk about sex early, because it is important to us, but don’t really know how.
Imagine how this 3rd date conversation would go. “I want to talk about your libido. I have a high energy libido, and I’ve been with women who didn’t and the lack of compatibility in this area was a big issue. How would you describe your libido?” You would likely be shocked, and there’s a great chance you would end the date right there. It’s important to us, and we want to discuss it, but we’re afraid you’ll think we’re creepy.
Who you are is way more important to us than what you do.
This is REALLY embarrassing. But when you talk about your greatest accomplishments – your master's degree, your new position of power at your company, your latest business deal – we’re happy for you, but those aren’t the kinds of things that make us say, “We have to be with this woman.” We tend to value your personality traits way more than your professional accolades. Are you kind, loving, happy and supportive? Are you fun to be around? Will you be nice to our parents? These are the issues that make us fall in love, not professional acumen.
We worry that you're only interested in one thing.
You say, “How funny. We women are worried that you men are only interested in one thing.” Of course, for women the worry is sex. For men the worry is money. Everyone is worried about something. We’ve had so many married friends start to feel like walking wallets. It’s one of our worst nightmares.
If you’ll give us some space, we’ll slay dragons for you.
It is a scene so common as to be a truism – the man cave. Books have been written explaining why men need a private retreat, but whatever the reason, it is a fact. Your man needs a place he can go think, be by himself, and nurse his wounds. It’s no reflection on you. Recent movies have made it more acceptable for him to ask for his private space, but it can still be embarrassing for us to say, “I need to go be alone.” If you can find it in your heart to embrace our need for space, we’ll know that you understand us, and we will, literally, throw our body in front of a moving train to protect you.
We get so many mixed signals that it is hard to know how to act sometimes.
At work you’re my equal, certainly. On a date, you want me to make all the plans and take charge. In the home, you want primacy over the look and feel. That leaves things like travel, money, and the bedroom, to name a few. In the many situations a couple must experience together, it’s difficult to accurately guess how we should act. Over time, of course, we can figure it out, but it’s tough to always get things just right.
It isn’t the “fear of commitment.” It’s the fear of turning into the hen-pecked wimp that we’ve seen our friends turn into.
Men have a reputation for being scared of commitment. For some guys, that’s earned, but for most the name is misleading. We’re not scared of being with one person for a lifetime. We’re scared the relationship morphing into something we don’t recognize. We’re scared of losing the things (and activities) we love to the person we love.
It’s pretty tough always being the one that has to initiate.
Oh, we act like it doesn’t matter. But that’s because we don’t have a choice. From the day a young man becomes self-aware, he knows that if he isn’t willing to go out and chase, take the initiative and risk being told to “drop dead” he isn’t going to find the relationship he wants. Sure, women can take the initiative or they can choose to be passive and be asked out, but we have no real choice in the matter. For all our bravado, sometimes that’s a bitter pill to swallow.
We’re men. We FIX stuff, okay? Sitting around listening over and over to problems without helping you solve them makes us feel like we’re slacking.
We’ve all absorbed enough Oprah to know that women don’t feel heard in many relationships. She feels that she’s sharing her challenges in order to seek support and all we do is say, “Here’s how you fix that.” This has come to be seen by women as improper and even cold. But hold on, to a man trying to help brainstorm a solution is the highest gift we can give. Rather than sit and nod and say, “Ain’t it awful,” we want to help you make the problem go away. We build things. We solve problems. That’s what we do well. It’s hard to understand how you’re not interested in a solution to the issue bothering you so much.
We need our buddies. It may look like we’re just drinking beer, but we’re building emotional connections.
Different people show love in different ways. Women get together with their friends and socialize. They talk about their lives and provide support and love. Men are different. We get together and do things. We play hoops. We fish. We play video games and, yes, we drink beer and watch sports. These are vital bonding experiences, and how we keep our friendships strong. We need these other men, and in a culture that encourages rugged independence, we can be a little shy in admitting it.
That stuff about the stomach and the heart is pretty much true.
It’s primal. It’s hard to explain. On the one hand, we don’t expect you to be Betty Crocker, at home with an apron on making coq au vin. On the other, having a partner who can cook delicious food, and is willing to do so, creates tremendous feelings of connection and well-being. A man has few defenses for a woman who cooks.
We are passionate about things that are meaningless to you. Cars. Sports clubs. Computer Platforms. You don’t have to love these things, but if you belittle them it starts to add up.
Fantasy football has become a favorite punching bag for people who want to make fun of men. It’s the ultimate nerdy endeavor with guys spending hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours picking “teams” that play in “leagues” that only exist on the CBS Sports website. Maybe that’s silly. Maybe his love for 1960’s motorcycles is silly. Maybe the way he loves Apple products is silly. Men need harmless pastimes where the stakes are low to blow off the steam of lives where everything is high stakes – our job, our home life, our children, and our money. You can make fun of our little pastimes. Sometimes we’re a little ashamed of them, but if you make a habit of denigrating us for having these relief values it can do serious damage to our relationship goodwill.
We’re simpler than you, but we’re sensitive about the things that matter to us.
Most men seem to have a simpler set of needs than most women, yet at the end of the day the things that matter to us REALLY matter. Being accepted for who we are – big deal. Showing affection and being loving – big deal. Being appreciated for the sacrifices we make – big deal. The list can vary from man to man but it’s vital to our emotional health. To make matters more complicated, it can be difficult to ask for the things we need because we’ve been taught to be impassive and to express no weakness. Not an ideal situation.
We need you to be happy.
Have you heard this one: Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl 'Will you marry me?' The girl said, 'no.' And the guy lived happily ever after riding motorcycles, fishing hunting and playing golf. The fact is this IS a fairy tale because men live longer and are far happier in loving relationships. We know this intrinsically, and despite the challenges of finding a relationship and making it work, we want it as much as you do.
Not sure how to approach an interesting stranger? Here are some strategies to get you started.