top of page

Urban Myths & The Truth About (Most) Men

Written by: Nigel Beckles, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

As a Certified Relationship Coach, the most frequent complaint I hear from women, regardless of their class, race, or socioeconomic status, is: "Where are all the good men?" They tell me they’re finding it very difficult to find "Mr. Right." If you are one of them and think all the good heterosexual men are taken, think again!

"Men tend to fall in love when they feel like they are cherished or revered as the 'man' in the relationship." ‒ Sherry Argov, Author


The truth is that there are many decent guys out there who are single and want to be in a relationship, but if you walk around believing good men are in very short supply or simply do not exist, your expectations will often create your reality. Many women believe there is a great shortage of available men who are:

  • Romantic

  • Loving

  • Sensitive

  • Fun

  • Responsible

  • Confident

There are several urban myths or stereotypes about men and their general relationship expectations that cause many women to misunderstand how the majority of men actually feel about love and intimacy. Here are the most popular urban myths about men that cause many women to misunderstand how the average man thinks and feels about himself, his life, and relationships.


Urban Myth 1: Men Are Not Emotional


Perhaps one of the biggest myths about men is we don’t feel or have any great emotional depth, but studies have revealed that men often experience exactly the same emotions as women – it’s just that the way they express themselves is often very different. Men and women are socialised very differently during childhood, and for males, this often means learning to repress emotional expression. Parents talk less about feelings to their sons, so during childhood, they tend to be less exposed to emotionally oriented conversations and discouraged from verbally expressing their emotions. Young males are usually conditioned to be resilient, fearless, and ‘man up’ while constantly being told ‘big boys don’t cry.’ They are encouraged by their parents to be ‘tough.’


As a result, there are men who do not handle or express their emotions very well. Women tend to be more in touch with their emotions than men, while emotional issues are kept firmly in the background of their lives. The emotional life of a man can be just as deep, rich, and complicated as that of a woman, but due to childhood conditioning, these feelings can be very difficult for men to process and understand.

Generally, men have a very different approach to managing emotions and physical intimacy when compared to women, but this doesn’t mean the feelings are any less for a man in an established relationship. If you ask a man how he is feeling, he will most likely tell you what is he thinking! This doesn’t mean his emotions are not engaged, it’s just that the way many men express themselves can leave a great deal of room for misinterpretation.


The Truth About Men

  • Tendency to exert greater control when expressing emotions.

  • Spend more time mulling over negative emotions.

  • Less inclined to share emotions with others.

  • Express certain emotions with less intensity.

  • Use language with significantly less emotional content.

  • More likely to keep negative feelings to themselves.

  • Inclined to express emotions that demonstrate power or control, e.g. anger, jealousy, or pride.

There are men who are not always as confident as they pretend to be. They will usually try not to reveal any vulnerability, but they can often feel insecure. It is also true that men who work hard at trying to hide their emotions can be the sensitive type, presenting a strong but false persona to protect themselves. Some secretly fear others will judge them as being incompetent, lacking courage, or simply not as manly as they should be. When things are going wrong in a man’s life, he can feel powerless and withdraw to re-evaluate the situation, which is quite normal provided this is for a reasonable amount of time.


Women often expect their partners to perform incredible emotional gymnastics: men are usually expected to be strong, solid and dependable, but also emotionally open and available. These widely different expectations can cause confusion for many men who have not been generally socialized to manage or express their deeper emotions or who may have lacked role models to teach them how to be appropriately strong and emotional. As gender roles and rules have become less defined, many men are now comfortable revealing the softer sides of their personalities to their partners; however, there are still men who are unsure about how much emotional sharing they should really share, which causes a variety of relationship problems.


Encouraging Men To Manage & Express Their Emotions


Whether you’re dating or in an established relationship, it’s important to understand how the majority of men generally feel and think. The following tips can help you to understand the male mindset and encourage a man to express himself.

Be Aware Of Male Vulnerabilities


When a man reveals his vulnerabilities and gets badly hurt, he usually retreats into himself, and he may go inside his emotional cave for a very long time. He may even decide not to reveal himself again at a certain emotional level. A man who has been hurt is unlikely to be persuaded, cajoled, or bullied into sharing his feelings. It can take a certain amount of time, healing, and rebuilding of trust before he will feel safe (and brave) enough to take the risk of revealing himself again.


Appreciation


It doesn’t matter what gender we are, most of us like to feel appreciated. If you’re in a happy relationship, reaffirm and validate your partner often and let him know you appreciate having him in your life. He will be very pleasantly surprised and will probably do even more to make you happy!


Developing A Creative Outlet


Does the man you’re dating or in a relationship with have a creative hobby or interest? Playing a musical instrument, writing or even painting can help a man connect with his emotions. A great deal of the world's most revered music, literature, and artwork has been produced by men.


Exercise


Encourage the man in your life to participate in regular exercise. This is a very effective activity for men to release feelings of stress, anger, or even rage.


Sharing Physical Activities


I am not talking about sex – there are other physical activities a couple can share together! Sharing physical activities will encourage will generally many men to lower any emotional defences. Avoid trying to have an in-depth emotional discussion during activities, but instead allow topics or discussions to develop naturally afterwards.


Watch A Sports Movie Together


For many men, the most important male relationship in their lives is the one they share with their fathers. Many fathers and sons have participated in sports together and through this, created a strong bond. Viewing any TV show or movie with a positive father and son theme can be beneficial if your partner had a positive relationship with his father.This isn’t about trying to analyse his childhood but rather sharing moments with him when he reconnects with his emotional side.


Avoid Pressuring Him After A Tough Day

If he’s had a rough day, going over whatever issues he encountered isn’t necessarily going to solve the problem and can be counter-productive, especially if he wants to relax and chill out. Men often need more time than women to ‘decompress’ and process their emotions, so they often require space to manage emotions internally.


Express Your Emotional Needs


Lisa Neff, Ph.D., a psychotherapist and researcher, discovered that husbands are just as supportive and emotionally sensitive as their wives, and that problems are frequently caused by poor timing or miscommunication. Neff’s recommendation for married couples is for wives to let their husbands know what they require and, more importantly, when they want it.


Urban Myth 2: Men Don’t Like To Talk

Women are usually comfortable expressing their feelings to others and establishing and maintaining close friendships. Men, by contrast, often have general conversations with their male peers, exchanging information regarding sports, cars, or the latest smart phone. Men will share their relationship hopes and aspirations with other men, but they will be careful how they express themselves. They are more likely to discuss the practical aspects of what they expect from a woman.


Whether dating or in a relationship, face-to-face discussions can often feel strained or competitive for both men and women. For couples, discussing issues while sitting side-by-side instead of face-to-face can be a better approach and more productive; encouraging a man to express his emotions gradually can help him to open up if he starts with small declarations of feeling sad or even scared.


Urban Myth 3: Men Are Scared Of Intelligent, Successful Women


There are men who are scared of intelligent and successful women, but a man who runs away from a potential relationship in fear of these positive attributes isn’t a suitable candidate for a serious relationship anyway! Men and women have very different basic requirements; men want to feel needed, while women want to feel wanted. If a man comes to the conclusion that he won’t be able to fulfil his traditional role of being the provider or will be merely an accessory in a woman’s life, he is going to be very reluctant to take the dating phase any further.


If he is already involved but is hindered in his need to function as a man, he will probably feel severely emasculated and no amount of money or high-end lifestyle is going to make him feel any better about himself. Emotionally secure men do not avoid successful women because they feel intimidated. However, they’re not prepared to have a relationship with a woman who makes them feel weak.

Urban Myth 4: Men Want To Control Their Relationships


In many cultures and societies, there are still traditional or expected roles for men. A man is supposed to be:

  • The partner who earns more financially.

  • The primary protector of his family.

  • Head of the household.

  • The final arbiter of all the major decisions.

Many women believe all men want to fulfil the above roles within their relationships, and of course, there are men who do! There are men who believe this is what ‘real’ men should be doing in their relationships, but contrary to this popular urban myth, the majority of modern men are not looking for a woman they can dominate and control; they’re looking for a woman to share a genuine partnership with.


Urban Myth 5: Men Are Scared Of Commitment


In general, it takes a man longer to truly commit to a relationship. Of course, there are some men who are Commitment Phobic, but that doesn’t mean most or all men are afraid of commitment, it just means it takes us longer to make a decision. What scares men away from considering getting seriously involved is making the wrong decision. Men typically use logical criteria to choose a partner rather than the largely emotional criteria used by women. It can take a man time to decide if the chemistry is right and if you’re both compatible in the right areas, but once a genuine decision has been made, he will probably follow through.


Men generally do not like to feel pressured and nagged into making a commitment and prefer to ‘get there’ naturally and on their own timeline and terms.


"Women are better at reading social situations and are more likely to ask more questions of themselves after meeting someone, like is he going to make me feel secure and will he be a good father to my children. They are cannier than men at making a lifetime choice." - Professor Alexander Gordon, Chartered Psychologist and Member of the British Psychological Society


It is important to understand that a man’s opinion regarding female attractiveness is highly subjective. Generally, when a man is interested in becoming involved in a relationship with a woman, he is not looking for a highly physically attractive woman as a trophy, but tends to be attracted to a particular type of woman. When deciding whether a woman is worth pursuing for a serious relationship, men generally use a blend of factors, which include physical or sexual attraction and appealing personality traits. Men who are seriously looking for love will usually be seeking the following qualities in a partner:

  • Loyalty.

  • Kindness.

  • Positive attitude.

  • Caring.

  • Loving.

  • A good sense of humour

  • Supportive.

  • Appreciative of his efforts.

When a man decides he is serious, he often considers if his partner will positively reflect his personal judgement and standards. The majority of heterosexual single men want to be in a relationship with a woman they can love, trust, and respect; they also want a woman their family members and friends admire.


Despite what your friends, and the mainstream media may frequently tell you, there are decent single men out there looking for a stable, loving relationship and very willing to make a commitment to the right woman.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Nigel Beckles, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Nigel Beckles is an Author, Certified Relationship Specialist & Coach, holds a Dealing With Narcissism Diploma and Psychology of Relationships Diploma. He is an Educator, Online Adviser and Workshop Facilitator. Nigel is a contributor to the award-winning documentary ‘Looking for Love’ available on DVD and online. He is also the creator of the podcast 'Interesting Conversations with Interesting People' featuring Interviews with Award-Winning Authors, Therapists & Relationship Life Coaches. All Podcasts Available @ Website: www.authornigelbecklespodcasts.com his work involves guiding men and women through difficult relationship issues.

 

Sources:

Comments


CURRENT ISSUE

  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04

CHANNELS

bottom of page