Open any fashion magazine and you’ll see article upon article about what women want in relationships and how to get it. But there’s rarely a space for men to express their relationship needs. And women need to know. So let’s create that space. Here. Now. Maybe it can be the first domino to start a conversation. You may or may not agree with these. What’s more important is that we talk about it. The following are based on my sessions coaching thousands of men on and offline as well as my own wants.
We don’t want to be your Clark Kent. We want to be your Superman. We want you to see us as leaping tall buildings in a single bound and catching bullets. Not pushing a mail cart and asking you if we can buy sugar cereal <— true story when I was a boy and married. We want to carry you in our arms and show you the world. Or at least feel that way. And I know it’s our job to get there, not yours. But nothing gives us more strength than a woman who creates a space that makes us feel invincible. If you make us feel invincible, we’ll make you feel beautiful. And of course, you want to feel invincible too and we want to feel beautiful as well. But for men, our invincible is your beautiful.
There’s a new T-shirt trending Los Angeles titled “Love Me Anyways.” They should make them for men. Because we NEED to feel that when we stack the dishes in the dishwasher like a five year-old, say the wrong thing in front of your friends, leave the toilet seat up, get too logical, forget something you’ve said a thousand times, that you love us anyways. Because inside every man is a boy who forgets he’s a man sometimes. And every boy gets into things, not because he’s bad but because he’s got a curious mind and a short attention span.
Unconditional support from our woman is what will snap us out of our boyish behavior and inject us with a desire to be a stronger man. Only when you accept us as we are, who we are, will we want to become someone better.
So many women don’t tell their men how they feel because they don’t want to rock the boat. Or they’re afraid. The truth is when you don’t express yourself, you leave us in the dark. You’re not doing life with us. You’re doing life around us. We don’t really know the truth of you. You are prepackaging and presenting parts of your life instead of doing your whole life with us. This creates a crowbar, not glue.
Couples grow and get stronger overcoming adversity, not by doing life separately. Know that every time you hold things in, you are building walls inside the sacred space of the relationship. No, we don’t want you to verbally vomit on us. But believe it or not, we really do want to know how you feel.
Communication. Without it, relationships are built on sand. We want you to communicate directly. We don’t get clues. We need things spelled out. We are logical creatures. And we understand that if you have to spell it out, it’s not the same. You don’t want us to do the dishes. You want us to want to do the dishes. We get it. OK, then tell us. Explain. Model how you would like us to communicate back.
For many of us, communication is not our specialty. We need some guidance. Generally speaking, men tend to pull from a logical place. Women pull from an emotional place. If you can meet us at logic, we will match your emotions.
There’s nothing sexier than working out with your intimate partner. Watching you sweat and work on your body only encourages us to work on ours as well. We get to see the raw and real you, a different type of naked. Now, if we do this together, we’re in the act of building something, a lifestyle. We’re not just talking. We’re doing. And that’s hot. We need to sweat and we would like it if you joined us.
There is something we get from our boys (male friends) that we just can’t get from you. And there’s nothing you can do to give us that because it’s a relationship dynamic, a comradery that men have with men. You have the same when you go dancing with your girlfriends. And it doesn’t mean we want to be with them more. It’s apples and oranges. It fulfills a different part of us. And it refuels us and want to be with you more. It’s life balance. It’s also going to sharpen us and make us better men, assuming our boys are not boys but real men.
We may not say it, because how do you tell the person you love to get a life? But we really want you to have your own life. Really. We want you to have your own set of friends, activities, and passions. Of course we want to be supportive of everything you care about and be a part of anything you would like us to be a part of, but we want you to have your own identity.
Because if you have nothing that is yours, our relationship is standing on one leg. Also, if you have your own life, it forces us to get our own life as well or risk losing you. Forget legs. Let’s put our relationship on wheels. One is yours. One is mine. And together, we’ll ride.