Seven Things Every Woman Should Know About Men.
Men, the lads! The Boys! Reigning champs, patriarchs - depressed? Probably. What can I say about us hairy arsed knuckle draggers that the ladies don’t already know, we burp, fart, and don’t know where the clitoris is (the back of the knee?). Us men get a bad rap nowadays, mainly because a lot of us deserve it, but we can’t let a minority of bad eggs spoil the show for the rest of us. How can I redeem men?! How can I get women to understand us simpletons and all our complexities, and what can I tell women about men they don’t already know? Since women know everything? (cheeky). Let’s see if we can achieve the impossible.
1). Women are the eyes of nature, this is one you probably don’t know; men are terrified of women! Talking to a girl for the first time when you were younger was a bit like jumping off a building, except at least jumping off a building, you’ll be dead and not around for people to laugh at you. To be fair, eventually, you do get over this fear, but there is an interesting reality behind it. As a man, you have twice as many female ancestors as male, because half of the men in the past never reproduced, and the other half had two kids. To be rejected by women is a serious matter. As a man, this can feel like you are being rejected by nature herself, and you can become suitably nihilistic. I think that’s why so many men get absolutely leathered when trying to pull women, so we have the possibility of success without having to face the existential sting of failure with the opposite sex. Much of the lewd-behavior, bravado-esque shite, which you see in the average nightclub, is about men trying to numb the fear of women and remove the anxiety of being judged; not all dickheads are truly dickheads and often times are scared. I should be the next David Attenborough.
2). The male fantasy, god, we are such idiots when it comes to this one. You see, Men project their ideal women onto women and then get very upset when it doesn’t make sense. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a friend come along with a new girlfriend with his eyes wide like saucers, waddling like a Teletubby,
“She’s so perfect! She’s flawless! She’s an angel!” It is then that I start counting down the days until he gets his heartbroken, and what do you expect? Women are human beings like men with flaws and foibles and everything else, so once you start projecting an image of perfection onto them and elevate them to the status of some sort of goddess, it is inevitable you will get let down. This is usually after the first few months into the relationship when the heat dies down. He starts acting strangely, withdrawn, as he wrestles with the women in his head and the one in front of him. The ideal woman is a fantasy and one which needs to be gotten past if you want to love the real woman in front of you. Love her for the ridiculous things she does that makes you smile when she’s not around. The ideal is a motivating image to get you in the game, but can only be achieved in the long run with time, effort and work.
3). Men communicate differently to women. Men aren’t mind readers as my sister Siofra relayed to me for this article, in plain English. She has realised in her wisdom that we aren’t all just dumb. We don’t pay attention to a lot of the sub-communication and body language that women use and not out of any badness, men just don’t communicate that way. She says she has noticed that the best way to ensure there is no communication problem in a relationship is to ask out loud for what you want from men rather than inferring it with your feminine smoke signals, which they wont understand. I myself personally prefer the mad guessing game, and the perspiration induced when you suggest a place to eat out for dinner, and she says ‘sure, whatever’. Yes? No? Help!
A frequent complaint is that men don’t talk about their feelings enough. This is because we are better at solving physical problems than emotional issues. That is how our brains work. We are attuned to systems better that emotions because emotions get the way of systems. This male mentality can lead us to not wanting to engage in any excess discussion of the emotions around problems because they get in the way, I.e., is it on fire? No, then It’s probably all fine. The problem with not saying how you feel is that talking is thinking, and conversation helps you fill in your blind spots, of which you have many. If you don’t discuss what’s actually going on with other people, you will only have, at best, half of the picture, and probably not even right half. You need to be vulnerable to get an honest evaluation of yourself, your problems, and whatever else, and that takes courage to take a chance. Doing something like going to counseling or speaking with a therapist is a radical move. What you are doing is making a conscious step towards being better version of yourself and making a new plan for the future; that’s difficult and requires a certain amount of fortitude and bravery. In this new world and economy, where we do more emotional labour than physical, working on your social and communication skills as a man is a must; reading, writing, and speaking are the best ways to do this, there is nothing like practice. So the next time your girl asks what you are thinking instead of getting flustered, you can tell her that you were wondering if your son become a priest would you call him father or son? (The male inner world, what a place.)
4). All men are kind of depressed. I jokingly told my friend that in this article, I was going to write that all dudes are semi-depressed, which is of course, a generalisation. I can think of exceptions to the rule, but what I mean is there is real a sadness in the hearts of all men, a sadness which compels so many to take their own lives. Suicide is a response to the overwhelming complexity of life, a way of hitting the eject button from the problems which have surrounded you and which you see no way out of. Feeling alone, hopeless and isolated is no joke. The modern world is not so good for men, and we have lost our sense of purpose. In our grandfathers time, it was very straightforward, you work, have a family, provide. Now, who knows? Why should you get married and have kids and pay taxes when the world is sliding off a cliff? Maturity can seem like a death sentence, a trap. Why wouldn’t you just drink beer and play Fifa all day and not give a feck? This doomed logic impels so many men to drop out of life, become addicted to video games, drugs, alcohol, pornography to numb the pain of not having a purpose they can believe in. It is sad because, with just a little encouragement and direction, each man can do so much, but there is not a lot of encouragement for young men these days, and that is part of the problem. If you really want to help your man out, be a source of encouragement for him to take on his challenges, rather just comfort for his failures. Peace lies over the mountain and not waiting around at the bottom.
5). Men are capable of changing. This is an interesting one. Maybe if you have become cynical about the other gender, you might think men cannot change. For those of you who know me, I am sure you are aware of the billion ways in which I have been a dope in the past but am now trimming down on my vices and making a disciplined path for the future. I’ve seen lots of other men make the same transformation, and in fact, I would say it is an essential part of maturating from a boy to a man. They say each great life starts with a ‘great renunciation’, a singular ‘no’ to the ways of the past, and at any moment, we are capable of making this change. I’m not saying you have to jump back in bed with your ex-boyfriend who proclaims he has changed, but that men can change - only if they decide to do so themselves and for their own reasons - but you should never rule that out. Fella’s, you should never pretend to change just to please a lady because that is lying. Sooner or later, that will become very obvious to her and everybody else. Real change requires work, a relentless attitude, facing fears, and building new habits for at least a period of 18 months. After this, your change will have become habitual and will not be as difficult to maintain, though you can never take your eye off the ball.
6). Men are always searching for a release. Either through orgasm, a boxing match, or a philosophical realisation (ah ha!), we find the freedom we so desperately crave on the other side of facing our obstacle. This can lead men to be obsessive, addicted, but also, great heroes who take on crazy challenges against all the odds. Some male behaviour will seem strange, excessive, and incomprehensible to you, sports maybe, but generally, what underlies that is this quest for freedom. It is a quest that can stand in direct opposition to our physical, mental, and emotional well-being but must be done to find peace. It doesn’t make rational sense like going out to fight somebody when you could be hurt, but sometimes life doesn’t make rational sense. The obstacles are put in your path, and you must face them if you want to respect yourself. Only a man who has taken on the challenge and faced his death, his fear, whatever that may be, and attained his freedom can love and express himself; you have to be a lion to be a sheep. If you have a nice guy who isn’t taking on any big challenges, or challenges at all, he will not be able to give you the love you need, and in the long run you won’t trust him. A little tip, Men often get a bad rap for not expressing their feelings, but when do men always cry? The tough men? The hardest men? Champions? After the big game, the fight, win or lose, we are much more comfortable opening up about ourselves after climbing the mountain, never before.
7). Men love women, I mean, some men love men, but the point is men can and do love. So much of what motivates and underlies men’s activity and sacrifice is love. We just express it differently, the father gives up his dreams for his daughter, the firefighter runs into a burning building, I delete Tinder because I’m so sound, whatever the sacrifice is, men, give up their freedom for love. In fact, most of us really want to love. We want to love one woman and do the normal things in life, like having kids and starting a family. No matter what life throws at you, when the fight is said and done, what will matter most is having someone to share the highs and the lows with, someone who is there by your side and you by theirs. The path and pursuit of freedom leads to humility and love in the end, Men love and want to be loved.
So there you go, a peek under the hood, at the male psyche which maybe isn’t as terrifying as one could perceive. Don’t get me wrong; there’s no shortage of predators out there. I’ve taught self-defense classes for women in the past, and the threat men pose to women is horrendously real, there’s bad eggs out there, so always trust your instincts, always have a plan ready, but also, keep your heart open to love, trust, and possibility. These are difficult things to do in tandem, but who said life was supposed to be easy? At the end of the day, we were made to love one another, we don’t know anything else.
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