It’s hard for us men to be open and relaxed about ourselves. From near-birth we’ve been told that to cry is weak, and to be sad, or hurt, is what weak men do. Chances are, the phrase ‘how to get in touch with your masculinity’ to you, means lifting weights, smoking cigars and having gratuitous sex with smoking hot women. This is what’s told to us from a young age and will be that way for a long time unless things change. The stronger males in the group dynamic with their direction will lead the way in their gratuitous displays of womanism and sexism and more subdued men, or those that prefer to follow will look up in awe and succumb to their base desires and view their peers as something to glorify.
The best advice for men in a relationship right now would be to get in touch with your feminine side. Learn how to get in touch with your masculinity, properly. No, it’s not smoking cigars and fucking hot women, it’s more so recognizing that every gender has a little bit of both male and female in them. I’m male through and through but I realize that there’s a side to me that perhaps others may see as weak. I have a nurturing side, I have bags of empathy, I can get hurt and sad when my friends do something that sucks, and I don’t mind a good cry from time to time — I encourage my son to do whenever he can. It’s healthy.
The notion that displaying anything other than bravado and stiff upper lippery is what a brave man should do is ridiculous. I would argue the opposite, that showing emotion in a world that tells you that having feelings is weak, is a humungously brave and bold thing to do. Think about it. It’s brave to go against the grain of society when so many of us know what’s wrong but many don’t speak up to it. It’s not brave to go with the flow and do as everyone else is doing. That’s not brave, that’s playing it safe in my opinion.
So, how to get in touch with your masculinity?
Well, it’s certainly not grabbing a beer and watching the Television whilst using your mrs as a bar-stool, no, masculinity has developed through the years in my opinion. In the times when humans lived in caves and hunted their own food and lived in very small, familial communities then it was beneficial for men to be the alpha dogs. It was mainly to help ward off other clans and killing prey, but now, since we live in vast communities and spanning globally, the male has had to adapt to his surroundings. Killing is illegal and it’s relatively safe to walk around. There’s very little chance of having to fight to the death for your harem either, if you have one. Women are more and more taking on male roles in society; where we saw a workforce once dominated by men as the women stayed at home and cared for the children our landscape is changing quite a bit. We see more and more women taking charge of technical roles and having their husband stay at home because she may be the primary earner.
In my mind the man has had to adapt to both roles. He needs to learn how to have some alpha dog traits, like stand up for himself, of course he doesn’t need to be an arsehole about it but he can at least not let himself be a pushover. A good relationship has a certain amount of forward motion from each partner, and sometimes that causes us to clash slightly. He also needs to learn how to stay at home and feed baby, be a Dad and have a caring, nurturing side. He also needs to display this at the beginning of the relationship or his partner will not be interested. One of the first things a woman looks for in a man is his father-like qualities.
So how does one do this?
Well, it’s quite an easy process really; it perhaps may be the thought of it and the terrifying nature of exposing your vulnerablities to someone else that may be the hard part. Good advice for men in a relationship would be to admit that you aren’t infallible, by that I mean accept that there are parts of you that need worked upon. You may be incredibly unorganised like I am, or you may get caught up in the details of a task when you should be looking at it from a wider perspective. Admit that to yourself and try to build upon it. No-one is perfect, no-one. Learn that. Women love a strong man that isn’t afraid to show his softer side. In a world that constantly tells men that they should be invincible, showing that you’re not is incredibly brave. It’s fine to get hurt and it’s fine to get sad. These are natural emotions. It’s a good thing to understand when you’re learning how to get in touch with your masculinity.
Kids may frighten you though, I get that, they did me. The thought of having a kid in a relationship with another person scared the absolute hell out of me; that I’d be responsible for another, that someone would depend on me as I have done with others in the past. It’s not something I wanted to get into lightly. It comes, and it passes though, and quite frankly you get really used to it. Eventually, being a father becomes second nature, if you’re not seriously partying every night.
Through my journey of discovering my masculinity I’ve realised that I have a bit of both genders in me, there’s also a caring, soft, nurturing side to me at the same time there’s this guy that wants to rough and tumble with his friends, but in a world that constantly plays to the alpha traits we are primed as men to shun the softer side of ourselves, to stigmatise it as weak, and unmanly. It’s not though, it’s incredibly centering to finally accept those parts of you that have been a burden for most of your life; those parts that you’ve been told that are wrong, to accept this is the last piece of the puzzle. No longer do you need to deny yourself the right to act like you’ve always wanted to. I spent a lifetime shunning emotions that I thought were wrong, and it was because I had a very toxic father, but there is hope.
Stop denying your right to feel.
That’s all you need to do.