Section 2- Modern Masculinity
After that last lesson, I can imagine that more than a few of you have a swimming feeling, let me recap some of the main factors:
- Physical and internal strength
- Honor, honesty, character, integrity
- Leadership, confidence, assertiveness, decisiveness
- Upholds mutual respect and equality for men and women
- Nurturing and giving
- Comfort with expressing more traditionally female characteristics (sensitivity, compassion, care, concern)
As you can see, this is a dynamic list; one that includes a more updated summary of traits and qualities of modern masculinity. Though some may seem contradictory in nature- (how can you be both sensitive and decisive?), what I’m here to tell you is that none of these are black and white. You can be an assertive and compassionate leader. You can foster safety and share your skills and aptitudes without imposing them on her. You can show your strength through being truthful, vulnerable and honest. They are not mutually exclusive or conflicting. We’re here to show you how this can be done.
At first glance, this looks like a confident gait and stance. A comfort in your own skin and calmness in your demeanor as you take in a scene and decide where to go. It means giving direct, yet composed eye contact as you approach her and an ability to learn from her body language about how she’s responding and how comfortable she feels. It means doing your best to establish safety, through a focused and steady tone, giving her space or keeping safe space around you if needed. It’s offering sincerity, honesty and integrity in speech and in action, from the very first time you meet. It’s closing the deal- allowing her to know that you’re interested and the willingness to walk away with class and self-respect. It means demonstrating that you know who you are and have the audacity to live accordingly.
Of course, what I’m describing is of higher order than most of your counterparts are offering. Most are stuck in the dusty and decaying model of days of old and are perplexed as to why they are either attracting a certain caliber of woman (one that’s only interested in his money, status or body) or that the women they desire have no longitude. What I’m sharing with you are ideas that most men don’t learn until later in life (if even then) after many life experiences or maybe they’ve had some strong role models or they’ve embarked upon deep personal or spiritual growth work. Whatever the case may be, those who uphold these tenets are few…until now.
It’s difficult to convey on these pages how to teach you how to become more of an evolved masculine man. These are typically concepts that are shared and experienced in person so that we have a chance to look you in the eye, show you what this looks like and support you directly. I hope that you take us up on our offerings for this kind of coaching; it can be utterly transformative and invaluable. With that said I’m going to outline a few key concepts for your consideration and I hope that you ask as many questions, pose topics on our blogs and delve deeper into this as you go along…inquiries are expected and welcome.
A word of important awareness- this is about shifting your outdated notions of masculinity entirely. It may mean ditching everything that you’ve known about masculinity and re-training yourself. Simply being more of those old versions of machismo isn’t going to cut it. It’s time to offer modern masculinity- a refined and evolved version. The women that have offered me their words and ideas are waiting, pulsing and asking you to bring this to the table, as this kind of advanced man exudes a sex appeal that is undeniable. On a very deep level, women want to surrender to this kind of genuine strength and fortitude; it helps us feel soft and able to better express the love we have to offer. So here are some thoughts about how to cultivate the aspects of masculinity that I’ve gathered are most prevalent today…
Allow us to go back to the notion of chivalry and what it meant to put yourself first in danger, second in pleasure in a woman’s presence. This means holding a door open for her to walk first, but walking in front if it’s to part the crowd and make way for her. It means walking on the side of her where the most danger lies (nearest the street or near equipment). It means keeping your cool when things get pressured (i.e. being calm when your safety is challenged- whether that’s a flat tire or an unexpected knock on the door at 3 a.m.) It’s adopting a confident stance in her presence that gives her a sense of ease. There is no one way to do this and she may not even ask for, want or “need” protection, however, you’re demonstrating that you have the capability to do so as needed and have a willingness to step forth to ensure safety.
Unlike the antiquated notions that the man is the sole or dominant bread winner in relationships, modern times allow for a sharing of these responsibilities. As I mentioned in the previous lesson, the idea is not that you would have to provide all of the fiscal support to the relationship; however, there is a desire that you have some plans, intentions and vision for yourself and your financial future (and that you’re doing something to get there). Can you say survival instincts? You will see that we’ve written courses on money and economic stability for your review. It ‘s a good idea to explore what your relationship with money is like and just like any relationship, take steps to give your regular attention to it so that it’s a healthy and thriving one. There are still women who expect (and prefer) that men hold down the fort while they raise a family. From a marriage family therapist’s stance, having more time with family adds cohesion to the family unit. However, there are many feasible and adaptive situations that manage to work for families- there’s no one best situation.
Since you’re still in the dating phases right now, do your best to make strides toward finding your passion (this is very attractive for women) and your career life will thrive as a result. When you’re thriving, money tends to follow. When money is flowing and you’re steadily managing it in balanced ways, basic needs are provided for and you have options in your relationship and potential future family plans. In the meantime, use our materials on How to Date on a Budget if you’re still not where you want to be financially. Women are forgiving in that you don’t necessarily have to have it all in the bank right now, but demonstrating (to yourself first) that you have plans, are making efforts, have a strong work ethic and have potential for stability is most important.
This speaks of your vision for yourself and what you’re here to offer the world. Most women would prefer (even at risk of losing the relationship) that you’re living according to your passions, and are committed to your own growth and thereby value to others. Without this crucial part, you run the risk of appearing dependent and needy and she’ll have less attraction and respect for you. Though she may proclaim she wants to be your top priority, what she really wants is for you to have passion and use that to fuel the other arenas of your life. Bottom line- be yourself and become ok with yourself, it’s the best aphrodisiac ever.
Physical and internal strength
You do not have to bench 250 and have a large stature in order to be considered masculine. In fact, I know many smaller framed men who command quite a presence through their demeanors and inner fortitude. To the contrary, I’ve known many physically powerful men who have very little common sense or street wisdom. Your physical stature does not guarantee that you’ll be able to manage the demands she (or life) may ask of you…it’s more about demonstrating that you’re capable to manage situations in the world that require physical strength. Women seems to favor men who are capable to meet those demands- whether that’s directly or you’re cleaver and creative enough to get others to get the job done. What’s paramount is the internal strength and confidence that increases her sense of safety and comfort. When she’s safe, she’ll be more relaxed and able to bring forth more of her femininity- the good stuff that intrigues and enthralls you about women.
As a short side note, I’ve been with men who did not exude this trait. I felt much more secure in my own capabilities to drive on rocky roads, keep my cool in pressured situations and maneuver in foreign countries. In these circumstances, I took the lead, mostly due to an unconscious drive to keep myself (and him) safe. I know that I’m not that much fun to be around when I’m in this mode. Though I get things done, I’m typically tense, impatient and curt….the opposite of soft, caring and loving. This isn’t to say that I prefer to have someone dote on me while I take the passive back seat…personally, I’d actually prefer that we share the responsibilities. I want to know that he can step up when necessary so that I don’t feel the need to fulfill both the masculine and feminine roles.
The idea of emotional strength is included here- the ability to withstand the many mood and attitude fluctuations that women will bring. It means offering a steady and firm stance to the shifts in her emotions without taking it personally or retaliating and defending yourself. This requires knowing yourself and understanding that this is a gift you offer to your woman.
Honor, honesty, character, integrity
I’m not sure that there’s much to say about these…have them. This comes in the form of honoring her body, her beliefs (not judging or criticizing), your relationship (upholding the agreements you make) and yourself. It means being self-honest in all that you do to ensure that your thoughts, beliefs, words and actions are all in alignment. People sense hypocrisy and this forges mistrust and suspicion (another way to say fear, which goes back to safety again). It means doing ALL of life with integrity- your relationships, your business, your finances, your spiritual life and your health. It requires a willingness to see where you’re not living up to the Golden Rule and doing something about it. Most women have a tremendous capacity to work with what’s in progress; you’re much better off taking responsibility and making strides to demonstrate your character through your willingness to grow. Humility is a tremendous part of this- you don’t and won’t EVER have it all figured out- be a student for life and be willing to evolve.
Upholds mutual respect and equality for men and women
You can say you respect women, but do your actions show this? Again, we sense insincerity and it makes us feel unsafe. This one piggy backs with the previous entry, for it requires that you are completely honest and living according to what’s best for everyone involved. You may have come from a more traditional upbringing where women were marginalized (or maybe one where they were mistreated). These influences may impact the way you truly view women today. Be willing to review how you REALLY feel about the equality of men and women and be willing to update your outdated perspective. Different, yet equal. This goes for other races, cultures and your fellow men. Chauvinism, biases, bigotry and prejudices are all a sign of fear and is hardly masculine or attractive. This doesn’t mean that you lose yourself or your own convictions- it’s an ability, once again, to step out of yourself and see that there’s other ways in the world that are equally valuable. Different – yet still valuable.
Make time to notice how often you judge or condemn yourself and others. Witness these biting thoughts and how toxic they make you feel and thereby impact your environment and the people around you. Take strides to tackle these beliefs- we’re here to support you with this, so please reach out.
Leadership, confidence, assertiveness, decisiveness
As I alluded to in the previous lesson, the old notions of chest-thumping, machismo- manhood are gone. We have little need for outright aggression in modern times. A superior man upholds assertiveness instead, where he respectfully and directly lets his thoughts, feelings and beliefs be known. He is willing to stand by his convictions, yet able to update and flex his principles when called for. (I wrote an entire lesson on Assertiveness in the Communication course.) This demonstration of confidence is attractive because it displays a high level of self- knowledge and comfort. This is another higher order quality that most of your counterparts have not cultivated. Don’t get carried away, being uber- masculine in your Grandpa’s lumberjack sort of way (think massive trucks, posturing or getting into fist fights) is outdated and most women won’t tolerate or even be mildly impressed. The same goes for arrogance- men who really uphold these traits don’t need to talk about it, they simply do it…your actions speak volumes.
This also speaks to the notion of control of yourself and mastery of your inner domain. When you sincerely develop these characteristics, you’ll naturally be positioned to face adversity with poise and strength. This doesn’t mean that you are expected to control your environment; it means that you can contain your raw reflexes and choose to react in a more appropriate, dignified way. Take deep breaths before responding- good decisions are never made in haste. You’ll be better positioned to make rational and logical decisions that take the greater good into consideration. The flipside of this is a man who is controlling, which comes from fear of the unknown and the nervous compulsion (and delusion) that you should be able to control your surroundings (or your woman).
You don’t have to be the Alpha Male in all situations, in fact, learning how to be an adept supporter is equally valuable. However, learning how to lead in your relationship, in your professional dealings and in your community is highly desirable and also shows that you stand by your ideas enough to share them- it demonstrates that you are willing to give of yourself…which leads me to….
Nurturing and giving
This is a highly sought after characteristic for women. It doesn’t always look like the feminine kind (although it can)…it’s the capability to lend a shoulder to cry on, a chest to burrow in and ears to listen. It’s the ability to offer suggestions when appropriate or simply allow her to share (without giving a solution). It’s offering compassion (love plus empathy) for others in the world and taking action toward that (like volunteering, mentoring, sponsoring). It looks like stepping outside of yourself and your own needs to attend to the needs of others (doing things for your family, going out of your way for a friend). It’s contributing something of worth and value to the people around you.
Comfort with expressing more traditionally female characteristics (sensitivity, compassion, care, concern)
This goes hand in hand with the last point; however, this is more about your personal display and comfort with expressing those softer sides of you without judging or censoring yourself. This does not mean that we are coaching you to be “softies”- quite the contrary. The strongest men I know demonstrate sincere concern and care for themselves and others. They’re willing to see others’ perspectives, understand diverse views and empathize with other lifestyles. It means becoming ok with true intimacy and vulnerability- as you’ll notice in our Intimacy course, it’s one of your biggest strengths.
A word of important awareness- this is about shifting your outdated notions of masculinity entirely. It may mean ditching everything that you’ve known about masculinity and retraining yourself. Simply being more of those old versions of macho isn’t going to cut it. It’s time to offer modern masculinity- a refined and evolved version. The women that have offered me their words and ideas are waiting, pulsing and asking you to bring this to the table, as this kind of advanced man exudes a sex appeal that is undeniable.
Most men do not uphold the tendencies that I’ve outlined here. We field questions all the time about standing out, demonstrating that you’re an Alpha Male, etc. Stop focusing on the outside and turn your attention to letting go of what’s getting in your way (fears, insecurity) of being in your manhood and then be willing to develop the characteristics that you are by nature. This really involves returning to who you really are, beneath your doubts, social learning and fears. I know you’re in there, or else you wouldn’t be reading this page. I’m speaking to that man, who lives deep in your chest, who’s begging to come out.
I know that you lack models in our society that uphold what I’m describing here. To date, there have been few opportunities and outlets for men to support other their counterparts to become superior. This is one of the major reasons why we’ve developed these materials and this site. We’re here not only to offer our ideas and share our thoughts, but to build a community where you can begin to learn from your fellow brothers and offer your own insight and wisdom…a place where you don’t have to compete, but rather, can learn to share for the greater good. By demonstrating these characteristics, genuinely, you naturally float to the top, without having to step on anyone to do it. Direct your competitive spirit in more appropriate ways- like playing fields. And though we even use terms like “The Better Deal”, what we’re really asking you to do is offer a Better Deal to yourself…and your relationships of all kinds will follow suit. I hope this has been thought provoking for you, it’s a concept we’re going to continue to develop, so please ask questions and share your perspective.