You know the old story…
Men are sex obsessed, sports loving, money-providing, simple minded neanderthals… and women are talkative, career-tolerating, husband-seeking, baby-making machines.
Stereotypes are super useful… if you’re a hack stand-up comedian.
In the real world, stereotypes simply keep you from seeing the truth of the individuals in front of you.
In this article I aim to debunk (through statistical evidence, and anecdotal evidence, from my own life and from ten years of working with people 1-on-1), some of the most persistent myths about men, and what they want in love and life.
If some of these stand out to you, or even aggravate you more than others, let that show you something about your mind and about what your beliefs are about the world.
1. Men want a docile, acquiescent lamb of a partner
Myth: Men have tender egos that are easily threatened and thus need a romantic partner who is a spineless doormat who is fundamentally incapable of saying the word no.
It’s true… men who don’t have a grounded sense of their power will likely want a partner who is a bit of a pushover.
However, men who have done their inner work and have earned their way into being a mature man will not stand for such a partner. They want a partner… an equal… not someone to handhold and babysit.
If you have a left over belief that tells you that all men are looking for helpless, codependent sex-dolls as significant others, then I would implore you to let go of this old paradigm.
All of the most self-actuated men I have ever known all wanted an intelligent, loving, challenging, self-realized woman as a partner to run alongside them in life. Because, at the end of the day, what we attract in a partner is also who we are.
2. Men aren’t interested in doing transformational work
Myth: The self-development and relationship industries are geared towards women because men are entirely resistant and/or disinterested in doing deep inner work on themselves.
Another common myth that I have heard (exclusively from women, understandably) is that men aren’t interested in engaging inner growth work.
While I do believe that men may have more resistance to being a devout follower of a teacher/guru long-term than most women, the idea that men aren’t willing to look inwards and do their work is ridiculous.
I have met Tibetan monks who were in silent meditation for years and spent all of their waking hours in self-reflection. I have known dozens of men who travelled around the world to do years of work with Osho, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Oprah, Abraham, Eckhart Tolle, and more. I have also personally been in a community of experience-oriented shadow work (led by my mentor P.T. Mistlberger) and a weekly men’s group for the last several years, and the community is filled with men who are hungry for truth.
So to all of the women who hide behind the idea that men aren’t interested in doing transformational growth work… no. Just no.
Whatever secondary payoff you get by hiding behind this belief (e.g. you get to remain in a relationship that isn’t meeting your needs), it’s time to let it go.
3. Men are all afraid of settling down
Myth: Men are afraid of commitment, long-term relationships, and nothing sends them into a state of panic faster than when their partner wants to have the ‘define the relationship’ talk.
In reality, many men are very relationship oriented and crave long-term monogamy just as much as any cat-loving, pajama-wearing female protagonist in a campy rom-com.
In fact, a recent study showed that women crave their independence and alone time more than men, when it comes to being in relationship.
In my experience, I have done coaching sessions with many men who weren’t ready for true partnership until they roughly hit the age of 30, but once they crossed that threshold, they couldn’t have been more gung-ho about hopping on to the marriage train.
4. Men have a more limited range of emotions
Myth: Men don’t feel much compared to women. A real man will only cry once or twice in his lifetime, and is generally an unfeeling, stoic badass whose face seldom abandons the neutral, cowboy-like position.
Aaaaaand of course… this old gem.
Stiff upper lip. Boys don’t cry. All that garbage.
Having and experiencing emotions is a reality for both men and women (aka human beings).
Sure, in many cultures men may have had certain emotions repressed more compared to their female counterparts, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t still have them.
Men tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to being ‘allowed’ to show tenderness, sadness, grief, and joy (aka their softness/vulnerability)… whereas women tend to get ripped off when it comes to showing their anger (aka their power).
In truth, men feel just as much as women do. And the more that men are able to reclaim their emotions from the full range of the spectrum, the fewer suicides there will be, the fewer mass-shooters there will be, the less spousal abuse there will be, and the more dynamic, fulfilled, self-loving men there will be in the world.
Now, is there a seed of truth in some of these myths? Of course! Just like there is relative truth in everything.
The point of this article is to debunk black and white, this or that thinking and allow more room for nuance.
There are some men who want to spend the entirety of their lives having sex with thousands of women… and there are men who are overjoyed by the notion that they could marry their high school sweetheart and only have one sexual partner for their entire lives.
Let go of the polarized stereotypes and the arbitrary dichotomies of societally reinforced myths, and be present with the individuals in front of you.
Your worldview will become richer and more inspiring as a result.
Dedicated to your success,
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