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Posts Tagged ‘Men’

Men being vulnerable

In Emotions, Intimacy, Relationships on October 1, 2010 at 8:00 am

written by Swag  

There is something about intimate relationships that scares the hell out of most men. I read an article the other day that briefly touched on the need for men to be more vulnerable with their partners. Actually, the author was speaking on the male desire to be himself in a relationship. Men aren’t really programmed to want to be vulnerable. It’s viewed as a weakness and it never seems to have any advantages. Personally, I think that being vulnerable with my girl makes me more secure with myself. I am less worried about being Superman and more focused on just being a man.  


Having someone who you believe always has your best interest in mind can be very healing, if you allow it to be. The only problem is, many times, relationships don’t provide the opportunity to be intimately vulnerable for men.  

Laughing couple.

Image via Wikipedia


I know my female readers are probably shrieking right now.  

“Of course we provide the opportunities to be vulnerable.”  

“We would love for them to talk about their feelings.”  

While this may seem like it’s the case, when a man is truly trusting of his partner (which equates to being vulnerable and secure at the same time), he is able to tell her pretty much everything, given his communication is on par.  

If I can’t be vulnerably honest with you, then I do not believe I am on secure footing in our relationship and on some level I do not trust you. I do not believe you will accept me for who I am.  

If you want your partner to be vulnerable with you. If you want your partner to know he can be himself and not just a forced idea, then take note:  

I may not have the vocabulary. If you believe that I should be able to interpret your needs by the aura you give off, then bear with me as I figure out a better way to tell you how I feel than a grunt or shrug. Since I don’t talk about my feelings as much as you, I may not be as adept at labeling them.  

Stop divulging so much so early on. Just because you tell me everything about yourself doesn’t mean I’m going to do the same. Leave a little mystery and let the intimate details flow more organically. In your rush to have me accept everything about you, I may have interpreted some things you told me as ways I think you won’t accept me. For every secret you tell me without us being securely in a relationship, there is a chance I’m putting a personal detail about into the “Can’t tell her that” bucket. I know it’s an assumption, but since I don’t know you well enough to know otherwise, that’s exactly what I going to do right now…assume.  

Get me drunk. I kid, of course, but a little loose juice never hurt. If you want to know more about me, make me a nice strong drink and ask questions….SLOWLY! Wait for your concoction to work its magic before you start asking about my relationship with my pops. Also, time your investigation. Halftime, during Monday Night Football, is not the proper time to have this conversation (and YES, I will be watching Sportscenter afterwards to catch the highlights of the game I just watched).  

Let me be ultra-direct every once in a while. Sometimes, I just want to tell it exactly as I think it. Yes, there is a such thing as having tact and no, my intentions are never to hurt or demean, but I can feel stifled when I have to censor my words. If you trust that your partner cares for you, then you have to be able to take a little stinger every now and again. When he knows he doesn’t have to pull his verbal punches (given they are genuine and not spiteful) then the more honest, vulnerable and trusting he will become overall. Relationships don’t work unless there is a freedom to discuss the issues that may hurt, yet help, our partners.  

Learn to get around the guy version of the story. Sometimes, before my girlfriend asks me a question, she will prefix it with “Give me the girl version.”  This means she wants details and feelings and descriptions and perspective and ambiance and weather and mood and verbatim quotes and….ARRRGGHHH!!!. Sometimes I don’t know how to do that so the guy version still comes out. If this happens with your partner, learn to ask the right questions. More likely than not, he will give you something  you can dig a little deeper on. Asking him immediately about what you want to know may solicit an “I don’t know” response, so learn to ask him about what he would like to expound upon before delving further.  

I am probably out of practice. Guys may not want to but they certainly need to vent a bit about what affects them.  The truth is, though, most men are out of practice. They are not used to leaning on others for emotional support. It’s not hard to see when your partner is stressed, so make sure to take note of the non-verbal cues he gives off. If he looks tired grab him a beer, let him unwind, non-verbally communicate to him that you have his back without pressuring him to open up (this just amounts to nothing but more pressure). It may make him more inclined to actually talk to you when he has relaxed a little. One of the best things about my girlfriend is her ability to know when not to say anything and let me cool off.  

Just because the world wants to jam men into a tiny, simplistic box, it doesn’t mean they are really that simple. All humans have emotions and every human finds the best way for them to express those emotions. Take a week and observe how your man really works and use some of that information to create better suited opportunities for him to become more vulnerable with you. Neither you or him should expect the other person to express themselves as the other would. If you wanted to date someone exactly like yourself, you would carry a full length mirror around everywhere. It’s not that men can’t communicate their vulnerabilities, it’s that they communicate them in a different manner.  


Approaching Women

In Attraction on August 23, 2010 at 7:02 pm

 written by Swag

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine and I were discussing the salient points of approaching women. He said that he wouldn’t mind getting a second look confirmation after the initial eye contact. This is where you notice someone looking at you (or so it seems) and they take a second look, thereby confirming their interest and attraction (I repeat – or so it seems).  I wonder how often ladies worry about receiving this confirmation, because I know some men will take a second, third and fourth look just because. It may have nothing to do with him providing a confirmation and have everything to do with the fact that he enjoys what he sees.    

Guys, on the other hand, receive very little outright evidence of mutual attraction. It’s all subtle, which leaves a great deal of room for misinterpretation. Sometimes it’s disheartening to be wrong about someone elses attraction to you, so instead of dealing with the repercussions, you change your approach entirely. After a certain age, I felt I had to migrate from the shotgun approach to the sniper approach. Instead of blasting away at everything in front of me, I began to make better selections. With a shotgun you fire at everything within a certain radius. It requires no technique and very little preparation. The basic premise is that you are bound to hit something.    

The sniper approach requires much more of a marksman’s mindset. Snipers are so adept at judging their environment that they can adjust to miniscule changes in wind speed by changing the arc of their bullet. The basic premise is that preparation and poise will increase your accuracy. My friend obviously has sniper tendencies because he would rather survey the environment and gather more data (e.g. a second look) before he takes any unnecessary action.      

Unfortunately, in the social arena, nothing is ever quite that scientific, so below are a few pointers I propose for any man looking to put away the shotgun pellets, stop chasing every skirt tail and pursue higher quality women.  Let’s face it, if you are a standard, trigger-happy, shotgun wielding, cookie monster then this article may not hit home for you.    


Cookie Monster

Image by nickstone333 via Flickr

1) I would venture to say that very few women actually want to seem easy. By not giving you a second look she is avoiding that impression altogether. You can only hope that she’s employing an impression management technique and wants you to think the best of her. Otherwise, she may be employing a cookie management technique and already thinks the worst of you.      


Sundial with the motto

Image via Wikipedia

2) People like confident people and women are no exception. Confident men don’t need a confirmation to act on what they want. Carpe Diem!! Just don’t over do it. There is a large gap between confident and overbearing. Confidence portrays security. When a man is perceived as cocky, it results in the opposite impression and tells people that he is insecure. Anybody with that much to prove is obviously compensating for something.    



3) Just because she isn’t giving you overt eye contact doesn’t mean she has stopped communicating. What she does after that first fleeting glimpse is always more important than the glimpse itself. (If you are cut from the sniper cloth, you may already know this). It may have been an honest coincidence, so don’t overplay it if the proper context clues aren’t there. Check out her body language. Does she seem open and approachable or closed and reserved? Is she actively avoiding your gaze? Is she playing with her hair? Did she get up and move away with a scowl?   



4) There is a very high probability that she noticed you before you noticed her. This may already be the second look and you have no idea. What now? That second look could be your ticket into the fair. So, while everyone likes to be noticed, unfortunately we guys don’t have the luxury of waiting for someone to come chat us up. Chalk it up to traditional gender roles or maybe biological programming. Either way, men are kinda expected to do the initiating.     

From my experience the best way to approach a woman is to do so without any expectations. Meeting people should be more organic than that. You can’t force a weed to grow into a rose or vice versa. I mean to say you can’t expect the same quality of interaction every time you meet someone. Just put down the weapons and enjoy meeting people. The less presuppositions you make, the less stressed you’ll be, the more fun you’ll have, the better you’ll get at it, the more people you’ll meet, and inevitably the easier it will be to meet a worthwhile woman. If you don’t approach women with any ill-gotten expectations then you’ll never be disappointed by the results, right?       


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