I spend a lot of time considering and discussing with others what it means to be a man. For me, a man is a male who is comfortable in his own skin. Sounds simple, right? It’s more simple on this side of the question than where I was about 10 years ago.
I was quite lost. I was hyperapologetic toward anyone and everything that I may have offended. I was afraid – and I had no idea of what.
I posed this question to a few of my friends that I consider to be solidly aware of who they are as men. Here’s what they came up with.
Not that being self-aware as a man has anything to do with a woman, but one said this, “I hold fast to the need for a man to know himself to have the capacity to enter any relationship of depth with a woman.” It’s not about her. It’s about him.
“Manhood entails Courage, confidence, tenderness, toughness, resilience and heart. All are borne of adventure, failure, victory, and a pursuit of truth.”
Finally, to even ask the question about what women want in a man is to ask the wrong question. It reeks of a lack of confidence and going to her to find out who you are. Men and women are drawn to men who are authentically confident – not those who look to others for validation.
What is interesting to me is that, when I challenged a different audience that was co-ed with the comment (in a thread that someone else had started) about the opinions of women bearing less weight than the opinions of men, the discussion simply ended. Further, out of 16 individuals who responded to the original question, 2 of us are men. The other 88% are women.
I feel like it’s pretty telling when men are silent on the question of what it means to be a man. I think there are a few possible reasons. it’s most probable that they really do not know the answer to that. Another possibility is that their answer is so wrapped up in the feminine that they aren’t able to confidently answer it without looking to women to do so.
So, if you’re a man, what do you think makes a man a truly worthwhile friend or ally? Why?