I know several bells are ringing in some women’s minds right now. “Yeah, right…what advantages could men possibly offer to relationships even close to women…let alone better than women”? Funny thing is…we see these things but we often see these male behaviors and thought processes as “just biological or as just part of the game.” As true as that is, many times, I think they are a bit deeper than that.
Well, first of all, this isn’t an article about who is better at relationships. It is simply a look at some really powerful thought and behavioral advantages that men bring to the start of a relationship …that are often not recognized.
Also, note that I didn’t say that men are better at having or executing good relationships than women. I actually think women are “generally” better at the execution part of relationships.
But I perceive that:
- Most women who have been or are in a relationship with a good man will appreciate these points and attest to how true they are and women who are looking forward to being in a relationship with a good man will see these as valuable bits of information to use to identify and further connect with those good men when they come.
- Most women who have been (or are being hurt) by men may find this a bit more difficult to take in and I am so sorry that those relationships and men have not worked out. I still encourage you to be open to this and perhaps it will help you identify that better man that is out there.
So how did I even arrive here?
Well, I get to hear a lot of cases of relationship frustration and I am always looking for the deep, underlying issues that cause the problems so that the recommended changes can be as close to the root as possible. That process almost always makes a pit stop at “How the relationship began” and “How each person approached the start of the relationship”…the mentality they had coming in and what the “expectations” were.
Recently, I really stepped back and objectively looked at the general mentality of men and women going in to relationships (at the start)…and I realized that men have some behaviors and thought processes that are great advantages and foundations for healthy relationships. What happens when they get in is debatable, but as you read this, you’ll have to admit…these points make a lot of sense.
All right… let’s dig in. These are my observations:
1) Men are more willing to take a chance on the other person:
I am talking about the fact that men go into relationships more willing to bite the bullet of risk…more willing to give the benefit of the doubt. They are more willing to enter into a relationship where the person has visible character flaws. Their list of “non-negotiables” is a lot shorter than most women.
Think about the amount of information men require to enter a relationship versus the amount of information a woman requires to enter into a relationship.
Going in, men seem to be much more optimistic about the relationship than women. I admit that women are many times right to be apprehensive but, generally speaking, men are more forgiving and tolerant (going in) about women’s character flaws than women are about men’s.
She’ll typically have to throw a few fits of (insert character flaw e.g. anger issues) before the alarm goes off in his head about ending things. But if he raises his voice during an argument, her emotional fire department shows up.
2) Men pursue women more based on who she is NOW and her preexisting/ingrained natural capabilities for family management without over-emphasis on what she can become, achieve, acquire, create, give him, etc. in the future:
I’m not saying those “future” things don’t or shouldn’t matter to men. What I am saying here is that I observe that even though education and career opportunities seem to be producing better outcomes overall (besides actual income) for women, most men don’t put an emphasis on those career and educational outcomes of the women they pursue.
Let’s look at this together:
Based on the US Department of Labor (Facts over time- women in the workforce) numbers, as of the end of 2012:
- 38% of women have college degrees vs 34.6% of men.
- 30.4% of women have SOME college education vs 26% of men
- When it comes to minorities and people who experience the most struggle for success at least in the U.S, Blacks and Hispanics, Black and Hispanic women have the closest income rate to men in their race (Black women were earning as much as 90% of men’s income just before 2012)
So, even under those continuously improving outcomes for women, most men still approach women and commit - not really focusing on earning potential or how many businesses she can own or how far up the corporate ladder she can climb or how many degrees she can get. (Quite the opposite) At best, I think most men think “That would be so cool if she achieved a lot…that’ll be a great BONUS…that’ll be “icing on the cake” versus “I expect her to have it all together.”
I perceive that most men want their wives to be productive but are spiritually, socially and biologically conditioned not to focus on her productivity but on his own…and that’s a great advantage he brings to the table.
I’ll put it this way.
On a date, a woman can say she is a (insert ‘just OK’ career) and the man doesn’t flinch. He’s just happy she is doing something. The man says he is ALSO a (Insert THE SAME ok career that she is in ) and she thinks… “hmmm I don’t know if I like his hair anymore.”
YOU may say it’s just a primal thing or that men just have better biological disposition for danger or the unknown. Ehh…maaaayybbeee.
I think, though, that it is the part of a man that is kind and generous at heart. To give a woman a chance even though he doesn’t have all the facts about her… to attempt to commit to a woman even though he is sure of only what she has decided to show him….to NOT put a major focus on her career and educational outcomes….to see her and pursue her just based on how and where she is now without too much emphasis on her future “success track” …to risk her rejection …over and over again for the version of her he perceives and believes he wants. To see her flaws and still pursue her anyway.
That is not just primal instinct. It is nobility…and the woman who understands this is going to behave fundamentally different (than a woman who doesn’t) in a way that will ultimately make her indispensable to him.
3) Men are prepared to give before they get
This has been drilled into men since they hit puberty and perhaps even prior. “Before a woman gives you ANYTHING that matters….sex, her undivided attention, her heart, her time, her whatever, YOU must give her something first. You must give her your attention, your heart…your money…your gifts…your time your (whatever)…BEFORE she will give you anything. And, even if you are not giving yet, she must explicitly believe that you are willing and capable.
Even little boys know this. This is the way the world works. Even in the church. Gone (VERY FAR GONE) are the days, brother X can come up to sister Y talking about “The lord said.” He better come with a letter signed from cloud 300 or a promissory note from Angel Gabriel.
Look a little deeper into this, and you will see the ability of men (at least the good ones out there) to handle delayed gratification…meeting YOUR needs first before his can be met.
Imagine, ladies, if the equation was flipped. If you had to “fulfill his basic emotional, sexual, respect and other needs first and then he might consider you.” Imagine if that were the scenario.
Meeting her needs first before his needs can be met. That is such a noble thing and the good men out there deserve a pat on the back.
On a serious note, though, this is a critical mentality for healthy relationships because healthy relationships are give and take, and usually have more giving than taking. In fact, in healthy relationships, each person must be prepared to give even when (especially when) they are not getting.
In healthy relationships, the ability to handle delayed gratification is a necessity.
This is the example that men set….the good men who give before they get…who meet your emotional needs and PROVE themselves worthy of your love before expecting you to show yours…who made the decision to commit to him easy because of how well he treated you before you committed.
Yes, those men set great examples and foundations for healthy relationships.
Many women just don’t see this and, believe me, this becomes a real problem in relationships.
It is a serious advantage for many relationships that men are conditioned to give first before getting. It gets things started; it gets the ball rolling. However, the woman who does not understand this will act fundamentally differently (than the woman who does) and soon enough, that ball will stop rolling and she will have to push it…uphill.
As for men who don’t do the giving before receiving …who don’t give before they take, they don’t deserve good women.
4) Men are clearer about their needs.
In a healthy relationship, this clarity is so important.
Ambiguity of needs (like when both parties assume that the other should just know what they need) can be the death of a relationship.
Men approach relationships with much clearer presentation of what their needs are.
That doesn’t mean that women are deceptive for not revealing what it takes to keep them happy (even though some most certainly are). Many women would love to…but a woman’s needs are constantly evolving in type, timing and intensity that even she may not know exactly what the secret formula to her happiness is at every given moment, let alone be able to share it.
Coming in to a relationship, it’s important that the cards are laid out on the table and men seem to come in with a better grip on his needs and which ones can be realistically met.
I observe that Men seem to have less of a problem asking for their needs to be met. Women expect men to know their needs and expect those needs to be met without much asking.
The man that understands the advantage of coming in with clarity about his needs, but is able to also understand that the secret to making a woman happy is not in a preexisting formula but in the commitment to her ever changing needs… who understands that the commitment to the ever-changing nature of her needs is the formula, will act fundamentally differently than the man who doesn’t get this…and should be rewarded for it.
The woman who takes time to teach her man how to meet her needs has just found a man more committed than a Shetland sheepdog. Why? Because men take EXTREME pride in knowing they “do IT” best (Whatever IT is). A woman that teaches her man how to do all the “ITs” that matters to her will find a man always willing to keep his championship belt.
One more thing. Take this in slowly.
Men don’t always look outside their relationships because they want to GET more. Many times, they do so because they actually want to GIVE more…and want to be NEEDED more.
5) Men go into relationships knowing there is complexity to a woman…a woman goes into a relationship over-simplifying a man.
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this show up in relationships in damaging ways. Again…this doesn’t say that men are better at doing relationships than women…it just begs to be said that it is an incredible advantage to a relationship when at least one person comes in understanding that the other person will need to be figured out….that the other person is an INDIVIDUAL with very unique needs. It’s a great thing when men come in to relationships knowing that there is complexity and being ok with that…seeing that as “part of the deal.”
I think where men (and women) go crazy and veer off this noble track is when they realize that the level of complication of the other person they thought for example was at muscle level is actually at cellular level. lol. (and I have to admit…women tend to handle the male complication better than men…once she commits to it)
The moment a woman embraces the complexity of a man and decides not to over-simplify his needs, she will act fundamentally differently (than the woman who doesn’t) and she will have access to such depth in him that she will have a one-copy key to his innermost self.
So…those are the first four. The next set gets even deeper. Stay tuned. If your man fits this profile, who is willing to take a risk on you…who is prepared to give before he gets…clear about his needs so you don’t have to guess, and embraces your complexity, don’t lose him. Appreciate him.
Ok, stay tuned …next set coming up.
Ladies: (a) What was your honest gut reaction when you saw the title and where does that stand so far after reading this first part (b) Which of the points stood out the most? Why? Comment below
Gentlemen: What has your experience been like with women pertaining to these points?
Tobi Atte is a certified Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, motivational speaker and the writer behind IJustMetMe, a lifestyle website for young adults who need a good dose of daily inspiration to tackle tough life issues. Tobi is also the author of the new book How to Make Sure Your Values are Aligned: A Guide to Avoiding Relationship Frustration. For more on relationships, motivation, fresh perspectives on faith, personal improvement and more, read/learn more at www.ijustmetme.com, watch him on YouTube HERE and download his free e-book HERE.