What should you do with our culture’s pressure to be manly? The first step is to decide what really is manly instead of things we’re only told are so.
Manliness is the best thing for our relationships. True manliness, that is.
The problem is that much of what is packaged as manliness has nothing to do with what it means to be a real man.
Let’s look at a few examples of what has nothing to do with being a real man. Then, we’ll follow up with thoughts of what a real man looks like.
Manly? Uh, Maybe Not…
If you judge manliness by superficial things, you’ll strike out every time in coming up with the real thing.
Some men think being a complete jerk makes them manly. The art of being a jerk is the umbrella that virtually all fake manliness falls under.
There’s a saying that suits this occasion quite well:
“Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”
Cut-throat business deals, the flaunting of wealth, verbal abuse, sleeping around on your mate and similar things don’t make you a man.
They actually erode true manliness. Little by little, you become less of what you were meant to be.
If you spend any time in thought, there’s something in your heart you want to rebel against.
The superficial measuring stick of outward success, having the prettiest girl, or being physically tough isn’t really doing it for you.
If you’re feeling the pressure to be the sort of man described in this section, just walk the other way. That’s the kind of stuff that gives men a bad name.
My guess is that if you’ve read this far, you’re after more than being a jerk or superficial success.
You want something more and so do those around you.
People don’t want the Hollywood version of manliness. They want something that works in real life.
If you attempt the fake version, your relationships will struggle and it’s no small wonder why.
The Pursuit of True Manliness
Ready for a shocker? The truest form of a man has nothing to do with how fancy your car or house is or how “perfect” your family is.
If all those things were taken from you in a moment, what is left would either prove or disprove your manliness.
True manliness is strong, yes, but at its base, it boils down to a loving person fused with that toughness.
True manliness is character—something that couldn’t be taken from you even if you were locked in a concentration camp.
It’s the active love for humanity that lives in your soul. It is something you can continually grow and improve upon.
True manliness is visiting your mom in the nursing home when you’re busy, having integrity in business deals even when you lose money and staying faithful to your mate even when badly tempted not to be.
If you exercise true manliness, your relationships will grow.
Best of all, no one and nothing can take true manliness from you.
If the pressure to be a man is grounded in reality, listen to that pressure. Don’t let it weigh you down. Just take small steps towards the goal.
If the pressures to be manly are rooted in fake manliness, take that junk and throw it in the dumpster. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 393-8662, or text us.