What it takes to be a modern gentleman in the 21st century.
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Fellow men of the world;
I am constantly bombarded with posts and memes on Facebook about what “real men” and “real women” do. Usually these things involve superfluous actions or qualities, but I always find myself sarcastically asking, does that make someone who doesn’t do this a “fake” man or woman? I see what they’re trying to accomplish, but in general it’s sort of a ridiculous set of requirements.
I think “real men” have always been seen as stern, emotionless, a little harsh, and typically associated with the puffed-out-chest alpha males who shotgun beers and slap each other on the backs.
If that’s your thing, it’s all well and good, but it doesn’t cover all the bases to make a “real man.”
What about the qualities it takes to raise a family? Make a woman feel safe, but supported? Build and keep meaningful friendships and relationships in all parts of life? These things require much more personal depth than just following a short set of “macho rules.”
Here’s what I do think matters when it comes to being a “real man” in modern society:
- Be able to provide for your woman even if she has her own money, security is important.
- Be protective, but not oppressive. When you’re out with your woman, there is no reason to puff out your chest and bump it up against any guy who tries to talk to her. Be calmly confident, sit back or keep your hand casually on her back or leg, and let her do her thing. Nothing screams insecurity in yourself and your relationship, like overreacting in those situations. In fact, shake his hand and introduce yourself. No decent guy will try to steal a girl away from a guy that he likes.
- Learn how to fight. Not because you should be some grunting caveman trying to start fights out at the bar – but because you will feel safer and confident in general knowing you can take care of yourself and those around you.
- Show compassion. Regardless of what society tells you, emotions are not just for women. Show people you care and are actually human. Plus, if a woman is considering something long term & building a family with you, she won’t want her children raised by a statue.
- Be chivalrous. This doesn’t just mean pulling out chairs and opening doors, though that is of course part of it – people have lost sight of true chivalry. It’s an attitude, a personality, an inherent respect for those (mostly women) around you. Stand up when a woman leaves the table, try not to swear around them, just generally have some class, you get the idea.
- Dress like a man, not a boy. It’s time to put away the snapbacks and the sneakers, gentlemen. Find yourself some nicely fitting clothes that suit your personal style and image, clean cut and simple. Set yourself apart from the majority of the male population by paying attention to current styles and fashion, and implementing it into your daily life. When you look better, you feel better, and when you feel better, you do better.
- Know how to cook. It’s 2013, cooking is no longer always the “woman’s role” as much as guys on the internet like to joke about it. Take the initiative, make your girl a nice dinner every now and then, and mostly – if you live on your own, you’ll be able to fend for yourself and stay healthy while doing it.
- Be well rounded. Connect with the wilderness as well as the city, or vice-versa, to stay grounded and in touch with yourself. You’re a member of the human species, don’t get too caught up in life that you forget to reset every now and then.
Let me know what I missed in the comments below or by tweeting me at @JamesMSama.
I could probably sit here for hours and run through all of the things that I see women complain about on Facebook when it comes to “men” these days. Gentlemen, I know you’re out there – it’s time to step up and make yourselves known. We are being overrun by those who have no regard for the above qualities, and women are beginning to think we are extinct because of it.
Prove them wrong.
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