This is something that has been irking me for awhile now. The ever-increasing demeanor of the modern girl/woman who proudly proclaims that she has an attitude that men just ‘can’t handle’ and she won’t settle for someone weak like that.
The first reason why I have a problem with the terminology ‘can’t handle’ is that it implies some sort of inadequacy. As men, we deal with attitude every single day. It is dealt with from rude co-workers, from fellow commuters, from the person who didn’t use their blinker when switching into our lane. Attitude is everywhere around us, all the time.
Why would we want to come home to a woman who is going to treat us the same way?
You will see quotes floating around social media that say: “A strong man can handle a strong woman. A weak man will say she has an attitude.” Or “I don’t have an attitude, I just have a personality you can’t handle.”
Do you know what it sounds like when anyone says or posts things like this? It sounds like they have an attitude. I know plenty of strong, independent, successful women who are loving, kindhearted, and understand you don’t need an attitude in order to be respected or taken seriously.
The first problem is, someone in a relationship should never have to handle their significant other. They should never have to tolerate an abrasive personality under the premise that it’s just who you are and we have to accept that if we want to be with you. Well…here is a new concept, maybe men just don’t want to be with someone like that.
The concept of elevating yourself above others in order to prove your worth is not only ineffective, it is unattractive. To essentially demean men and suggest that they are not strong enough to ‘handle’ you shows a complete lack of willingness to work on your own character or actually acknowledge what is attractive to other people.
We see this all the time in conversations about what is attractive to women. Men know that women are drawn to masculine energy. We know that women are attracted to confidence. Now, turn the tables. Do you see single men who don’t display these qualities saying that women simply can’t handle their softness? Women can’t handle my over-the-top niceness. A strong woman will be able to handle a nice man, a weak woman will call him a doormat. That’s their fault, I’m not going to work or change or improve for anyone.
Sounds a little ridiculous, doesn’t it?
None of us are entitled to a great relationship simply because of who we are. If we want to be attractive to a potential partner, we need to work on ourselves, understand our own flaws, and be honest about adjusting them. If we put a stake in the ground and say this is me, love it or leave it, we will likely find many people leaving it.
By being completely inflexible we are showing a lack of compassion for our partner. “Oh, you don’t like it? Too bad.” Sorry, but this is an attitude. This is akin to a man telling you that he tends to get insulting and abrasive every once in awhile, but that’s just part of his personality so you’re going to have to deal with it.
Telling anyone to ‘handle’ you or ‘deal with’ you the way you are is just telling them that you don’t care enough about their feelings in order to work on yourself. Posting a Marilyn Monroe quote on your Facebook about handling you at your worst in order to get you at your best is not an incentive, it is an ultimatum for an implied reward. If a guy puts up with mood swings and harsh attitudes affection-less nights, he will have the pleasure of experiencing the days when you feel like being nice to him, as a reward.
Not exactly the basis for a great relationship.
Obviously there are going to be good days and bad days. Nobody is perfect. We may not love every single little thing about the person we are with, but relationships are about compromise. They are about acceptance. They are about love. And when you love someone, you don’t look at them and tell them to just deal with it.
You work together to grow. To compromise. To learn. To improve. To not be someone they have to just tolerate as a passageway to your good days. You work together to build a foundation and learn what works best for you both.
None of us just get handed a great relationship without having to work for it, and then work at it. None of us can expect to have someone come into our lives and put in effort for us while we refuse to do the same for them.
A successful relationship is a two way street where a consistent flow of effort is going back and forth – not a one way with a dead end. The good news is, you get to choose which one you want – but don’t ask someone to do something for you without putting any effort in for them.
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