Sunday, April 03, 2011

Manly Man or Metrosexual? Who Does a Woman Want in Her Relationship or Marriage?

A female reader is displeased with her husband’s recent evolution from “manly man who does manly things” to “metrosexual guy who acts like a girlfriend instead of a husband. What can I say? Contrary to what you see on television, chicks dig manly men, so be one. After all, it’s entirely YOUR CHOICE!

A lot of men have trouble dressing themselves, especially those of us that have no artistic sense of proportion, color-matching, etc., and many of us don’t have the self-respect to learn how to dress and groom ourselves. Unfortunately, many of us are also so insecure about what our partners like that if they suggest anything that they like, we have a tendency to go overboard, inundating them with something they really would have like to see just a little more of until it ruins it for them (think chocolate three meals per day or back rubs that last so long it chafes their skin and hurts) and has the opposite effect of what either of us want: they end up bored and/or frustrated. Meet Nancy:

Hi David,

I love your newsletter. I wish I could get my husband to read it and your book. I’m at my wits end with him.

He started watching that TV show, “What Not to Wear” a couple of years ago because he wanted to look better for me, but he went overboard, got obsessed with clothes, fashion, scents, etc., then came the hair products, then the skin products, and if he wasn’t pursuing me like he does I’d swear he was gay. He has become one of those “metrosexual” men. It was fun for a while, because he’d go shopping with me, and we’d sit and talk about what everybody else was wearing and stuff. After a while he was more fun than most of my girlfriends, but the more we did this, the less I responded to his advances,” and it’s come to the point where he takes longer to get ready to go somewhere than I do and it’s just too much, if you know what I mean. He gets more attention than I do when we go out, at least more compliments.

I guess I should be grateful because other women used to approach him right in front of me, servers were always flirting with him, etc., but they don’t anymore, and frankly, neither do I. My husband was a sexy man until this started, and now I see what people were talking about when I started hearing the term “girly man” awhile back. He was a manly man, and very sexy acting, but I’d remarked a few times that I wish he’d upgrade his wardrobe a bit because the shorts and graphic T-shirts just weren’t doing anything for him, and now, I wish I’d kept my mouth shut. Can you help?


My reply:

Well, Nancy, I can help by pointing out the obvious, but you could help him as much as I on this particular issue by simply telling him, bluntly, that while you appreciate his effort, he’s gone too far down the wrong road, and you want your “manly” man back, because while he’s now a lot “spiffier” than he was, he’s just not sexy anymore because he’s turned into a girlfriend.

When you said something about his wardrobe, something snapped and his sense of self-esteem and security went down the tubes, possibly because he realized how bad he looked and was quite embarrassed about it. That could have been all it took to stop him from acting confident and displaying the alpha male behavior that you found so attractive, and he needs to regain that confidence by returning to doing the things he enjoys and can feel competent in doing instead of trying to compensate for a history of dressing badly by seeking the approval of everyone who saw him looking like a slacker.

The main problem with the metrosexual behavior, which you have expressed but may not have noticed, is that the two of you have started doing “girlfriend things” together, and your husband, once a “manly man who did manly things” is now in effect another social relationship (“girlfriend”) to manage. What was once special, exciting, unique, and sexy is now mundane, to the point of boring and frustrating you.

It’s good that he’s “upgraded his wardrobe,” as you put it, but what he needs to understand is that for men, dressing to project self-respect is far, far more important than dressing with the latest fashion trend. The shorts and graphic T-shirts didn’t bug you so much because they were ugly as because in your eyes, he was both capable and deserving of better, and he didn’t treat himself with respect nor project the respectability that you knew he commanded.

Now, if his dressing habits are “going overboard,” it’s likely making a subconscious impression on you that he’s insecure, and looking for approval and enjoying the extra attention. Approval-seeking behavior is one of the wussiest, most attraction-killing things that a man can engage in. Taking more time than you to get ready to go somewhere is reinforcing that projection of insecurity, because the excessive and fussy use of facial products smells of a fear of wrinkles, signs of aging, and aging itself; a man needs to take care of himself, but looking and acting “girly” is a bad move, no matter what action you’re talking about.

Take care, and keep in touch,

Gentlemen, it’s like this. Women (at least heterosexual women – I’m not qualified to comment on lesbians) like men. They like being around men, having relationships with men, and sleeping with men – real men, manly men who do manly things. They like having a man define and exercise authority (NOT CONTROL!) by taking the lead in things, making decisions, and exhibiting confidence. Don’t ruin it for them by doing “girlfriend stuff” with them and turning into another girlfriend to keep up with.

Do “guy stuff” and do it with self-respect and respect for them. Most of all, ENJOY IT! Go fishing, hunting, and to sporting events, or whatever “guy stuff” you enjoy doing, with or without them, but if you go without them, don’t go on their birthday, your wedding anniversary, or the day that they told you that you needed to go with them to see one of the kids in the school play.

Yes, there is a bit of a double-standard there, but it’s a good thing, because having her do guy stuff with you lets her see you being an alpha male, the “Right Guard Guy,” “Old Spice Sailor,” or “Marlboro Man” from the old advertisements, and it makes her hot because it differentiates you from her girlfriends instead of homogenizing you with them. Besides, “guy stuff” is often fun for everybody, but women are too busy managing relationships, social circles, and other things to check them out.

In addition, women hate being bored so badly that if you do ANYTHING with enthusiasm, they usually want to watch or join in. This is especially true if you announce that you are going to do it and then just tell them they can come along instead of hounding them to come and do it with you. The next biggest thing that most women hate after boredom is feeling like they missed out on something fun or interesting, or worse, was LEFT out. Indeed, the more enthused you are about the activity and less you act like she needs to be there, the more she’ll expect it to be interesting and want to get involved.

And if she doesn’t, you’ll be “giving her the gift of missing you,” as David DeAngelo says. She doesn’t want you in her face all the time because she needs to think about you, fantasize about you, and long for you in your absence. Yes, we hate that feeling ourselves, but women thrive on it, and especially the anticipation it creates, so let her enjoy it.

If you’re going to be gone for a long time, make sure that she hears or sees from time to time that you’re thinking about her – daily, not hourly like some wimp checking in with his mama or jealous jerk checking up on her. Women like knowing you think about them when they’re not around, which heightens the anticipation of your return, so don’t spoil it for them by calling every two hours with the same lame “Whatcha doing?” thing. And either leave her something or bring home something for her “treasure box;” leaving something is often better because it ensures that she has it out while you’re gone. (The rules and proven enjoyable methods for letting her know you’re thinking about her are in "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage".)

Be a man’s man, not a girly-man, and not a pig. Clean yourself up and clean up after yourself as any self-respecting man would, but let her make the big fashion statement when you go out. Her girlfriends will be checking every last detail on her, but only whether you dressed with self-respect; don’t complicate your life by trying to join in that competition. Take a look at the most expensive formal wear and you’ll see what I mean; gowns are as varied as snowflakes, yet if you’ve seen one black tuxedo, you’ve seen nearly all of them. Take the hint. If you’ve out-spiffed her, it will embarrass her, and you’ll find that to be quite bad for your love life.

Being the arm candy is her job, not yours. Your job is leading the arm candy. ;-) And if you do that job right, whether she feels like arm candy or not as she puts on that dress, she’ll most certainly feel like it when she takes your arm and heads out.

Ladies, since I know that a third of my readers are ladies, do guy things with your guy if you enjoy any of his hobbies, like sporting events, etc., and keep the girl stuff for your girlfriends. That includes all the emotional chit-chat over problems. Your man is there to fix problems, not to listen to you milking the emotion from them, so try to avoid taking a problem to him until you are ready to discuss it in earnest and at least entertain suggestions on fixing it. If you don’t like any of the guy things he does, then enjoy the time away and savor that anticipation of meeting up after an afternoon, evening, or even a day or days apart.

Much of being attractive to a woman is a simple matter of doing simple, manly things – things that guys like to do and that trigger the primal responses to manhood. A lot more of it is simply enjoying being a man instead of apologizing for it and asking permission to do the things that men of self-respect do at will. Get out there and do those things! Just don’t mess the house up in the process and leave it for her to clean up. That’s what a grab-asstic teenager does to his mother, not what a self-respecting manly man does to his partner.

Sounds complicated? Sure it does, if you try to reconcile what you know a manly man is supposed to do and enjoys doing with all the effeminate, touchy-feely crapola that we made the mistake of buying into since the 1980’s, from crying on your woman’s shoulder to being her metrosexual shopping buddy (girlfriend!). But it’s really not. I find myself saying to someone, “It’s not rocket science,” all too often on our forum,, because it’s really not. It’s just simple cause and effect. Come join us and find out.

And while you’re at it, jump back and get back in touch with your inner naughty boy and manly man with “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage,” and take on or get back to that attitude and corresponding behavior that has you feeling and acting like a manly man and has her seeing you and wanting you as a manly man. It’s the only way to go – one reader referred to it as “The Keys to the Universe” – and it’s at, guaranteed to work, for less than the cost of dinner for two at about any place that puts cloth napkins on the table. (And if you think that means it’s expensive, think back to the last time your wife went shopping out of boredom, or the last divorce you heard about!) Now get on over there and get it done, because life is short, yesterday is gone, and tomorrow may never come!

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

No comments: