Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Are You a Man, or a "Wannabe"? Be Recognized As a Real Man in Your Relationship and Marriage

Whether you know or not, your choices, tastes, words, and actions tell a lot about you (and also influence you!), so you need to know what you’re saying to the world, including women, because being a wannabe is a major league wussy turn-off.

Let’s start 2012 with a manly resolution: Never again will we say, “I want to be,” or colloquially, “I wanna be.” We WILL be; whatever it is that we desire to be, we will put forth the effort to make it happen instead of blowing a bunch of money (and major attraction points) trying to look like we’ve done it when we haven’t, because it’s pathetic. Take a good look at this with me, because you may not realize you’re doing this…

When I drove to my late best friend’s home for a memorial service, it was a long, rather boring interstate highway drive, so I was dictating text and ideas for upcoming newsletters and book content into a micro recorder when an aggressive driver went flying by me, cut too close between me and the car ahead of him, and almost flipped his vehicle trying to keep control. There were several things about the event that jumped out at me immediately.

First were the vehicle characteristics. He was in a late-model Ford Excursion, one of those mammoth oversized SUV’s that pretty much amount to a well-appointed utility van and a leading contender in the “Interstate Arms Race.” The differential housing (the big round thing between the rear wheels for those of you who aren’t automotive-mechanically inclined) sat a scant six inches off the ground, giving it no more ground clearance than most passenger cars, and it rocked and swayed like a boat on choppy seas, yet despite the pathetically low ground-clearance, soft suspension, soft-sided highway tires, and a custom paint job that must have cost a couple thousand dollars, this idiot had put bright chrome off-road brush guards across the front grill and tail lights.

The immediate impression he created was that of a downtown attorney, banker, realtor, or some other kind of high-paid urban desk jockey, who wanted to be a rugged, off-road exploring kind of alpha male, but what he had achieved was the look of a person who had suddenly came into a lot of money (or credit!), didn’t know what to do with it, and created something that looked like a pimpmobile and a Land Rover had made a baby.

The other thing that jumped out was that his rear windshield was covered in NASCAR racing stickers. I don’t have anything against competent sport driving in a well-maintained sports car – I do it myself frequently – but an oversized SUV driven at over 100MPH and trying to execute tight, race track-style maneuvers in such a vehicle on a somewhat crowded interstate highway in a rural area that only provided for two lanes in each direction doesn’t say that this guy is a competent sport driver, or even a racing enthusiast. It says that he’s a racing “wannabe” who doesn’t have the sense, taste, or motivation to buy a vehicle designed for that kind of driving, nor the self-respect to conduct that kind of driving in a vehicle designed for it. We’ll not even get into his total disregard for the safety of the other drivers around him, because it was painfully obvious that he had no more respect for the lives of others than he had for his own.

The funniest thing was that my wife, who is normally pretty non-judgmental and doesn’t usually comment on such events, even though they scare the mortal crap out of her, said, “Damn! You need to send that idiot a copy of your book.” When I asked why, she said, “Because no real man would ever be driving like that or driving anything that looked like that.” I simply laughed and said, ‘You’re quite right.”

So you see, Gentlemen, it’s like this. Women are a whole lot more attentive than we usually give them credit for, and they notice everything about all of us, even if they don’t say anything (although you may now realize what’s behind a lot of those sudden head tosses and eye-rolling gestures you’ve seen). Single women are comparing all of us against each other, and those partnered with us are constantly comparing us to both their ideal image of a man and to all the other men around, not to mention against how we were when we met them.

What are you giving the women in your life, especially your partner, to compare against that ideal image, or the other guys, or the “old you”? Do you do the things you want to do, achieve the things you want to achieve, etc., or are you terrorizing other drivers in a veritable death trap because you want to be a racer, wearing long hair and motorcycle T-shirts but don’t own a motorcycle, talking about football plays that should have been made in the Sunday game instead of coaching or volunteering at a local school or junior league, reading woodworking magazines when you don’t even own a handsaw, etc.?

Are you starting to get the picture? Is it starting to dawn on you that the reason women don’t like it when guys spend the weekend watching sporting events is that aside from leaving them feeling abandoned, it leaves them feeling like they married a “wannabe” who’d rather engage in being a “wannabe” than engage in being a husband? No, I’m not knocking watching a game. I’m telling you that if you’re obsessing over sports or any other spectator pursuit to the exclusion of your wife, she’s not just resenting being left alone too much. She’s resenting marrying a spectator, and if you don’t do something about it, she will, and you probably won’t like it.

Don’t just try to put up the image of doing something you want to do, DO IT! BE a man, a man of adventure, action, fun and competence, and enjoy those things you want to do, and you will be seen as an achiever, a real man’s man, a guy who lives IN the game instead of as a spectator. You won’t believe what a simple change like that will make in your self-esteem and the way the people around you perceive you; there will be a transition from “that annoying big-mouthed know-it-all wannabe” to “that adventurous man’s man who walks to his own beat, has fun and gets things done.”

Just take action! It’s really that simple. And if you think I’m full of crap and don’t want to accept the wisdom and experience of all the couples that help me develop and present all this advice, ask the woman you love and the other women you know how they perceive wannabe’s and men of action and how they respond to each, and they’ll tell you the same thing. Whatever you do, just stop being an armchair quarterback, a second-guesser, a full-time spectator, etc., and get out and DO something, and enjoy it. ANY hobby will do, as long as you enjoy it and challenge yourself with it.

By the way, did you know that many women won’t go out on a second date with a guy if they find out he doesn’t have a hobby, because it says so much about how he lives his life? A man with no hobby either works all the time or is boring, and a man with a “passive hobby” (like being a television spectator) isn’t a doer and is therefore also boring.

The first thing you’ll notice when you do take up an interesting hobby is that whatever it is you decide to do, if your partner sees you having fun doing something extraordinary, she’ll be there cheering you on, maybe even doing it with you, and getting hotter than nine kinds of hell seeing her man being a manly man who does manly things instead of sitting around flapping his jaws or making an ass of himself trying to look the part of a role that he can’t play. The simple act of turning over a new leaf like this can breathe new life into a stale relationship quickly, and is a great place to start in rolling back the clock to the honeymoon days and a great way to start the year regardless. And there’s no time like now to turn over a new leaf, is there?

The new year is a great time to start any self-improvement effort; indeed, any day is a good day as long as it’s today, but there’s always that bit of extra momentum caused by years of programming that the new year is a time for a fresh start as books are balanced and closed, annual reports are done, etc. Or you could just do what you’ve been doing, and keep feeling the way you’ve been feeling – bored, frustrated, tense, walking on eggshells, suspicious of an affair, seeking or having an affair, celibate – you know what you’re feeling, so do something about it. It’s your move, so make it a good one.

Start this year with a renewed commitment to a better life, starting with a better life with your partner. Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of “THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage” and get with the program that any man can follow and every man can love. Also join our forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com and learn from the experience of others, share successes, and yes, you can even talk or read about your hobbies there as well; there’s a whole forum devoted to various hobbies, and any hobby that attracts enough interest to need multiple threads to host it will be given its own forum. There are also great tips on things like money, health, life, etc., that you won’t want to miss, so really, come on by!

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

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