I support those who defy gender norms. I do. Hell, my minor in college was Women’s Studies. Consequently, I underwent a long period of post-educational man-hating feminism, denouncing so-called “gender roles” at every opportunity. I don’t cook, I won’t clean, I am strong, I will keep my last name!, ROAR!
After this bout of what I now know to be pointless extremism, I have revamped my mentality and now embrace both masculinity and femininity, traditional and nontraditional. And in this revamp I have realized that there are ten components of man-dom that I personally find irresistible and thus, well, necessary. To be a successful contender in this mating game we call life, the following list details 10 things that I believe every man should know how to do.
1. Be A Man With A Plan
Nothing is more attractive than a man who knows who he is, knows what he wants, and knows how he’s going to get there. Make a vision board, set some goals, get out and conquer. Don’t be nomadic, that will not get you the chicks.
2. Be Able To Operate Basic Tools
Hammer, screwdriver, tape measure. Even if you are not mechanically inclined, learn the ins and outs of these three tools. The majority of day-to-day kinks that occur around the house can be resolved by use of one of the above. And all you really need to do is learn how to mount a picture on the wall or hang a shelf. Or, if redneck living is more your style, simply refer to the below flowchart:
3. Troubleshoot Car Issues
Please, please, please be able to change a flat tire! True, this is the most cliché man expectation I can think of, but it is important. Who knows when you will stumble upon a damsel – or dame – in distress at roadside? Or worse – who knows when your own tire will go flat? There is nothing more embarrassing than calling a mechanic or a parent for tire-changing purposes. Especially if you have a lady passenger…
4. Console A Crying Woman
When a woman cries, it is her ultimate form of release. Once she cries, she will feel better. As a man it is easy to become distressed by a woman’s tears and immediately jump into advice-giving mode, but I warn you: avoid at all costs! Unless a woman explicitly asks for you advice in a given situation, she is not looking for you to offer solutions. She, is, rather, looking for someone to vent to, to cry to, she just wants reassurance and to be held. Contrary to popular belief, it’s really not rocket science. Don’t instantly jump into Mr. Fix-It mode – we know you want to make the tears go away, but we are not looking for you to solve everything. Just be there, listen, nurture, soothe. And whatever you do, don’t just hear a woman talking, listen to what she’s saying. You’ll be a happy man forever. And if you really want to be a happy man forever, read John Gray’s Men are From Mars, Women Are from Venus. It’s a life-changer for men and women alike.
My mother was not a cook; therefore I am not a cook. As any other college grad I can make a mean pasta, frozen pizza, and occasional stir fry. Although I realize “knowing how to cook” may appear on the “10 things every woman should know how to do” list (from the male’s perspective); in this day and age, I just don’t think it’s entirely necessary. That being said, a man should not assume that a woman will be cooking for him for the rest of his life (and if he ends up so lucky, I’ll eat my words!) Make your own goddamn sandwich!
Confidence, confidence, CONFIDENCE. A man who dances and thus exudes confidence is the sexiest, most appealing man on earth. On our very first date, my fiancée and I ended up at a popular music bar in town. Right Said Fred’s “I’m too sexy” came on the radio, and suddenly he begins jokingly unbuttoning his shirt in front of me, dancing like no one is watching. At that moment, I fell in love. There’s something to be said about a man who does not care what anyone else thinks, who is free-spirited (yet still masculine!), and who just enjoy life.
The alpha male is confident walking into a purchase that he will be able to talk the price down. Nothing is ever set in stone, and with the right attitude you can convince anyone to do anything. Recently a male friend of mine went to purchase a used truck, listed at $5,000. He did not even abide by generally accepted rules of negotiation (bartering back and forth), instead offering $2,500 cash, right then and there, deal or no deal. The seller refused, and so my friend shook his hand, thanked him for his time, and opened the door to his own truck. As he’s about to start the vehicle, lo and behold here comes the seller, consenting to the $2,500. Had he wavered in his confidence, the deal would not have gone down quite so fruitfully.
8. Have Money Consciousness
You don’t need to be a millionaire, but at least have a savings account. So many younger men in this generation spend frivolously, disregarding future consequences. You can change this now! Start an early retirement fund. Put aside money from every paycheck. Stop buying shots for EVERYONE at the bar. Impress the ladies with your care about your – and potentially their – future.
9. Be A Gentleman
Open doors. Pay the tab. Send flowers. Lend an ear. I don’t care that this is 2012. Keep chivalry alive – on both sides! If men like to be needed, women like to be nurtured, and acting like a gentleman fulfills this woman-wish. You’ll score major points with all the women in your life, and admiration from the men.
10. Differentiate Between Love And Lust
We’ve all been there. Those teenage years of early promiscuity, leading into college or early workforce years of…more promiscuity, and then it hits you. Is this all life is? At some point, the tail-chasing and one-night stands lose their excitement, and it becomes much more appealing to find a companion. So many men are so conditioned to the chase, however, that it becomes very difficult to differentiate between love and lust. Stop evaluating women solely based on their sexual prowess, and start considering the mom-factor. Would you take them home to meet your family? Can you discuss important things with this person? Would you be able to withstand a one-week vacation? Don’t get me wrong – desire is important in a romantic relationship, but love greatly outweighs lust. The sooner you learn this, the better off you’ll be, before all the “catches” get married off to the older men who have finally learned this truth!