Gentlemen Speak: 6 Myths About Men That We Should Forget

Appreciate what the right guy can bring to a relationship—and what he can’t.
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Appreciate what the right guy can bring to a relationship—and what he can’t.

It was a bit of a random piece of bathroom reading: 10 Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives, by one smiling Dr. Laura Schlessinger. I still remember my pimply teenaged self sitting there thinking, “Who the hell is Dr. Laura, and why does she seem so happy telling women that they’re messing up their lives?”

So with that in mind, know that it gives me no undue pleasure to share the following thoughts with you. Yes, there’s a little part of me that is happy to air some frustrations, and I sure hope they are of some use to you. But let’s just say I’m glad there’s no mug shot of my smug face sitting here suggesting “Should have listened to meeeeee,” like what I imagined Dr. Laura was thinking as she posed for her cover shot.

Without further ado, here are a few ideas about men that I’ve come across that you would be better off paying no attention to.

01. Men think about sex all the time.

Actually, that one’s true. What that doesn’t mean, however, is...

02. Men need sex on demand to keep them loyal.

It seems to be a fairly common notion that men can’t control themselves when it comes to sex. As the thinking goes, unless they are given the opportunity to get their jollies whenever necessary—with or without their gal—it’s only inevitable they will wander to other gals.

Yes, temptation is a real challenge, especially nowadays. But to say that men aren’t even capable of self-control is an insult to all of us. Furthermore, if a man really loves a woman, he will avoid even the opportunity for temptation because he is unwilling to jeopardize his relationship. That’s the type of man you should be seeking, not one looking to cut corners.

03. Men are only interested in a certain body type.

I’ve heard that women can become self-conscious about their own bodies (or personalities, intellect, etc.) based on what they think is attractive to men. And sure, there are certain body types that tend to gain more attention, especially in the media or in certain parts of the country. But the happiest committed men in my life (and most committed, for that matter) are with women of all sorts of shapes and sizes. What do those women all have in common, if not body type? Oh, they’re all attractive all right, but for all sorts of different reasons, from physical beauty to sense of humor and everything in between.

04. A man needs to have it all together to be worth your time.

Let’s say you were to meet a man who seemed to be the real deal: handsome, gentlemanly, funny, kind, intelligent, and generous, only to find out that he doesn’t have a great job, at least in your opinion. Deal breaker? Or maybe he was all of the above and professionally successful but seemingly has no idea how to act on a proper date?

Here’s the thing: There’s no such thing as a perfect man. Yes, it’s important for a man to be able to provide for himself and, potentially, for you and a family. But much more important to those long-term goals are hard work and responsible financial management than how many zeroes he already has in his paycheck.

As for those table manners? It’d be nice if he could pick out a bottle of wine for dinner, or, hell, if he’d just stop talking with his mouth full. But if he exhibits some real lasting qualities otherwise, give him another chance, maybe even a few pointers, and see what might develop.

05. When you’re with the right guy, everything will feel just right.

Real relationships are hard. In my experience, rarely, if ever, will everything fall into place just perfectly. There’s probably going to be some point, even in the “right” relationship, when you reach a crossroads of sorts and you have to make a tough decision whether or not to continue.

Be prepared to have some objective barometers with which you can judge whether the relationship is healthy and life-giving or something that you’d be better off ending. It might not feel perfect or just how you imagined it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good.

06. You need a man to be happy.

We’re not that great, believe me. And there are plenty of women out there who are happy to remind us of that, lest we forget. But there’s a whole host of women who want to one day get married, but find themselves fairly frustrated in the meantime. And I get it. But ladies ought to be very careful not to let frustrated plans grow into an over-romanticizing of what a boyfriend or even a husband will do to drastically improve their lives. If you make the effort to live single life to the fullest, then you will be better prepared to appreciate what the right guy can bring to a relationship—and what he can’t.