Tag Archives: How to be a Man

How to Be a Man, Vol. 2

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It was about 5 a.m. this morning when I discovered a subgroup of people I seriously didn’t know existed.

The manosphere.

It was a comment from a reader on my An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 4 post.

I think he was trying to be helpful.

“Man, you have to go and reinvent yourself… I am in the same situation. It gets better, if you do the work,” he said.

He dropped in a link and a suggestion: “Start here.”

So, I did. In the wee hours of the morning—knowing I’d pay for neglecting sleep later tonight, I dove headfirst into the rabbit hole.

I was introduced to psychological concepts like “hypergamy,” which is the theory that women instinctively want to discard their current partners when an opportunity arises to latch onto someone better.

Is that what my wife did?

I read all about the sex strategy of women, according to these guys—Alpha fucks, and Beta bucks. This is the theory that all women crave the comfort and stability of whipped men brainwashed by the rising tide of feminism into a “fem-centric,” safe, Beta-providing lifestyle. But they want to be fucked, on the side, like porn stars by large men with huge dicks and werewolf blood.

I am part of this emasculated, effeminate world, they’ll tell you. Plugged in to the feminist system. In metaphorical chains. Destined for a life of being taken advantage of, and abused by women.

Essentially, they will tell you: I am ignorant. I am a weak idealist. I am a fool.

The author of The Rational Male is clearly very intelligent. Educated. Well-read. A strong writer.

But is he wise?

I’m not sure yet. I must read more from him to get the entire scope of his philosophy. And I will.

But just between you and me? I value wisdom more than intelligence.

Men vs. Women

I have read way too little of this manosphere philosophy to offer any sort of major criticism or thoughtful rebuttal.

The following represents my uneducated gut reaction.

At first glance, it appears men who subscribe to this lifestyle measure life success on three things:

1. How many women they have sex with.

2. Never being tied down to a monogamous relationship doomed to fail because modern marriage is a societal construct that goes against the very nature of men and women’s genetic programming.

3. Having power and dominance over women.

If I had a candid conversation with any of these guys or even if they just read my quasi-tongue-in-cheek whining about never having sex, they’d all tell you it’s because I’m a big pussy. Wussified by my mother, and liberal, feminist brainwashing, and years of emasculating servitude to an ungrateful spouse who did exactly what all women are instinctively prone to do—trade up for the bigger, better deal when the opportunity arose.

I’ll say this. I err on the “side” of wives in my writing. In my opinions as they relate to male-female relationships.

But that doesn’t mean I think all men are worthless pigs, and all women, blameless victims.

There are a MILLION posts to be written on shitty wives.

But I’m not going to write them.

OWN. YOUR. SHIT.

I write my posts to “shitty husbands” because I believe in every individual accepting responsibility for his or her own actions.

I write about the need for men to serve their wives and families. I do that because I believe men have the most power to stem the tide of divorce by being what a husband is supposed to be.

That’s not to suggest the wife should sit around getting foot massages and fake tans while metaphorically castrated husbands run around saying: “Yes, princess. Of course, princess. Whatever you want, princess.”

Absolutely not.

Women are responsible for themselves. They are responsible for self reflecting, asking the difficult questions, and deriving reasonable conclusions as to the role they play in failing human relationships, same as men.

My job is to accept responsibility for my own actions and encourage everyone else to do the same.

I’m not going to sit here and point any more fingers at my ex-wife than I already have.

I’ve done plenty of That-bitch-ruined-me feeling sorry for myself.

She’s not a bitch. She’s a human being. Flawed. Mistake-prone. Unable to carry the weight of the world when the pressures and brokenness all become too much.

Just like me.

Just like you.

Life is not one-size-fits-all.

We don’t need advanced degrees in human ethology to recognize that all humans share some very striking physical and emotional commonalities. AND, that we’re all incredibly unique and diverse, as well.

To pigeonhole every man and woman into these silos seems incredibly over-simplistic.

It’s a battle for ultimate power, these guys will tell you. Us versus them.

Is that what we’re in, men and women? An epic power struggle between genders?

Am I supposed to look at every woman I meet as someone plotting to control me? As an enemy?

These manosphere philosophers seem to believe that very battle is being waged. And at least a few of them argue their points intelligently and succinctly.

I just have a little trouble latching on to such ideas. You know that smell? That reeking smell of rotting bullshit? That’s what I smell when I read some of this stuff.

So men should have power over women, you say?

Should white people have power over black people?

Should straight people have power over gay people?

Should rich people have power over poor people?

There’s an aura of macho elitism in much of this. And in their defense—like the guy who commented on my post this morning—I think they just want to help me. They want me to join their team because they believe that’s where true life satisfaction and happiness as a man lives.

A Different Kind of Tough

They’ll tell you I’m weak.

And don’t take this the wrong way, guys, because I’m not completely dismissing every facet of this manosphere philosophy until I’ve studied it much more (the author of The Rational Male, for example, has been married for 17 years and has children)—but, fuck you very much.

I don’t not have sex with women because I’m weak and can’t get any. I don’t have sex with anyone because I’m strong.

I believe in unconditional love. In choosing to love. In making the hard, difficult choices every day in the context of a committed monogamous relationship.

You think that’s easy to do? You think that’s weakness? Eat shit.

Because that’s HARD.

Walking the walk every day—striving to be the best version of your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual self—is not for the weak.

You better be strong. Tough as nails. Every single day, forever. Because that’s what it takes.

My tough might not look like your tough.

You slept with three women last week. Running a scam. Pretending to be something you’re not. To perpetuate the lifestyle of cheap, throwaway relationships, designed solely to serve yourself.

Forgive me for failing to see the virtue in that.

I would gladly choose a lifetime of celibacy over treating human beings like things.

If you want to write that off as my inability to get laid, that’s your choice to make.

I believe in respecting myself. I’m attracted to people who respect themselves.

It’s not weak to respect women. To do it right actually takes enormous strength.

The Meaning of Life

I try so hard to keep theological conversation off these pages.

1. I don’t want to debate it.

2. I don’t want to tell people their beliefs are wrong, nor do I want people saying that to me.

3. I’ll never believe that words on a page will bring people to spiritual fulfillment. Spiritual fulfillment lives in prayer, meditation and taking action. Self-discovery.

To be part of the manosphere, it appears I would have to abandon every moral principle I possess.

Marriage is bullshit, they say. Committed relationships are for fools.

So we teach our sons, through both action and word that women are inferior beings designed to be subservient to our daily whims? To what? Not respect their mothers? Or any other girls in their lives?

And we teach our daughters, what? That they’re a lower-class of human being? That they need to find a dominant man to “game” them into bed before they tire of our daughters’ illogic and crazy emotion-driven behavior?

Here’s as preachy as you’re ever going to see me. Do with it what you will:

Keep telling yourself there are no such thing as souls. That life is meaningless.

That there are no consequences, in this life or the next, in living without moral restraint.

I do believe in God, and maybe I’ll write about why someday.

I subscribe to Christian principles when I’m not saying “fuck you very much.”

I don’t pretend to understand the mysteries of a world beyond our human experience. I don’t have any answers. I just know that trying to emulate Christ (NOT by judgmental assholes who call themselves Christians, but Christ himself), leads to making solid lifestyle decisions that involve loving each and every human being. In behaving in ways that set a wonderful example for our children. Our friends. Our neighbors. Our co-workers.

It doesn’t mean preaching on street corners, screaming at “sinners” and quoting bible verses all the time.

It means walking the difficult path. When people are watching. And when they’re not.

I’m HORRIBLE at this. But it’s what I strive for.

I don’t need to sell anyone on this, nor am I trying to. You’re going to do and believe what you want. And you SHOULD do that. Ask hard questions. Figure things out for yourself.

The truth will be revealed in the end, one way or another.

But living without restraint—without principles—leads to a poisoned soul. Darkness. Contamination. On the inside of us.

It robs us of peace. It robs us of fun. It robs us of love. It robs us of the best feeling we get to experience as human beings—happiness.

Do the wrong thing long enough, and you’re going to feel shitty. And I don’t want you to feel shitty.

So, maybe try something new.

Because many of you manosphere guys are going to wake up 75 and alone one day. And none of your “game” or selfishness is going to have gotten you anything of value.

You’ll be empty, and morally bankrupt.

Maybe—just maybe—you could try it my way instead.

1. Love yourself.

2. Be grateful for your life.

3. Love your partner unconditionally. Choose to love. It’s a decision. Not a feeling.

4. Serve something greater than yourself. On Earth, and spiritually.

5. Give more than you take in all of your relationships and feel the world return that unselfishness to you. Because it will.

Sure, your way will get you more sex with women who don’t care about you in the interim.

But my way? That will keep you from wanting to off yourself in retirement, when you’re empty, bitter and alone. When you’ll need all the “Game” you can muster to get that flaccid thing erect to try and work things out yourself.

Hopefully, there will be some Bones reruns playing for you on TV Land.

Because I’d hate to bump into you 30 years from now working behind the local deli counter.

I’ll walk in. You’ll immediately identify me as not being as manly as you. My pocket will be full of Beta bucks.

“What can I get for you, sir?” you’ll say.

And I’ll reply: “You can make me a sandwich.”

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How to Be a Man

Like this. Only metaphorically.

Like this. Only metaphorically.

I’m going to turn 35 in 2014. Just a few short months from now.

My life is not what I thought it would be.

But, to borrow a phrase from a wonderful song: Tell me when it ever really is.

I have no choice but to deal in reality.

I’m trapped firmly in the middle class, with just enough money to almost keep up the appearances of moderate success, but not have the financial resources to truly live.

I’m an office drone with about five bosses. I live in the suburbs. I have a five-year-old son who is my top priority.

But I can’t be a good father to him if I can’t even like and respect myself.

And to like and respect myself, I need to live with purpose.

I need to be progressing mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I need to be progressing in my career—whether it be within the ranks of the corporate world or finding the mettle to strike off on my own.

I need to be progressing in my human relationships. After a 12-year relationship with my ex-wife, I can’t get it out of my head that I want more of that.

Even if casual was my thing, I suck at attracting women like that. I’m not sure who the girl on the couch with me on a Friday night, or on my arm at a Saturday night party, or who I see first thing in the morning is supposed to be. But I’m looking forward to meeting her.

She’s looking for a man.

What does that mean? To be a man?

The Guide to Being a Man 

GSElevator—a blog operated by Goldman Sachs—published recently a guide to being a man in 2013. It’s clearly geared toward New York City Guy, not Suburban Ohio Guy.

Even though places like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, etc., have the highest concentration of people, there are still more of us out here in the middle than in all of those places.

So, let’s borrow from the smart guys at Goldman Sachs. And lets toss in a little Random Ohio Guy opinion, too.

As always, your criticism and suggestions are welcome.

Things to do:

Learn how to cook.

For yourself. But mostly for her. I once read a hilarious blogger write that he once overheard a girl say: “A guy who’s hot in the kitchen is hot in the bedroom,” and he’s been honing his culinary skills ever since. I cook because I love cooking. If women like it, too? Bonus dot com.

When in doubt, always kiss the girl.

Cheating and bad breath (always carry gum or mints!) aside, of course. If you’re wondering whether you should, try. Be courageous. Worst-case scenario, she pulls away. The results are the same as you never trying at all.

Act like you’ve been there before.

No matter where you are. Exhibit class. Graciousness. Confidence.

Be spontaneous.

Don’t shirk critical responsibilities. But ALWAYS seek unexpected adventures—big or small.

Never be fatter than you were at 30.

And if you were heavy then, do something about it. Living longer is almost always better than the alternative.

Measure yourself only against your previous self.

You can’t be as tall as him. You can’t be as smart as him. You can’t be as funny as him. You can’t be in as good of shape as him. You can’t be as rich as him. What you can do is walk taller, read books, be yourself, work out, and always be growing professionally.

Buy the drinks. Buy the dinners.

I know it’s almost 2014. I don’t care. Be a gentleman.

If you are wittier than you are handsome, avoid loud bars.

If you’re going to charm her with words, it’s not going to be while drunkenly yelling into her ear.

Never take an ex back. She tried to do better and is settling with you.

Ouch.

Read more.

All great ideas are born from other great ideas masterfully mixed with your own.

Things to avoid:

Wearing ear muffs.

Do not wear ear muffs. Or mittens. Ever.

Talking about where you went to college.

No one cares. I have four words for you: Google. Scholar. Is. Free.

Having more than one girlfriend.

One’s enough. If you want a new one, let the first one go. Be a player if you must. Just be an honest one.

Driving a compact car that isn’t really fast.

Your Yaris isn’t cool. I’m sorry. Neither is your Smart car with the Rudolph nose and antlers.

That final round before closing time.

You’ve had enough. You’re wasting money, brain-power and sexual functionality.

Saying your clothes match.

They do not. They go together. Look the part.

Dating your friend’s ex.

Just don’t.

Saying no to fun because it might shave years off the end of your life (smoking aside).

It’s not stupid to sacrifice part of your 80s and 90s in exchange for guaranteed fun now. We are not promised tomorrow.

As a divorced father, the cause I’ve grown to care about more than any other is wanting to help families stay together. The ripple effects of broken homes and divorce are great.

Above all else, being a man is putting your wife and family’s needs ahead of your own.

Every day. Like a soldier. Words like duty. Like honor. Like code. Can apply to your marriage and parenting, too.

So, when you’re reading those books, take time to learn how to be the best husband and father you can be also.

Because that’s how you help change the world.

That’s how to be a man.

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