“I can’t find Mr. Right.” This is the most common
complaint I’ve heard over the last several years from friends and strangers
from all walks of life. This is not a unique perspective of a particular class,
race, or socioeconomic stratum but applies to college freshman as well as
successful career women and everyone in between. Women are searching for
acceptable male companionship and too many are having a difficult time of
finding it.

As I listened to these women (many of whom are my friends
who for the life of me I couldn’t figure out at first why guys weren’t lining
up around the block to date them) something struck me as uniquely simple. The
men they were dating or seeking or married to were saying one thing but the
women were hearing something altogether different. I also realized that there
was a big gap between the female interpretation of a man’s actions or inactions
and what his true intentions were.

As I went about trying to help women decode male thoughts
and behaviors (many of which I still claim are mysterious to me also) I noted
that despite prevailing wisdom, there were some assumptions that women should
make. First, men are not the greatest of communicators (go ahead and roll your
eyes), men do not want to be bogged down in drama, men tend not to have the
same level of emotion attached to physical intimacy, and men often do things
that are simply irrational and highly idiosyncratic.

As I began dispensing advice, I quickly realized that there
were lots of myths that were sending women in completely the wrong direction.
What I advised these women, as I do in my new book The Truth About Men, was to ignore a lot of what has been
popularized in the media when it comes to men and their willingness to commit
and what they’re looking for in women. Men, in fact, are excited and looking
forward to settling down and having families and being true partners with women
in relationships that are full of excitement, unpredictability, adventure, and
loyalty. If women want to understand men better and have a decent shot at
finding that “Mr. Right,” dispelling some of these myths would be a
giant step in the right direction.

Myth 1: Men Are Afraid of Smart, Successful Women
Intelligent, successful, attractive people can be
intimidating. They force us to hold a mirror to ourselves; we can be
disappointed, jealous or inspired toward personal growth. But a man who runs
away from a relationship in fear of these positive attributes is extremely
insecure. But this is where it gets tricky. Women want to feel wanted. Men
want to feel needed. When a man feels like he is nothing more than an
accessory or that you can live completely fine without a need for him, then he
is reluctant to be in that relationship or become heavily engaged in one. This
has a lot to do with ego, which we have plenty to spare. But there are ways for
women to still have it all, yet still convey to their man that rather than
being an accessory, he can be an important puzzle piece in her life. Men don’t
avoid successful women because they’re jealous, they often do it to avoid being
in competition with her next job promotion.

Myth 2: Men Always Want to Be in Control
Society for a long time has dictated that a “real
man” is the one who brings home the money, protects his family, and makes
the major decisions. This “ideal” of manhood is something that is
forced on men from the time their father or older brother shouts derisively,
“Be a man!” But the truth of the matter is that men don’t want to be
in control by themselves, rather they want to share it with their significant
other, in other words, have a true partnership. Men discuss this with each
other in sweaty locker rooms and at the end of a bar with the ballgame silently
playing on a TV screen overhead, but they are not as open to women about it,
because they don’t want to appear weak, unmanly, or inept. Be comfortable in
knowing that most men of the modern era do not believe the criteria for
entering the XY club include being the dominant partner in a relationship. In
fact, you stepping up and helping to make decisions and mold the dynamics of
the relationship is greatly desired and a much-welcomed relief.

Myth 3: Commitment Scares Men
Are men slower to settle into a relationship? In most cases,
yes. But don’t fall into the trap and draw the wrong conclusion: Men are afraid
of commitment. The clichés are endless and wrong. “Men don’t want to
commit because they’re afraid to call someone their girlfriend, or they really
want to have multiple women.” In some cases, this might be true. Not all
men are the same. But the majority of the time, what scares men is not that
they will be off the market but rather the possibility they they’re making the
wrong decision. It might take us a little longer to figure out if the chemistry
is right for a compatible relationship, but we will get there, and it’s
typically best when we get there on our timeline and on our terms.
Men (and women) don’t like to deal with the emotional drama of a bad breakup,
but this makes men move very cautiously when it comes to relationship
progression. Is this frustrating to you? Absolutely. Do men know this bothers
you? Absolutely. But this is one of those things where everyone is better
served when the course is allowed to flow and develop naturally without
ultimatums and gamesmanship. One large survey asked men what they considered to
be the number one male status symbol. The top vote getter was not a fancy car
or a beautiful woman. It was… drum roll… starting a family!
Article by Dr. Ian Smith who is the contributor at The Huffington Post


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