The Ultimate Christmas Relationship Survival Guide
Just How Manly A Man Do You Want?
Do we want to bring back the Alpha Male?
We women desperately need to rethink the type of man we want. Not only are we a bit confused about whether we want a sensitive "New Man" or an old-fashioned "Alpha Male, Man's Man" (or any point in between because honestly we're so fussy!) but the poor chaps are getting confused themselves!
Many women have come to think that their ideal man is a Hugh Grant type - a bit sensitive, endearing and kind of irresistible - BUT irresistible because we think he needs his personality dragged out of him. And in our fantasy worlds we flatter ourselves that we're the one to do it!
He Can Be Sensitive As Long As He's A Success -
In fact new research has shown that this "Hugh Grant type", that's a bit self-deprecating, can be a success with us. But this type of man can only be a success with women if he's actually already a success as the research found. Then we don't mind him being "all sensitive" and taking the p*** out of himself! Because underneath this he has the qualities many of us still want in our men - success, confidence, and the 'Alpha factor'.
But we're only just coming to realise this might be the case and that many of the men we meet no longer have these qualities.
This leaves me thinking that the "New Man" type we'd associate with Hugh isn't what we really want because of the fact we want to drag the tiger out of him. We believe such a man is hiding a real man behind this sweet, but bumbling, facade.
And I know from experience that many women don't want a man who is completely sensitive and emotional through-and-through. Lately I've heard so many complaints along the lines of: Can't he be a man and ask me out? Why do I have to do the chasing? Why am I always organising our dates? What happened to old-fashioned men? And so on.
Who's To Blame For The State Of Our Feelings Towards Men?
I think we've got ourselves to blame for running good men into the ground. For making men feel over the last 10 or 20 years that they need to be as soft as we are, shed tears whenever they want to, and ask us for emotional support.
We've done this in so many ways including through (rightly) learning how to assert ourselves in every area of our lives but forgetting that shouldn't mean taking control of every aspect of our relationships. We've demanded so many rights in the workplace (again as we obviously should) but have forgotten that will crush the chance of a little bit of a good old-fashioned flirting as so many men are frightened of overstepping the mark in the office. That means we have to do the asking out if we're interested in someone. And now many women are having babies on their own and claim that they don't need men because they've given up on finding Mr Perfect.
No wonder men are wary about how they should act around us and are particularly frightened of being "manly". But we (usually secretly) miss how in times gone by, for eaxample, when we were upset and simply wanted a strong shoulder to lean on - we got one. We now have a situation where they get emotional with us about something, too - and they think we want them to be as sensitive as we are.
And when it comes to things like romance - where we once slyly coaxed a little bit out of them - we are now more likely to be the ones booking the candlelit restaurant, the sexy weekends away, and planning the little surprises. Also because women are so good at juggling so many balls, we tend to ignore our partners' and boyfriends' suggestions and advice. We've simply taken over!
Our Fantasy Men
No wonder we all fantasise about the Freddie Flintoffs and Brad Pitts of this world - the men who look like good old-fashioned Alpha Males that are strong and manly, who know their own minds and can be counted on to tell us so. Who knows, though, behind-closed-doors such men might also have become sensitive little souls bossed around by their women!
Are We Asking Too Much Of Our Men?
Are we asking too much though? Yes we are, because we want them to be all things when we want them to be. We might want a strong and solid type of man, but then we also want them to be sensitive when we think they should be. They have to have a backbone of steel when we want to lean on them, but at other times we want them to share a girly-style chat with us. Or go shopping with us and make us feel good about every choice we make (just think how jumpy they must get in that situation - they say anything that might be misconstrued as criticism about our choices and we bite their heads off). We also want them to do things like be utterly polite around our mums (of course they should be!) but then take us like a Sex God in the bedroom - only after they've given us a tender and sensual massage, mind you!
Because of such high expectations, this is why so many women have given up looking for their Mr Perfect. They're always disappointed because no man can be all things to you. They think they deserve all the above but if they were honest could they deliver all the above to the men they meet? Are they really Ms Perfect? Of course not! It's time we stopped expecting so much from men and let a bit of their manliness shine through.
How To Let Him Be A Man Again
If you think you've gone too far in your demands with your boyfriend or partner - and want him to be a bit of an old-fashioned bloke - then why not try these few simple tips.
Ask yourself this question - have you taken over your relationship - or dating if you've just met him? Take a step back, be patient, and let him make some moves.
Simple hints can help get a little romance out of him. He'll pick up on hints and actually book that candlelit restaurant given a chance. Don't get annoyed about hinting - after a while he should catch on to the fact that you want him to be proactive. Then you'll have to do less hinting!
When it comes to you making other sorts of decisions you can get him back on track to take action and make decisions with the simplest technique in the world - try asking him! Ask for his advice or his thoughts on a matter or predicament. Then listen to what he has to say - resist jumping in.
If things are seriously out of kilter then have a heart-to-heart with him spelling out how you feel you've undermined him. Tell him you'd like to get off on a fresh start where things are more balanced between you two. Let him know you're going to do things like asking, listening, and even hinting when necessary rather than using your usual "sledgehammer" technique to bring home a point to him.
The new, softer and (dare-I-say-it) more feminine you might bring out a stronger and more manly him!
Published on MSN.co.UK
My new book The Emotional Eater's Diet is published in the UK on May 15 - I’m very excited as I hope emotional eaters - women or men will find it helpful. Each year 2/3s of people start a diet and 20% start a new diet each month. Yet 95% of diets aren’t successful.
I firmly believe that emotional eating to soothe difficult feelings is the culprit behind most of this failure. My book has a huge range of practical tips/strategies to help understand your emotions and manage your appetite. There are mini-quizes and real case studies.
It’s available to preorder on Amazon. Please remember that food can fuel your energy needs but not your emotional needs. Take care!
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