The dating scene leaves much to be desired. An unhealthy reliance on dating apps has left us weary; our reticence to leave relationships unlabeled has left us confused; the worry of coming on too strong by asking for exclusivity has left us unfulfilled.
It’s not necessarily that it’s harder to get a date in general, but more that the number of guys we’d actually want to date seems to be dwindling. We’ve found ourselves running into guys who end up disappointing us with their lack of purpose in life, or leave us feeling used after stringing us along only to ghost us, or make us question if we’re just asking for too much. Too many guys out there just lack…masculinity.
We want a good man, a respectful man, a masculine man. We want a guy who’s driven, strong, and loving, all while being in touch with his masculinity. But sometimes, it feels almost impossible to find a guy like that, or to even tell when we’ve found him. How will we know if we’ve found such a gem? Perhaps the answer lies in refining our understanding of masculinity before we can spot a masculine, dateable man.
There are plenty of men out there with beards and muscles, but this hardly speaks to their character.
Our Understanding of Masculinity Focuses on the Wrong Qualities
The term “masculine” immediately conjures up an image of a bearded man with strong arms, holding an ax and chopping wood in a plaid button-down – wonderful things, indeed. And yet, this is ultimately a rather narrow understanding of masculinity and could lead us to focus on the wrong qualities when we’re out in the wild, searching for the right guy.
There are plenty of men out there with excellent beards, impressive muscles, and a closet full of plaid shirts – but this hardly speaks to their quality of character or vision for the future. It offers us no insight into their inner world or whether or not they’d respect our boundaries and treat us with respect. Looking like a manly man is wonderful, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to masculinity.
What Is a Masculine Man?
A masculine man won’t necessarily look a certain way. However, he’ll definitely behave a certain way. We won’t know him by his sense of style, or his drink order, or the timbre of his voice, or the way he handles a car. But we will know him by the way he conducts himself.
A masculine man won’t be toxic, but instead, have a deep understanding of how to interact with his nature healthily. His physical strength won’t be used to overpower, but to protect; his pursuit of us won’t be pushy or creepy, but confident and respectful; his days won’t be spent directionless, but purposefully; his attitude towards women won’t be accusatory or entitled, but compassionate and gentlemanly.
His physical strength won’t be used to overpower, but to protect.
A truly masculine man is the opposite of toxic – because to be masculine means to be secure, kind, tenacious, confident, dependable, and wise.
How To Spot a Masculine Guy in a Crowd
All of these qualities sound fine and dandy, but how can we possibly spot a guy who might possess them? We won’t always have the advantage of witnessing these traits before getting involved with a guy. So to get entirely practical, here are nine signs to help you spot a masculine guy in a crowd:
He walks with his shoulders back, his head held high, and an unmistakable confidence.
He’s comfortable making prolonged eye contact.
He’s courteous to everyone, whether or not it directly benefits him.
He takes up space without actually trying to take up space (all without man-spreading).
He takes healthy pride in his appearance and putting his best foot forward.
He’s straightforward and self-assured in his speech.
He clearly likes who he is without being overly cocky.
He’s able to take a joke and laugh at himself.
People look to him to make decisions, big or small.
Masculine guys won’t all fit the same mold, but they'll have a few things in common, like a healthy confidence, a willingness to laugh at themselves, a gracious attitude, and an obvious comfort being in their own skin. A masculine guy won’t need to pull special moves in order to prove his masculinity – it’ll be innate.
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