Why A Man Asking What You Bring To The Table Is A Sign You Should Run

Most of us would say that we like a man who doesn’t beat around the bush, but directness can be misguided, especially if your date isn’t asking the right questions. Instead of asking about your family, your goals, or anything else personally significant to you, he seems preoccupied with what you can bring to the relationship.

By Gwen Farrell4 min read
pexels-andres-ayrton-6579019 (1)
Pexels/Andres Ayrton

At face value, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you’re both trying to gauge how compatible you are. But the issue is that this kind of thinking on his part can be a clear indication of his true thoughts, feelings, and intentions toward you – and none of them are good. If a man is asking you what you bring to the table, that’s a sign that you should run.

The Hallmark of the Manosphere

Perhaps single men have considered this question before, but now, due to the increasing influence of the manosphere, they’re more empowered than ever before to actually ask it. 

In the manosphere, there is no such thing as a sacred bond between man and wife or protector and nurturer. Every relationship, even the commitment of marriage, is transactional and even corporate. Why else would a man ask a question that belongs in a job interview, not a first date?

If a man asks this question, especially to a woman he’s hoping to woo and pursue, he sees her as a potential employee that he’s going to sleep with, not a potential girlfriend or wife. He’s heard that “women should be subservient” and left it at that, failing to keep in mind that women should only be submissive to men whose own behavior naturally empowers that kind of relationship. Employers ask this question because they’re evaluating a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses as it pertains to the job they’re applying for. Men ask this question because they’re gauging whether or not a woman is willing to be a cook, maid, mother, and sexually available whenever he wants.

These men have heard the term “high value man” and are under the misapprehension that it’s a label that requires no effort on their part. They earn a certain living or are in good physical shape, and in their minds, that’s what makes any woman extremely lucky to be with them. Most importantly, they don’t view stay-at-home motherhood or homemaking as a significant calling, but as services performed in exchange for their provision of a monetary income. In his mind, having a job and making money is more than enough – so when it comes to putting in effort with his wife and kids when he gets home, forget about it.

To be fair, feminism also makes this error. The majority of feminists are women who want to fulfill male roles, like possessing the biological capability to have strings-free sex or be professionally successful. But in the same way “high value men” wonder why women aren’t flocking to them, feminists wonder why a man isn’t interested when he can’t provide for the independent woman who has it all. It could even be said that feminism and the manosphere are two sides of the same coin – feminists hate men because of their perceived oppression of women, and the manosphere hates women because of a perceived repression and hatred of masculinity.

Would a Truly Masculine Man Ever Ask This?

A man asking you “what you bring to the table” is the least masculine thing he can possibly do. Why? One helpful TikTok user, Margarita Nazarenko, explains it like this: “If you want a masculine man and his masculine energy, he is not one. He has told you straight away that relationship cannot happen. That man is so deep in his feminine energy that you could probably sit down, have a date, and learn from him how to be in it. Even the concept of sitting down and thinking, ‘what can this person do for me?’ and ‘what do they bring to the table?’ is so in his receiving energy.”

Authentically masculine men, which the manosphere seems to be in short supply of, aren’t concerned with taking, keeping, receiving, or hoarding. They’re about providing, producing, and protecting. While this might sound overly simplistic, this natural balance in the sexes is how civilization has functioned for the last few millennia

A man – probably someone who would never describe himself as “high value” because he lets his actions speak louder than his words – isn’t asking what the woman across from him can bring to the table. He’s asking, how can I provide? How can I enable you? What can I do to encourage your inherent feminine traits and qualities?

It’s through this balance that both a man and a woman can learn if they’re actually really compatible with one another. A man might want a homemaker and mother of his children, but if a woman isn’t yet comfortable fully embracing those instincts, she’s probably not the woman for him. Furthermore, the masculine man tells his date what he has to offer and evaluates whether or not she’s receptive to what he's describing.

Giving vs. Receiving

What you bring to the table is an interview question, not a topic of discussion for a date. And, ideally, both the man and the woman at the table already know what they bring to a relationship, which is why they’re looking for a spouse – and if you don’t know enough about yourself to know what you can or want to contribute, dating might be more difficult for you.

If you want a man who’ll be the provider for your home and protector of your family, you don’t want the man who asks what you can bring to the table. Not only is this an asinine question, but it isn’t conducive to getting to know one another well or even judging how good of a wife you’d be. If you ask any woman this, she’ll present herself as any job candidate would, i.e. in the best possible light, naturally focusing on her strengths rather than her weaknesses. This is understandable because all of us do this during a job interview, if we really want the job. In all likelihood, the man asking this question already has a laundry list of criteria in mind that he wants met, and even if the woman were a saint, he’d take some issue with her response. He’s already setting her up to fail in a way.

Instead, what the man should be asking her is what her goals are, what her dreams look like, if she wants a family, if she’s career-oriented or furthering her education. He should ask her to describe her closest friends and what she dedicates her mind and energy to in her free time. He should want to know her stresses in life (and potentially how he can mitigate them) and whether she’s quick to express her emotions or slow to communicate them. All of these questions reveal so much more about a woman and in a thoroughly comprehensive way.

She should be asking the same things, with the idea in mind of what he can give and provide. If she’s increasingly receptive to those things, she’ll naturally want to receive them, and the relationship will be more likely to be explored with clear expectations of what each person can do for the other. 

A man in his “receiving energy" isn’t that concerned with the woman in front of him and the whole individual she is, but rather how she can serve him. This wouldn’t be a problem if he were equally dedicated to what he has to offer. But sadly, when this question is posed solely from his perspective, it doesn’t seem to go both ways. He doesn’t ask it with the intention of following up with what he can provide, but only to evaluate whether or not her answer is good enough for him. It isn’t about him giving and her receiving – it’s about taking, and it’s reason enough to steer clear of whatever he thinks a beneficial relationship looks like.

Closing Thoughts

Men who are so preoccupied with being a “high value man” always seem to vocalize how strange it is that they’re single. It goes the same way with women too, in fact. Most of us know that if there weren’t a red flag (or several), they wouldn’t be single. 

Women don’t want selfish partners, especially men who think they’re above changing diapers or unloading the dishwasher. Women also don’t want to have their positions as stay-at-home moms leveraged against them by their husband, just because he happens to enable that position. 

It’s true that in every balanced relationship, there’s a mutual understanding and exchange of love, intimacy, and to some extent, services. A man may work and provide for his family while his wife runs their household, for example. But if the prerequisite of a relationship is, “How can you be submissive to me while I contribute nothing to our partnership?” women would do well to get away as fast as possible.

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