I think this really sums it up!
I’ve made posts in the past about qualities of a gentleman, as well as the differences between a ‘bad boy’ and a jerk. But, how does this all translate into how somebody acts while in a relationship?
A man may be able to put across a great image, but it could simply be a cover for hidden shortcomings, or he could just be totally faking it to ‘get the girl.’
Here are some ways to know if you’ve struck gold:
1) A real man values more than just your looks.
Is every compliment from him about a different body part? It doesn’t matter how creative he can be, if a guy’s sole focus is on how you look, or ‘talking dirty,’ see it as a red flag. A real man will value your personality, your kindness, your intelligence, and who you are as a person, in general. The things he makes you feel good about will be things that you control, not just results of getting lucky in the gene pool.
2) A real man will never be intimidated by your motivation.
A man who has goals for himself, will want to be with a woman who has goals for her own life, too. He will never feel intimidated or threatened by a woman who goes after what she wants. He will want to be part of a power couple, rather than a dictatorship. Be mindful ofanyone who tries to keep you from pursuing your dreams.
3) A real man will have more interests than just you.
I don’t mean this in a negative way. You should, of course, be a priority in his life — but he needs to have a life as well. Interests, friends, hobbies, aspirations. If a man works his entire life around you, it’s another red flag — relationships should be a great part of your life, but not encompass your whole life.
4) A real man will give you answers.
No matter how awkward or uncomfortable a situation is, a real man will approach it, and you, with respect. I have always felt that a mark of a man is how he handles conflict, criticism, and less-than-ideal situations. A man will not dance around answers or make excuses. If there is something you two need to talk about, he will talk about it.
5) A real man is direct.
In addition to the last point — there will be no mind games or manipulation in your relationship. A man will be direct, to the point, and honest with you… but with kindness.
6) A real man will trust you.
As long as you haven’t betrayed his trust, a man will NOT be paranoid, or snoop around invading your privacy to make sure you’re not doing anything bad. He will have confidence in your relationship. A boy will project his own insecurities onto you, and like termites in a house, will eat away at the foundation of what you’ve built.
7) A real man is cool, calm, and collected.
It should be understood that part of what comes with the territory of having a girlfriend, is dealing with her getting hit on. If you’re at the bar together, or if she’s out with her friends, it goes without saying that your girlfriend will get hit on every once in awhile.
Instead of letting his primate instincts prevail and beating his chest like an angry gorilla to scare off competition, a confident man will calmly make his position known, and understand that you’re still going home with him at the end of the night.
8) A real man will show you respect.
Nothing signifies an empty shell of a man more than someone who disrespects women, animals, or children. A real man will treat you with the respect that you deserve, never force you to do anything you’re uncomfortable with, and never mistreat you. Be honest enough with yourself to walk away from any situation that is dangerous to you, physically or emotionally.
9) A real man will put effort into your relationship.
Boys are generally apathetic and just look for one thing from a woman. A man, will do what it takes to make you happy, both inside and outside of the bedroom. Your happiness, is his reward.
10) A real man will make you want to be the best version of yourself, without changing who you really are.
A man will empower those around him. He will strive for greatness and therefore inspire others to strive for it as well. This not only includes friends and co-workers, but also significant others.
As Mark Twain said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
If you do have one of these men in your life, make sure he knows he is appreciated.
James Michael Sama is a writer, actor, and public speaker focusing primarily on the topics of dating and relationships. Follow James’ blog at jamesmsama.wordpress.com for more posts like this one.
Why do “inspirational” quotes and posts always tell us what kind of people we shouldn’t keep? Sure, most of this is common sense, but if you want to inspire me, well, give me something positive.
I am going to tell you now what type of people to keep! And just like the ones you shouldn’t keep, this is common sense, so expect no huge “ooh” and “ah” moments here. But, it is nice to be reminded, because sometimes people forget or take things for granted. So, here are the keepers!
- People who make you happy
- People who bring out the best in you
- People who challenge you (see No. 2)
- People who inspire by action, not just pretty words
- People who have a high sense of integrity
- People who make you laugh
- People who at least attempt to understand you
- People who see your core/can look past your flaws
- People who add in a positive way to your life
Today, I dropped $210 at the nail salon. I got a manicure, a pedicure and some waxing; nothing out of the ordinary. So why did I spend so much money? Well, it went something like this.
I have been going to the same nail salon for quite some time. The salon is located in the Marina, literally feet away from yachts and expensive sail boats. The clientele there is high-end, generally consisting of rich, bored housewives, or power women in business, sporting huge diamond rings, Prada bags, designer clothes and, well, you get the picture.
I usually deal with the same girls. There is Tammy, a sweet 25-year old girl, who’s twin sister, Michele, also works there, and Mary, a woman my age, but who looks as if she is in her 20s. These girls are always super nice, sweet and upbeat; and of course, they do an amazing job, to the point that most people think my nails are fake. But, I digress.
So today, a third girl, Amanda, did my pedicure. Being a super curious woman, I always strike up conversations with them. I know that Mary’s husband doesn’t work and that Mary is supporting him and her two kids on her nail salon salary. I know that Tammy is 25, gay, and recently got her heart broken by another girl, who decided she wanted to be with guys after all. But what I didn’t know were the things, these girls casually told me, after I asked a few questions. I could write a long article about that alone, but I am going to get to the gist of it.
It turns out that Tammy’s twin is married to a man who lives in Vietnam. She can’t bring him here, because it costs $18,000 per person to get into the States and she doesn’t make that. It also turns out that she has blood cancer and will have to return to Vietnam when things get bad, because she can’t afford being treated here. This girl is 25! Tammy told me that this is the reason her sister can’t work as fast as other girls, because sometimes she doesn’t feel too well and needs to take breaks.
So I gently probed a little more and asked if they are getting paid at the salon. In my foolish naivety I thought they’d make an hourly wage. It turns out that they make commission; namely 50%. The average manicure is $15. Tammy had made $35 today. When I arrived she had been there for 10 hours. Yes, these girls sometimes make $3 to $4 an hour! And you know what, there was no complaining, no whining, no sadness, she merely spoke matter-of-factly in her sweet voice. I just sat there and listened.
I then asked if she doesn’t make tips. And the girls told me that a lot of returning customers never bother to tip them. These rich, affluent, wealthy women cannot be bothered to leave a tip for a girl who just spent 2 hours doing a fancy nail job on them. This disgusted me deeply. Yes, I have met my fair share of people who do extremely well and who are the biggest misers you’d ever meet. But when you start putting it in relations to something like this, it just made my jaw drop. Yes, these women will walk out, thank them and tell them that they’ll see them next time.
I felt like getting up in the midst of the salon and screaming “you better tip these girls, because they don’t make any money and you have it!” I mean, I have spent more in a day then some of these girls make in a week. It made me feel ashamed. I get whiny over stupid things sometimes. There is stuff I just take for granted; and here are girls, catering to my every whim, while not being able to afford proper health care for cancer, and working 12 hour days for less money than I can spend at a dinner.
Oh, and Tammy told me that she cried last night, because she went out for dinner and realized that her money was gone. She had lost the wages for an entire day, which was $75. She thinks it was her younger brother who stole it, but she didn’t want to say anything, because she didn’t want to cause waves with her family and spoil the family dinner.
I had nothing to say after that, but just stared in awe. I walked out, gave each of them a $20 tip and I’m now contemplating starting a fund raiser for Tammy’s sister, for her cancer treatment. I think I’m going to keep my mouth shut for a while and not complain, because I just realized how good I have it. When I am rich, these are the places where I will just randomly drop my money. For the time being, they’ll get $20 tips from now on!
*hangs head in shame*
Yep, it’s that time again where I’m shaking my head, not sure if I should laugh, or grind my teeth. These days, I’m choosing to laugh, but oh boy… And of course, if you are easily offended, better turn around now!
Today, I had a conversation with two women about dating. We talked about online dating and I laughingly declared that I’d rather be single. I am basing my opinion on our lovely social media sites, where people are often observed on their best behavior. Their profiles read like wonderful resumes of, what often appears to be, smart, funny, successful, compassionate, loving and wonderful people, which some of them are not…AT ALL!
Look, I get it. It’s not fun to declare one’s true douchiness at times. But if you consistently state how you are out there trying to make the world better and how all we need is more kindness and understanding, while you are a self-absorbed, unkind, judgmental, cynical jerk who really doesn’t care too much about others, unless they are like you, then you maybe shouldn’t talk at all. Don’t tell me about the virtues of silence and close relationships, while you use and abuse others and pimp yourself out every day.
Why does it even get on my nerves? Maybe because I simply despise people who are dishonest and pretentious and sell the world on a farce. I am so passionate against liars that I devoted my life to it and became a fraud prevention professional! Yep, it runs deep with me. There is something about these people who are so big on appearances and yet all it takes is a tiny glimpse under the rug upon which they stand, to realize “wow, this foundation is built on quicksand.”
I remember my dad, who was regarded as a charming, funny, entertaining comedian. A guy who loved animals and would rescue a bird with a broken wing, while being a monster to his family. Since I was a child, I have tugged on people’s coat tails, whispering, or sometimes loudly stating “I know who you really are.” I have such strong emotions about hypocrites, because I know how much they hurt others who buy into their stories of greatness. There is nothing better like a sociopath to learn from when it comes to recognizing disingenuous compassion and fake kindness, motivated by selfish agendas and narcissism.
I so badly want the world to be a better place. I have visions of kind people who help each other out, honor the planet, help the sick, poor and less fortunate and go out of their way to love and be happy. I believe in utopia. I reserve the right to be radically loud, to vomit my, not always organized, but nevertheless raw and honest emotions into the world, while fully understanding that I might rub some people the wrong way or make them feel uncomfortable. I stand firmly in my childish, stubborn, lower-lip-pushed-forward warrior girl mode, who sometimes judges too harshly, can be overly dramatic, but would give her last dollar to a homeless person and loves completely, with the fierce loyalty of a stick of gum. I’m not perfect, greatly flawed, but I am real and what you see is what you get.
I want to be overwhelmed by awesomness, instead of feeling disgust when I read another article of a seemingly superior and well held together individual, who talks about the importance of love, after they just slashed the hell out of me or others, for being imperfect, or god forbid, having said the wrong thing.
I know, I know, I cannot change others. I know that my rants can be off-putting, but today, I simply must tip my hat to those who genuinely, honestly, whole-heartedly love, share and give. I am grateful for having quite a few such individuals on my Facebook friends’ list and understand that I can’t get discouraged, angered or disappointed by the fact that we do at times live in a rather cynical, self-absorbed and crazy world. I must hold my head slightly tilted, smile and make sure that I don’t become like them.
I only have the power to change myself – this has to remain my mantra…
Yes, over the years being rigid, almost compulsive, has served me well in certain situations. The pragmatic, logical “Vulcan” approach has been both, a blessing and a curse. For example, at work my way of being works really well most of the time. Being super analytical and having a mind that can get stuck for hours on small details works well in fraud prevention, investigations and analysis.
Over the past few years, though, being unable to exist in the gray has hurt me more than helped me in my personal life. Yes, I can see another person’s point of view, but only when I am not emotionally involved – which I am a lot. My feelings are very complex and run deep on both ends of the spectrum. This makes it sometimes difficult to have constructive and “neutral” conversations with people I care about.
Black and white runs me. I will either let a person in completely, or not at all. I fly high, then drop super low. These behavioral patterns are hurtful to me and others and one of the worst parts about it is that I project them onto other people all the time. This makes it very hard for me to listen to criticism, even if it isn’t all that bad. Fighting devastates me and turns into an emotional identity crisis. Yet frequently, when I have fun, or am happy, I keep getting distracted, wondering when it will be over and waiting for the proverbial hammer to drop.
As I mentioned before, black and white is sometimes my savior, and even in this very predicament it works well for me. I either do, or I don’t and I am either done, or I am not done. I can happily report that I am done. I am done with talking too much and listening too little, because I am stuck in my past disappointments and trauma. I am done viewing people in black and whites, often misjudging them. I am done with being sad, angry, isolated, indecisive and scared. And when I am done, I have no other choice but to change it; and luckily, I can be quite happy when I choose to be so.
Starting today, I shall attempt to sail the waters of gray and stop talking too much; starting with this very post being less than 500 words.
There have been a whole sleuth of amazing articles on introverts on Facebook lately. Each time I read them I feel strangely validated and happy to see that I am “normal” after all. I just view the world, and the people in it, very differently from most people.
As previously described by other introverts, I am not depressed, I am not shy, I am not arrogant, I am not anti-social, in a bad mood or lazy. I just simply prefer to be alone. I have a special ability to even do that in a crowd. I can escape into my head and become “invisible” and no longer remain present to anything that is going on around me; which gives the impression that I am arrogant or not engaged. Yes, I can look straight at someone but not see them, because I am caught up in a super interesting thought process or daydream. I can’t tell you how often my mother suspected I was on drugs, even though I never touched any of them!
The thing is that I love people; I just don’t love them in groups and I love some more than others. And I generally choose to not spend too much time with those I don’t love a whole lot. I prefer an intense conversation, which I can hold for hours, if it is stimulating enough for me, over small talk, which I hate and don’t really know how to do. I run predominantly on two modes, I either have a whole lot to say about a certain topic or theme, or nothing at all. I love spending time one-on-one, but as soon as we are talking more than three people, I’m no longer all that interested. But no, that does not mean that I have a problem presenting anything to a large crowd. Presenting or speaking works well with my nerdy side, which can focus with amazing precision on anything I am truly interested in or passionate about.
Honestly, I feel great being at home. I create an amazing home; for me that is. I love interior decorating and create a sanctuary, not just a place to stay. This means I have no problem spending hours, days, even weeks without ever leaving the house. My most favorite vacation is at home, doing the things I like doing, which includes a variety of things like reading, watching an entire season of anything (for example, I spent an entire weekend watching the entire first season of “The Walking Dead”), playing hours of computer games, writing blogs or “doing projects.”
I can spend hours shopping…preferably in one store…in the early morning hours, before the crowds arrive. I love to travel, but prefer being in a cool hotel having drinks, with one or two people in the hotel bar, or by the pool (provided said pool is not crowded).
No, I never really get bored and I am rarely lonely. I used to say that I have enough voices in my head to keep me company for a lifetime. Was I ever different? No, not really. I used to go clubbing on my own as a teenager, because even back then I hated being at the mercy of another. When I am done, I am done and want to leave; not being stuck because others want to stay.
I admit that it isn’t easy being me. There is always the slight awkwardness in knowing that you don’t quite fit in with the crowd; quite literally. I get super excited when I meet anyone who sparks my interest, but then get so caught up in the possibility of being connected that I overthink, overreact or disappoint by being too unfiltered. Ultimately, this is the one thing I often wished I had more of – true connectedness and “human touch.” However, I also admit that I often rather not take the chance, because I do end up getting disappointed by people quite frequently. And of course, it is not easy being with me in a relationship or friendship, because I am either on or off, I sometimes lose interest rather fast, I don’t like partying or clubbing (except maybe once a year) and yes, I am, or my thought process are complex, complicated and never easy.
See, a lot of the “rules” that society dictate make no sense to me. Amongst these rules are things like having no expectations (I am filled with them and struggle with the notion that I am not supposed or allowed to have them), not speaking my mind or pretending that I am OK when I am not; so overall, people and their rules are confusing and as I said above, I am either over-compensating by talking a whole lot, because I am not sure what is expected of me, or I am completely disengaged.
Because it is all just too much to ponder and I already have to be “on” all day at work, I usually rather not engage and happily curl up on my couch, with my favorite blanket, writing. Of course, being an introvert, I prefer writing over speaking.
So, I will be there when I am needed. I am there when people can offer me true, genuine connectedness and when I get their undivided attention. However, anything aside that just drains me and yes, will usually inspire me to simply not bother leaving my home. Just know, this does not mean I don’t love you. Chances are I am silently watching/observing
Today, I came across this video on Facebook. Being my natural, curious self, I had to watch it and then follow it to the website, where I felt inspired enough to back this project. This is a documentary about gender stereotypes; i.e. the ones that are generally forced onto boys.
Over the years, I have discussed the topic of “real men” countless times with my girlfriends and therefore feel, I can speak for most women on this. What do most of us straight women want? We want our best friends with a penis! Yes, we really do! Why do we want that? Because most women bond on an emotional level. We share our pain, our sorrows, our joys, our happiness, our most silly thoughts and we talk for hours about how we feel and what we think. We truly do share anything, from our insecurities (geez, I think I’m too fat; crap, I’m getting wrinkles) to our greatest strengths. Yes, we compare boobs and yes, we share our souls with our best girls. We are not afraid to cry, we are not afraid to feel weak in front of them and we are not afraid to toot our own horn. The thing is, with our friends, we don’t use filters. I don’t ever wonder if my friend will love me less or judge me, because I am going through a low in my life, and I am cutting myself into pieces; enjoying my misery by being negative, weak and sniffly. Of course, my friends know that this is a phase and they know that this is not my default being. My friends know my heart!
When it comes to men, almost all of us women filter. We have learned over the years, that most of them do not take kindly to us when we show weakness. We have learned that their often fragile egos and emotional states make them unpredictable and quite often untrustworthy. We have learned that they cheat, cannot be faithful and need to spread their seed, because they need a constant boost to their ego and because evolution has made them such. We have learned that we become pretty useless, once we pass 40; because there is that ego thing again. We have been taught that men only do seem to have 4 emotions: Hungry, Thirsty, Horny, Sleepy. And therefore, we simply accepted the unspoken rule; you go to your friends with the real stuff and you share the shallow, not so deep stuff with your man (after all, he won’t get it anyway). We have been taught and we have learned things that are often not true at all!
I have met many men who are sensitive and could bond with me almost the same way a woman can. I also know plenty of men who are not cheaters, are super honest and love their wives/girlfriends dearly. Granted, these weren’t the norm and interestingly enough, most of them grew up with sisters, or were raised by a single mom, but they do exist; a lot of them were bullied. I learned that these guys will generally try to hide their sensitive sides. I have observed how often they are crushed by the weight society puts on them by telling them how to look, be and behave. And yes, I have observed women faulting them for not being a douche.
Personally, I spent a lot of time with gay men. When I was a teenager, pretty much all my male friends were gay. I got to spend time with incredibly sensitive and yet fun and good looking guys, who made me the center of their universe. With straight men, I usually had to compete for affection and attention, because they often couldn’t focus on just one person. Naturally, I started avoiding the stereotypical man and his macho attitude; and to this day, I can’t stand them.
Most of us women wished we’d have true partners in crime. We want men that are sensitive, caring and loving. Men who are emotionally available and open; not crippled. We want men who can truly listen (not pretend to do so as they are doing something completely different) and we want men who allow us to be weak, when the proverbial s*** hits the fan. We want men who are strong enough to “protect” us and have our backs, but are sensitive enough so simply hold us when we are sad. We don’t need to be fixed all the time and when we come to you, we don’t always need advice, or a lecture, or uncomfortable silence.
I wished more parents would raise their boys to be real men. Real men – with heart, soul, mind, integrity, honesty and decency, who are not afraid to feel with us. I think we need more projects like this documentary. I think the world needs more real men. And when I think of all the douche bags I did encounter, I can honestly say that they weren’t real men, but insecure, mean, heartless little boys with a inferiority complex. Just like the women, who treat sensitive men bad, manipulate them and cheat on them, are usually nothing more but insecure, spoiled and heartless girls.
I am glad to know quite a few real men!