Be Honest, Ladies: What’s Your Definition Of A ‘Real Man’?

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What makes a man a man? You tell us how you decide.

Ladies, what does the phrase “real man” men to you? Is he a provider? Is he strong? Is he handsome and smooth? Is he loyal? Is he hunky and handy? Is he all of the above? Recently, with the cocktails flowing, my good girlfriends and I spent close to three hours trying to come up with a definition for a “real man” that we could all agree with, and would you believe me if I told you we never got there?

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While the questions itself is rather simple, for women, the answer often is not. It was easy to throw out adjectives we often use to describe a real man—“humble”, “honest” and “hard-working”—but it became increasingly more difficult to agree on the difference between the qualities a real man should exhibit and the qualities we individually believed real man must always possess. For example, while we all agreed that a real man must be hard working and dedicated to his family and his woman, one of my girlfriends insisted that in order to meet the qualifications of a “real man,” he must also look like one. For her, that meant that he physically appear “strong, muscular, manly and ultimately healthy.” A few us laughed this off. “He doesn’t need to look like he walked out of a fitness ad to prove he can provide for a household,” said one of the other ladies to this friend. Her response was interesting. “For me,” she quipped. “He does.”

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Before this epic girl gab fest, I had honestly never spent a large amount of time trying to determine or define what a “real man” is to me, and if you’d asked me, I would have quickly responded “my husband, of course.” Yet, he doesn’t have every single quality we listed that day, but to me he’s all-man and all the man that I need. While I’m not mad at some of the requirements for manhood my friends say they need (one even mentioned a minimum of a six figure salary), I realize that they’re not all requirements for me. It’s a personal choice that can and will vary from woman-to-woman, but will also very much influence which man, or type of man, we choose to date, fall for, or marry. So, ladies, what say you? What makes a “real man” in your book? Let’s talk about it below!

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