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?
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.”
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!