Women love to say that they want a “real man”. But what does it really mean? Does it mean that they are looking for someone masculine – someone who drives a truck and wears Levi’s jeans as opposed to Diesel? Someone who is over 6 feet tall and has a tool belt that he actually uses? A guy who served in a military? Someone who only drinks whiskey? Perhaps. There are of course different ways to define a real man. On the more fundamental level, however, one of the elements of being a “real” man, which is crucial to having a successful romantic relationship means knowing how to handle criticism like a man. They say that in tennis you are as good of a player as your weakest shot. I say that in love, your relationship is as good as your worst days together. If you can’t handle the rough patches in your relationship with a woman with minimum grace, dignity, respect and self-respect, then every next crisis in that relationship will become worse and worse until the inevitable fall out.
A real man knows how to take tough love. When his boss, parent or partner criticizes something about him, he doesn’t get defensive right away or try to strike back. He knows how to handle criticism calmly and without allowing it to destabilize him emotionally. At first, he considers if there is any merit whatsoever to what she is saying. Is it possible that if he put himself in her shoes, he would have seen the same or similar issues. That guy is proud of pushing a heavy load on weights in the gym, but he is even more proud of not letting a few harsh words to emotionally destabilize him, especially if these words are constructively meant to alert him to something that he could do better. That man appreciates a woman’s openness and knows how much better that is than not bringing the issues up that she has with him and allowing resentment to build up, which is a sure recipe for ugly fights, name calling and other low blows.
Being a real man doesn’t mean that you can never disagree with a woman, get angry and raise your voice or that you cannot give a piece of your mind when needed to the woman you are in a relationship with. However, it does mean that you should try to benefit, if at all possible, from the negative feedback you get about your behavior, your actions or anything else about you – particularly that which can be easily fixed. This ability will necessarily be noticed by a woman who wants to be with a real man. Remember – fighting back with a woman is although sometimes necessary, is not nearly as impressive as taking steps to turn yourself into a better man. That’s what “real” men do.