There’s one thing I would like all women to understand about men. It’s something pretty universal, in my opinion. There’s not a guy I know who wouldn’t benefit, if their girlfriend took to heart what I’m about to say. The one thing is this: Ladies, you can show us how to be a better man.
It’s increasingly hard to find good male role models. If we were lucky enough to have good fathers, they certainly were not perfect and in many cases taught us at least indirectly how to not treat women.
The examples we saw in movies and music often showed us a version of manhood that encourages disregard for women and selfishness. Guys can’t reliably learn about manhood from other men. So who else can help them learn? You.
I know my way of living my manhood radically changed when I started dating my future wife, Jenn.
I used to go out drinking regularly and would show up at work hung over.
Jenn never told me she expected me to not go out and get hammered. She never said I couldn’t remain friends with people who weren’t good for me. So how did she teach me how to be a better man?
Through her life choices, she taught me things about being a man that my guy friends at the time never even got close to discussing.
She didn’t go out drinking to get drunk like me. She was willing to put certain friends at arm’s length if necessary. If I was going to be with her, I knew that meant I had to man up to meet or exceed the standards she set for her own conduct. And I wanted to do these things in order to be with her.
So instead of spending each night partying, I began spending weekends with her. I started to learn to have fun without alcohol.
From Jenn, I came to see that a man isn’t measured by how many girls he hooked up with at that party last weekend. A man is measured by how loyal and loving he is. She taught me that instead of giving shallow bits of myself to a lot of women, hooking up, it is better to give all of myself to one woman. I realized the way I had been living left me completely empty inside.
I wish more women understood that they have the power to set the standards in their relationships. I have seen so many unhappy women dating men that were a complete stereotype of the alpha male. These women sort of shrugged their shoulders and accepted whatever the guy wanted to do. They didn’t know they could set the standard.
Jenn didn’t force me to change. I chose to change myself. If your boyfriend isn’t willing to give up unhealthy behavior for you, that’s a problem.
You can teach him to be a better man by setting your standards higher. But his failure to meet the standard isn’t your fault, it’s his. If your man isn’t meeting the standards you set, dump him because he isn’t worth it. You are.
It’s true that you can’t change someone you date. But they can change themselves based on the standard you set. If they don’t, then they aren’t man enough for you.