Women Need to Learn How to Let a Man Be a Man (Whatever That Means)


ChivalryI was raised, like a lot of girls who grew up in households headed by single mothers, to be independent. Self-sufficient. And not rely on a guy for a doggone thing, which was particularly easy to grasp since there wasn’t one around to depend on in the first place.

With no daddy to run to when my car made a weird noise or some knucklehead boy was bothering me in school, I learned pretty fast and early how to handle my business on my own. And I continued that do-it-yourselfness — which I picked up firsthand from my mama, who is the undisputed champion of the field — just fine, all the way through adulthood.  

Fast forward a few years when I’m a grown woman raising my child on my own and trying to do a little dating on the side when I meet a guy who insists on paying for my meals when we go out and changing my flat tire when I discover one is down for the count on my hot rod.

I informed him that I’m quite capable of doing those things myself. The more he tried to do, the more awkward it made me feel. I didn’t want to be indebted to some dude for his stabs at chivalry, for one. I’ll be darned if I’m going to have a whole heap of favors some guy did for me hanging over my head so that, if we argue or have a falling out, he can dust them off and show them to me as a reason to be grateful to him? No thanks.

And for two, I’m not the little lady who can’t do for self anyway, so it just didn’t make sense to have someone fussing over the same duties I’d always been doing on my own.
When I’m in my house at night and an 80-leg tarantula goes hot footin’ it across my floor, who has to throw a shoe at it and scream up the adrenaline to off it? When the toilet overflows or the kitchen sink clogs up, who has to break out the ol’ tools and plunger to fix it? That would be me. So it seemed kind of pointless to call on or allow someone to play the fabled “man role” when it wasn’t a full-time position — at the time anyway.

Then my best friend, who is ever the delicate flower awaiting a Popeye to her Olive Oyl, reminded me that a guy has to feel wanted and especially needed. He has to be able to exercise his natural, inborn inclination to be a protector and a provider and a caretaker, and when he’s not allowed to do that, he’ll move on to another place where his contributions will be appreciated. In other words, let a man be a man, she admonished.

A new habit takes about what? Twenty-one days to fully take root in our lives? That one is still having a little trouble getting off the tarmac in my world, but I’m trying to fall back a little more and let The Man take the lead on things I know I can do myself, but need to give over to the guy I say I want to share a lifelong commitment with.

I’ll ask him questions every once in a while that I already know the answer to just so he can explain it to me — not to dumb myself down, fellow womanists, but just to let him know that I value his opinion and expertise. And he has proven himself to be especially handy since I hate, hate, hate math and he just so happens to be an accountant. If I never have to heavy lift another tip calculation or tax return, this man thing might not be so bad.

Do you believe men should be given certain roles to make them feel wanted or needed?  

Image via jcoterhals/Flickr

commitment, dating, living together, marriage, single moms


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nonmember avatar jaime

Men need to feel needed because they're people, and people in general like to feel necessary and important in their relationships. There are certain tasks that traditionaly go to men, and especially in the beginning of a relationship its easy to fall back on expectations to help communications go more smoothly. Once you've been together for a while, personal strengths take over from tradition in deciding who does what (usually). In my house for example, he cooks dinner and I set our budget....because that suits both of us best :)

Mrscj... Mrscjones

Yes no point in being with someone if you just want him to fall into the background and just watch you do everything.

Saphi... SaphiraJFire

It may be awkward to some women but it is true a man needs to feel like the mane and be needed in a relationship.

Most will not ever say or admit this out loud, but they want a woman who acts like one and makes them feel like a man in charge. its hormonal and seed seeded so much many will have no idea why some women jsut turn them off like a bucket of ice water.

No some men know of this deepseeded internal emotions and try to do the opposite and hey it works sometimes that a man will not care about the woman being in charge.

Not all men need to be in charge some do have that need to be taken care of I have seen it before, but it is not the norm at all. you will find maybe what 1 out of 1000 men like that lol.

You let the man decide what to have for dinner open that "hard to open jar" for you and he will let you feed him ever bit of food. seriously! lol

let him be the man and he will let you do things you need to do as well.

You do not have to let him do every single thing for you, just some.

Like that bug let him get it. ( every time)

Let him open the jar that is just to tight for you to open. (every time same type of jar)

 be consistent with what you have him do he is not stupid. He will notice if one day you afraid of that spider or the next you kill it like a banshe, and srace him! lol

be consistant and he will be happy and let you do the rest.

orang... orangetree

I do not have time to stroke some needy man's ego.

miche... micheledo

I don't think it is necessarily about ego or needing to feel wanted.  Sometimes it is just a way for him to show how important you are to him.  My husband insists on opening doors for me, closing the door to the van for me, carrying things for me (he HATES carrying my purse, but will on occasion :D), etc.  It is just another way for him to show me how important I am to him.

Snobby, rich people pay someone to do those 'extra' things for them.  I have someone who insists on doing them because he loves me! :D  I'm fully capable and take care of things all the time when he isn't around, and sometimes he has me put together a bookshelf or a child's toy because he knows I'm better (OK, usually he has me do it!).  But as much as he can, he takes care of me because I'm special!  I like that.  :)

Eques... EquestrianMom

Yeah, I spent years "letting" a guy do things I was perfectly capable of doing myself, so he felt wanted and needed. The issue with this? Men who need that have self esteem issues, and still won't be fufilled because you "let" them change your tire or kill that spider. They have an issue. Its just the same as a girl with self esteem issues won't feel better after she has sex (though she was needed!) make sense?

 Now, I have a guy who does stuff just because. My truck blew out it's wheel bearings a few weeks ago. I can fix that, BUT I called a buddy for free parts, offered him and his wife diner if he'd bring them to me (no way to drive and get them!) and my SO changed the parts while I entertained our guests and cooked.Not because I couldn't do it, but because someone needed to cook diner, and someone needed to change the parts out. So, we drew straws! LOL! He doesn't do things to make himself feel needed, and he doesn't do "specific male" things either. If I'm welding panels still around diner time and the kid is hungry, he cooks while I finish up. He helps because he wants to. Thats the kind of help I want!

mande... manderspanders

Yes, women need to let men be men. This is a big problem in the world today. Women, generally, have no respect for men.

I'd rather have a man do man things around my house and for a job than some guy who acts like a doormat and can't be bothered to step up.



Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Everyone needs to be needed. It's not a question of guy stuff versus girl stuff, just a question of both having stuff. If you're making dinner while killing a spider having just changed the tire while he does nothing then he feels unneeded.

My hubby doesn't do many traditional male things. I'm the one with the DIY knowhow and I can lift more than he can so I take care of the stuff. I consider it part of the housewife job description anyway. When a computer needs fixing or a technical or electronic purchase needs researching that's his domain. I have my jobs, he has his jobs, everyone is happy.

Ari. Ari.

I work in a male dominated field, and I will not let a man do for me anything I can do myself. Its the same at home, I depend on my husband for love and support, not his paycheck and ability to fix something. I love that I am self sufficient and so does he.

I think by changing who you are for a man is dumb. If they don't like you for who and what you are, let them go, someone right is bound to come along. And if not, at least you know you didn't have to change for someone else. That is an important message for you as well as your kids!

count... countrygirlkat

I wholly believe woman and men are both capable of doing just about any task.  With that being said though, there are somethings that are easier for one person then another person.  Each person has individual talents and it is always good to let your loved ones use their talents if they have them because it always makes us feel good to use our talents. 

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