Grow a Pair.
Yup, I said it. My girlfriends and I say it all the time when we talk about guys. Maybe we’re generalizing when we talk about men, but it’s usually in connection to our frustrations with dating. I’ve had many conversations with friends from various backgrounds about how “weak” men are out there or how it can be difficult to find a “manly man.” Some of my friends say they’re looking for “mountain men with beards and flannel shirts.” Others say they want a “masculine man” or one who can “confidently share his feelings.” Still, others look for leadership qualities or “swag”. What is it that we want?
It seems that there is a modern epidemic of men who are afraid to communicate and commit to relationships. I’d like to see men be braver and face their fears. That’s what I mean by the phrase, “grow a pair”! One thing I notice is that when my girlfriends start dating someone they think is worthy, it might not fit the picture of what they said during our conversation. In fact, many times, it’s the opposite. Maybe they’ll pass on the bearded mountain man and enjoy skinny jeans with a mustache. But the one thing that the guys all have in common is that they are INTENTIONAL. They don’t play mind games. They say what they want, take a risk, and see where it goes. This is to many women attractive and “masculine”.
Let’s face it; times have changed, and women no longer need the “breadwinning head of the household” to come and rescue them. Most women are now independent working professionals, yet we want the best of both worlds. We still want chivalry. What exactly is chivalry? The dictionary describes it as “the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak”. So what does that look like in today’s world? Let me assure you that my friends and I don’t want to be a poor, distressed damsel who needs a buff guy in an armor suit to come and rescue us from the troubles of the world. But we still want that courageous, honorable, courteous, kind man to be in our lives. What gives us that feeling of being with a “masculine” man?
I wasn’t looking for a guy on a horse when I found my husband. I was looking for a brave man who was willing to give us a chance and to be honest with me in the process. Before meeting him, I met guys who weren’t intentional. They just wanted to “hang out” and see where things went, but never expressed themselves or were never willing to commit. In fact, we could do many of the things that couples do on dates and still not call it a “date.” It sometimes seems that the lines can be blurred, and maybe some of us prefer that. Then there are the men who are in it for selfish reasons. I went on many dates that wanted a one-night stand or short-term physical relationship. For me, that wasn’t enough. Or maybe we went on a date, had a good time and then he disappeared. Maybe they weren’t really into me, but I had respect for them if they expressed that and I knew where they stood. It was the guys that left me hanging or strung me along that led to my conversations with my girlfriends about the lack of quality men in the world and how men need to “grow a pair”.
When my husband came along, he expressed himself, followed through, and was intentional. It was refreshing, and I respected him for that. He let me know soon after we met that he was interested in getting to know me better through dating. As a woman, I felt like I could take a chance with him and that he was worth the risk. He communicated throughout the stages of our relationship and this helped me to be confident in where we were headed. Not that every intentional pursuit has to end up in marriage. Even if it had ended and he had intentionally and politely ended it, I would have at least respected him and his approach as “strength”. Maybe chivalry is not just opening doors and bringing flowers. Perhaps it’s being a risk-taker.
This isn’t meant to blame men for anything, but rather to get men and women thinking. What is causing this in our society? Maybe independent women have sent the message to guys that we don’t want strength. All the women empowerment was meant to put us on equal playing field with men, but if it’s too extreme, perhaps guys don’t know where we stand.
So what does “growing a pair” look like to me in this context? Like this, it means that guys define the relationship and where it’s headed. It also implies they know how to end the relationship in a clear, courteous way. It doesn’t leave room for undefined, casual relationships where many women are left hanging, wondering where the relationship is headed. It also means that guys don’t take advantage of women, physically or emotionally even though they don’t think the girls are worth the long term commitment. It’s honoring and valuing women. I know there is a fine line between friendship and dating, but making that line clear, will help both parties. In conclusion, I have found that the games, indecisiveness, and non-committal ways frustrate myself and many women. So this is just to encourage guys to leave the games behind, take a risk, be intentional, and “grow a pair”.
What are your thoughts? Please take time to comment!
Teresa (Guest Writer)