There are certain expectations that we grow up with. Women are expected to be kind, caring, ladylike – while men are expected to be physically strong, stoic, and emotionally resolute.
Whether or not you think it is a good thing to adhere to these stereotypes, they do not usually tell the whole story. While a man might feel obliged to be ‘strong and silent’, there are a number of things ticking away underneath. Let’s go through them.
1. Being self-conscious of their body
It’s well-known that women can often feel very low on confidence, due to society’s expectations of them. They think they should work out constantly and follow a diet.
Male stereotypes are not focused on as much, but this doesn’t mean they don’t worry about their physical shape and compare it with well-built men on magazine covers.
In all likelihood, your man is just as self-conscious about his flabby bits as you are. Otherwise, why would men spend so much time in the gym? Unless they’re an athlete, it’s not usually for fitness – it’s so that they can look their best. Or at least, what they think their best is.
2. Providing financially
No matter what feminists might say, men are usually expected to take the bulk of the financial burden in any given relationship.
They are brought up as future breadwinners. A man might even not have a girlfriend, but they worry about their financial situation anyway because they think that the most necessary thing for a relationship is money.
However, quite often, care and attention are much more important for women. If we are wrong, and what really matters for a girl is money, then she is not worth your time.
3. His height
If a man is below average height, he almost definitely feels self-conscious about this on some level. This is especially applicable if his girlfriend is even slightly taller than him.
How can a man not worry about this, given that one of the main features of “an ideal man” is being tall? If women cared about height less, then guys who are not that tall would have more chances. Size doesn’t matter if it’s not about the size of his heart.
However, women probably can’t help this inclination – it’s genetic.
4. Jealousy (and showing it)
Men can often be better at hiding their jealousy than women are, but it still hurts their self-esteem just as much. Your partner might show no signs of being worried when you tell him about a male colleague with a wonderful sense of humor.
You shouldn’t take this as a bad thing: he worries a lot, and he compares himself with a potential competitor. This clearly means that he is crazy about you. To wipe out his fear, you should talk to him honestly and explain that there is absolutely no threat. And if there is, you should be honest and call it off.
5. Lack of experience in relationships
This one is especially applicable in younger men. Achieving the image of a macho man is every man’s worst nightmare, because it makes them try to look like experienced lovers and lie about the number of ex-girlfriends they had.
In fact, they are just as afraid of doing something wrong as women are. Support and honesty in all things about your relationship will help you both to feel more confident.
Hair on the body and the head is always a problem for men. Body hair is a minor issue, as they may worry about what their partner does and doesn’t like in that respect.
However, balding is often any young man’s biggest fear, especially if the process has begun at an early age. You might make things worse by mentioning these problems to your man, so try to be mindful of how self-conscious they might be about it.
7. Their diet
As we mentioned at the top of the article, men worry about their bodies as much as women do, although they may not show it.
Obviously, this will mean that they might have issues around food, or feel guilty for eating certain kinds of food. If you’re aware of these issues in your partner, try to be mindful of them going forward.
8. Maintaining their relationship
If a man is in a loving, commited relationship, you can be sure that he cares deeply about it. In his head, he is the only one who can mess it up, and he is terrified of doing something that might cause you to abandon him.
However, his stoicism may not let him express this. This is why you should tell him regularly that you love him, and assure him that you’re not going anywhere, even if you don’t have to say that last part explicitly.
9. Your dating history
This one isn’t exactly fair, but it is what it is. However progressive a guy might claim to be, if you’ve been with a great number of guys before him, this is almost certainly something he will be self-conscious about. This is especially true if you’ve been with more people than he has.
There is no real rationale to this, and it shouldn’t be the case, but that doesn’t stop it from being true. The most important thing is to assure him that the past is in the past, and there is nothing to worry about.
10. Openly expressing emotions
It’s almost a cliche to point this out, as it’s been discussed so much, but it bears repeating. Men have a much tougher time expressing their feelings than women do, and deep down this will worry them greatly.
They may fear that their unwillingness to open up may drive a wedge between the two of you. Just try to be there for him when he’s upset, even if this means listening to a rant about his workplace. Believe me, he will appreciate it, and it will bring the two of you closer together.
Did we miss any? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!