You’re An Awesome Man – 12 Reasons EliteDaily is WRONG

Earlier this week a post on EliteDaily.com went viral titled 12 Signs Your Dating a Man, not a Boy. One-sided posts like this drive me crazier than a conspiracy theorist who hears clicking on his phone line. This post, written by a guy, is designed to do nothing other than bash men. You know that if this was about women, there would be an outrage. Editor-in-Chief Rodney Burrell had this to say about it:

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And I agree.

Last I checked, if you are over the age of 18 then you are defined as a man. And love shouldn’t be about meeting some ridiculous ideal about what your life should look like.

My life is constantly a hot mess, does that make me a girl instead of a woman? No. In fact, the way that I handle the chaos and excel – to the best of my ability – under every circumstance no matter how messy, is EXACTLY what makes me a woman.

Do I have it all figured out? God no. I’m happy for all my friends having babies, getting married and buying houses. But as I inch closer to 30, the only thing on my mind is where I will store all my empty wine bottles so I can build an earthship one day and what grand adventure will enter my life next.

So let’s talk about these so-called signs that you’re dating a “man”…

His apartment looks like an apartment. Several years ago I dated a guy whose bed was nothing more than a full-size mattress on the floor. We dated for 2 years. He never wanted to upgrade his bed. I didn’t care. 

Sure, it’s nice to have a nice place to live but the reality is that living on your own today is hard enough without worrying about whether or not your décor will impress a woman. As long as a hazmat suit isn’t necessary, your apartment is fine. Frankly, if you are dating a woman who doesn’t think your living situation – whatever it is – is “good enough” then invite her to sleep in a cardboard box in the alley and adjust her expectations. Don’t let someone else’s reality dictate your own.

 

He does what he does because he loves it. This one particularly gets me. Mostly because it starts with “This isn’t to say that a guy working at McDonald’s isn’t a grown-ass man. Unless, of course, that’s where he plans on staying.”

Your job doesn’t dictate who you are. I’m a firm believer that I do not care what my future husband does, as long as he’s happy and the bills are getting paid. If that means that I have to cover the bills for a little while so you can pursue your dreams of becoming a world-class juggler, then okay. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to afford to go to school or finding their dream job. All the motivation in the world can’t change basic circumstances overnight. If you are happy flipping burgers then flip burgers. Life is an on-going adventure of figuring out where you belong and what makes you truly happy, when you find your bliss – own it.

 

guys getting drunkHe doesn’t ever need a babysitter. We all get sloppy sometimes and need someone to be there for us. Period. That’s what friends and lovers are for. And if you are a little heavy on the bottle, a little too often, then it sounds like you just need a stronger woman to handle you.

 

When he has a problem, he speaks his mind – calmly and respectively. This one just makes me laugh. The best relationships are where you can be open and honest with each other all the time. Unfortunately, most people do not ever find that person. And sometimes yelling happens, often over stupid shit. It’s a part of life and it happens. Sometimes you can’t find the words to express your feelings or problems until they explode out of your mouth. The important thing is that you listen to her and she listens to you (at any octave) and you work on a solution – together.

 

He has his priorities straight. The word “priority” means different things to different people. Sometimes you reach the middle of your life and realize that you just aren’t happy. Does that mean you have the answer to what is next on the tip of your tongue? Of course not. If you have enough strength to eliminate the things that make you unhappy in your life and lean in to those adventures waiting for you, then you have your priorities straight. A woman who loves you will accept the changing you and supportively standby while you figure your shit out. Love is acceptance.

 

guyondumbbellHe takes care of himself. Do you shower regularly? Ok good. You are taking care of yourself. If drinking pizza and beer makes you happy – then do it. There is a woman who loves you for it. She probably likes pizza and beer too. If you like spend hours at the gym and eat meals of grilled chicken and broccoli – there’s a woman for you too.

When I was in college I worked three waitressing jobs, went to school full-time and started a baking company in my “free time”. I never got more than 4 hours of sleep. I lived off of red meat and loaded baked potatoes with extra, extra cheese, butter and sour cream – and a lot of Aussie Sky’s (amazing cocktail Outback Steakhouse used to serve) and Smirnoff. I never took my makeup off at night and the only exercise I got was when I walked the dog. Oh, and I was a total slut and that terrible neighbor who would dance on the coffee table and vacuum at 2AM.

Those years were the healthiest and happiest of my life (until recently) despite the fact that doctors/researchers/people-who-make-up-bullshit-statistics would say that everything about my life was unhealthy. Live your life on your own terms.

 

He supports you and your dreams. Being supportive is a wonderful character trait. But sometimes you need to just rein a bitch in. I’m a realist with many, many crazy ideas. May the universe continue to bless the men who love me with patience and understanding; and enough sense to tell me that I’ll never be good at dancing or bad ass enough to become a contract killer.

 

He doesn’t complain – he gets results. Dude, we all need to blow off steam sometimes. I love to believe that “winners find ways” but sometimes the only win for a situation is to bitch about it and deal with it until circumstances change. Sometimes you just need to vent.

 

He makes decisions but lets you take the wheel. This goes back to different personalities. If you are a passive man then you are less likely to make plans with a woman because you don’t want her to be disappointed. Is it nice when a man does all the work? – yes. But not every woman wants that.

 As a classic Type-A I have a hard time with spontaneity – but I’m getting better. One of the best days I’ve ever had with a guy was when we planned to do laundry and he texted me saying to bring sneakers. Instead we went out to breakfast, hiked The Gorge in Ithaca and then went jet-skiing in our clothes and got soft-serve ice cream.

Our jet ski got seaweed caught in the propeller and we ended up stranded on the other side of the lake for like an hour until a boat came and towed us back. We rode in his jeep with no doors as the sun set over the Southern Tier of NY. It was a truly perfect day. I just bought new work clothes I didn’t stress about the laundry.

But if you don’t know what we should do then I’m totally cool with ordering Chinese and watching Role Models for the 100th time. Real women don’t care, they just want to be with you.

 

knuckledraggermagazineWhen he is alone with you, he’s only interested in you. Aww, what a perfect world it would be if this was true. But it’s not. You are allowed to be interested in something other than the woman in your presence. I mean, I don’t care if Ian Somerhalder is standing naked in my living room. If I’m trying to watch Scandal, shut the fuck up and get out-of-the-way. Everyone has their vice. Own yours. And don’t make plans to spend quality time together when you know you’d rather be watching the big game or you have a Call of Duty Bro-date with your friends.

 

He admits when he is wrong. Admitting you are wrong is never easy. In fact, I hate being wrong SO MUCH that I make it a point to learn as much as I can and only open my mouth when I know I’m right just to avoid having to say that I’m wrong. Just because you cannot admit that you were wrong doesn’t mean that you aren’t a man. It just means that you are still growing as a person. Kudos to you, personal growth is cool.

 

He knows your value and appreciates you. Earlier this week an ex whom I’m still friends with made a comment about how if “he couldn’t make it work with me then he couldn’t make it work with anyone, so why waste his time.”

 Hold the phone. You didn’t value or appreciate me when we were together because you didn’t want to. I wasn’t the girl for you. And the only reason you feel this way now is because you are alone. Get out there and find that girl who you WANT to know that you adore her like flowers after the rain. She’s looking for you too. This was my actual response.

 Here’s what is funny. I rarely felt like he didn’t appreciate me. He showed his appreciation in his own way.

  • He ALWAYS (every day for three years, before, during and after dating) said thank you after I cooked dinner.
  • He ALWAYS picked up the Sunday paper so I could cut coupons and got me my favorite DD Iced Blueberry Coffee with extra-extra-extra blueberry, extra-extra-sugar and extra-cream when he got his coffee in the morning.
  • He ALWAYS remembered that I’m allergic to gluten and would even check to see if I could have things. He was really proud of himself if he brought home something that was gluten-free. And I let him have that mini-win.
  • He let me run up our gas bill, clutter our kitchen with baking stuff and put us on the brink of diabetes re-staring my cupcake business and NEVER said a word about it.

To me, all those things said he cared. But I eventually figured out he was never going to love me the way that I loved him. We would always be really, really good friends and nothing more.

There are these weird views on love that say men should act a certain way to show their love and appreciation of a woman. Buy her flowers and expensive, thoughtful gifts and always remember her friends and ask about her day.

  • I hate roses. I love lilies. Tiger lilies actually. If you pick some off the side of the road, I’ll love you forever.
  • I hate expensive gifts. I would rather take one (or five) amazing trips every year than accumulate “stuff”. I can’t relive how excited I was about a new mixer. I can relive the blissful memories we made while driving along Route 66.
  • I know you don’t care about the potty-training woes of my new-mom friends just like I don’t care about the latest Xbox game or athlete you and your friends are obsessing over. Let’s just agree that those conversations stay between our friends and we can talk about how much we hated the series finale of Dexter.

You will show your love and affection in your own way. If she doesn’t get it (or you don’t get hers) then pick up a copy of The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Most importantly, don’t ever doubt your manliness because you aren’t doing what everyone else is doing. The only thing you need to do to prove you are a man, when it comes to love, is let her go if you realize she’s just not the one for you.

Listen guys, I already know you are awesome. You know you are awesome. And there is a woman out there who WANTS to put with your shit as much as you want to put up with hers.

Live & Love. Life’s too short for anything else.

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