It’s a tale as old as time: women go through breakups, then soothe their broken hearts by making generalizations about men. We tell our friends that it’s not their fault for getting too invested too quickly because men simply don’t know how to be emotionally available, or that there’s no reason to feel bad that a potential flame never called back because men are just visual creatures who can’t help but turn their heads when a new temptation passes.
The problem with these generalizations is that, although they might temper the sting at the moment, they sabotage the dating journey in the long run. When women harbor these false beliefs, they have a hard time entering into new relationships with an open mind. It’s time that we debunk the 5 biggest myths about men and relationships so you can approach relationships with a clearer picture of what to expect and a more realistic outlook on love.
- Men are intimidated by successful women. Maybe some men can’t handle a woman who has her act together, but there are plenty of men who find success an incredibly attractive quality in a potential partner. If you’re a very successful woman and you often encounter men who claim that they aren’t intimidated by you but never follow up after the first meeting, consider yourself lucky—those men are just weeding themselves out early so you don’t waste your time.
- Men only care about your looks. Let’s be honest here: both men and women want to be attracted to their partners, but men have proven throughout history that they’re a bit more focused on appearance than women. That said, there’s no amount of beauty in the world that can compensate for a lackluster personality, and any man will tell you the same. It may not be obvious at first, but men want caring, loving partners who are genuinely compatible with their values. The odd thing is, women often believe looks are a more important factor to men than they really are. Women will write me saying that they’re afraid to get sexually involved with a man because he will see their imperfections—this is a result of unfair and unrealistic cultural pressures, not the reality of men’s expectations. Cut yourself some slack; trust me, your man doesn’t expect you to look like an unattainable supermodel, so you shouldn’t expect that of yourself.
- Men want to use you for sex. This myth is an obvious follow-up to the last one; after all, if men only care about looks, then they must only be after carnal fulfillment, right? Nope, wrong again. Let’s be clear, plenty of men are interested in casual sex, but that doesn’t mean that they want to use you. Problems arise when people don’t clearly define their relationships prior to jumping into physicality—if you think that having sex means you’re committing to each other, but the man thinks that you’re just having fun, then you’re bound to feel a little bit used even if that wasn’t his intention. This goes both ways; sometimes the man is the one looking for something serious and the woman is hoping for a no-strings-attached romp in the hay. Instead of assuming that men just want to use you for sex, ask yourself these 3 questions before you get physical with a new partner for the first time.
- Men can’t commit. Just like all of these myths, this is true of some men in the same way that it sometimes rains in Los Angeles, and some people don’t like chocolate. The important distinction here is that it’s an exception, not a rule; a man’s willingness to commit often depends on timing. If you’re dating someone who just got out of a relationship, you may be a rebound rather than a long-term commitment. If you’re seeing someone who just got laid off, he will likely prioritize finding a new job over getting committed. Don’t trick yourself into believing that the situation is just temporary and that he will want to commit as soon as this moment passes—you have to assess things as they are in the moment. Still, it’s important to recognize that plenty of men are willing and able to commit, you just need to learn to make the distinction and find which men can commit, and whether he is ready to commit to you.
- Men take longer to fall in love. Believe it or not, brain imaging has revealed that men in love have more activity in visual processing areas than women, meaning they are more likely to “fall in love at first sight.” Basically, this means that men fall in love faster than women, and if you’ve ever stuck it out in a dead-end relationship, you may have discovered that this myth is false the hard way. Rather than toughing it out and rationalizing the waiting game, sometimes it’s better to simply recognize that it’s not meant to be and move on.
It can be hard to change the way you think about men in general, but it will absolutely transform your love life. Are you going to approach dating any differently now that you know these myths are busted? Leave us a message below.