1. We are starved for compliments.
There’s an old rule men learn about flirting with women: if a woman’s pretty, don’t expect to impress her by telling her so. People have been telling her that every single day since puberty, and it no longer even registers as anything other than background noise.
On the other hand, most men have never been told they’re pretty. Or attractive at all. They’re supposed to derive value from their success and careers, not their looks, and there is an overwhelming cultural narrative that they are the wanter, not the wanted, the pursuer, not the pursued, the desiring, not the desired.
Tell a man how handsome he is and you will have his undivided attention.
2. We are not more shallow than women are.
Sure, some guys only go for women who look like magazine advertisements. Some women do the same thing with guys. But when most women get together with their trusted friends and talk about men, there’s a rich diversity of attraction that gets talked about. They’ll talk about a guy’s sexy voice, or the way he holds them in his sleep, or the look on his face when he’s passionate about something, or the lines of his hands. When they do talk about the face and the body, it’s not all sharp cheekbones and ripped abs, there are all kinds of types that different women find attractive for their own reasons.
And yet there’s a stereotype that men don’t do the exact same thing. Believe me, they do. When actual grown-up men get together and talk girls, there’s an awful lot of “I love the way she tells the truth, just straight-out with no bullshit.” and “It’s the freckles. I cannot resist her freckles.” and “When she giggles a certain way I just want to jump her right there.”
3. There’s a reason for that emotional repression.
I’m often surprised by how little most women know about the experience of being a teenage boy. It really shouldn’t be surprising; there are almost no realistic depictions in media of teenagers of any gender. I mean, when was the last time you saw a teenage girl on TV or in a movie acting like teenage girls act in real life?
Almost every adult man walking around spent at least part of his adolescence dealing with sourceless, purposeless anger and a desire for violent catharsis. It’s like having a little devil on your shoulder constantly making the same unhelpful suggestion once we mature out of adolescence, the hormones calm down and we’re fine, but at that point, the cultural conditioning has been drilled in beyond repair, a million repetitions of “man up” and “crying is for girls” and on and on and on. What was a safety precaution in high school becomes a socially mandated norm,
Hope we’ve learnt something from this piece.😘