Guys needs their “guy time”, that’s no surprise. It can be a mystery, however, as to why guys need such time.
You think it’s great that your guy wants to spend so much time with you. It’s wonderful how selfless he is and how he sacrifices everything to be with his family.
But your man needs his man time, his “guy” time too. And, without it, he’s setting himself, and you and your relationship, up for failure.
In the last two weeks, I’ve had two different conversations with two different friends. They don’t know each other, but they’re facing the same problem. They each are struggling to find time for themselves. Paul realizes he needs his guy time. Robert is in denial.
Over the past several years, our culture has seen a shift toward the “extrovert ideal” Susan Cain refers to in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Offices are moving to open floor layouts and doing away with private spaces. Whenever someone does something bad, we use phrases like, “It’s always the quiet ones.”
But even if your husband, boyfriend, male colleague or brother isn’t an introvert, he still needs his guy time. Like my two friends, your man needs time away from the craziness of life. Your man needs, dare I say, his man cave.
Men Need Time to Rest
This isn’t some macho line about how it’s tough to be a man, but, it’s tough to be a man, and we need time to rest.
Robert, whom I mentioned earlier, wakes up at 4 am and starts working long before heading to the office for the next ten to twelve hours. He needs time to rest and rejuvenate. Despite what we may see on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Instagram page, we all can’t work all day, hit the weights for a few hours before coming home, and still have the energy to play with the dogs. Our bodies need rest.
Today’s man is pulled in a hundred different directions a hundred times a day. We’re told to man up, but that being manly is bad. We’re expected to be leaders at home and the office, to make decisions and to be strong, but when we do, we’re pushy, arrogant, or inconsiderate.
It may not take the form of a massage or a spa day, but men need time to rest. Maybe it’s golf, maybe it’s video games, who knows; for each guy it’ll be different, but we all need it.
Men Need Time to Reflect
Our dreams are the manifestation of our unconscious mind trying to make sense of the previous day’s events. If you (or your man) is having trouble sleeping at night, that’s a symptom of not having (or making) time to reflect.
Men are supposed to have goals. We’ve been raised to be successful, play quarterback, date the cheerleader, climb the corporate ladder, start businesses, drive fancy cars, make money, buy expensive things; it’s exhausting. But, if we don’t have time to reflect, how can we measure our progress and find our place in the world?
Our busy brains need a break. We need to schedule time, even if it’s just five minutes, every day to slow down, clear our thoughts, and reflect. Men need to reflect on the day’s goings-on, the strides we’re making to our goals, and what we want to happen over the next few days.
We need to reflect on our relationships, our careers, our businesses and our friendships. We need time to think about what’s working and what isn’t. And, because fixing things is what we do, men need time to figure out the solutions to the problems we’re facing.
I do some of my best thinking while playing video games and mowing the lawn. Especially while pushing the mower, the sound of the engine drowns out the rest of the world, and I can reflect on how things have been going and begin planning out what needs to happen. I plan blog posts, think about calls with coaching clients, and outline how I’m going to grow my business.
Men Need Time to Be Men
Men come in all shapes, sizes, interests, and hobbies. We have different passions, varying pastimes, a variety of things we like to do in our spare time. And, there’s a good chance we each define manliness in a different way.
Some men go to the gym; others go to the movies. Some men shop at GNC; others are reward zone members at Best Buy. For every man who prefers a suit and tie, another man is wearing Wanglers and pearl snaps, or cargo shorts and a polo shirt.
Regardless of how your or your man define what it is to be a man, your man needs time to be it. Whether it’s hitting the weights, playing PlayStation, smoking cigars, drinking whiskey, camping, hunting, fishing, painting, writing, filming, cleaning or cooking, men need time to be men.
Sometimes we need time with other men, and sometimes we need time to ourselves; we need different things at different times, sorry ladies.
Remember Paul, from earlier? Where Robert still thinks he can do it all and doesn’t need time to himself, Paul realizes that it’s been too long since he’s had it. Paul just updated his man cave – his retreat from life, where he can rest, reflect, and be his version of a man.
And that’s the beauty of being a man – no one can tell us how to do it better than ourselves. I get to talk about books with Robert and video games with Paul, but I get to play golf with both of them. Every guy needs his “guy” time and sometimes that takes different forms.
Photo credit: Ellory Wells