“I love you.” (nope)
“You look beautiful.” (nope)
“Let’s go shopping!” (depends how you say it, but still, no)
“How’s your mother?” (no, this will just make her suspicious of you)
Those are all nice to say, and many women want to hear them from their partner; they like to feel cherished. But none of those by themselves will necessarily have her soften all warm-putty-like into your hairy masculine arms.
The three sexiest words I’m referring to speak to primal forces within both men and women. An archetypal trip wire, these eight letters strung together can trigger a man’s spine to straighten and make a woman swoon.
I wish I could say I figured this one out by myself, but a lady friend had to point this out. Once she did, I looked back to my own intimate relationships and saw overwhelming evidence for her case everywhere.
We were having coffee when she started telling me about her new boyfriend. He was refined and kind, loving and intelligent. He was a creative artist, and an accomplished one at that. She felt him a good man and she was happy. Then she told me about the first morning they woke up together, and that’s when she really lit up during our conversation.
These words slid from his masculine mouth smooth as a river stone and strong as steel. She swooned. She relaxed. Under his sudden spell she felt herself completely protected and cherished by this man’s love.
She has a dog. Normally the dog gets her up early to go pee outside when she’s still in comatose denial of an outside world. On this particular morning, when the dog woke her up as usual, her new beau opened his eyes, looked at her and with nary a hesitation, issued the most magical three-word spell she could recall ever hearing from a man. She said these words slid from his masculine mouth smooth as a river stone and strong as steel (that’s my interpretation of what she said). She swooned. She relaxed. Under his sudden spell she felt herself completely protected and cherished by this man’s love.
“I got this.”
That’s what he said.
“I’m going to take on this uncomfortable mission-oriented task because that’s how I can best offer my masculine gift right now while honoring your delicious gift of feminine energy to my life. I will demonstrate my deep commitment to your care by ensuring you can stay warm under the covers and linger in this moment of blissful embodied reverie.”
He actually only said the first three words. That whole second paragraph is my rough translation as I believe my friend heard it.
But first he said it. And then he actually did it.
She was so impressed you’d think he bought her the Eiffel Tower. All he did was walk her dog.
We live in an age when women are empowered to care for themselves like never before.
I grew up mostly thinking women were supposed to “I got this” for themselves. My two moms held strong while my two dads struggled to just hold on. It was my two moms whose strength and character were always saying, “I got this,” while my dads were unconsciously saying, “thank God you got this!”
I’ve always had so many messages coming at me that women are my equals in every way. That’s a good thing from a certain perspective. Women are equal to men, in terms of inherent human worth and value. They should have every legal right that any man has.
However, my understanding of sex equality completely overlooked certain ways my more feminine female partners and I were genuinely different.
However, my understanding of sex equality completely overlooked certain ways my more feminine female partners and I were genuinely different. We yearned differently, meaning we experienced the world in rather different ways, even wanting different things from each other. For example, just holding a woman and making love with her is often a different experience for me than it is for my partners. I don’t embrace a woman to feel safe in her arms. When I embrace her I feel strong in my body, masterful even, as though I’m living my purpose by wrapping her up safe and protected within my steady arms. My female partners, in contrast, have often expressed that’s what they love most about being in my embrace: the experience of feeling safe, physically and emotionally, that they can relax in knowing they’re protected in that one moment from the tiresome chaos of the world. It’s as if we both journeyed from very different worlds to secretly rendezvous in this one moment of exquisite embrace.
Failing too often to account for such differences, I have struggled in most of my intimate relationships with women. Clearly a contributing factor has been my inability to step up in all kinds of situations and say to my partners—often even to myself—“I got this.”
Before I wade too deep into controversial waters, let me clarify that what I’m exploring is less about man-woman and more about masculine-feminine. Any foray into masculine-feminine dynamics risks offending those who hear those terms being used synonymously. I don’t mean to do that. What I’m pointing at holds for all couples—hetero, gay, or otherwise—in which one partner carries more masculine energy and the other carries more feminine. Sometimes those energies can switch back and forth between partners. I invite you to see through to the deeper rhythms I’m exploring, beyond the details of who has what body parts.
I simply want to convey that when I look back through my life, I see far too often that I left my feminine partners to fend for themselves in ways large and small. From making them decide where we should eat to running away when they were stressed emotionally and I hadn’t the capacity to love them through it, I failed too often to step up and say, “I got this.”
Which just means I consistently failed to convey, “Baby, I invite you to relax and trust that all will be well because I have the strength, the discipline, the fortitude and the vision—and at the very least the unwavering perseverance—to hold us through this moment of discomfort and steward us safely to new ground where we will experience a brighter moment of ease together.”
Ok, so that’s a bit poetic when we’re talking about walking the dog or deciding where to eat. And sometimes our partners will genuinely want to bear their own burdens, or bear them equally alongside us, or even bear ours for us. I’m painting in broad strokes here.
There’s something deeply compelling about the idea of being with a woman who can fully take care of herself, and who enjoys allowing me take care of her anyway.
I invite you to say to yourself a few times: “I got this.”
How does that feel in your body?
Do you feel your chest rise a bit, your breathing deepen, your backbone straighten? Do you come alive and start looking around the room for some challenge to take on?
Or do you prefer imagining someone say it to you? Does the thought of your partner whispering it to you all sexy-like make your body soften and your heartbeat quicken? Does it set your yearning alight?
Truth is, I’ve always wanted a woman who can take care of herself. Which seems healthy to me, actually. Any mature adult should be able to take care of themselves in the modern world. I don’t want a partner who expects me to run around all day telling her “I got this” so she can stay in bed all day. That would just be exhausting for me and eventually frustrating for her. I’m not Superman. She’s not helpless.
Still, there’s something deeply compelling about the idea of being with a woman who can fully take care of herself, and who enjoys allowing me to take care of her anyway.
“I got this.”
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—This post appeared on ThisWildWakingJourney
—Photo by Sean Mcgrath/Flickr
What are the three words?
I Got This
Could you please apologize some more, maybe an additional 4 or 5 paragraphs, for daring to acknowledge there are both males (masculine) and females (feminine) in the world? I mean everyone has different amounts of each but no need to apologize for stating reality.
Hello Bryan. I just had a question for you. So, when you say, Ive always wanted a woman who can “take care of herself” do you mean she needs to make enough money to support herself if you werent there? And do you also mean that if she is contributing( she has a second job outside of the home) that that job needs to bring in as much or more money than your job? It wasnt real clear bacause there are more ways than one to take care of one’s self. Many women who do not work outside of the… Read more »
Maybe if my ex had said those three words to me more often and then backed them up with real action over the 22 years of our marriage, we might not have wound up bitterly divorced. I spent way too many years living in emotional insecurity because “I got this” seem to always fall onto my shoulders.
NAILED IT. I am a strong, independent, career-oriented woman. Some might think I would be irritated with a man opening the door for me. Au contraire! There is nothing a man can do that is more romantic and sexy than make me feel taken care of.
I got no doors opened for me. Nothing like that. In the beginning he brought small gifts, coffee ect. But he felt the gestures werent reciprocated so he stopped.
What three word is it
What three word is it
And God said: “Let us make woman, as a ‘Helpmeet’ for Man” And it was so and Adam saw that it was good! Someone to cook and clean his fig leaves etc etc And you think ‘I got it!” is what God intended??? 🙂
I dont even know the truthfulness of this quote, but I do know that any women who is both working inside and outside of the home and is a good and decent woman her “man” will notice and appreciate. That is good and well, but in order for a woman to give a man her full attention and affirmations, he MUST NOT make her feel insecure about the financial state of their situation. If the roles were reversed and the woman brought in most or all of the money, it would be the same thing. If people are doing their… Read more »
Speaking as a woman, while I do agree that “I got this” are three words that we love to hear, I would disagree about them being the forerunner.
“Help me understand” might possibly be the three most important words any couple should know and use in their relationship, in my humble opinion.
“Truth is, I’ve always wanted a woman who can take care of herself. Which seems healthy to me, actually.”
Any relationship therapist would tell you that your absolutely right. The ones that are with you and *need* you to say “I got this” are the ones likely to a bandon you on 10 years.
However, and I think this is your point, participating in each others lives and helping one another with the chores is essential. You have to find the balance between the two.
Yeah it’s super sweet in the beginning when it’s coupled with brain chemicals. After years “I got this” can start to fall on dead ears.
I did a lot of things like this for my ex and she’s still gone.
The line just before the “magical” three words sounds just like Danielle Steele or Nora Roberts. Pure, classical schmaltz, just like a Harlequin series romance book.
What happens when you do these kinds of gender role things and don’t get the same reciprocated behavior? For example, I do all of this stuff, but my girl barely does any of her gender role tasks for me. (atleast without me having to do a portion of it.) And no I don’t mean sex, I mean prepares and cooks a meal, where I don’t have to help her. Or cleans the house without me setting up a cleaning day for us. Or goes grocery shopping and doesnt over spend because she wanted junk food. I love her and will… Read more »
If the author touched on that, he wouldn’t get the social approval he is seeking from the women readers (who want to shed their roles while expecting men to continue theirs), and thirsty beta orbiters (too stupid to know they’re being manipulated). This is just another ‘man up’ article.
I most definitely do not want to shed my roles! I am independant and I will always work and contribute while still attending to the home, excetera. I happen to have a job that only offers 30 hours per week, summers , weekends, holidays you name it off. More time for the woman to fulfil her gender role, right, And if old school is what a man really wants, then the woman did not earn what the man did. They in fact stayed home and earned zero. So, if a man is smart, he holds on to a good woman… Read more »
Sigh. Firstly, get rid of the notion that there are gender role tasks. You eat, right? You live in the house that needs cleaning, no? Why isnt it both of your responsibility? Did you agree on a budget? Together? And I am going to assume you purchase the things you want at the grocery store too. I think you missed the point of the article. Maybe you should look a little closer at the things she does for you, as opposed to those you think she should. And if you discover it is truly “little.” For god’s sake, do not… Read more »
I found the description of the author’s childhood to be interesting because I have found it to be true that men of previous generations have expected women to be both strong and subservient, and his description touches on that somewhat (the strong part and the expectation on the men part, not the subservient part!). They have been expected to “get” the kids, the house, sometimes the budget, the heath of the family in general, and last minute emergencies often without thanks or appreciation, and while their menfolk may often be relieved, they also often don’t even notice. For a man… Read more »
I would think so too, but I read a study awhile back that said that marriages with more equitable split of household duties tend to have less sex.
I like the sentiment in this article It’s always nice to do things for the people you love and it’s even more rewarding when they appreciate it and find it to be a great help. I’m a little concerned about the implication that this type of behaviour is rare in men, I would argue the exact opposite. Being gentle and supportive is one of the traits that define masculinity. Another qualm I have to mention about this article is that doing nice things for your loved ones is one of the beautiful things that make relationships successful, it is damaging… Read more »
You, my friend, need to read up on the needs of both men and women. They are each wired differently and have ligitimate wants and needs. It is not as cut and dry as you are making it. Less divorce would occur if people did their research.
You’ve hit the nail on the head, Bryan. This has been part of women’s culture for a long time, epitomized (albeit financially) in the famous scene from Sex and the City when Mr Big tells Carrie “I got it.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt6WIP-CGB4 Fans of the show (women) adore the fact that Big can tell this really means something to Carrie, but what really makes us all fall for Big is the shoe closet scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n57AmaAD0Nk These characters are megga rich, but the analogy works the same for any situation where a guy identifies what’s important to a woman (shoes, in the case… Read more »
LMAO anyone else remember the line from the movie Tomcats…… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-kjaa2MrGI
I was thinking the words were going to be “Let me help” and then actually helping, but “I got this” works equally as well. Nice article, Bryan. I think it holds true for all manner of relationships. I want my partner to take care of me and be helpful, just as much as I want to take care of and be helpful in return. I can do for myself just fine, but it’s so sweet and sexy when my partner steps up and offers to do it for me. 🙂
Speaking as a woman, — we *do* tell you this all the time, men! You just haven’t been listening!
We also hear you say contradictory stuff like you are all strong and independent, so go figure. Why don’t you act on it instead of trying to bring chivalry back whenever it suits you.
But seriously, in filipino culture, one of the most romantic things you can say is “Huwag kang mag-alala. Akong bahala.” “Don’t worry, I got this.”
But seriously, in filipino culture one of the most romantic things to say to a woman is “Huwag kang mag-alala. Akong bahala.” i.e. “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it.”
When your woman doesn’t want to have sex, just grab your crotch and say “I got this.”
That was excellent!
Good words via “masculine kindness” are often just promises and/or intended for motivating purposes. The sincere thoughts however are those that really count and consequential deeds are the best prove of intended sincerity. That “masculine kind man” could said those words “I got this” in anticipation that his G/F could answer with: No, I’ll do it may way!…Ok dear! If that man had real intentions, he should’ve analyzed given situations in his G/Fs place and, among other “kindnesses” he could have decided to get up early and take her dog for a walk or so. When she got up and… Read more »
I just really want to know if the author is single………because this made my heart sing. I used to be in a relationship where everything was done for me, over top of me, without my input and I was treated as lesser than. This article empowers me and I feel like it also empowers the masculine. I want someone who wants to on occasion care for me in that specific way…..who CHOOSES to because it brings them JOY. Of course there are times when I am going to step up to the plate and care for my man too……..chances are… Read more »
This jives with my relationship desires completely. I’m an educated, independent woman. I’m always strongs, always the caretaker, always the doer. I would love a man to share all of those roles with! “I got this” = YES