Crying isn’t a substitute for fixing stuff, but it is a healthy outlet and expression. It’s OK men, you can do it too.
I’ve been with the love of my life for four years now and have never seen him cry. Me, I cry at least once or twice a month. I cried when I didn’t get that awesome job I wanted, when I received a low grade on an exam, when I heard Adele sing, when my man broke up with me for six weeks (daily crying on that), when a loved one lied to me, and on and on.
But my man—nothing. Once, I thought I saw a little misting in his eye when a friend messaged him that one of their buddies had committed suicide, but he quickly hid that away and changed the subject. So why won’t he cry?
In my past experiences dating men, the ones who didn’t cry were the ones that seemed to want to project an image of themselves to the world that they “had it all together.” This image entailed someone who could do anything, was smarter than everyone else, a rock — essentially the “go-to” guy when the doodee hit the fan. I often thought of those men as cold and emotionless. I even left a serious, long-term relationship with a great guy because he never showed anything. I knew he loved me, but honey, show it!
So, why are so many men like this? Psychology tells us that often men who don’t grow up seeing other men cry, won’t cry much when they become adults. Some researchers have also said that testosterone makes one less apt to shed tears. While those can be partial factors, I believe there is more to it.
I definitely agree that not having a weeping role model will certainly affect the way one behaves later in life, but I believe that the more serious aspect is that many men feel that crying is a weakness. In their minds, crying is an emotional “breakdown,” and “instability” and they think that the person crying simply cannot deal with the problem at hand, so they cry instead. Men also tend to be the problem solvers in a relationship, and crying doesn’t solve problems. Weeping, to men, is seen as an inability to figure out how to fix something, and what kind of a man would you be if you couldn’t fix the problem? Right?
From a woman’s perspective, crying usually comes naturally. It is seen as an emotion that we can’t hold back, it outwardly expresses how we feel, and often times after a good cry we have more focus and drive to deal with the issue. It is not seen as a substitute to problem-solving. To us, crying is simply an expression of how one is feeling, not a breakdown of one’s psyche.
I admit, when I first start dating a man if I see him weeping frequently, I might wonder if he is a suitable companion for me. However, I think the same could be said for women as well—nobody wants to jump into a new relationship where you are always dealing with someone who is on an emotional rollercoaster. But I think the “rules” change as we go from newly dating someone to long-term commitment. Yes, it’s true, we all try to put our best foot forward when we first meet someone and create a perfect image, but eventually, everyone is found out for their true self.
But after a year or two, or four, certainly, I would love to see more of the emotional side of my partner than just the stone cold fix-it man. To me, that would mean that my man trusts me. Not that I have ever been untrustworthy, but that he drop could the “got-it-all-together” façade long enough to let me see him emotional, feeling vulnerable, feeling out of control with emotion. It doesn’t mean I will think he is unstable or weak, I would actually think of him as more human. Men, it’s OK, please cry.
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