Emotional availability invites connection, security, and gratitude—you can use it to cultivate dividends in your relationships
Emotional attractiveness in a man, for me, begins with communication. I appreciate a man who listens when I am vulnerable. I crave someone I can share my needs with. Most importantly, when I’m struggling in the relationship, or I feel my needs aren’t being met, I’m delighted by someone who will meet me—someone who sees my challenges as “figureoutable” instead of something to walk away from. I appreciate a man who sees my struggle as a part of who I am—and as something to work with—rather than a flaw in my character.
I’m so tired of my high standards being perceived as “high maintenance” or my emotions—often in response to a relationship dispute—being labeled as “crazy.” No sir, that’s gaslighting and it’s called emotional abuse. Also, I simply won’t tolerate it. Yashar Ali wrote a great article about this topic for The Good Men Project called, Why Women Aren’t Crazy.
Emotional attractiveness in a man, to me, is a keen sense of humor. It is humor that has a strong dose of sarcasm, with a heap of dark. My all-time favorite movie is Little Miss Sunshine. I know, it’s very dark and I LOVE it. American Beauty is a close second, followed by Fargo. You see where I’m going with this. There is a fine line with humor, though. Some of the men I’ve been with have used humor as a way to hide their true feelings, or camouflage an insult, and quickly follow it up with a statement like, “I was just kidding,” or “Can’t you take a joke?” Again. No sir, that’s gaslighting and it’s called emotional abuse—Not gonna tolerate it.
Communication and humor are some of the best ways that give me a sense of connection in my relationship.
Emotional attractiveness in a man, for me, is a man that gives our relationship a reset every morning—regardless of what happened the night before. This is something I’ve encountered in a recent relationship, and I thoroughly love it. I grew up in a household with parents who would give each other the silent treatment for days on end. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve repeated this behavior in my previous relationships as well. How refreshing it is to have a clean state every morning—no matter what.
A clean slate is a beautiful thing and gives me a wonderful sense of security in my relationship.
You know what else is refreshing and shows emotional attractiveness in a man, for me? Smiling! I simply don’t think we do enough of it these days. Really. Think about it. How often do you smile each day? Each week? How about laughing? Do you laugh daily? I think we ought to.
Now here’s the big one …
Emotional attractiveness in a man, for me, is … Dancing. Even if he can’t dance … at all. My all-time favorite relationship experience has been taking dance lessons with a lover. It was truly an awesome experience. Five weeks of nearly one-on-one training with the instructors and we never got past the stance and the “slow, slow, quick, quick” steps. You know what? We had a blast. When we go to the club, we tear it up on the dance floor. Shhhh … don’t tell anyone—But, he’s not a great dancer. You know what? He doesn’t care, and neither do I. That’s the beauty of it.
I was talking to a friend this past weekend about dancing and he said he would love to dance, but he’s just too embarrassed because he sucks at it. I said, “Who cares?” My friend replied, “Because there’s always people looking and laughing at the people who can’t dance.” I replied, “Yes, but that’s only because they are jealous because those who can’t dance have enough guts to dance regardless, and those who laugh from the sidelines don’t.” He agreed and decided he may just take some lessons.
It’s hard not to be grateful for your relationship when you’re smiling, laughing, and dancing.
I have a very short list of pre-requisites for anyone that I date. They are as follows:
- He must be completely and totally single and emotionally available
- He must have a job, a car, and a place to live
- He must have respect for himself and respect for me
Sadly, my pre-requisites became a necessity because individuals I dated previously, didn’t have these simple things. However, that’s not the important part of why I’m sharing this list. The essential thing here is: emotional availability is of paramount importance to me in a romantic partner.
The other great thing about emotional availability is that it can be developed. I believe with each generation, men are more and more emotionally available. I believe emotional availability begins with empathy. Sadly, I don’t think men were taught empathy until recently. I’m proud to say that my son is one of the most empathic beings there is. He’s also very emotionally available.
I also think some men fear that if they are emotionally available it makes them less “manly.” Emotional availability and strength are not mutually exclusive. You don’t have to be stoic to be “a man.” My son is 6’4”, very muscular and covered in tattoos. He can scare the biggest, baddest tough guy away and yet show his most kind soul to a child.
Emotional availability can win over many hearts. It’s a treasured ability when properly used, which invites connection, security, and gratitude. Use it to cultivate dividends in your relationships.