So, you want to settle down? Dating scene getting to be too much of a hassle? Starting to wonder what it’s like to be a grown-up? Maybe you have aspirations of being an established, serious man. Well, it’s going to be hard to prove you’re serious when explaining your succession of temporary “friends with benefits” to your family, friends, and neighbors.
It might take baby steps, but you can get there eventually.
The Challenges of Being A Serious Man:
It’s challenging to settle down.
It’s difficult to remain dedicated to only one partner.
Meaningful relationships can sometimes be difficult for men.
Yes, we mean what we say: the rewards of a deep, loving, intimate relationship outweigh the cotton-candy joys of bopping around the bar scene, and certainly are better than the constant misadventures of online dating. Your mate-for-life is a far, far better thing than just another fling of the week. You truly do want the intimacy that comes only with the trust of a lifetime bond. Almost everyone seems to want this, understandably.
So what makes it so hard?
You. You Make it Hard.
There are two ways of relating to the world: Through power, or through submission.
Many men are raised to worship power, and to seek as much power of their own as they can muster. Some aspects of our culture tell us this can be good. We celebrate the self-made man who did it all on his own, harnessing some hidden fount of primordial force that lies within him.
Often, once that self-made man has gained his riches and the world’s laurels, he turns to making a relationship for himself. Only, see, that’s different. He can’t make that relationship through power. But he can pretend, for a while. He can pretend the woman whose time he’s obtained with his power isn’t just hanging around for the good times and access to his premium cable channels. But she’s going to be moving on, soon enough. His power is useless when it comes to getting what he really wants. So, he’ll move on before or after she does, never overcoming commitment issues that keep him from true intimacy.
No, what’s required is something far more difficult than issuing proclamations, negotiating better contract terms, and doing a few more reps on an exercise machine. No, to have a strong relationship you need to submit to what really is. You need to acknowledge yourself as potentially helpless and stranded. And you need to approach a relationship not as something you master, but something that masters you. You must find the partner worth submitting to, in that very particular way that allows a relationship to happen.
That’s challenge number one, for most men.
Them. They Make it Hard
The other challenge: When you’re in a relationship, you have the Good Housekeeping Seal embroidered on your sleeve.
Women will say without a trace of irony how sexy it seems when a man is faithful to his wife and girlfriend. What they mean is – of course – they’d make it difficult for him to stay faithful if they had the right opportunity.
And they do. Women tend to be attracted to serious, established men who can govern their own impulses. They seek them out, perhaps while telling themselves their intentions are perfectly innocent.
One thing that gets overlooked when cheating in relationships happens: it takes two to tango.
Call for Help
If you’re a man in a relationship that you think could be everything you want, but you feel you or others keep getting in the way, there’s help available. The counsellors at Cuppls can help point you in the right direction towards true intimacy and growth. It’s never easy, but qualified couples therapists can help smooth the path towards being a serious, established man.