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I speak for many women when I say I am tired of dealing with little boys. I am not just talking about in my personal life but in my professional life and everyday dealings as well.
On a recent trip to my neighborhood bookstore, I took a look at some of the men’s magazines on offer. Nearly all of them had covers proclaiming to have the secret for getting and keeping the “perfect” woman. Overwhelmingly, these were all linked to sex as in “Drive her wild in bed!” or “The best pick-up lines ever!” (the latter of which I presume are to get her into bed.).
While I would be the last to ever deny that sex is important, I was amazed that not one of these mentioned the sexiest trait in a man—the one that separates the men from the boys—and will keep a woman wanting to come back for more.
Here’s a clue: it’s not something that can be acquired from reading an article but rather something that it is within and a man either has or does not have.
Do you give up?
In that case, I will tell you what this magical trait is.
Everyone claims to know what responsibility is. Indeed, one of those words that gets thrown around a lot, but many people seem to use it without really knowing what it means.
First and foremost, being responsible means owning up to one’s actions. There are many people out there—men and women alike—who talk a nice talk but who do not practice what they are preaching. Likewise, many claim to be responsible but really aren’t.
Here’s one way to know: do you support yourself? It doesn’t matter if you are a seven figure CEO or self-employed in some quirky occupation. It doesn’t matter how much you bring home as long as you are doing some sort of work that you take seriously and show up to on a regular basis. Those who flit from job to job without good reason or in some cases, just walk away without even saying you’re quitting are not being responsible.
Those that expect parents and/or a current partner to bail them out do not meet the definition of responsible either.
Men, please take an honest look at your personal life. Have you ever just left a partner without even facing them or giving an explanation as to why you were ending things? Granted, there isn’t anyone I am aware of who likes a break-up but taking the coward’s way out is never justified in most cases. (The only exception that I can think of is if your personal safety is threatened.) Also, it’s pretty much guaranteed that any unfinished business from a past relationship will spill over into future ones. (And for those that have ever walked away from a child you fathered, you need not even ask yourself if you have failed the responsibility test.)
Lastly, and this is a tough one for most, being responsible means being big enough to admit one’s mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. There is no such thing as life without them. While it doesn’t make sense to dwell on things that cannot be changed, owning up to past mistakes is essential to being a responsible adult. Forget the stereotype of the alpha male who never apologizes. A real man has humility and is humble enough to admit he has been wrong and hurt others.
Therefore, the next time you hear the term “real man” being tossed around, think for a moment what that really means and the role that responsibility plays in that. Lest you think that means a “real man” must be one that can never loosen up and have fun, let me point that that couldn’t be further from the truth. Some of the most noble examples of real men I have ever met had a child-like sense of humor and fun as well as a sort of wonderment of the world akin to that of children but being child-like is not the same as childish.
By all means, have your fun, but do so in responsible way. It may never appear the subject of an article in Playboy or Maxim Magazine, but a responsible man is a sexy man and doing so will win you more women than the best pick-up lines ever will.
Author: Kimberly Lo
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Kevin Dooley at Flickr