This is what an Authentic, Grown-Ass Man Looks Like.

He is respectful.

He doesn’t take sh*t, but he takes responsibility.

He doesn’t feel personally attacked when people bring up toxic masculinity.

He owns his subtle privileges. He doesn’t use them to try to help or heal others. He uses them to help and heal himself.

He uses his voice, and he isn’t swayed by his peers. Because he knows who he is. Because he knows that he can learn from those with experiences he will never have.

He knows that he can break down, and that it doesn’t mean he’s any less of a man.
He knows how to love. And he knows how to grieve.
He knows that he has partners, and not conquests.
He knows that being big sometimes means feeling small.
He knows that rejection doesn’t mean he isn’t good enough, or that he’s too much.
He knows what boundaries are. And he knows how to respect them.

He knows that yes means yes.
That no means no.
And even that maybe means, “I don’t know yet.”

And he is okay with not knowing.
He is respectful.

Because he is comfortable in his own skin.
He knows he is beautiful. And he knows that you are too.

He knows how to play. How to be childlike. But not childish.

He wants to play with you.
He wants to love you.
And he wants to be loved by you.

He knows that you won’t complete him; that’s his job.
He knows that he won’t complete you; that’s your job.
He knows that a relationship is a dance, and he’s taking lessons.

He listens.
Because you have so much to say. And to teach him. And to show him.

He grew up. Because he was tired of being a boy.
And he wants to meet you halfway, where the magic tends to happen.

He knows he can cry. He knows it makes him stronger.

He knows he can be held. And he asks you to hold him.
And he holds you right back.

This is what a man in his power looks like.

Wait for him. Because he’s waiting for you.
See him. Because he wants to see you.

This is what a man in his power looks like.

Image: Zeri Wieder

Image: Game of Thrones (2011-)

Image: Elephant Journal on Instagram

Image: Kelsey Michal

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Zeri Wieder

Zeri Wieder writes about relationships, psychology, and spirituality through the lens of personal stories and fiction. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

Possibly a good deal of what you will find in these pages will be bad advice. This can be no worse than many other treatises on psychology, or on spirituality, for that matter. Take what works for you, and leave the rest behind. What does speak to you, change it; make it your own. Create your own concept of the world. For this is all we really can do. We go through this life, chalk full of how others think things work, how others taught us what is what. We go along with the herd just a touch too often. We live in a universe of projections; ours and others’.

But, we create our own universes, if given the chance. Question what you are told, especially when it comes from any professional in their field (take a Buddhist psychologist, for instance). No one really knows what is what. That’s okay.