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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Jennifer's Gems > Real Men Cry

by Jennifer Brown Banks

Real Men Do Cry

Folks, please stop telling your sons, sibblings, or mates that “real men don't cry.”

They do.

And those that don't, typically grow up to be repressed, emotionally unavailable, over burdened, out of touch, insensitive guys that bring “excess baggage” and dysfunctional mindsets into romantic relationships, causing “real women” to cry!

Instead, “real men” hold to their own personal code of behavior, based upon their sensibilities and personality traits.  Not stereotypes and silly rules based upon gender roles imposed by society.
(Are you pickin' up what I'm puttin' down?)

This topic spoke to me as I was watching a recent Oprah Show. She had as her guest, the sexy and accomplished talk show host, Montell Williams.

Now, there's a real man!

He's been in the military, works out regularly (with the body of a Greek God), and has the demeanor of a prize fighter.

Still, it seems that every time I see him, whether it's on his show, or some other forum, he's “strong” enough to show his vulnerability by shedding tears, if the situation moves him to do so. This guy can really bring on the water works.

But, I respect that. In fact I admire that. I even encourage it. Particularly for Black men who are too often vilified in our society and stressed to the max. Perhaps the emotional release of crying and purging might prevent more “Chris Brown” scenarios ( dating and domestic violence).  This is not to suggest that White men don't have the same issue as well---but in different ways and rates.

And speaking of stereotypes and myths about men, here's another one worth addressing: ALL men cheat.

Don't believe the hype!

Magazines, movies, surveys, and studies would have us to believe that by virtue of their “Mars” status,  ALL men are programmed to fool around and act foolish. Huh?

Here's a case in point.

Some time ago, at a party at a friend's house, for girls' night, the topic surfaced. And guess what? With the exception of one or two women of those gathered, most said that they truly believed that all men cheat on their mates. That it's just a reality of life.

Some rationalized it by stating that men are visual creatures, which adds to the problem.  Others stated that men are “socialized” to sow their wild oats, and have a different moral code.  While others blamed the fact that men view sex as something “recreational” rather than emotional. Not to mention the ratio of women to men in most communities.

Ladies, don't buy into this!

Don't stand for disrespectful, cheating behavior, adopting the mindset that “boys will be boys”. After all, do you want to date a boy, or a MAN?

...And moving right along, here's another related myth.

“Once a cheater always a cheater”.

Not so.

The reasons that some men cheat are as diverse as the women with whom they cheat. But whether or not he will cheat again, is based upon several factors. Let's look at a few of them.

  • His maturity level—A man who cheats in his 20's does not have the same ego or validation issues when he reaches his 30s or 4os.

  • Whether his infidelity was a one-night stand or a repeat affair---some guys are serial cheaters, while others may cheat as a result of a “weak moment” and opportunity.

  • The lessons learned from his dad and the way his mom was cheated---I'm a firm believer that we are products of our environment, (though not always). If a guy grows up observing his dad being unfaithful, it sends the wrong message and can shape and define his manhood in the future.

So ladies, if you're ever faced with whether or not to forgive a “former” cheater and take him back, look at his entire behavior and relationship patterns in general, not just the one incidence of indiscretion.

And, last but not least, is the myth that men don't love as deeply as women do... I'm happy to report that some do!  I can attest to this as a female who has many male friends who have cried to me in the midst of a failed relationship with women whom they really adored.  They can be just as “crazy”, clingy, and coo-coo, depending upon the circumstances.

So, there you have it.  I trust that these stereotypes addressed today will help to enhance your knowledge about guys--- the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Word to the wise...For TRUE love, never deal in MYTHS.


Jennifer's Gems
is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday.
Click here to read her welcome letter.

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