First off, let me preface this with “I love you.”
While scrolling through my Facebook wall recently, there was a video I happened upon from a group Relationship Rules. In it, they defined the aptly-entitled: “6 Signs He’s A Real Man.” I offered a half-hearted chuckle, as I pressed play and began to go through the animated clip; prepared to take in the information with a grain a salt (because, after all, this is Facebook we’re talking about). However, I soon found myself seemingly identifying with every subsequent element that was presented.
Now, just to be clear, I’m not citing this group as the “ultimate authority” on relationships — which is why, again, when I initially viewed their post/video, I held a hard side-eye (because, after all, this is Facebook we’re talking about); and, furthermore, before I nodded and agreed and decided to make this such a “to do” in the form of a blog post, I did my due diligence by vetting this Relationship Rules group a little further. Surprisingly, nearly nine million people have liked their page. They also have an actual website containing more insightful quotes and articles as it relates to… relations. They even have a book I believe. If nothing else, they were serious.
Going back to their Facebook page, I then went through a few more of their videos: most of which followed the same format (i.e., “[X number of] things [men, women, couples] [do, say, think, feel, etc.]”). Being as transparent as I could with regard to myself in our relationship, I finally viewed the post that first lured me and documented the points. They are as follows:
A real man isn’t afraid to say that he misses you.
Let you going off to China for a week be the most recent, substantiating example as it relates to this point.
A real man isn’t afraid to ask for your help when he needs it.
Admittedly, this is tricky. Generally speaking, although I challenge myself to be resourceful beyond what is comfortable, I am not above asking for help if and when I absolutely need it. However, I have found it hard to solicit such from you because — and I can’t exactly pinpoint the root of this sentiment — I don’t feel comfortable asking anything from you.
A real man will give you all of his care and affection.
One of the most endearing things I love to do is lay beside you and rub your belly. Now, it oftentimes is a precursor for sex, but understand that while you could make that your one and only association, there are also times when it is simply just to be close to you. To inaudibly shout to you, among other things, your importance to me.
His biggest fear is losing you.
Second only to losing my mind. I remember the first time (back when we were still dating then, I think) we had an epic, end-of-relationship fight, and — amongst the other kinds of devastation — becoming physically ill when you left. It felt more excruciating than that time I got food poisoning and had been relegated to the nearest porcelain throne; where, if not involuntarily dry heaving until my gut sucked into my back, I was violently throwing up water and bile. I don’t know if you also remember me stating after I was over it (probably, in part, spawned from the delusion of my sickness) that it was “fun,” and wouldn’t mind experiencing that again. If it meant that versus how I felt during that first “breakup” of ours… no question. This is also to include the times (and fights) thereafter, where I’ve thrown around the proposition of divorce.
A real man says “I love you” and means it.
I’ve said it, texted it, passionately proclaimed it publicly, and in the throes of passion privately. Friends, family… our children, even, can attest to that declaration.
A real man wouldn’t mind waking up next to you every morning. *Grey hairs and all.
You remember in the last [counselng] session when I mentioned how upset I was about you getting up and on with your day that one Saturday we were off; when I just wanted to sleep in… with you? I mean, you have to realize how hard it is to be that vulnerable with someone nowadays. I could explore that much further, but I’m trying to keep this short. However, just understand that I’ve had the best sleep in years because, firstly, due to this “change of lifestyle” of which we are still in the transitioning process; and secondly, because I get to wake up next to the person I am so fortunate to be transitioning with. (The Bahamas was the best thing that ever happened to me… us.)
After I saw that I was basically winning (notwithstanding the opportunities for me to address), it all got me to thinking; and was furthermore the genesis of why I felt it necessary to put my thoughts down on [digital] paper. Why was I still losing when it came to you, though…?
To Be Continued…