What makes a man?

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GPalder wrote:

Sean,

What makes a man?  I am a 27 year old male who makes a good living as a bartender.  I am in shape, and attractive, and I can hold a decent conversation.  I have plenty of “street smarts” but no formal education.  On a recent breakup, a woman told me she is sick of dating boys and needed a real man.  I’ve been told this three times before, so I noticed a pattern.

I am kind to women, flirty and sexual when appropriate, and I can handle myself.  I live with my father (in his basement..I don’t get along with my family much) but am saving to buy a home someday.  I don’t really know how much to put down, so I am just saving.  I pay my bills when I can (dating is expensive), and I dress well.  I have a son that I don’t really see because there’s too much drama with the baby’s mother, but I pay his bills.  All in all, I think I am pretty responsible..so what makes me not a man?

GPalder

Gpalder

There are so many questions I have for you, and I sent them, but got no response…so I am going off of what you wrote.  The things that make you a man aren’t how in shape you are, how well you dress, or how much “street smarts” you may have.  The things that make you a man are mental discipline, respect for others, financial stability, hygiene, and responsibility to do the right thing. Let’s run through them right now:

1.  Mental discipline You’re in shape, so you’re showing some mental discipline in getting into shape, but are you transitioning that into other aspects of your life?  It can be as simple as having a clean room.  Our parents taught us this basic level of cleanliness at an early age.  If you’re a 27-year-old male trying to date and your room looks like a bomb went off, you may want to check your mental discipline.  Did you know that a messy room is a psychological indicator of someone who has issues with independence, rules, and assertiveness?  It’s true.  Organization, cleanliness, good hygiene, and manners are all a part of mental discipline.  Learn them, love them, and you’ll be on the right track.  If you don’t follow the basics here, you’ll always be lost.

2.  Respect for others- You have a son and don’t see him because of BM drama?  Come on man, this isn’t high school.  If you’re broken up, there should be no drama.  If you’re at fault, learn to admit fault and ask for forgiveness.  If she’s at fault, forgive her and move on.  Every baby needs a GOOD father..not just someone who pays their bills.  You’re a role model for them whether you like it or not.

You also mention not getting along with your family.  If you’re living at home with them, you should be getting along with them.  We all have our arguments, but we need to respect our family.  Stop being an ass.  Respect everyone and ask the same of them.  It’s all a part of being an adult.

3.  Financial stability–  You’re living at home and saving for a home.  Awesome.  Nothing wrong with that these days…but you don’t know how much to put down??  Have you even talked to a realtor or are you just using the saving for a home thing as an excuse to live at home with lower rent?  You also said bills get paid “when you can” because dating is costly.  Yes it is, but being financially irresponsible is more costly.  It’s time to put dating on the back burner and get those bills aid off, THEN worry about relationships.  If you’re looking for a house, talk to a realtor and get some ideas in mind of what you’re able to afford and how much you need for a downpayment.

4.   Hygiene- You said you dress well and are in shape, which is a good start, but what do you define as “dressing “well”?  Are you dressing like a thug or a grunge-rock fan, or do you dress in nicer clothing?  Do you do laundry weekly or monthly?  Do you bathe daily?  Very few people these days are successful in life without following the basic rules of hygiene:  Shower daily and for God’s sake use some lotion afterward, wash and iron your clothing, and dress to your audience (dress nicely on a date, dress nicely for work if that’s the norm..and on casual days, a wife beater and saggy jeans is never a good option…douche).  Last of all, brush your teeth three times a day.  SO many people don’t follow this.  Just do it.

5.  Responsibility to do the right thing- It’s easy to just exist at 27 years old.  If you want to be like every other 27-year-old boy out there, then by all means, just exist.  If you want to be a man, you need to set goals for yourself and achieve them.  Chances are good that you won’t go from janitor to movie star overnight though, so set some reasonable goals for yourself and go from there.  It may be as basic as getting a promotion at work or finding a job that pays more than $22k a year, but you need to set some realistic and attainable goals.  If you reach them, set higher goals.

Another part of this is following up and keeping promises.  If you say you’ll do something, do it.  If you set a time for meeting/calling or doing something, stick to that time.  If something comes up or prevents you from keeping set plans, communicate.  Always, ALWAYS be true to your word.  A man is only as good as his word.

So there you have it, the 5 basics of being a man.  There is no half way or grey area here.  You either follow these principles or you will continue to fail with things.  All five concepts are interwoven and none can be skipped or omitted.  If you noticed some areas you need to improve on, do it…and you’ll be better for it.

Sean

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