Hello, my name is Charlene Byars, and I am the Simply…Woman Empowerment and Relationship Coach. I write a monthly article about empowerment and relationships, and I am the founder of the Relationship Revolution System. Please feel free to write me at [email protected] and ask me any relationship questions you would like to see answered here. I’m here to help.
Have you noticed that there is something going on with men these days? Why is it that it seems like it is getting harder and harder to find a empowered man to be in a romantic relationship with? Why are some men so immature, clueless and lacking foundation?
I have seen a growing trend with the single women I work with - they are calling out for men, but boys keep showing up. I don’t mean teenagers with acne who are just learning about dating - I am talking males in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s – yes, fully grown males who present well at first, but ultimately seem to have missed some major steps in their development as men.
As I work with more and more women, it is become clear that there is a difference between a fully “grown” man, and a fully “developed” man; a man who is ready to provide the necessary masculine solidness and polarity that we as empowered women need from our romantic partners. And that got me to thinking – just what is going on here?
Well, like most questions concerning modern heterosexual relationships, the answers are more complex than they seem. So, if you are wanting to attract a man or you’re a mother of boys and want to raise empowered men, then read on. Let’s call in the men, ladies, and learn to leave the boys alone. As I always say, the person you choose to be with or choose to stay with is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make. That decision shapes everything – your happiness and mood, financial success or failure, children, your career and long-term peace of mind.
Whole books have been written about the state of men and masculinity - Iron John Robert Bly, Fire In The Belly by Sam Keen and Backbone by David Wagner, just to name a few. I have learned that over the past several decades, masculinity has gotten a bad rap. Women have been taught that masculinity is bad or toxic in some way. We’ve been told to reject the chest-thumping, sexual conquest driven and neanderthal-like behavior of men, and rightly so.
But based on what I am seeing, many women take this to the extreme and think they need to have a “nice” or “good” man, instead of a grown-up male who is good at being a man. They may reject mature, masculine men and choose to be with a male stuck in a state of permanent adolescence, only to then wonder why their relationship is unsatisfying.
Now, here’s a disclaimer for a lot of the men out there. Much of this current situation? It’s not their fault. Aside from the books mentioned above and programs designed to train men to be men, most boys in current Western society are not consistently taught the essence of manhood and how to make the passage from boyhood to manhood.
By and large, the rites of passage that boys naturally experienced with their elder male role models have slowly disappeared from society. In many instances, male role models are non-existent or are absent from the home, leaving boys to be raised by women, video games and their friends, who know also know nearly nothing about how to be good at being a man.
I also need to make clear that there are some GREAT men out there, solid men with vision who had someone show them what is becoming a lost art – raising boys into men. What did they get that the grown-up boys didn’t get? Empowered men seem to be fewer and much farther between. So, what does it mean to be good at being a man?
Being a empowered man is not simply a factor of age, experience, physical appearance or accomplishment. The empowered men I know make a choice from within about how he intends to show up and be in this world. A empowered man will look inward, heal the wounds from his own past in order to create and achieve the vision they have for their lives. For women, these healed men show up for us clean and unburdened from their past, and authentically who they are!
When it comes to choosing a man to be with, it can be hard to distinguish empowered men from fully grown boys. So how do you tell the difference? From my own experience, I have observed that in general, boys make things complicated while men keep things simple. Boys are stuck in their bullshit, while men are free of theirs.
According to Andrew Ferebee, the founder of Knowledge For Men, there are some basic distinctions that separate the men from the boys:
Another part of the equation is that women have allowed boys to show up in a relationship and act like Peter Pan – the boy who never grew up. If a woman is longing for a man to spend life with, then they need to stop allowing boys into their romantic lives. For our lovers, we need to be clear in who he is and how he is showing up.
Healed men are grounded in themselves and their vision, see things clearly and do not tolerate dysfunction or excuses, especially from themselves and in their romantic relationships. They have found their backbone and they do not allow a woman to take control in order to please them. Absent their backbone, men will fall into a default state of submission and allow themselves to be bullied and shaped in their relationship.
Empowered men do not place women on a pedestal, and they communicate their needs and boundaries clearly. What the empowered and grounded man wants is a partner to share adventures with, a person who will demand the best from them and is willing to give the same.
Women cannot save the boys who refuse to grow up or haven’t figured out how to grow all the way up. Nor should we! The truth is that everyone needs to be responsible for themselves, including men. I say it is up to us women to demand more from our men.
When you meet someone new, you are either dealing with a man or a boy and what you see is exactly what you get. We cannot change people that have no interest in changing themselves.
There are a lot of amazing and healed men in the world and if you want one of them, you have to be selective and not overlook the obvious signs of Peter Pan syndrome. So before plunging headfirst into the next attraction that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, I say pause, wait and make sure you are attracting an empowered man who is going to show up for you.
Remember, the person you choose to be with or choose to stay with is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. It is like interviewing men for the position of Romantic Partner for Life, and the right selection here can make all the difference. As an empowered woman with a life vision of your own it is perfectly okay to be selective about your men and how you show up in your romantic relationships with them. In the spirit of that, I have a few recommendations.
First, stop putting energy into badly behaving boys who fight, argue, blame and who do not have any interest in doing the work to heal. Do not allow boys to play their games with us. Second, stop mothering your man. If your energy is all about checking up on him, making sure he is compliant with you and seeing to his needs before yours are met, then stop! Third, demand more from men. It is totally okay to want so much more with your intimate partner, your man, your king! But remember, we request a match for what we are already being. Be the Queen for your man with honor and respect.
When we call in the MEN, everything changes. Healed and grounded men make your life amazing and peaceful. You get to be you in the relationships and not have to try and “fix” him. Trust me, trying to fix them does not work. We need to meet people where they are at and decide to move forward with them or move on based on what WE want from our romantic partner.
It truly takes people doing their own healing and looking inwards before they can have an amazing relationship with another human. They need to have healed themselves and look inwards before they can give their full and open heart to someone else. That is how amazing relationships are built and last.
When we are presented with a man, it’s the ultimate gift to yourself. It is the gift of respecting and loving yourself enough to be treated with the kindness and respect you deserve from your romantic partner!! So let boys be boys and allow men to step into their masculinity and show up for us in their true power, so we can do the same.
Well, ladies, I hope these few insights about empowered men and boys has been valuable and help you find your empowered relationship.