Listening to a podcast the other day, I heard two men (forgive me for my bad memory) talk about women not wanting emotional men who cry in front of them. They prefer men who listen to their problems. In summary, guys who show affection to their partners without needing comfort themselves. With toxic masculinity being a media focal point – apparently now affecting the environment, do women seek feminine stereotyped males?
How do you define emotional men?
Surprisingly, figuring out the characterisations of emotional men led me baffled and confused as to what it constitutes. According to vocabulary.com, being emotional means “feeling lots of feelings”. Emotions “are all about your heart” while logical – the opposite of emotional, “has more to do with your head”.
Little is written on Google regarding the phrase unless relating to guys overly sensitive. I’ve gathered, people assume emotional men cry repetitively and spend lots of time discussing their state of mind. To me, it’s more about men who express their thoughts and actually understand their reactions. They’re not afraid to acknowledge hurt or anger. You’d think everyone can comprehend thoughts and knows what their feeling.
But people can suppress. Sometimes you see others acting a particular way because they muddle – assuming anger when deep down sadness lays. An emotional man is one who doesn’t run from what they want to express and doesn’t push past feelings with logical responses. They’ll show sadness at a funeral; confess to needing a shoulder to lean on.
Women complicating emotional men?
Many women say they want sensitive boyfriends – then run towards “bad boys” and conventional, strong types. Take Sex and the City. Mr. Big played the powerful, “manly” love interest who hid away from deep conversation. He was sexy and captivating. Aiden meanwhile, appeared more emotional and less powerful. Carrie struggled to let go of Mr. Big and it was only when he became upset over the breakup of his movie star girlfriend, that she didn’t find him attractive.
Society is changing ideas on what being a man or women means. Take gender neutral clothing – River Island in 2017, created children’s clothing catering to both boys and girls. Elite Singles recently published a study on emotional men and asked whether women “Prefer A Man Who Can Cry?”. Results suggest females overwhelmingly prefer men in touch with their emotions. “16% of men” however, “wrongly believe that women find emotional men less attractive.”
From putting this piece together, I’ve discovered a grey area where no one’s sure what emotional means. Articles tend to emphasise extreme versions like guys who have meltdowns over missing a film at the cinema. Despite studies and females, themselves signifying they want emotional men, there’s still those who fall for emotionally unavailable.
The appeal of men unable to commit
Psychologist Seth Meyers wrote an article on Psychology Today about women attracted to emotionally unavailable men yet clueless as to why. Meyers explains how women who fall for these types “have some profound insecurities and self-esteem issues”. They invest time trying to represent what their partners want, hoping they’ll make the man commit and thus prove their worth. Typically, the man doesn’t change; the woman keeps wishing nonetheless because they can’t accept their pursuit meaningless.
Publication the Good Men Project produced an in-depth piece on guys emotionally unavailable. Writer and life coach Sile Walsh reveals “learned coping strategies” and “fear” often stop some men from building authentic connections. Regardless of how much they love a woman, only a man can change their patterns and confront their underlining issues.
Theoretically, it’s easier to look at another person and notice their flaws. Women interested in emotionally unavailable men waste analysation attempting to figure out their partners. Ignoring their problem as to why they want them. Though biology reasons women desire protectors and providers, upbringing impacts what level of protection they seek. This influences the overall appeal of emotional men.
What’s feminine and what’s masculine has become questionable. Going by statistics, women do want emotional men. However, what that actually means is complex. I conclude, society needs to stop associating emotion as a sign of weakness. We ought to remove labels and understand tears alone don’t box people to expression. Emotion is about awareness as much as it’s about physical action.
How do you feel about emotional men? How do you feel about a guy describing himself as emotional? Why not read: How to Find Love in the City