(Feeling triggered? Please read on, believe it or not, this is for you.)
Get 2 or more single women together over the age of 25, and I guarantee “all men are [insert negative generalization here]” or “there are no good men out there” will be discussed.
It’s so common in fact that you probably don’t even realise you’re saying it.
DISCLAIMER: I do not deny that issues with toxic masculinity are present. There exist a plethora of societal challenges to be resolved surrounding patriarchy, misogyny, sexism and male/female dynamics. All of which I have experienced in many of its ‘finest’ forms.
In fact, I somehow feel more ‘qualified’ to write this as someone who has experienced some incredibly challenging (and painful) life experiences as a result of these issues.
And yet, I’m still here to say that the statement “There are no good men out there” is not true, nor a helpful thing to say. Ever!
Let me break it down for you…
1. You and I both know it’s a lie.
Generalizations can be a useful way of navigating concepts in our world. However, this one is a bit of a stretch when you consider there are approximately 3.7 billion men in this world.
So let’s get specific about what you really mean by “all men”.
While the following is related to personal preference – I trust you catch my drift with my chosen example
Criteria a) Your pre-requisites: Between the ages of 32 and 40, the Height of 6ft & 6ft 3”, within 30km radius, attractive by your terms, similar socio-economic status, nice but not too nice, wants kids, doesn’t have kids, has a “good job”, makes you laugh, is a good communicator, likes your friends and is in touch with his emotions. As a start.
Criteria b) In addition to the above criteria, they also:
- go to the bars you go to
- have an active profile on the dating apps you’re on
- work in your office
Criteria c) Person meeting both Criteria A and Criteria B, happens to be at the right place at the right time and has both the confidence and the opportunity to approach you in a way that managed to catch and keep your attention.
Mostly fair and reasonable, yes. And having standards and knowing what you want is fantastic as long as they’re healthy. But, for the purpose of this discussion, if we’re a little more specific regarding your earlier statements. We’re not really talking about ALL men, are we?
In fact, I would suggest that I can, with 99.9% certainty, be sure you know MANY good… amazing men even. Which leads me to my next point;
2. It’s insulting to all the AMAZING men
I’m curious, what if you shifted your focus. Instead of choosing to spend your energy thinking about, criticizing (and likely chasing) men who;
- don’t align with your values
- are emotionally unavailable
- don’t appreciate you
You chose to focus on thinking about, talking about, honouring, and spending time with all the great ones?
Try this at home:
- Start thinking now of men in the world you love, admire and/or respect. Maybe it’s your Dad, your nephew (yes, kids too), an old boss, all the ’taken’ men you seem to notice, your barista, Barrack Obama… whoever it is for you.
- Keep thinking until you have at least 10 front of your mind.
- Now list the qualities you love about them.
As you begin directing your energy in this way, you will start noticing and being grateful for all the essential and beautiful masculine qualities they represent.
Soon, because what you focus on grows, you will start noticing more wonderful men surrounding you, and more of the qualities you admire showing up in your life.
And maybe, just maybe, if you’re ready for it, you could even start to see the “no good” ones for the good they genuinely have within them. Regardless of whether they are being who want them to be at this stage of their journey.
Maybe he ghosted you, maybe he cheated on you, maybe he is a jerk, but deep down that doesn’t necessarily make him a ‘bad person’. It makes him an imperfect one, that probably has some internal unresolved issues from his childhood, and not one I want to be with. But not necessarily a bad guy.
At the end of the day, as humans, we are all doing the best we can with the resources we’ve got.
(Please do not misunderstand this to be an excuse to tolerate their behaviour and stay with the jerk. It’s your free ticket OUT! To release your anger, resentment and hurt, send them love, and let them go)
3. It’s a limiting belief. That you are placing on yourself!
While a seemingly harmless statement, it is in fact a disempowering over-generalisation and it’s not helping anybody.
Every time you say “there are no good men out there” or, “all men are [insert negative generalization here]”) your brain starts filtering out anything outside of this stated belief. This is how our brain very effectively filters information in the world and conserves its energy.
Within NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) any statement of this type is described as including what we call ‘deletions, distortions and generalisations’.
What this means is that your brain will subconsciously block anything outside(i.e good men) your stated frame of reference(i.e there are no good men) from your ‘reality’.
Not ideal right! And it’s why right now you are finding it hard to believe that the type of relationship you dream of is out there.
4. You need to be honest with yourself.
Ok, time for a reality check if you’re ready for it. And please know, this is coming from a place of love and wanting to help you find the relationship you deserve.
- You have a ‘type’ physically and you’re not yet ready to see past that (See point 1 – Criteria A)
- You aren’t great at setting boundaries so you’re not exactly setting a great example of how you deserve to be treated.
- Deep down, you don’t actually believe you’re worthy of love from an amazing man. (Possibly due to your brains association of past experiences with men to your beliefs about yourself. FYI it was never about you, it’s about them.)
So yes, all the men you’re choosing aren’t good (for you) but they are OUT THERE. And a far better investment of your focus is on believing in your beautiful self instead. As your own behaviours and emotions are fully within your control and power.
Because you have CHOSEN to be with the guy who treated you poorly don’t blame men.
Place the responsibility where you have power over it – on your own choices and (possible lack of) boundaries. The longer you keep allowing men to treat you badly, the longer they may learn this behaviour is a suitable strategy in order to attract women.
I have tolerated some pretty terrible treatment in the past. Ranging from cheating and lying through to sexual abuse, emotional manipulation and abuse of power. And yet I still choose to carry love and compassion towards them rather than anger and resentment.
Why? Because it only hurts me to carry that pain.
How do I that? By knowing that their behaviour was coming from a place of fear, and having compassion towards that.
What I am more curious about is; ‘What can I do differently?’, ‘What do I actually want?, ‘How do I attract that?’
At the end of the day, it does not serve me to be concerned with their issues.
Instead, I choose to focus instead on owning MY power to make a different choice today.
And last, but certainly not least…
5. The Rock – Dwayne Johnstone
(Should further clarification be required please see @therock )
So ladies, from a deep place of love, next time you hear yourself, or another, making a similar statement, I urge you to rethink a more powerful way of being.
The moral of this story is that it is only hurting YOU, and there are SO MANY magnificent men in this world worthy of the love you have to give.
Let’s start teaching men (and woman) what an amazing man looks like by giving our love and attention to them! By not tolerating poor behaviour, and by not giving attention to what is not worthy of it.
I am about human empowerment, which to me means celebrating and respecting both the feminine and the masculine as equally important, wonderful and powerful. And I advocate for the recognition of the unique strengths of both.
I believe that the more time, energy and focus we cultivate towards positive male role models, the more we direct men to learn what an AMAZING man truly is.