We men are called upon.
We are called upon not to do what comes most easily.
Or say what’s on the very tip of our tongue.
Or express something skin-deep.
We are called upon to notice.
Just as many famous men throughout history have called upon their own deeper, truer desires and drives to say and create and do courageous things, we men are called upon to follow suit.
Before I continue, I will open up and say that yes, in my path to learning, I have at times been cold, flaky, or verbally un-encouraging to females in my life. I have ogled and tilted my head like a confused dog. Fortunately, I have learned and listened and have begun to transcend that past reality. In the process, I have begun to notice my own thoughts and tendencies.
We men are called upon to be mindful of ourselves when it comes to interacting with women.
Many of us have heard the expression, sometimes said sarcastically from one male to another, “Dude, come on, that’s someone’s sister!”
It tends to elicit eye rolls, or a “well, yeah of course.”
So I’ll offer an alternative.
If you find yourself interacting with a young lady you don’t know, or you’re interested in interacting, pretend your sister is next to you. Pretend your sister’s in town and you took her to your gym to do a workout. At least, that’s how the hypothetical would play out with my own sister. The girl in question is also working out, and you’ve noticed her. The key word is “notice.” We’ll come back to that. What would you say that would be considered respectful and appropriate to your sister, as well as the girl in question? What do you say that doesn’t lead to your sister shaking her head or socking you in the shoulder?
If you don’t have a sister, pretend it’s your mother, and that you have the type of relationship with her that I have with mine. If my mom and I are getting lunch (we generally don’t workout together. Unless it’s yoga. Yoga’s okay.) and we’re in line, my mom might even be the first one to say, elbowing me, “Oh, she’s cute.” She’ll proceed to give me eyes that say, well why don’t you go say hi. To my disdain this leads quickly to–now that we’ve got our breadbowls of soup, or whatever–to discussing my most recent relationship, and the like specific percentage point of potential for future grandchildren, and how many, and how soon.
Just as the suggestion I was told that affected me several years ago works in situations where I’m doing something questionable as far as danger or legality is concerned, (Would my dad be proud of me for this?) I ask in this case, the somewhat queasy question, would it make her proud? My mother, I mean.
But and wait, why queasy? I’m not referring to the mom joining in on a date, I’m referring to an interaction in our everyday world, monitored, oddly enough, maternally. Why wouldn’t that draw out the inner gentlemen? And besides, you already won the mom’s approval. That’s like harnessing the way-better statistics of the success of organized marriages, in just a glance.
Okay, the story ran away from me here. I understand that the girl your mother would set you up with is oftentimes entirely different than the one you’d normally be interested in.
I recently read a post written by a fitness blogger who called out those who had been cat-calling her.
I took the opportunity to reach out to her and remind her that many men have the capacity to show their appreciation for the feminine. I told her that women deserve to be acknowledged for their hard work, and also their radiant femininity. To be encouraged and given a safe space to grow and progress.
I am calling upon men to notice women for who they are, what they’re working towards, what they have the power to become. Tap into the power, sadly under-associated with men, of empathy, and discern what it is that drives her. Notice that. Notice potentiality.
Notice feminine energy.
So okay, you’ve noticed an attractive person working out. Notice that it might not be her form that interests you. I promise that it is much more likely her energy. (Let’s take this moment to notice what is happening inside our own mind.) And if what interests you is that she has the passion and drive to improve herself and maintain peak health, well, then you two already have something in common.
Definitions: Dictionary.com and Google.com respectively.
Extremely important: while both women and men can be masculine, and some masculine woman find themselves attracted to more feminine men, and vice versa, and of course some men like other masculine men, whereas some men like more feminine men, this post is written from my own personal perspective to an audience, mostly, of men with similar relational perspectives.
Suggested reading: David Deida’s The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire