Home Featured Five Things About Men I’ll Teach My Daughter

Five Things About Men I’ll Teach My Daughter

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You guys wanna know a secret? More than anything, I’ve always wanted a daughter. When the prospect of having children was nothing more than a distant dream, the child I dreamt of the most was my future little girl. As I’ve gotten older and the idea of having children has progressed from dream to long term goal, to short term goal, to plan, the need to build a legacy that lasts generations has increased my desire for male offspring. I need sons to carry forward my name and advance whatever greatness I achieve in my lifetime. Still, when I think about being a father, when I think about my relationship with my children, the relationship I look forward to the most is the relationship I’ll have with daddy’s little girl.

I imagine we’ll be close, close enough for her to feel comfortable sharing with me her romantic hopes, dreams, trepidations, and loves. At being a man, I’m pretty well practiced. Not only that, but I’m also the kind of man that spends hours upon hours thinking about decisions I’ve made, analyzing why I think the things I think, and constantly working toward achieving that next level of manliness. I say that to say, I think I know men well. I hope I am a good enough father and a man enough man to be stern, when necessary, gentle when necessary and when necessary, comfortable enough to share with my daughter all of the secrets she’ll need know to be successful in life and love.  Most of all, I hope that through my actions she’s able to learn everything she needs to learn about what a man should be.

Two Monday’s ago I started the Future Father Series with “Five Things About Women I’ll Teach My Son,” today’s post picks up where that one left off. Today I want to share with you all five things about men I’ll teach my daughter. Let’s jump right in.

Many Men, By Nature, Are Secretive

Men abide in secrets. All of the best and worst parts of a man, the things that make him who he is, are found in places he keeps obscured from public view, only sharing with those who’ve earned his trust. This is not a bad thing. I’m actually distrustful of men who portend to bare their souls to every person they happen to come across. Maybe it’s because we’re not asked about our feelings enough as children or maybe it’s born out of some antiquated ideology around masculinity. Whatever the cause, the fact remains, most men you encounter will have secrets, and before you give yourself to a man, make sure you’ve seen those places no one else sees.

How might you do this? Well, the first step is to listen. Listen not just to what a man says, but also to what he is saying. Bits and pieces of the truth of who a man is and who he is not can come out at any moment. Secrets are not always shared in deep, expansive conversations, sometimes they’re bared in those unexpectedly intimate moments when you’re sitting around doing nothing. Next, learn to challenge without judging. Most of the secrets a worthwhile man will share will be things he’s already spent hours obsessing over. If you can ask a perfectly timed question that doesn’t pass judgment but forces him to re-think whatever conclusion he’s already come to, you’ll get the rare opportunity to see that man sans the wall, moat, shield and suit of armor he’s built to protect himself. And once you’ve seen us that vulnerable, we have but two choices, kill you or love you. Most times we’ll choose the latter.

Ladies: Ever met a man who kept the best parts of himself to himself until he developed a certain measure of trust in you?

Fellas: How secretive are you? How much of yourself do you hold back in the early stages of a relationship.

Men Don’t Make Mistakes

This is not to say that men are perfect, we are not. It is to say that the vast majority of a man’s actions, both heroic, and villainous, will be the product of premeditation. In hindsight they are mistakes, but in the moment, we know exactly what we’re doing and we are weighing the consequences with each forward step we take. Trust not and forgive not a man who tells you he made a mistake because if he views it as a mistake, he’s likely to make it again. Understand, there’s a difference between a man telling you he made a mistake, and a man telling you he made a decision that was wrong. One abdicates responsibility and the other accepts responsibility. The fact that a man takes responsibility for his decisions doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a man worthy of you, but it does mean he has a good grasp of who he is and what he’s capable of; and that makes him more trustworthy than the man who makes mistakes. How you choose to proceed is up to you, but understanding the difference before making your decision is important. If a man shows you who he is, believe him… the first time.

Ever been in a relationship and either made or been the victim of a major error in judgement or poor decision? How did you handle it? When looking back, was it really a mistake?

A Man’s Love Is Not Confusing

Some things about us are complicated. Our ability to compartmentalize our lives, our affinity for secrets – these are all things that can at times, be difficult to comprehend. But when we love, it’s not complex at all – it’s obvious. The only thing we put before our own happiness, our own goals, and our own desires is a woman we love. Love inspires selflessness so if we’re not putting you first, it’s probably because we don’t love you. If you’re confused about whether or not we love you, we probably are too. If you have to sit around plucking pedals off a dandelion saying “he loves me, he loves me not” you’ve already got your answer. Has there ever been a moment in your life where you doubted my love for you? From when you were just a little girl all the way up till now, whether I was angry at you or whether you were angry at me, you’ve always known I loved you right? My love for your mother is the same and so too will be the love of the man who falls for you. You’ll just know.

Most Men Will Only Respect You To The Extent They Think You Respect Yourself

This seems a lot more obvious than it really is; if you respect yourself, men will respect you. Simple enough right? The thing you need to understand is, men won’t always use the same yard stick as you when it comes to measuring how much we think you respect yourself. We often make our own judgments based on our own arbitrary formulas that take into unquantifiable account what you say, what you do, what people say you said, what people say you do, and a whole host of other things that may or may not be in your control. We treat you how we think you deserve to be treated, not how you think you deserve to be treated. You might see yourself as a Queen and the man you’re getting to know, through his words, his actions, his general attitude toward you might be showing you that he disagrees. What are you to do then? I’ll never tell you to change who you are or what you do because of how a man sees you, but you do need to understand that sometimes, a man’s opinion about you – however inaccurate – cannot be changed. In those situations you need to have the discipline, character, and self-esteem to be willing to just move on. He’s not for you.

Fellas, keep it real, ever disrespected a woman you were dealing with because you thought she didn’t respect herself? Ladies, ever felt like a man treated you less than you deserved because of a lack of respect?

Not All Men Are Created Equal

Contrary to Jefferson’s words in the Declaration of Independence, all men are not created equal. Sure, in God’s eyes we’re all the same, but as it relates to you and your happiness, you’ll find some of us are better than others. How to figure out the man’s man from the rest will, at some point,  be of great importance to you. There are many scales by which history has advised we judge men. Hov would tell you to judge a man by his achievement, but then Martin told us the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Voltaire said judge a man by his questions, not his answers. Still, Longfellow would say that we judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done. My advice: judge the men you come to know by the consistency with which they do the things they say they are going to do. A man’s word is his bond and a man who consistently breaks that bond is a lesser man than the man you deserve.

The prospect of having children, a daughter no less, is daunting, and scary, and exciting at the same time. I hope and pray I’m blessed enough to be allowed initiation into the fraternity of fathers. And when I am, I hope for sons, and look forward to daughters. Till then, all I can do is sit around and think about the things I’ll pass on. What do you all think, is this good information to pass my daughter about men, am I missing some major points? How about you? What secrets about men would you all will pass along to your daughters. Moms and future moms, what have you learned from your experiences? Dads and future dads what nuggets of man-logic are you planning to pass along to your little girls.

***If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check back on Thursday as WisdomIsMisery flips the script and shares with us why he doesn’t want to have a daughter. I’ll be back next Monday getting all personal, answering the famed Pivot Questionnaire. Till then… stay low and keep firing.***

Comment(125)

  1. *standing ovation*

    Definitely a solid list of important things women should learn about men, and yeah it is ideal that they learn it from their father. I really loved this part:

    "Has there ever been a moment in your life where you doubted my love for you? From when you were just a little girl all the way up till now, whether I was angry at you or whether you were angry at me, you’ve always known I loved you right? My love for your mother is the same and so too will be the love of the man who falls for you. You’ll just know."

    Soooooo so well-put.

        1. LOL! I think I cry or tear up at almost all of your posts! Blame yourself! LOL It's a good thing when your writing can evoke emotion though.

        2. That right there is my entire disciplinary strategy. Moms gonna give the daily beating for the everyday ish like not cleaning your room, leaving your toys all over the house etc. etc. etc.

          But when the big stuff happens. When you get a C in school, when the teacher calls home and says you were disrupting class, or when mom says you were acting out in public … that's when it's "Daddy wants to talk to you."
          My recent post The Millennial Manifesto: How 80′s Babies Can Save the World

        3. LOL, come onnnn don't leave mama with the daily groanings- it's gets tiring and she starts to look like the bad guy.

          But then again… this is how it went in our house… and it worked/works great… so… well…

          But don't let babygurl sit there waiting for "the talk" all day and evening, poor thing… her poor little belly is gonna be in knots… the _waiting_ was the worst!
          My recent post Journal Peek: Thank You

        4. LOL, me either. Mama Cheeks always says Papa Cheeks (which… his cheeks weren't pinchable but ya know…) couldn't spank me to save his life. In fact, he always thought Mama was too hard on me. SMH… ah Daddy's girls… lol

  2. "My advice: judge the men you come to know by the consistency with which they do the things they say they are going to do." — Excellent advice. Generalizable, too.

    "Many Men, By Nature, Are Secretive" — I learned that the hard way. I'm a very open person, so it was a bit of a sobering thing to encounter highly private and introverted (as far as feelings are concerned) men. I can better deal with this now, and it's not been as much of a problem since I've gotten over some of my past shyness. That said, there is a limit to the amount of time I'm willing to wait for him to open up – especially since not all of them are capable of doing, or willing to doing so beyond a certain level.

    A Man’s Love Is Not Confusing

    I wouldn't quite say that. In general, it's true. However, not everyone knows how to love "the right way"…especially if they didn't have particularly great models of such love growing up. Some people love, but try to fight for control over their emotions and end up pushing the object of their affection away. Their love – or at least strength of emotion – is no less real. Expression, however and for the most part, is a learned behaviour. Musiq's "Teach me" just came to mind.

    I find it sweet that you're looking forward to that father-daughter bond. Few things warm my heart more than seeing a father showering his child(ren) with affection.

    1. "Some people love, but try to fight for control over their emotions and end up pushing the object of their affection away. Their love – or at least strength of emotion – is no less real. Expression, however and for the most part, is a learned behaviour. "

      This is true, but at some point you have to ask yourself… When it comes to your long term happiness, what's the difference between a person who tries to love you or tries to show you they love you and fails, and a person who doesn't love you at all?

      My recent post The Millennial Manifesto: How 80′s Babies Can Save the World

      1. Oh, we're in agreement. I just wanted to bring up the fact that it's not always quite so cut and dry, and there are a good number of people suffering for it. Mixed messages are a witch and a half. Since there are a good number of warning signs, I doubt I would be able to stick around long enough for him to fall in love with me. I want a peaceful love that simply makes sense from A-Z.

    2. I'm curious, what kind of challenges did you face being an open person, but dating someone who was secretive?

      Also, you stated that you would only be so patient waiting for him to open up. What type of secrets/things were you looking for him to share with you and do you believe there are some things that he could keep to himself and things that you could keep to yourself?
      My recent post We Must Spread LOVE

      1. I would say that it's more than a bit odd to realize at various points that you don't quite know this man who wants you by his side 24/7. I mean, you know that he has a kind heart and you've learned that he is generally private and wasn't just trying to keep his business with you on the low at the beginning, but certain conversations are strained. He doesn't quite like talking about things that affected him emotionally in the past, and because you pick up on it and are a bit shy in your exploration, you learn to stay away from those subjects. He's made it a habit to go through life asking people questions while not disclosing his own self, so it's a difficult adjustment to venture into the realm of feelings. He wants you there while he works, as he falls asleep, and to support him in public and professional ventures…..but through it all, it seems as though an upper limit has been placed to how much you can truly get in his brain and/or heart. You don't question his feelings for you, but feelings aren't always enough. Part of it had to do with lack of effective communication (on both ends), and the other had to do with my ability to live in the moment and not push too far. In my younger years, I was generally content with just bonding by the sheer amount of time spent together, playfulness, and discussions about things that matter, but not as far as we were concerned.

        I think it all boils down to freedom of information flow. You see, because people tend to warm up to me very quickly, it's odd having intimate (not carnal) knowledge of some guy friends while not being able to say the same for your partner. I'm not looking for specific secrets, but more so his ability to share things that have affected him in the past. I'm sure there are things that I could keep to myself, but if we're heading towards or are in the early stages of a relationship and you ask me a question, I will answer it with minimal hesitation. I already have a problem with asking questions, so if I feel resistance when I do, or if you continuously clam up once we start broaching a certain subject, I may perceive that as a warning sign and react accordingly. It's not that I'm saying he has 2-4 weeks to let me know everything. More so that, at some point, I will evaluate the rate at which we appear to be growing together. Trust can take time, I get it. But I don't know if I can wait for an extended period before feeling as though he's starting to trust me. He's not the only one laying his heart on the line, after all. Also, me finding things out shouldn't always be the result of an inquiry. As an example, I'll use my current friendship with an ex. I know so much more about him now than I did when we were dating. He opens up freely and shares things without any prompting. This would likely have brought us closer when we were together. One thing that used to surprise me with him and another is the fact that they're absolutely convinced that they shared x,y,z with me in the past. Not so, my friends. In essence, they didn't even realize the extent to which they were secretive.

        I think what it boils down to is my perception of secretiveness as a barrier to developing intimacy. Sorry for the essay, and I'm not quite sure I explained myself adequately. Please let me know if you require further clarification.

        1. No reason to apologize at all. I am so glad that you expounded on what you meant. Now I have a better understanding of what you mean and I have to agree with you. Communication should always be present. Like you stated, it shouldn’t be about you always asking him questions or the other way around. There should be discussions between the two of you where you openly share with one another because it will help strengthen your bond and ultimately the relationship.

          I can’t even begin to imagine how frustrating it is to be with someone who is constantly closing themselves off to you and not willing to share a part of themselves with you. Being a person who is reserved, I always realize that I can’t possibly build a lasting relationship without being willing to share something. I believe that I’m open to sharing with my partner, but I don’t believe in sharing everything with her at once. Let’s take things at a gradual pace. You know?

          Whether people realize it or not, friendship is truly the key. I am not the least bit surprised that your ex began opening up to you once you two were just friends. It seems that the majority of us, people in general, are more inclined to open up to a friend. I believe this is partly because we know this person isn’t expecting something from us. We are able to let our guards down and just talk. I know some people feel like that’s how things should be for the person they are dating, but it just doesn’t seem to be the case in most instances.

          Personally, I believe in forming a friendship with a person before entering into a relationship with them. Mainly, because friendship allows you to see a person for who they truly are. There are no pretense or fronts, for the most part. A person is willing to be themselves around their friends. Then once those two friends see each other for who they truly are, they can take things to the next step and begin to formulate a lasting relationship…with that openness already attached.

          I understand not everyone believes in taking this approach, but I believe it is a great way to establish the foundation of a relationship. I hope I didn’t go off on a tangent, but I am in complete agreement with you. I think people need to communicate together. It shouldn’t be one person doing all the sharing and talking. It should be a collaborative effort. Also, no one should be expected to wait around indefinitely for someone to finally open up. That person should be sharing things about themselves with the other person gradually. At least that’s how I see. Thank you so much for answering my questions. I really appreciate that.

        2. It's my pleasure; thank you for your response as well. It appears that we are on the same page after all.

          All what you've said is spot-on. I don't mind taking things at a gradual pace at all; the key is that you are engaged in mutual sharing along the way. Feel free to say that you're not yet comfortable discussing something, because that's your right. A relationship requires understanding and being sensitive to a partner's needs, including that of being allowed a bit of time to get to a certain level. I'm glad, however, that you agree that waiting around indefinitely is a bit much to ask.

          Re: frienship. Relationships would be so much easier if all of them started out with developing a friendship prior to dating. I always say that I would love that. The only problem with that is that feelings quickly get in the way. People tend to develop attractions and yearnings for a different kind of interaction, and that interferes with developing something of substance outside of that first. I think the ideal is dating, but allowing for time to genuinely enjoy each other's company and develop something significant before introducing things of a physical nature. People who don't jump into s*x et al. have more solid relationships on average simply because they had the time to get to know each other free from distractions that could cloud their judgments. They essentially built friendships while dating, as is possible to do if you take the time and make the necessary effort.

  3. love this.

    LOL at the choices being to kill or Love once a man has let you in. sooo true. i like when a man unveils his secrets to me. makes me feel all important and fuzzy.

    when i was younger, my dad and i used to have talks like this. still do, actually. nothing like being a Daddy's little girl. good job.
    My recent post Sliding Doors: Part VIII

  4. Bravo, Most! *takes a moment to swoon over this post, then remembers that Most is married and quickly composes herself* This is an excellent list to share with your future daughter!

    "Before you give yourself to a man, make sure you’ve seen those places no one else sees."
    Sage advice. Giving yourself to a man for the first time can put a woman in a very vulnerable place [whether it be physically or emotionally], and I think that a man sharing something with you that he doesn't readily share with the world means a lot. It shows that he cares, and trusts you with that secret – which makes him vulnerable, too.

    As far as choosing men who take responsibility for their actions, I know all too well how crucial this is. It is a sign of maturity and gives insight into how this man will carry himself should there be a future conflict between the two of you.

    I don't have anything to add to your list at this point, but maybe after I get some sleep I'll think of something that would've helped me…
    My recent post Awesome First Dates [That I've Never Been On]

  5. "My advice: judge the men you come to know by the consistency with which they do the things they say they are going to do. A man’s word is his bond and a man who consistently breaks that bond is a lesser man than the man you deserve."

    *appaluse* So glad my father taught me this!

    "Understand, there’s a difference between a man telling you he made a mistake, and a man telling you he made a decision that was wrong. One abdicates responsibility and the other accepts responsibility."

    I've never heard it put this way before but I love it b/c I find it to be true. A man that's always apologizing for his "mistakes" will probably continue to make them but a man that acknowledges that he made apoor decision may atleast try to change.
    My recent post bsquared86: #nowplaying "ain't my type of hype" by full force

  6. I'm a daddy's girl, my sister and I always have been. It's just she and I so he had double duty. He was and still is always there for us in whatever capacity we may need him, as is my mom. I feel like the prospective of a man on his daughter's lives and the way they view themselves as well as their future relationships is one of the biggest influences on a young girl's life. And it is for this reason why my heart is truly saddened for my daughter who does not have the same type of relationship with her "father" (and I use the term loosely). She deserves more than anything to have a father who adores her more than anything and will teach her these same lessons in life so that she is not forced to learn them on her own. And while I as her mom can teach her as much as possible about men, it is a completely different message when coming from a man. I am lucky that she has my father here for her to learn from and to see how a man is supposed to treat a little girl and how a father truly should be. My daughter is the most intelligent, beautiful, exceptional child I have ever known and to think that her own father wants nothing to do with that makes my heart want to cry….but that's a different post for a different day, please forgive my overshare…

    I think you will make a great father to sons or daughters or both one day Mr. Spradley….keep up the good work!

    1. Being raised by a single mother divorced from my father when I was 3, I understand your dilemma. Thankfully, I had wonderful uncles who were positive male role models. I've also had great male friends and male cousins along the way for advice. Even still, I've had moments when I felt that I was playing catch up as a late bloomer learning things later in life than those who had their dads all along. However, some women who were raised with their fathers didn't have quality relationships with them and didn't gain the great advice such as what Mr. Spradley shared. (Awesome post Most!!!) Having said that, do your best. No need for forgiveness of an overshare. You and your father being there for your daughter is a blessings. She knows that she's loved 🙂

      1. Yes she has scores of people, male and female who love her like she was their own. And several "uncles" who always have and always will be a part of her life so she is blessed in that sense. I guess I just know what its like to have that love from a father and wish the same and more for her. Thank you for your comment.

    2. Never have to apologize for oversharing round' here homey. I'm not a parent, but I know what it's like to grow up without them, so to you I would say, the best thing you can do for your daughter is make sure she knows she's loved. That, above all else is most important and it seems like you're doing that already.

      In terms of the lessons learned from men, I think your grandfather could be an invaluable resource so it's probably not a bad idea to have her spend as much time around him as possible.

      The other thing I'd say is, be wary of how much you let her know about her father, even if he ain't worth sh*t. I believe in my heart that every child deserves the right to learn their parents for themselves.

      Just my two cents. I know you were probably venting and not really asking for advice …
      My recent post The Millennial Manifesto: How 80′s Babies Can Save the World

      1. Yeah, she calls my dad "dad" and has been doing so since before she turned 2. It is from his that I want her to learn the things that her own father chooses not to teach her. I completely agree with your statement about letting her know too much about her father. The hardest part is, he was around when she was younger so she does know who he is but once he started coming around less, she began to have questions.

        I will never forget when she was around 2 1/2 and hadn't seen him in a while, we had the following conversation (yes she was young however being that she started talking at 8 months old, conversations with her were like speaking with a young adult):

        Her: "I don't like my daddy (insert biological father's name here)"
        Me: Why is that?
        Her: Because he is not a good daddy
        Me: What makes someone a good daddy?
        Her: A good daddy plays with his babies and comes to see them. And he calls them on the phone to see how they're doing. My daddy is not a good daddy, I want a new one
        Me: *heart broken*……..and quite upset that she had to have this revelation at 2 years old.

        1. That is a powerful revelation, but it definitely shows how aware children are.

          Even at a young age they know what they want and what to expect. It's a tough situation, but I believe it will make her stronger in the long run. Plus, she'll likely have a better understanding of what love is and what separates a good man from the rest of the pact. Like I said before, powerful stuff at such a young age.
          My recent post We Must Spread LOVE

        2. I am hoping that is the case Up4Dsn…..that she will use her experiences to be able to clearly decipher the difference between what love is and what a good man is…

  7. "In hindsight they are mistakes, but in the moment, we know exactly what were doing and we are weighing the consequences with each forward step we take"

    bad decision-making =/= mistake. Very true.

    "Love inspires selflessness so if we’re not putting you first, it’s probably because we don’t love you"

    Once again, bravo!!! If you're always an after-thought…
    My recent post Apologies & Crazies.

    1. "Love inspires selflessness so if we’re not putting you first, it’s probably because we don’t love you" – THAT WOULD MEAN THAT A LOT OF MEN OUT THERE WHO DON'T PUT THEIR CHILDREN FIRST DON'T LOVE THEM. WHY DO WOMEN EVEN BOTHER?

      1. "THAT WOULD MEAN THAT A LOT OF MEN OUT THERE WHO DON'T PUT THEIR CHILDREN FIRST DON'T LOVE THEM"

        Yeah I def wouldn't have anything to do with a dude who has a hard time sacrificing for his children because the parent-child bond is supposed to be quite strong. I know your question was a rhetorical one:-) but I think we bother because it's absolutely fantastic when you get it right(by that I mean choose right). xo
        My recent post Apologies & Crazies.

  8. This was a wonderful post! Even before I began reading, I had an idea of things that *should* be in this post and you covered the first two that came to my mind- the one about respect and the one about men keeping their word. A man will treat you the way you allow yourself to be treated. THAT'S IT. So if you want to be treated better, you have to do better and sometimes that means moving on from a guy that you "love."

    I was raised with the saying "my word is my bond." So I believe if you can't keep your word, you are not worthy of my time. Keeping your word speaks VOLUMES to a person's character, regardless if someone didn't keep their word w/ a small thing or something major… it doesn't matter.
    My recent post How NOT to Approach A Woman

    1. That's a good point. A man and a woman's word speaks volume. It reveals a lot about their character, like you stated. Are they stable or are they flaky? Are they committed or are they just playing around?

      It's very important to stick to what we say, because it can sometimes overshadow our actions. What we say should match what we do…in an ideal world.

      *Your most recent post caught my eye. Time to swing by and check that out.*
      My recent post We Must Spread LOVE

        1. Yes indeed. I don't think some people realize just how much their words, combined with their actions, can tell someone about their character.

          I just want to say THANK YOU so much for swinging by and checking out my blog post/video. It really means a lot and I hope that you enjoyed the message.
          My recent post Warm Welcome for SUNNY

  9. great post..def hits home I wish I would have followed all of this advice about 2 years ago I woud'nt be in the situation Im in now. But yea these are all great things to teach a young women as she comes of age. Even as a grown women sometimes daddy has to step in and remind his daughter about these 5 things above becasue its easy to get lost and forget.

    "before you give yourself to a man, make sure you’ve seen those places no one else sees" – this is one of those perfect quotes you tell your daughter (or have her mother tell her) when she starts thinking about losing her virginity or just in reference to sex in general, trust it will save her a lot of time and confusion when making her choice.

  10. Good post!
    This lesson: A Man’s Love Is Not Confusing…is one my Dad taught me when I came to him crying over someone who didn't deserve my tears at all. He let me know that when a man loves you, you will never ever have to question it, because they go out of their way to show it to you, and to every one else. Since he told me that, I have not sat around wondering if the guy I was with loved me, I just waited for him to show me.
    Great Read!!!

  11. Today's post is like cream of wheat… the kind G'ma made with whipping cream, brown sugar, and lots of butter… it's just so good! Quotes just flying out from everywhere… things I want to tattoo in the recess of my brain… moments that marinate.

    "before you give yourself to a man, make sure you’ve seen those places no one else sees."

    "Understand, there’s a difference between a man telling you he made a mistake, and a man telling you he made a decision that was wrong. One abdicates responsibility and the other accepts responsibility"— this sentence made me think that I can't vote for Rick Perry for president in 2012 (not that I am leaning in that direction mind you) because of his recent article in Newsweek where he acknowledged that he made a mistake but not that it was the wrong decision. I wonder if that eliminates Hermain Cain too… *ponders*

    "The only thing we put before our own happiness, our own goals, and our own desires is a woman we love. Love inspires selflessness so if we’re not putting you first, it’s probably because we don’t love you." *hits the mat three time*, I tap out!

    Good to the last scraping of the bowl, makes me want more even though I savored every bite. Awesome Post!
    My recent post Fool for you

  12. You're so right about men being secretive. I know for a fact there are a lot of things that I don't share. Like you stated, our secrets are something we hold close to us because they are things we feel will make us vulnerable. Its not that we are opposed to sharing these things, especially if they are things we've already conquered, but in order for us to do so we must be sure that we can trust the person we are revealing these things to.

    One of a man's worst nightmares, or at least one of mine, is to reveal the wrong secret to the wrong woman. That's why it is vital to know that she can be trusted and is really someone that we can confide in. Typically, a man will only do this if he loves the woman and she loves him. It all boils down to protection of oneself and trust in another.
    My recent post We Must Spread LOVE

    1. I think one of the things people, particularly women have to understand is that some of the best men they'll ever meet are layered. By that I mean, it may take you years and years to really get to know all of him because the parts of himself he values most, the parts of himself that are most refined by his thought – are the parts he keeps closest.

      The reward for being patient with this type of man is immense. Good things come to those who wait as they say.
      My recent post The Millennial Manifesto: How 80′s Babies Can Save the World

      1. I couldn't agree with you more Most. That is precisely the way I view it. I know for a fact I wouldn't spill my all to a woman within a short period of us knowing one another (or being committed to one another). To be honest, even after a few years I wouldn't just open up the floodgates. It would be gradual. Like you stated in the post, the things shared would also depend on the situation and the timing.

        It amazes me how soon some women expect a man to bare his all to her. It takes time, trust and so much more for a man to get to that point. I also believe the same applies to women. We can't just go opening ourselves up completely to people that we don't know will be there for the long haul. We have to be certain that person is worthy to know what we are willing to share.

        You hit it on the head with the reward aspect. That's the best part. When someone finally opens up and tells you something that they keep close to them…it is an unbelievable experience…and I believe that it is definitely worth the wait.

        Thanks a lot for sharing your insight Most. I appreciate it.
        My recent post We Must Spread LOVE

        1. You know, I've always prided myself in not being a complicated person, and I would like to believe that that's not necessarily a bad thing. I do know some guys who, while selective, don't have a problem with opening up early in a relationship. They understand that it's a gamble, but it's one they are willing to take because the perceived gains outweigh the potential risk. I would like to point out that men like you and Most are not lacking, but there are also a good number of men who are as I described.

          Perhaps it's because I'm lacking in life experience, and perhaps it's a female trait (I guess I may have a few of those after all), but my concern would be more with regards to how deeply I allow myself to fall, rather than what I share. I suppose they could go hand in hand, but as I see it, you can know all about me and/or my life without having my love. I can share my fears with you, even those concerning you, but that brand of vulnerability is not the same as tearfully telling you that I cannot see my future without you in it. Also, the importance of my need/desire to share something with you outweighs that of what's actually being shared, although both may be significant. But maybe that's just me.

        2. Trust me, not being a complicated person is in no way a bad thing. You should embrace that.

          You do make a good point. There are men and women who have no problem sharing it all from the onset. Yet even you stated it, there are risks associated with doing that. Now by no means am I saying there is something wrong with sharing things about yourself upfront, I just believe in being more cautious. It's no surprise that some people can pretend to be one thing and turn out to be something totally different. I just prefer to know who I'm dealing with before I start sharing personal things about myself. By no means will I shut down during a conversation, quite the opposite actually. I enjoy communicating, so I would do that. The only thing is I would be selective about how much I shared.

          That's a very interesting perspective: Telling someone all about you, but not giving them your love. I'm sure that is possible, but I am wondering what type of person would you be willing to tell everything about you and not love? That is some serious vulnerability right there.

          I'm curious, why is the need/desire to share something with someone more 'important' than the actual private information about yourself that is being shared? I've always viewed it the other way around. I'm really interested in gaining more insight into your perspective. I hope that you're willing to share a little bit more. Thanks!

          To be honest, I'm sitting here thinking how dope it would be to have an actual discussion with you. I'm sure it would make for a very intriguing podcast.
          My recent post Warm Welcome for SUNNY

        3. Cautiousness is wise, and I can dig selectiveness. For example, I've shared a lot on SBM, but I know when to tap out and when including certain things is not required. It's actually something I had to learn in real life during my University years, because again, I have always been a relatively open book. I can definitely appreciate a man who tells enough, but not all.

          It's simply a matter of perception. You see it as vulnerability but I don't, and we both act accordingly. My interactions with men are defined pretty early on. If he inspires my confidence and I feel at ease with him, I have no problems with sharing. There's only so much you can do with the information that I provide you. I can tell you what has hurt me in the past, and how it has affected my present (if I recall it, anyway. Things get hazy as the hold they have on my heart lessens). If I'm conversing with a total stranger or find myself on a public forum, I may not go in depth. If it's a one-on-one budding friendship or relationship, I have few reservations. As long as tact is involved, I'm fine. If my experience is relevant to the discussion at hand, we can throw it in there and expand on it, if need be. It may be off-putting to some, but the fact that you know x about me doesn't mean that I love you. Mind you, it doesn't mean that everyone and their mama knows about it, either. It simply means that it came up in conversation one day.

          The reason I said that my need/desire to share with someone is more important is because I generally don't have the urge to pick up the phone and share things with people – be they friends or family. They tend to come up in conversation, but they might have affected me four months earlier. I've never sought solace in a partner, and that tells you something about my "relationships" to date. If, however, we develop a bond to the point where I want and look forward to sharing things with you, it means that our relationship is distinct from any other I'm involved in. That I'm opening myself up to you in a way that's foreign to me. It's actually something that I could see developing quickly, but I've never been there.

          lol I'm glad I give you that impression, but I don't know how well I'd fare, to be honest.

        4. Please note: I have many acquaintances and few actual friends. I'm actually growing more "secretive" as the years go by, but it's generally for a lack of the right kind of person to open me up.

        5. Likewise, I can respect you being an open book. I think it all comes down to comfort. If you are comfortable sharing more of yourself, you should do that…especially if you trust the person you are sharing with.

          That's very true. It is about perception. Some people would be quick to pick sides, but I don't think one way is wrong and the other way it's right. It's all about figuring out which method is best for you. You know?

          I definitely understand where you're coming from about sharing information, but I'm just wondering if there is anything that you won't share with a person unless you did love them or have very serious feelings for them. That's just my personal approach. There are things I have no problem sharing with people, even those I don't have serious feelings for, but there is a limit to how much I will reveal…similar to how you mentioned you may not go to deep in explaining a certain experience. I believe that I take a very similar approach. Also, in regard to not calling people to dish or seeking solace in relationships. I believe we have more in common with our approaches than we, or at least I, initially realized.

          I'm glad I asked you to explain a bit more. I has made things a lot more clear. I'm not mad at cha for becoming more secretive. It's probably just the fact that you're realizing that some things should be reserved for a person you care more about…but that of course is just my assumption.

          I respect your honesty, but you shouldn't count yourself out. You don't know how well you'll be at something unless you give it a try…you know? If you change your mind just let me know. You have an open invitation to be a guest on the podcast. In fact, feel free to check out some of the episodes to get a feel for how things go. Either way, I really enjoyed our discussion. You opened my eyes to a few things and allowed me to look at other things from a different perspective. Thanks for that.
          My recent post I Just Realized That I’ve Never Had Any FRIENDS

        6. Once again, it's absolutely my pleasure. It's been awhile since I've had such an engaging discussion. Merci bien. =)

          Re: Secretiveness. I think it's more so that not too many people inspire me to have such conversations and to go all the way in depth. If someone comes along and we have intriguing conversations, I'll disclose what I feel is relevant, and may very well add in extras if he seeks clarification. Again, perhaps this is because there isn't too much outside of a few bad decisions that I could have done without in the past. I think it has more to do with chemistry than strength of emotion. However, his style of sharing is also important. I'll be less likely to tell all if he is just sitting there asking questions and I know nothing about his end..that's been a part of my development.

          I just noticed the title of your recent post and will definitely be checking that out – it speaks to how I felt not too long ago on some levels. My brother, mother, and I even had such a discussion a matter of weeks ago. Also, thanks for the invitation. I'll definitely check out your stuff, and be in touch whether or not I decide to give it a go.

  13. I swear you've got an 80 yr old man living inside your body. Tell him my inner Methuselah said "what's up". And I would be comfortable having my kids play with your kids. I can't say that for everybody, so go head and have some already! Here's wishing you triplets, 2 girls and a boy. You won't get a good nights sleep for half a decade.

    You hit on a lot of good points. A man will show you better than he can tell you – what kind of person he is and where you fit into his life. I'm a daddy's girl through and through, and even though I definitely strayed from the path in my younger years the example that a good father gives his daughters STICKS. Developing expectations when you haven't been shown the way is really hard. When you've lived the blueprint it's much easier to weed out frivolous fools.

    1. Totally agree, Mom. And what I like most about Most's writing is that he has always given the impression that while he may not of grown up with the correct examples he is doing what he can change the cycle. So bravo! I was reading this thinking d*mn will you be my dad. LOL
      My father unfortunately was a very flawed man. I always said I would of been daddy's girl if he would of been around more. I had a love hate with him as a child as an adult I almost pity him for not learning some of the basics of being a man such as the simple concept of honoring your word but I love him in spite of himself. And while I had to learn the hard way about dating and love and it has been a tough tough road that I am still navigating. I am an adult now and I can rationalize and think for myself and I make every effort not to allow my past become my future and when I have kids I hope to give them every advantage I can to become responsible reliable thinking individuals.

      Great post!

    2. You might be right. I was raised by a Canasta Club of old women… it comes from them.

      But yeah, we can totally have a play date once I get my tribe going. Should be fun times. My new dream is triplet boys and twin girls. This way I get 5 kids and the Mrs. only has to go through 2 pregnancies. Pray for me!

      I think the truth of a worthwhile man always lays somewhere between what he tells you and what he shows you. You shouldn't put all your stock into what a man says but you also shouldn't put all your stock into what he does. Sometimes he'll do what's in his heart and not say anything at all. And sometimes he'll say what's in his heart but come up a lil short on the actions. The truth of a man lays near the intersection of what a man says and what a man does.

      Oh… and tell your Methuselah my Jared says what's up.

      My recent post The Millennial Manifesto: How 80′s Babies Can Save the World

      1. "I think the truth of a worthwhile man always lays somewhere between what he tells you and what he shows you."

        Yeeeeeeeeessssssssssss…

  14. I think this is all gold. Especially the part about men’s opinions regarding whether a woman deserves respect. I especially appreciate that one. All women should understand this. Sadly, too many of value ourselves according to what a man thinks. It’s a shame. One question, though. Why are you afraid to have a girl?

  15. *looks at finished box of kleenex…

    Dear Most,
    You are an absolutely AMAZING writer. You take us on a journey with your words and I am immensely honoured to read them each time you share them with us.

    *goes to search for another box of kleenex…
    My recent post the diary: first date blues

      1. LOL. im a label-chick. my nose is too important to leave to no-name stuffs.

        I gotta check if we have Puffs in Canada. My eyes glaze until I see Kleenex. LOL.

        *waits my the mailbox for my remuneration of Kleenex.
        My recent post the diary: first date blues

        1. That is interesting, although some people IRL have thought I was English. I live just outside of Toronto.

  16. My advice: judge the men you come to know by the consistency with which they do the things they say they are going to do. A man’s word is his bond and a man who consistently breaks that bond is a lesser man than the man you deserve. <<<<<< LOVE IT!!

    If I didn't get anything else from this post, I got this.

    Born into a family of all women and the men being of no importance, I never cared too much for what the role was that "society" said men played. This really shed a lot of light on a lot of things. Good Post

    My recent post Alchoholics Anonymous-ly mAde AwAre

  17. You're better than me but I'll withhold my thoughts on why I dont want to have a daughter until Thursday's post. I will say the information you provided here is gold for the men and the women in the audience.

  18. Love it!!!!

    Not else to add here, except that being raised a "Daddy's Girl" allowed me the opportunity to know what a good man is, even though my daddy had his flaws as well as most men.

  19. so Most… how do you feel about adoption? would you adopt a daughter or son? this has always been one of my dreams/plans–to adopt twin boys– but i find that when i tell this to (black) men, friends or otherwise, a surprising number are adamantly against it.
    My recent post Sliding Doors: Part VIII

    1. Hmmm, good question. *provides unsolicited two cents*

      I'm not against adoption but I dated a girl who was adopted and she was adamantly against adoption. Said she spent her whole life searching for her parents (I believe both had passed when she finally figured it out). She also said, even though her adopted parents showed her love, she never felt like she belonged. I realize this is one example and might be a sweeping generalization but it stuck with me because this was a fairly serious relationship and a perspective I had not considered before her. I actually think this might be a great topic for us to broach around these here parts.

      *goes to consult with the Money Team*

      1. When did your ex-girlfriend's parents tell her she was adopted? I think that how and when a person finds out they are adopted has a huge impact on their reaction to the news. I'm an adoptee, and my parents took a stance that was uncommon in the 80's – they told me when I was really really little. I always knew, we celebrated my adoption day with my favorite dinner and the special occassion "red dishes". Considering the effort it takes to adopt a child there should be no question that you were planned for and wanted. No mystery or shame at all. Standard conversation between my big bro (their biological child) and me:

        Big Bro: You know we found you in an ally behind Safeway.
        Me: That's ok – at least I'm not the mailman's baby.

        1. Great question but I dont have the answer. I'm not sure when she found out exactly but it was before she met me (she was 19 at the time). However, I dont think she knew since she was young. It seemed like something she had just found out in recent years or maybe she just became more curious as she got older. That is an interesting take (to tell the child when they're young). Maybe that would temper some of the "issues" that may arise.

          With her, I think part of the issue was also the fact that her adoptive parents divorced and so she lost the relationship with the only father she knew – step father and step mother didnt get along. Over time, I think she got caught up in the "what if" mindset that people do with their lives, wondering how things would have been had she not been given up for adoption. Too much to share here but basically a lot of strained relationships were the result and I could tell it weighed heavy on her among other things. I'm sure had things worked out in her life "like in the movies" then it wouldnt have been much of an issue, ya know?

        2. "Considering the effort it takes to adopt a child there should be no question that you were planned for and wanted"

          So true…like it can be such an arduous process, I'm totally bracing myself. I agree with you: not hiding it is very key.
          My recent post Apologies &amp; Crazies.

    2. I believe in adoption and plan to adopt. I've always planned to adopt a boy somewhere between the ages of 4 and 10 because nobody adopts those black boys. But someone adopted one that I love and probably saved his life. So it's kind of a pay it forward sorta thing.

      Doesn't necessarily have complete stranger though. Could be the unwanted son of a cousin or friend or something like that. I believe in extended family.
      My recent post The Millennial Manifesto: How 80′s Babies Can Save the World

      1. Whew! Most, with all the kids you want I think adoption is a great option to have on the table. We're considering adopting in a few years, the fact that my husband was open to it really helped seal the deal on him. I was adopted by a great family, and I would love to give a home to a kid as well. We'll see.

      2. exactly. i want to adopt two little boys because like you said, they're the ones that get lost in the system and forgotten about. i know great people who have been adopted and if i can make a difference in a child's life AND extend my family without extending my belly, i say that's a win win. lol
        My recent post Sliding Doors: Part VIII

  20. Awwww… this was soo sweet! Even though I have a daddy who has been married to my mama for almost 40 years, raised me and whom I love dearly – we never had these kind of convos. I wish we had though. But then again I don't know – my daddy is a different breed of man – nerdy, works hard and always comes straight home, has few male friends, plays tennis and randomly joins community choirs. Idk that we could have a this is how men be acting conversation because he's so far removed from that. Or at least he seems to be. I do admire how fiercely he loves my mom (gets sick every time she goes out of town) and they are mutually supportive and ride or die for each other. So, that's a lesson I've learned through his actions more than anything else…
    My recent post Lost In Translation

    1. You're pops might be an OG.

      Or, yall might be in witness protection and you just don't know it.

      Or, he could just be a really good man who's doing what he has to do make sure you all are good. Don't overlook the selflessness involved there. He could have all sorts of dreams and ambitions that he never speaks of because he's always known he had a responsibility toward you all.

      He may not know alot about what other men do, but he's most definitely giving you a great example of a good man that i'm sure you appreciate, and will come to appreciate more as you move on through life and love.

      Thanks for sharing… really appreciate you reading.
      My recent post The Millennial Manifesto: How 80′s Babies Can Save the World

      1. HAHAHAHA! Dead @ that witness protection comment. And I laugh because once a male friend called and could hear my daddy playing the piano in the background. And he was like all around the world Black fathers are shooting dice and playing dominoes and your daddy is on the piano. Yes, I agree w/ your last paragraph – as I start to really see my parents more as people and their individual traits, etc., there are some great things about my daddy that I truly admire and appreciate. Now I wanna get him an 'I love You Just Because' card on the way home.
        My recent post Lost In Translation

        1. I'm a lucky girl bc though my biological father is not in the picture, I had a man step up and declare me as his daughter without incentive (meaning he and my mom weren't together, he didn't have anything to gain from any of the other women in my life, etc). He's not in charge of the world, but he is my world. I remember he sent me flowers at work because he said that sometimes his daughter needs something nice to look at.
          I remember he used to send me care packages in college with all my favorite treats, and listen to me cry when I was stressed. Like he's just great!
          And bc of his unconditional love for me, I always send him "just because" texts, cards, presents. And though he doesn't like the mush, he'll say: "now girl, why you do that for? sending me stuff…" he really does like it. I went home recently and he had all of my cards stored. So do it! Send him a card
          This could definitely be the Pisces in me talking lol
          My recent post Nothing Left to Say

  21. "Listen not just to what a man says, but also to what he is saying. Bits and pieces of the truth of who a man is and who he is not can come out at any moment. Secrets are not always shared in deep, expansive conversations, sometimes they’re bared in those unexpectedly intimate moments when you’re sitting around doing nothing." <<<< THIS!

    "We often make our own judgments based on our own arbitrary formulas that take into unquantifiable account what you say, what you do, what people say you said, what people say you do, and a whole host of other things that may or may not be in your control."<<<< THIS!

    These two statements, women can control to an extent. For the 1st statement, the "how" is obvious…listen and ask intelligent, non-threatening questions when these moments come. For the 2nd statement, you have to realize that the image that you portray out in the world matters. Time out for "I don't care what other people think about me"…cause he's "other people" who's opinion about you is affected by what other people think about you. Your reputation matters…so make certain its a good one.

    Good stuff, Mr. Spradley…

  22. This post!!!!!!
    As someone said above I too wished I'd had these types of conversations with my dad growing up, but now that i'm an old gal – I realized how secretive my dad truly is/was.
    I've learned more about my dad in the last 5 years than I knew most of my life and I am appreciative. Back then I didn't understand him and never thought I wanted a man like him but today WOW today …………..

    So the tears won't fall I'll stop there. Again awesome post Most!

  23. Most, this is a great post. as an elder statesman of these post I agree with everything you have put forth. I have two daughters and your points of views here are insightful. I do have one point of view I would love to make here. It is important for daughters to know that timing in relationships with men is everything…. Men don't mature at the same rate as women, and I always want my daughters to know that until they are ready for a serious relationship with a man, they should wait until a man is in his early thirties to mid thirties before seeking that special someone. Most men really don't know themselves until they have come face to face with who they really are… most men are seekers… we hunt for things we're not sure of… It is rare that you would fine a man in his twenties that truly knows himself and what he wants out of life… I tell them to date with a cautious eye and trust their feelings because that first instinct is always the right instinct… Just my point of view…

  24. "I think one of the things people, particularly women have to understand is that some of the best men they'll ever meet are layered….The reward for being patient with this type of man is immense. Good things come to those who wait as they say. "

    100% true! I'm this type of guy…some guys are secretive w/ a purpose, as a few of the other commenters alluded to, it's hard for a man to feel vulnerable…however, when a woman is doing her job to make her man feel secure in her/the viability of their relationship, the layers will slowly peel back
    My recent post Are NBA Players Really “Overpaid Slaves”?

  25. late commenting today. had a lot work to do in lab today.

    as much as i want a son (actually 2), i also want a daughter. i want a daddy's girl whom i can spoil and show how a man is supposed to treat a woman.

    "Fellas: How secretive are you? How much of yourself do you hold back in the early stages of a relationship."

    i'm a very secretive person. there are a lot of things about me that no one knows. i don't think there's one person on this planet that knows all there is to know about me. that will likely never change. there are parts of my past that i'm not comfortable sharing with anyone. early stages of a relationship will be surface on my part.

    My recent post 1 1/2 More Girlfriends

  26. After reading this, I really sincerely hope you have a daughter. Such insightful knowledge needs to be passed down! Not that there was any doubt but you sound like you would be a great father! You and yours are blessed :-).

  27. Loved it! I have always been a bit annoyed at how secretive men can be. But what I agreed with most is the idea that a man's love is not confusing. I can tell when a man loves me and when he doesn't. It's definitely not rocket science, even if everything else in the relationship is. The two feel completely different. Excellent Writing!
    Not-so-Patiently Waiting For His Love http://dreamcatcher3606.blogspot.com/

    My recent post Confidently Single: Are You Really Ready???

  28. I have been blessed with two beautiful children. I was there when Chelse'a was born on Friday October 25, 1996 at 954pm in the delivery room I remember her eyes wide open and jet black when she first heard my voice and looked up at me. The same for my son Miles (Im a trumpet player) who was born October 28, 2001 (reconciliation baby) I'll tell him more about that when he's alittle older. But their mother and I are now divorce and I have remarried. I am still in their lives each and everyday. I talk to them everyday, and they are straight A students. What saved them from the divorce was a daddy who stayed in their lives. I will share these thoughts with my baby girl.

  29. "My advice: judge the men you come to know by the consistency with which they do the things they say they are going to do."

    This is by far the best advice in my opinion. The value of a man's ACTIONS far surpass what he SAYS he'll do. It is far easier to talk, than demonstrate. Thanks for this post

  30. I kind of went on a rampage in your archives…. Glad I found this. Your future daughter is very fortunate.

    Most of these things, I feel like I've seen in the dudes I've talked to. There has definitely been a shrewdness about them and about guys like this, which can honestly be helpful sometimes but also frustrating. For instance, men making mistakes. I hate a dude who makes mistakes!!! I KNOW not to trust that ish, especially when you're always deliberate and calculating with your ish. But then again, it's in my nature to see the good in people, and give them the benefit of the doubt so I've gone against my initial instincts. I know this, but kind of like you said, I'll continue being like that because I like that about myself and don't want to change it. *shrug*
    My recent post CNN Debate: Have WASPs forsaken Jesus for the GOP?

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