Home Featured The Double Standard of Vulnerability in Men and Women

The Double Standard of Vulnerability in Men and Women

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By TQ

Even though we’re all human first and foremost, men and women are not the same. In fact, in many ways we’re opposite, but we’re not necessarily in opposition. At least we don’t have to be. Due to the natural yin/yang dynamic that this universe requires for harmony, men and women will always want different things from each other. This creates a series of organic double standards, most of which will always exist because they’re based on us having complementary needs and preferences in each other.



The perfect example of a naturally occurring double standard for men and women is vulnerability. I find vulnerability and the willingness to show it openly to be incredibly sexy in women. Part of it is because I see it as a feminine and endearing characteristic. A strong dose of feminine energy is really sexy to me as a straight man. It’s also attractive to me because I’m a human and I know that love, honesty, and cooperation are built on vulnerability. The world needs it. It’s one of the pillars of humanity. However, life in reality is often cold, cutthroat, and dangerous. So since we don’t live in Utopia, I don’t recommend anyone be unapologetically vulnerable to everyone that crosses their path. That would be a terrible idea. That’s an extreme approach that many people assume men want from women when we say we want them to submit and be feminine. We don’t want that though. It’s as impractical and dangerous as it is extreme. There are too many predators out there. Plus the general population has too many untrustworthy, manipulative, and selfish people in it for us to go around being vulnerable with everyone without taking people’s character into account.

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Being apprehensive about vulnerability is understandable, but when you find a person you can trust, who’s worth the risk that comes with being vulnerable, then holding your vulnerability back is gonna do you both more harm than good. This is where the natural double standard I mentioned comes in. Most of the women I know like for their men to NOT be vulnerable by default (to the general public so to speak), but to gradually open up and be vulnerable to them personally after he comes to trust her.  They would prefer their men have an edge and come off like the one who could (even if he chooses not to) exploit other people’s vulnerabilities but keeps his own vulnerabilities well-protected, accessible only to those with top level clearance. Most of the women I know hope to earn their man’s vulnerability because they were so valuable to him emotionally that he couldn’t help but to share it with them. They know this may take a while, and they respect him all the more for it.

As a man, the reverse is true. I want a woman who has good instincts and knows who she can/should be vulnerable with fairly quickly. I want her to share a lot of her vulnerability with me early and often because that shows me how much she digs me. It also shows that she has confidence in her decision making skills (and taste in men). She knows the calculated risk she’s taking by letting me get close to her, but she has faith that I’m worth the risk. It’s courageous and confident. It also shows me that she has enough intimacy with herself to share it with the right man and that she doesn’t have any hang ups about doing so when she finds such a man. And if we keepin’ it all the way 1 hunnid, I’m gonna be pretty stingy with her vulnerability, so I prefer her to be sure about me being the right one. I don’t go for the “Maybe I’ll grow on her” approach. #nocountryforindecisivechicks… but to reiterate, she can’t be giving this type of access out all wily nilly to other men that ain’t family though (friends is a whole nother topic).

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Everyone doesn’t deserve something as special as the intimacy of a quality woman. So if she gives it up to people that don’t deserve it, she’s gonna end up wounded, bitter, and with trust issues when it comes to men. Basically she’ll begin to make herself less attractive due to bad decision making. If she’s selective, but very giving with her intimacy, then everybody wins. If she’s bad at selecting then the Internet won’t hear the end of her woes. Ladies, don’t lash out at “men” because some unworthy men abused your intimacy. Instead, you should use that energy to figure out how to choose better and improve yourself (emotionally and spiritually) so the dudes who are worthy of your intimacy will come choose you. We can feel your energy. It gives us a sense about your relationship to vulnerability and definitely influences how attractive you are.

This topic is but one example of a double standard that I have no problem with, since for the most part both genders are satisfied with it. It fits very nicely. She doesn’t mind me being careful about revealing myself. She likes a little mystery,intrigue, and (especially) challenge and she gets to stroke her own ego “warming me up” to her. I get to know how highly she values me from the get go without all the fronting, indecisiveness, and game playing. I don’t have to worry about wasting my time on a manipulative or indecisive chick. Give yourself reason to trust your judgment by picking men worthy of being vulnerable to. Do us all a favor.

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T.Q. is a Georgia native and part-time writer who enjoys using blogs to challenge his own perspective as well as the beliefs of random strangers. He likes getting to the core of issues and leaving no elephant in the room unaddressed. So you can converse with and learn from (and with) him or deny and debate him, he’ll most likely enjoy either approach. Let the good times and great discussions roll.

Comment(23)

  1. I agree in the sense that women tend to gravitate towards "projects", the potential is there and with a few tweaks he'll be right for her. They don't want open book men, they want to earn his trust (provided he doesn't make them work TOO hard for it)

    Men are far less patient, we typically want products. Insecurities, baggage, leave that ish at the door. Women don't mind hearing about that woman who broke your heart, it makes you seem sweet and humble; men don't want to hear about that guy, he's not him.
    My recent post Today’s Word is… DESENSITIZED

    1. There are Some Men that are patient, and even would like to hear about the last Guy. What we DON'T want is the unnecessary Detective Work that goes Nowhere AND to be Compared to or Blamed for something the Last Guy did or said

    2. "Women don't mind hearing about that woman who broke your heart, it makes you seem sweet and humble; men "

      Yeah, but mostly just cause they nosy lol. Nah, but you right. They love to get lost in the world of intense emotional experiences and when they really like you they try to get to know you inside and out. What better way to figure you out (or as they would say "get to know you more") than to know about how you got your heart broke (and how it made you feel). But yeah men don't want you reliving those moments (cause we don't wanna re-live them with you, nor do we want you getting nostalgia about some other dude). We're busy tryna make new nostalgic moments for the future with her and decide if she's the one for us and how we can be mutually beneficial to each other's lives.

      My recent post How Can We End the Gender War

  2. The surface of this post makes sense, only because it is and has always been Status Quo. For the Men and Women who aren’t in line with it or don’t fit the narrative this is a serious issue. We all shouldn’t be trying to dismiss the exceptions or the fact that Status Quo isn’t really working, hence 50% Marriage & Divorce rates

    1. "For the Men and Women who aren't in line with it or don't fit the narrative this is a serious issue."

      You're right. I'd hate to be an emo dude who has a heavier emotional craving because a lot of these chicks out here really aren't into that unless it happens a specific way (ie on their own terms). Same for emotionally cold or unavailable women. Dudes be losin they minds about them. It's practically a cliche at this point lol
      My recent post How Can We End the Gender War

  3. I would actually advise against being truly vunerable with someone fairly early in the relationship. the only way to read a person's character is to observe their actions over an extended period of time. It isn't something you can do within a few days or weeks of meeting someone. However, that doesn't mean women should act bitter (for lack of a better word) or be openly suspicious.

    What I would advise it be friendly and cordial – no one likes to feel like they're being given the third degree – but quietly observe what the man does over an extended amount of time. Guard yourself and do not be completely vunerable with him until you've spent enough time observing him.

    1. I agree. Time is the most important thing. Anybody (male or female) can appear to be something they're not for a limited time. I also feel that there is another double standard that the author did not explore: Which is whether or not we want somebody to be vulnerable to us. If he were to meet a woman that he did not foresee a future with, would her vulnerability still be attractive to him or would she be labeled as needy? The scenario presented paints a picture of a woman selecting a man worthy of her vulnerability, but as we all know what you pick doesn't always pick you back. Physical attraction is the primary motivator for the beginning of most relationships and there is a period that is (or should) be spent gauging interest in non-physical attributes. Being vulnerable at this point in the relationship is risky because things can go sideways for a variety of reasons and the relationship disintegrates often with no explanations. One is often left to wonder if they shared too much too soon, or were too vulnerable ( I have about a dozen girlfriends that I guarantee are pondering these very thoughts right now).
      I personally prefer a man that is an open book from the beginning because I do not understand the thought process of men and I don't like to read minds. If a guy makes me work for it, the relationship usually ends before it begins because indifference and being emotionally guarded look the same from the outside observer.

      1. " If he were to meet a woman that he did not foresee a future with, would her vulnerability still be attractive to him or would she be labeled as needy? "

        Great question. I've had this happen before, and we communicated enough for it to not become a misunderstanding or uncomfortable situation, but I'm only one man. I don't know how common it is for a dude to be able to handle emotional conflicts of interest with grace, but I've grown to be pretty good at it. It comes with the territory. I don't abuse the skill though. I try to leave every chick I deal with on that level in a better state than she was before (in a variety of ways)…
        My recent post How Can We End the Gender War

    2. Good point. I didn't mean to suggest that women should go being entirely vulnerable from the get go. I really just wanted to make the point that the comfort zone is very limiting and works against you sometimes when it makes u hesitate and restrain from a great opportunity to grow with someone. I get why people don't take that lightly though. I commend anyone who's careful with their intimacy and vulnerability, but I always felt like if you have the ability to trust a man until he proves himself untrustworthy then you should use it (comfort zone be d*mned). When you as a grown woman control your destiny by the men you choose to be with. Once you're confident that you know how to pick men (imperfections and all. ) and trust your instincts on it (rather than leaving potential regrets on the table) you'll be living the best way you can. But you're right. You should only be fully vulnerable with people who've proven to be trustworthy.

      "observe what the man does over an extended amount of time."

      Good point. I agree with this. But I would also add that if you actually like him you should give him the benefit of the doubt by default (which would also be giving yourself the benefit of the doubt by default). I mean, that's just being an optimist right? Who could be opposed to optimism? lol

      My recent post How Can We End the Gender War

      1. I may get quite a bit of down votes for this, but here goes…

        From what I've gathered, men want women to be very selective about who they decide to trust. They like women who vet men properly and make them earn that trust. That is, a man wants a woman to be selective and careful with OTHER men. When it comes to him, he would like her to determine automatically, or very soon after the relationship starts, how great of a guy he is (because he knows how great of a guy he is and expects her to see that right away). I understand where this is coming from, though. Having to go through a vetting process is an inconvenience, that men would (on an individual level) prefer not to deal with.

        I still think the best approach is to properly vet a man, no matter what your instincts may tell you, because instincts are, by definition, based on very little information.

        Wit regard to giving a man the benefit of the doubt, it depends on what the man did. If his actions caused me to question his character, I'm not going to ignore those signs.

        1. "When it comes to him, he would like her to determine automatically, or very soon after the relationship starts"

          Lol, you could be right. Sounds like an exaggeration though. I think generally we just think that if there's ever a time to trust your intuition it's when it comes to giving someone you really like (and can tell has deeper feelings for you) the benefit of the doubt. By that I mean when it's a tie (between reasonable optimism and reasonable doubt) you should rule in his favor. What do you think's gonna happen if you're investing as much or more energy into looking for reasons to doubt him as opposed to reasons to love him. All things in moderation of course.

          ""because instincts are, by definition, based on very little information."

          Correction. They're based on very little CONSCIOUS information. They take a lot into account other than that. They tend to be biased towards what you really want…
          My recent post How Can We End the Gender War

        2. "By that I mean when it's a tie (between reasonable optimism and reasonable doubt) you should rule in his favor. What do you think's gonna happen if you're investing as much or more energy into looking for reasons to doubt him as opposed to reasons to love him. All things in moderation of course."

          I agree with all this. By no means should you be actively looking for reasons to doubt someone. I'm just saying it's best to try to be as objective as possible. That's easier said than done, though, and it is a balancing act. .

  4. I don’t subscribe to this at all. I would have a hard time opening up to complete vulnerability just to show a guy that I trusted him. A guy would have to show me the same or else I would feel that he doesn’t value the relationship the same as I did. I don’t want some overly sensitive guy who cries all of the time, but if he can’t be vulnerable with me and in front of me then he’s truly not all that comfortable with me. I wouldn’t want to hear about his bad relationships either.

    This has nothing to do with submission to me and misinterpretation could be a recipe for disaster. A woman giving her all to an individual that simply wants to exploit her weakness could be key to her future bitterness.

    1. "I don't subscribe to this at all. I would have a hard time opening up to complete vulnerability just to show a guy that I trusted him."

      Wait huh?That's not what I was suggesting at all. I'm not saying that you do it cause you wanna "show him you trust him". I'm basically just saying don't be so cynical and closed off if you expect to attract and keep a quality mate. You should relax and share your vulnerability with good men because that's the only tried and true healthy way to foster a quality relationship. A flower with no sunshine dies. Leave the window open is all I'm sayin. Being genuine's good for your soul and it'll attract the best type of attention to you. Most of the men who want something real without mind games and pre-emptive defense mechanisms are drawn to genuine women who have the courage to be vulnerable when they're confident in the choice their mind, body, and heart made.

      "A woman giving her all to an individual that simply wants to exploit her weakness could be key to her future bitterness."

      I see what you're saying, but letting baggage make you jaded and closed off from love is still a personal decision that these women don't have to make. Do they not have confidence in themselves to pick the best men and make their futures better than their pasts? Are they spiritually unattractive but not making the real effort to change that?
      My recent post How Can We End the Gender War

  5. This is something that really frustrates women in relationship – that men don't open up enough. But you're right, men and women are different, and wired differently. Many women don't understand that what they love and are attracted to in men also means they are not just hairy women who do open up all the time. Men are wired differently and I agree with you. I didn't get this until i read the Secret Survey by Michael Fiore of many men who disclosed what they really wanted in a relationship from women but usually don't say. It's a good course for women who have no clue how to make a husband love you.
    My recent post How to make a husband love you

  6. Using the same evolutionary basis, women aim as high as they can and then try and get the best one they can to commit. It’s hard for women to know their league because guys above her will still date her for sex, but not consider her for commitment.

    Basically women can “date up” but they have to “marry down,” and men will “date down” but will only “marry up”. Men realize this from a young age because to get sex we have to drop our standards. It often takes women a lot longer to realize that in order to get married she will eventually have to “marry down” (settle) or stay single. The longer she waits, the older she gets and the more she will have to compromise.

    That’s why women find dating so difficult.

  7. If being genuine was all it took…

    Good men? Every individual has the capacity to be good or bad but no one individual is either 100% of the time. Everyone who breathes will or has been hurt by a mate/potential mate. That individuals outlook on life and experiences will ultimately be the determining factor on whether he/she becomes bitter or eager to find someone who is right.

    Women date up? Stop the foolishness. Neither of you must actively communicate with women. Most men and women who enter into a relationship are on an even playing field… more and more women are supporting men who stay home. It’s not often that the uneducated woman without a job lands the CEO of a Fortune 500 Co just because she’s cute and has a nice body.

  8. If being genuine was all it took…

    Good men? Every individual has the capacity to be good or bad but no one individual is either 100% of the time. Everyone who breathes will or has been hurt by a mate/potential mate. That individuals outlook on life and experiences will ultimately be the determining factor on whether he/she becomes bitter or eager to find someone who is right.

    Women date up? Stop the foolishness. Neither of you must actively communicate with women. Most men and women who enter into a relationship are on an even playing field… more and more women are supporting men who stay home. It’s not often that the uneducated woman without a job lands the CEO of a Fortune 500 Co just because she’s cute and has a nice body.

  9. If being genuine was all it took…

    Good men? Every individual has the capacity to be good or bad but no one individual is either 100% of the time. Everyone who breathes will or has been hurt by a mate/potential mate. That individuals outlook on life and experiences will ultimately be the determining factor on whether he/she becomes bitter or eager to find someone who is right.

    Women date up? Stop the foolishness. Neither of you must actively communicate with women. Most men and women who enter into a relationship are on an even playing field… more and more women are supporting men who stay home. It’s not often that the uneducated woman without a job lands the CEO of a Fortune 500 Co just because she’s cute and has a nice body.

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