Masculine but NOT Macho!

I assume that you all know that guy that is beyond Macho, well I never meant to date him.  Honestly, it is not that I feel intimidated by his perceived good looks or possible high IQ–it is that I need to be more important to him than he is to himself.  I knew from a very young age that the boys that I liked were rough around the edges and preferred that no one was looking at them.  These boys screamed trouble maker with their long hair and pin and ink tattoos.  Lucky for me they were kind and loving for the most part and had no problem with their masculine roles.

Recently I took this online test  just for fun and imagine my surprise at how correct it was.  Sometimes these test feel very random, and it may have been random again–but I certainly dated plenty of guys like “John Bender” from the Breakfast Club.  Is he masculine? macho?


Who Would Have Been Your 80’s Movie High School Boyfriend?

It is not who this guy “John Bender” is when he is a young adult–it is really who he will become.  I am sure my parents wanted me to date “Jake Ryan” from 16 Candles.  “Jake” was certainly on his way to having a real job, but he is too shallow for me and certainly wants people to look at him and notice him.  And the girl on his arm should be just as noticeable.  Enough with the tangent–let’s talk about my reality.

I only dated one guy when I was younger that I would say was macho and definitely a pretty boy–it was three tumultuous years.  I don’t even know how it happened, I guess I was so surprised that he was even interested in me in my overalls and with a tank top underneath and my water-logged Chevy Nova.  I was totally not this guys type.  It was my hardest relationship.

What was wrong with this guy?  He loved himself more than he loved me.

There were warning signs that in my youth meant nothing, but now are as clear as day

–Constant Grooming


–Keeping up Appearances

–Girly Pictures on his bedroom wall

–Explosive Temper

–Possessive over me

My first husband, who was actually the rebound from the “pretty boy” relationship had none of these qualities–therefore in my naïve mind, I found perfection.  In fact, my first husband wasn’t even masculine–I really thought he was bisexual, but gave him the benefit of the doubt and went with effeminate.  He rarely groomed and had a “John Bender” thing going for him, he never cared what anyone thought, he never lost his temper (but cried easily and little ability to handle stress) and he only cared about my happiness.  I learned after ten years together that it is hard to receive love from someone who doesn’t love themselves.

It is a long hard fall from a pedestal.

Thank goodness I made my list of 60 before finding my current husband. (I say current with the assumption that I will out live him and may find myself in a third marriage before I die)  When I met my current husband I was looking for a masculine man who wasn’t going to hurt me, a man who loves himself but loves me more.  Here is a list of some masculine traits that I have compiled from observation and a little research.  

  • Physical Presence and Ability
  • Sexual Identity
  • Considerate and Respectful
  • Smart
  • Confident
  • Responsible
  • Disciplined
  • High Integrity
  • Protective
  • Ambitious
  • Honorable

Would love to have your comments–what traits do you think are masculine but not macho?


Proud But Not Prideful

It took me many years of marriage to a prideful man to realize that he had no pride but plenty of insecurity.  I recall being entranced by my former husband’s dialogue with others when we would go to the open mic nights around town.  He projected himself as a thinker and often shared his thoughts about the situations that surrounded us.  As an undergrad student most of my favorite teachers had a charismatic way that bordered arrogance–but I enjoyed listening and responding to these prideful people.  Young, eager and ready to explore the world, these people knew stuff and had been places and were excited to share–so I thought.

Several years later while in grad school I took a philosophy class called Evil.  This class amazed me as I sat in a room full of people who knew stuff and were excited to share their thoughts and experiences.  But something was missing.  The only place I could find pride-fullness was in The Book of Job.  The professor that spoke eight languages and had 40 years of research and lecture experience was not prideful.  The exchange student from China that questioned our society’s connection to a God that took everything from Job was not prideful.  The group of young girls that registered together as audits for this grad level class did not carry pride-fullness as they embraced their youthfulness in room of elders.  These people were missing the insecurity that blends with excitement and pride which creates pride-fullness.

When I started my list, this is the first guideline I required of my future mate.  I no longer would live with arrogance in my home, around my family, and in my social environments–these would be memories.  I will never be in a relationship again that makes me feel stupid for being myself.  I will never be talked to like I could not think.  I will never listen to someone I love speak down to someone else I love.  I will never again love someone whose insecurity makes them believe they know more than others.

“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”

                                                                                       –Saint Augustine

A couple of years later I was having lunch with the other women in the office when I mentioned that I had a little crush on Jeff.  Mostly, I wanted to see if they had an interest in him or knew if he had a girlfriend.  I played it down of course.  One woman said “Jeff, who? That guy in the puffy suit?”  Another woman’s response was somewhat neutral, but it was the response from the last lady that perked my ears.  It turns out she and her husband had known Jeff for years and knew plenty about him.  While she gave very little gossip I read through the lines that I could securely check off my list item number one.   I did not need to hear it from her to know that “Jeff will never make anyone feel bad about themselves–he is really that secure and intelligent.”

So yes, I married him and he is proud but not prideful to have us as his family.