There’s no doubt that as a society, we have made incredible strides regarding “gender identity” and individualism. However, despite all of this, a guy still needs to demonstrate his machismo constantly. This poses a problem for the creative types, who tap into their own vulnerability for the sake of their art, or the guy who is in touch with his emotions and can’t help feeling feelings. And, at times, showing it.
We’re conditioned from a young age to bottle things up, put a mask on, grab your nuts, tough it out, and be a fucking man. Men don’t cry, men don’t get insecure, and men certainly don’t talk about their personal shit to other men. That’s taboo. Oh, you want to talk about your feelings? Turn in your man card and stand over there with the other neutered males who are trying to figure out where their balls went.
I’m a masculine guy. I’ve played sports all my life, I lift weights, I trained in Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing. I like guns, porn, action movies, and bloody steak. However, I have also been writing songs since I was a teenager, pouring my heart into a poetry journal, and putting my problems out there for the world in various articles on various websites.
I’ve cried for hours and written about it. I’ve had my heart broken into pieces and written about it. I don’t fear showing my vulnerability and I think it’s bullshit that by outdated societal standards, I could be considered less masculine and not as tough as the next guy who chooses to cram every emotion into a box that he keeps tucked inside his just-as-broken soul.
So here’s 5 very real struggles being a guy’s-guy who wears his heart on his sleeve:
1. You can’t truly be yourself on a first date.
This one sucks, because although your heart is on your sleeve, you better wear a jacket to cover it. Most women have the intuition and will realize that you’re different than most guys, but you can’t let them know how different you are right away. If you’re anything like me, you make up for this with humor, deflecting sarcasm, and gregarious wit. I could be wrong, but I don’t think anyone wants to hear about the time my ex threatened to fuck a mutual friend just to push my buttons, or about how being made fun of as a kid is probably why I grew up to be overly cocky. I figure that type of truth needs to be buried for the first few weeks of a relationship, at least.
2. Pretending to be “Macho” is fucking exhausting.
Even if you have come to terms with who you are, how you are, how you want to be, and the way you’re permanently wired…….there are times you still have to act tougher than you feel. I don’t give a shit how awesome you are, it’s never cool to leave a movie theater crying when you have a dick and a pair of balls. Never. Do you really want to be crying at the same shitty Nicholas Sparks movie that your girlfriend is? Hell no.
3. The wrong song can make you visibly depressed.
We’ve all been there, something comes on your radio that you just don’t need to hear right then, but you can’t turn it off. It hurts so good. Whether it reminds you of an ex, a personal tragedy, makes you introspective, or just simply plucks your heartstrings like a guitar pick…..you’re fucked for at least a few hours.
People who don’t experience such intense emotion, or at least don’t show it, can put their special happy face on and act like all is well with the world. You walk in looking like someone just kicked your dog. There’s only so many times you can assure people that you’re fine (even though no one believes your emotional ass) before you want to start throwing shit. You wish you could say “yes, I am upset, and no, you wouldn’t understand”. Unfortunately, that comes off as rude.
4. You’re drawn to the sad stuff.
I guess it’s natural to want to immerse yourself in things (books, music, movies, etc) that you relate to on a deep level. The problem is, your entire collection of shit is almost all emo and people just start staring at you when you play “Hello” by Adele……. during a party while playing flip cup.
5. You feel misunderstood by the general public.
It sucks to feel like an alien surrounded by human beings. You start to wonder why you can’t handle emotions, much less hide them. The only people that REALLY get you are on a silver screen or singing from your speakers. Your significant other, if you have one, starts to question why you seem to be going through manopause in your 20’s. Your friends will jokingly call you a pussy, but you wonder how many of them are actually thinking you’re weak. They’re the type to bottle everything up, you’re the type to pour your bottle out, refill it, and pour it out again. Everyday. Without fail.
This is how it is, and how it will be. You’re a guy who’s full of passion, pain, desire, sadness, happiness, insecurities, and you’re going to show it. Embrace it now, because unless you plan on walking around like a shell of yourself, it’s going to become a huge part of who you are.
On the bright side, some of the best and most creative minds this world has ever seen have been overly emotional and have used that emotion as fuel. Don’t be afraid to feel feelings, dude. Just get it all out……..then go jerk off and watch sports……you know, to even things out.