1. Saying “I love you” is complicated.
Those “three little words” could be the most complex in the English language. While some men prematurely pull the trigger on the “L word” (a recent study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that guys tend to say “I love you” first, often driven by the idea that their partner will be more likely to have sex with them) — other guys just aren’t that good at getting the words out. Instead, they show their love through their actions. How can you know for sure? Those actions may be a truer indicator of his feelings than any passion-fueled colloquy, says Irina Firstein, LCSW, a relationship counselor who has advised couples in New York City for more than 20 years.
2. Commitment really does scare me.
Men often have a harder time picking up on subtle relationship cues — and because of this, your man may not be aware of the point in which your bond has moved to a higher expectation of commitment. In fact, some guys get anxious about becoming attached, even if they seem to enjoy the relationship. “Men often ‘rubber band,’ withdraw, or pull back if they feel like the relationship has moved beyond their comfort zone,” Firstein notes. This new territory can take a man by surprise — even if you felt like he was forging ahead at the same pace you were.
3. I get performance jitters.
Do men think about sex a lot? Sure they do, but their fears of sexual
inadequacy may be just as frequent. If a man has ever had an
unsuccessful go at sex (and most of them have! — flopped romps can be
triggered by common missteps such as drinking too much), his stress in
the bedroom can stockpile — which can eventually lead to sexual
dysfunction. Many men will even avoid sex rather than talk honestly
about their fears with their partner, and this can harm both the sexual
health and the emotional health of a relationship.
4. I’m not crazy about monogamy.
Some men stay mum about the extent of their sexual desires. “Freedom,
and particularly sexual freedom, and variety are typically more
important to men than to women,” says Firstein. “Many married men feel
that they love their wives and, at the same time, have no problems
cheating.” This difference between men and women can be one of the most
damaging to a couple because of the sense of betrayal it can create
(even if he never actually strays).
5. I wants you to initiate sex sometimes.
You may think sexual desire is hard-wired in men, but with every attempt
at turning you on comes a threat of rejection — even in the most
established relationships. That’s why it’s such a turn-on when a woman
makes the moves, allowing him to skip the risk altogether. And it’s not
just sex he wants: One recent study from the Kinsey Institute at Indiana
University actually found that cuddling and caressing in a relationship
are more important to men than women.
6. I’m depressed.
Depression has no gender bias: It can strike anyone, including the most
macho of men. However, studies show that men who are depressed are less
likely to open up about their sadness or lack of energy than women.
Instead, they are more likely to avoid sex, say they’re overtired, or
drink more. “Some men are uncomfortable about feeling sad, and their
sadness or depression may come out as anger,” warns Firstein. Depression
is one of the most dangerous secrets a man can keep, so if you think a
male in your life could be depressed, it’s important to let him know
that you’re concerned.
7. I’m afraid of my own feelings.
Many men just don’t handle their feelings, such as doubt, very well, and
tend to have a hard time opening up. “Because many men are problem
solvers and are uncomfortable talking about feelings, there are a number
of intense feelings that don’t get expressed with words, but rather
acted out,” notes Firstein. The good news? Men aren’t Neanderthals. The
emotions are there; they just need to be uncovered. And if ‘fessing up
about his feelings remains a stumbling block, he may need to seek
relationship advice from a professional.
Another BIG secret men keep?
Men need (and want) intimacy just as much as women do. Mutual respect,
trust, support, and communication — these relationship musts are just as
important for a man’s emotional and sexual health as they are for a
woman’s. When both partners are able to open up and let their
relationship develop at its own pace, that love will be nurtured by
positivity — rather than stunted by secrets.
Like WZAK on Facebook to stay updated with the latest entertainment news and original interviews!