Men don’t feel “worthy” to be in a relationship
The man of today is … well, what actually? For example, when searching for your own emotions, as a study has found.
“When is the man a man?” – singer Herbert Grönemeyer sang this question into his microphone as early as 1984. And then, perhaps just as little as now, people knew an answer to the question. The difference to 2022, however, is that people today pause for a moment and think: Well, when is a man a man?
A whole book could be written about a question like this – it has happened many times – and in the end the answer is probably not crystal clear for most people. What makes him special? External features like a hairy chest, a square chin and a subtle smell of sweat? Or inner value such as self-confidence, assertiveness, emotional coldness?
At the end of the day, this is a whole collection of clichés that are at least up for discussion in society due to knowledge about gender roles and gender diversity. On the occasion of International Men’s Day (November 19), dating app Bumble takes a look at how modern-day guys think about gender roles, masculinity and expectations in the context of dating.
“Hard on the outside and soft on the inside”
One of the core findings of the study: men strive for vulnerability on the one hand – but for them the topic is more of a balancing act in everyday life than a “must-have” in a healthy relationship. Half of respondents (54 percent) find balance overwhelming: On the one hand you want and should be open and vulnerable – in short, a human being – on the other hand there is the pressure to be successful and strong, if you please.
Speaking of success and strength: Half of the men surveyed feel a great deal of pressure to achieve a certain level of professional success before they even feel they are “allowed” to start a relationship or even start a family. In plain language: Many men do not feel “worthy” or “enough” to enter into a relationship. Ouch.
“Oh, men are lonely warriors”
If that wasn’t depressing enough – we have a few numbers ready for you: Although men are theoretically not pressed for time when it comes to dating and having children (unlike people with a uterus), the ticking clock in the back of their heads makes them nervous too. Almost every second man (47 percent) says that he doesn’t want to appear as a “single bachelor” when everyone else around him is having children. For many, Barney from “How I Met Your Mother” seems to be more of a literal joke than a role model.
Men have neither role models nor a good relationship with their bodies
And speaking of Barney, men don’t really have role models either. Every third man (34 percent) states that they have no role models in their environment who can show them what a healthy partnership – which they long for, but are actually too bad for – should look like. 12 percent would be able to learn from their own parents, which is another depressing topic altogether.
And to complete the whole picture of mourning: the men hate their bodies too! At least one in four men (23 percent) would describe their body shape as “not masculine” and another 23 percent have even canceled a date because they didn’t feel comfortable with the way they looked.
“Men are people too”
What do we learn from this? Well, on the one hand, that Herbert Grönemeyer’s song is still shockingly up-to-date decades later. Do we have to pity the men now? Not necessarily. Doesn’t help anyone either. But at least the results of the study show that — oh, wonder — men are just people, too. They have fears, they have worries, they have complexes.
Some people just find it difficult to talk about it – with their partners as well as with their friends. It might help to take the first step.
Source used: Bumble