Once upon a time, I would write this list of all of the qualities that I wanted in a man, and boy was I naïve and all wrong. In all fairWHY I STOPPED SAYING I WANTED AN EMOTIONAL MAN.ness, as I looked at this list, I was 21 years old at the time, and that was all a very blurry year for me. However, the one that I think hit home for me today, was that I hear women who are my age now and older who say that they want a man who is emotional. I am not here to discuss what other’s do as I try to stay out of grown folks business, but I wanted to shed some light as to why I stopped saying that I wanted an emotional man, and what I shifted my thought process to.

The more that I educated myself on my relationships and the qualities that I did like, I realized that the thing that makes a man, a “man”, are kind of completely opposite from that of a woman. I am attracted to a man’s man, so to speak. I love the way that a guy carries himself, smells nice, well-spoken and intelligent. However, I found that in having had dated a couple of emotional characters, I was not attracted to a guy that had female characteristics.

Most men are not adept at expressing their feelings, but that doesn’t equate to them not having any. Men have a special way of expressing themselves, and more times than not, it ends up in different forms than what WE as women are used to. There is importance in meeting a person with a high emotional intelligence, but that is a skill that needs to be honed-in on and put into practice daily. Dependent on a person’s brain plasticity it is up for grabs if they have it or not. (sarcasm)

When my dealings with grown adult men, I have found that you have to be observant at the things that are not said, as they can translate the feelings that women have such as, sadness into pride. Most men will generally convert their emotions into ones that are more of societal norms so that they aren’t looked at as weak. There was a time when I was working with a couple who came to see me in crisis because they had learned that their daughter had been assaulted by her boyfriend at the time. There was a lot of tension because the husband initially expressed rage, wanting to kill the guy. It was a lot of worry surrounding this because the daughter and wife, didn’t want him to go to jail because he followed through on any of these threats. Over time, the husband and I had a one-on-one session, in which he was able to release his true feelings of vulnerability, which turned out to be associated with fear, disappointment and sadness due to his inability to protect his daughter. His reaction was completely justifiable; however, it was scary to see him in this way, and we were able to find more tactful ways to help him cope with this issue to support her.

This is a good segue into the fact that men are often held into a box as it relates to expressing emotions. Even though they don’t always know what they are feeling, but they do know that whatever they are feeling that they may not be able to say anything. Most times it is because they aren’t entirely sure how to say what they feel in a way that they will be accepted. Women, we want our men to express feelings, but not all of them- we only want the ones that look like “spoiling us or are associated with giving us pleasantries”. All of the other emotions that may seep out, we need tha