“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The following men decided to reveal their sorrows to the world after being asked, “What aspects of a man’s life are most women unaware of?”
I’d like to thank every one of these reddit users for coming forward with these incredibly poignant answers.
1. How extra careful and nice you have to be so you do not scare some people, especially small children and women.
2. The worst is when you find yourself walking behind a woman at night, or when there aren’t many other people around. Sometimes I try to make my footsteps louder so they don’t think I’m trying to sneak up on them.
3. Some of us really wouldn’t mind if you made the first move.
4. 100% of girls who made the first move on me either ended up dating me, or taking me home for a one night stand. It’s only happened twice in my entire life though.
It’s very nice to just feel wanted for once, instead of needing to prove why you might be worthy.
5. The constant absence of romance for many men. I really think most women fail to realize the effect it has when you have an okcupid account for like 2 years and never once getting a message.
Then on top of that many men frequently try to express that they like a girl and are turned down. Repeatedly. For years and years.
Many men can go many years with the certainty that no woman is thinking of them romantically and many even with open disgust.
I mean it’s not absolutely terrible because most men I think learn to just dull out how depressing it really is and many of them (myself included) have extremely fulfilling male and male friendships. Even though, the truth is always there and sometimes you think about how sh***y it is.
Continue reading on the next page.
6. Or even in a relationship I don’t think a lot of women know how to make their man feel special and desired. They just understand romance from a different perspective than men. For women romance is a thing that happens to you. For men romance is a thing you have to make happen.
7. How utterly socially alone we are sometimes. Most women seem to have many friends that they could call on in a second to provide deep emotional support.
No guy friend has ever put their arm around me and told me it’s going to be ok. I don’t know any man I could cry to or just be with if I’m feeling down and desperate.
Sure we can relate, and we can complain to each other. We can go out for a drink and talk and listen to problems and give solid advice and be there for the other guy. It doesn’t seem the same as the emotional support I see many women have, it’s an incredible gift to be able to let yourself go.
8. We can be incredibly insecure about our looks. Sorry for not being a six-pack, jacked, 10/10, 6 foot 4 model.
And height. A lot of girls talk about tall guys a lot. Well Im 5’4 and girls have said in my presence “I’ll never date anyone below 5’8.” I wasn’t hitting on them or anything, it just comes up in conversation. And I’ve said things like “I’ll never date a girl with dyed [unnatural colored] hair” and I got shit on a lot for that.
I feel your pain, bro. I went on an internet date a couple weeks ago and I saw it in her face when she arrived. We had a nice time, but I could tell she wasn’t feeling it. A couple days later she added her height to her profile and you be taller.” Never feels good.
Girl : ‘I like dudes that are tall’, everyone goes with it.
Dude: ‘I like girls that aren’t fat’, everyone hates you.
Never got that. Fat people can change, while you cannot change your height.
9. Being complimented, for any reason, is weird. Men don’t get compliments as frequently as women do. And when we actually are complimented, we believe there might be malice or sarcasm within a compliment where none exist – simply because of the infrequency of it.
10. The sort of “silent expectation.”
It’s a difficult thing to articulate but it basically boils down to a sense of carrying everyday weight on ones shoulders in the absence of recognition or validation.
As a man you have absolutely no implicit value. With women there is a sense of validation, support, and even celebration surrounding many aspects of your life. Men are not seen as having any sense of valuable identity, beauty, or character. A woman with a career and a college degree is a unique success and glowing individual who is to be celebrated. A man with a career and a degree is only ever “good enough,” to meet the expectation enough that you aren’t ridiculed or seen ostensibly as a failure. Women with high levels of sexual activity may be called sl** behind their backs, but they are also celebrated as being empowered. Promiscuous men are called assholes and considered predatory for expressing their sexuality . Many gorgeous men spend their entire lives without ever being complimented once by anyone other than their mother.
Patriarchal structures give men many societal advantages, but from a social psychological standpoint men tend to live lives devoid of positive reinforcement or celebration of the things they do or represent.
If that makes any kind of sense?
Not to whine or anything, just an observation.
Continue reading on the next page.
11. I feel many women are unaware of how common it is for men to experience depression and other psychological difficulties. We just bury them down and let them fester because it is “unmanly” to have psychological problems. There is such a large stigma with it for men.
So ladies and gents, if your friend or SO is acting unlike themselves, talk to them. Who knows you may even save a life.
Also, as a 21 y/o guy, we gossip more than any girl knows. No one is safe when the gossip talk hits the table.
Man, that first part. I hit a HUGE depressive episode years ago that lasted several months. My SO at the time, instead of trying to figure out what was wrong with me or help me at all, vented to her friends constantly about what I was doing wrong and never approached me about her concerns. Her friends all developed a deep hatred for me and pressured her for months and months to leave me. Not only did I have to deal with my sh** completely alone, but on top of it I had to treat my girl extra special and nice because she was having doubts about our relationship. So, basically, I was in the midst of an emotional crisis and I was expected to fix myself while making her feel better about me being in an emotional crisis. Yeah, that’s fair.
12. Gender stereotypes exist for us. I’m a stay at home dad. I’ve been called terrible things all because I don’t work like a man should. This happens even though I also collect VA disability because of injuries sustained while in the USMC. I’ve been told I’m not a good role model for my son. Called a degenerate, even though I’m a college graduate. I’ve even been told im not a real man. It’s really really depressing.
13. That as men, we also want to feel sexually wanted too.
I had an ex that was horrible, she’d complain about me not making it apparent enough and then she’d complain about me making it too apparent. She’d hate if I was too spontaneous but would then accuse me of being too predictable.
Meanwhile, she only twice ever told me I was sexy or that she really wanted me… And that was in the first month only. After a while it was only ever me pursuing her, and her not even bothering to care about pursuing me.
After a year and a half I realized how low my self esteem had fallen in that regard and started to emotionally disconnect from her.
14. I don’t think some women realize how terrifying it can be for some men to approach them, for any reason.
I have thought for awhile that I suffer from social anxiety, for instance there is this girl that I like on Facebook, and have met several times, usually at get togethers with friends. Anyways I like this girl, and I am fairly certain if I asked her out she would say yes.
But I don’t, I can’t. I have had her as a friend on Facebook for several years, and the only time I have talked to her was when I thanked her for wishing me a happy birthday. You see, I am afraid to even talk to her, not because she scares me, but because I don’t want to say the wrong thing and scare her away, so I continue to do nothing.
Fearing, and stressing over rejection. It makes me feel so small a man.
15. Women don’t seem to be aware that men can have love languages too. Mine is touch. So if you’re my SO, and it seems like I can’t keep my hands off you or I always want to cuddle, it’s not because I want sex RIGHT NOW. It’s because I love you and this is how I show it. That’s another thing–we are not constantly thinking about sex. Sometimes I want to just give you a hug and kiss because I appreciate that you’re in my life, not because I’m trying to seduce you. So when you constantly tell me “Stop it, I’m not in the mood,” that teaches me two things: 1) you assume I’m nothing more than an engorged set of genitals that wants you for your looks, and 2) I should stop touching you at all; no more touching unless you initiate it. So don’t complain when, over time, I seem to lose interest in initiating sex with you.