Men are not going to be safe for you if you do not create safety for them.
I have recently learned this lesson, and it is time for me to share it.
Over the years, we have had it engrained in us that men are meant to be our safety. Originally this meant that men make the money, men fight the baddies, men protect.
In every man there is a young boy. Men become strong and admirable the same way women become resilient and unconditional, but inside every resilient and unconditional woman there is still a young girl who wants to be told everything is okay.
Young boys have it drilled into them that they need to be a certain way. What must that say to a boy? You are not good enough as you are?
So naturally, grown men are going to require love as they are even when they are (unintentionally) not meeting our expectations.
When grown men are doing their best, judging them does not make them feel safe. So you become unsafe.
It is okay to have high standards, a man who loves you will usually want to meet them. But we need to make sure that we meet these standards ourselves before we expect others to do this for us. It is human nature to lack sometimes, so as women, we need to be okay when a man is TEMPORARILY lacking.
I understand not wanting to hear this, because I didn’t want to hear it either and then I had to live through a painful lesson which showed me. I am a feminist, I am what some might call an ‘alpha female’, and I expect the best. I want a loving relationship with a kind and loving man. And if we are triggered, we may not stop to realise that the best will never be perfect.
There is a lot of defensive programming in the world that drills into young women that men are not safe at all, nor are they to be given the chance. Young women these days are almost raised to be eagle eyed and wait for a man to cock up, so they could say ‘I KNEW IT!’.
Allow me to just say, it is true that some men are unwilling to be safe for you from the beginning, and they do not care. There are narcissists about. Narcissists are unwilling to be safe because they were hurt very early in life and disconnected entirely from depth. They look for shallow things, and what they can use a person for, and there is no saving them from this. There is no point trying.
With that in mind, there are huge amounts of men out there who want to love you and show up for you and give you anything, provided you are their safe space.
There are so many incredible and loving men who are looking to connect with someone in a way that encourages their growth.
If you cannot see these men, and if you cannot recognise them when they show up, it means that there is a part of you that is trying to protect itself so much that it renders you unapproachable, which really just means, you are too afraid to see those men. You aren’t willing to give them a chance.
That is a tough pill to swallow, it is painful, but swallow it we must. Luckily, now that we realise this, we can work on how we can make ourselves feel safe and therefore become a safe space for men.
In a safe space, we do not shout and attack and insult, and we do not make a person feel bad for their authenticity. We share. We are honest. We are vulnerable and we do our best to understand one another. We do not attack someone for telling the truth.
In a safe space, we might become triggered, but in those moments we communicate that we don’t feel safe and need to take a break. We do not get nasty in a safe space, because it achieves nothing.
In order to be safe, you need to be open. Ladies, lets be honest, how open are we?
We like, favourite, share and openly mock men for being authentic. We tell each other ‘if a man does (insert very minor and non-threatening thing here), run’, ‘the first time a man lets you down, leave’. I don’t think we take the time to realise that every time we mock a man we are saying ‘I will humiliate you’, and every time we laugh at their downfalls we say ‘I am not strong enough to understand when you are going through something tough’.
So lets look at ourselves for a second.
We mock as a defence mechanism, and we threaten to leave as a defence mechanism. How are we meant to get what we want out of life when we are living through defence mechanisms?
We make ourselves smaller to not get hurt, but we have to be big to receive big things.
The next time we have a chance with a guy who is loving, open, committed to bettering himself, and who shows up for you/ never makes you doubt his love for you: watch yourself.
Watch yourself when you get triggered and watch yourself when they remind you of an ex or a boy who bullied you in the past.
Sometimes, we respond to a loving person the same way we would respond to a toxic ex not because the people are similar, but because the wound within us is still there.
The safe space allows room for you to see that you are still triggered by being unseen, or unheard, or belittled; and it allows you a loving environment to go within and see a need within yourself that you haven’t met yet.
A boundary with yourself that you haven’t met yet.
An area of yourself that you don’t quite understand, a fear within yourself that makes you hesitant to open up.
If you can see those things, you can allow yourself to feel safe, and in turn you can maintain a loving and unconditional relationship which promotes self-growth.
If you have messed up with a loving man in the past, keep the focus on yourself regardless of whether or not he is still around.
If a man is regularly messaging you wanting to meet, needing to be around you often, forgiving your downfalls and doing his best to keep you in his life; that man is for you. If a man isn’t showing up, consistently leaves you hanging, makes you second guess yourself; they are not for you. But you learned something, hey. You can now meet your next match, and what a wonderful thing it will be now that you are more loving towards yourself.