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Man’s perceived value

By Daniel Francis

A few weeks back, I went on a date with a lovely woman. It was our third or fourth date in some weeks.
During these dates, something occurred to me that I could not shake, and I decided to throw it out to my date. I asked, “We’ve been on a few dates now, but it’s strange to me that I have to pay for all the dates.”
My date was understandably taken aback by my statement. She was, however, somewhat accustomed to my inquisitive nature so she played along.
She replied, “How is that strange? You’re the man and don’t you want to see me?” I nodded and replied, “Of course, but don’t you want to see me also?”
She thought about it and was at a loss for words momentarily. She realised that she unconsciously expected certain things from me as the man.
In her guilt, she offered to pay for the next date, which was not my intention. Before anyone calls me cheap, I was more interested in understanding the dynamic of men and women in this scenario.
I kept thinking about the exchange and numerous other exchanges I had on the topic with men and women alike. It led to an interesting realisation, a realisation that I inherently knew but never said aloud. That my value as a man seemed heavily weighted on what I could provide.
It was clear that ‘provide’ in this scenario referred to financial provisions. However, men are also expected to possess power and influence. It was not only clear to me but to the majority of the men in my circle that I spoke to about it. We know that our partners or potential partners want a man who can provide in these ways. No matter what we did or said, we felt like we were only as good as what we could give.
Why do we feel this way? If history has taught us anything, it is the very idea that men are meant to be providers. We must carry the family on our backs and, in that portrayal, we cannot be a provider without having a certain amount of perceived value.
It is even in the Bible: “How can any man who does not understand how to manage his own household take care of the Church of God?” (1 Tim 3:5).
And “As Christ is head of the Church and saves the whole body, so is a husband the head of his wife” (Eph 5:23).
It all points to men being the head of the family, leading the family, and providing for the family. That is one of the pillars on which past generations and this current generation were raised. Now, what does the current landscape encourage?
There has been, and continues to be, a push for equality, especially within the feminist movement, and we have seen the light shone on many negative and oppressive norms.
There has been a consistent outcry for a paradigm shift as women want more: more respect, safety, security, and stability. This shows that what was in the past won’t work in the present.
We also see that for some, it is more important to create a partnership within a relationship as opposed to specific set roles. This begs the question how do men fit into all this?
Are men still expected to be seen as the providers in the conventional sense? Are modern-day relationships more of a partnership? Does the push for equality change the way we date? Do we each define our expectations and roles for the opposite sex?
Even amidst all this change, underneath it all, men are still perceived as only as valuable as what we can provide, arguably now more than ever with the advent of social media where we can be compared so easily to other more successful individuals.
I believe our decisions here all depend on having a deep level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence, which can be achieved by reflecting on our thoughts and actions.
These two qualities will help you identify what you want and don’t want from a partner and also what you are willing to accept and not willing to accept concerning gender roles.
Most importantly, always go to God when you find yourself at a loss. For me, I find my answers in prayer or the occasional sign from God. In whatever way the Spirit may move you, be open to receiving an answer.
As humans, we are not meant to get it all right, but if we learn from our decisions and grow, we are at least trending positively.
As always, go with God.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Is 30:21).

Daniel Francis is a millennial helping other millennials. He is a two-time author of the books ‘The Millennial Mind’ and ‘The Millennial Experience’, and an entrepreneur. Over the past four years, he has served as a Personal Development Coach whose work targets Millennials and helps them tap into their full potential. He is also a Self-publishing coach and has guided hundreds on self-publishing their book successfully.

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