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The Passivity Problem

Why is it emasculating for men to express what they're feeling?

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My first relationship wasn't until my junior year of college. I was a late bloomer when it came to commitment. And it was, in one word, perfect. My boyfriend was the ideal man, always remembered anniversaries, went above and beyond to make me feel good, always gave me a "goodnight" and "good morning" text, and never failed to express what he felt for me. He was perfect - just not for me. There was a lack of chemistry on my part so I ended it. I didn't think it'd be too hard to find someone like him again.

Boy, was I wrong. My next relationship began like the previous one but ended in flames. He was sweet, caring, said things that made my heart jump, like "Can we just buy a couples starters kit and move to some island somewhere?" But then, he caught it. The Curse of Passivity. And he became what I like to call a Passive. And it ended our relationship.

Passives will show that they care for you only when they feel like it. If you ask a Passive, "do you care," they will say "yes" but they will never say it on their own. Passives have the following traits:

They will be affectionate with you


On their own time. You probably have to initiate, and once you do, they will reciprocate. But rarely will they initiate anything, especially public forms of PDA as small as a hand on the knee.

They will answer your text


Won't text you first. You might be able to get a decent conversation going, but it will trail off in their fear of showing too much interest.

They won't freak out when you say your feelings


They won't say theirs. Unless you ask them, point blank, to express their feelings, they won't hand them over. And if you do ask and they answer, it'll probably be something not too risky and leaning towards sarcastic like, "Yeah, you're aight."

Since when has the phrase become "Always be a gentlemen... and always means when you feel like it."? The Passives are great at showing affection when you initiate, or when they feel like it. But it won't be consistent. And this inconsistency has you asking yourself, "Am I doing something wrong?" "Do they still love me/like me?" "Did they ever love/like me?"

And the thing is, a lot of the time, The Passives do care, they just don't show it. And why, you ask? Because somehow, men have convinced themselves that showing what they are feeling is emasculating. So whether you're just beginning to date someone or been with someone for a while, they can be Passive simply out of a need to feel "manly."

It's the idea that it is weak to show interest in someone. But damn, does that make dating hard! How are we to know if a guy is not interested, or if he's just a Passive? There's a fine line. So I have a little message for The Passives:

Quit it, dudes. Become an Active. Say what you're feeling, text first, ask her out on a date, tell her you think she's actually really cool. This "hard-to-get" trend where you pretend you don't care is actually NOT attractive, and certainly not manly. By keeping someone on the edge of their seat, you're not upping your chances with them by making them work for it, you're actually lowering your own chances. Because in the end, your object of affection will simply conclude "They aren't interested" even if that's not the case. It's not cool to be a gentleman when you feel like it, be a gentleman all the time.

So Passives, when she/he wakes up tomorrow, send a "Good morning" text. You'll be amazed at how expressing yourself can earn you points - and NOT emasculate you.

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