This relationship advice for men article comes from our podcast with Bryan Reeves. This article gives great relationship advice for men!
Steve: How do we create a container for our women to blossom and allow ourselves to blossom? How do we structure that?
Bryan: Man, that’s the billion dollar question. It’s a big question.
I don’t think there’s necessarily a prescription, I think first what we’ve got to get clear about, and this is just very specific to each person, because it’s not a man/woman thing, it’s not a penis/vagina thing, which I enjoy saying a lot.
It’s just a question to men of, “who are you specifically? Do you identify with being a masculine person?” I do. I love being competitive. I love playing basketball. I need a challenge. Masculinity rises to challenge.
Just as an example, I don’t like running. Running for the sake of running, to me, is just a waste of my time. I’d rather be doing other things, but I’ve just moved out to the hills just north of Los Angeles in the desert, the desert hills here. All of a sudden I live next to this giant hill that I just can’t wait to run up every few days. It challenges me. It’s a mile up hill and it challenges me in a way that jogging on a flat surface doesn’t, and I love running up that damned thing. It’s something that feels like it’s bigger than me, and I want to conquer it. It’s a problem I’ve got to solve and I love that. That is indicative of my masculine nature.
When I think about being with a sexual partner, I want her to surrender to me. That again is indicative of my masculine nature. For most women, the idea of competition is silly. They don’t understand it. They don’t understand why we boys, why we men like to beat each other up in a ring and why we like to wrestle each other and score more points than the other person and get angry when we lose.
They don’t get that. It’s because the feminine nature isn’t drawn to these things. Feminine nature is more related. It’s more concerned with caring for the whole and making sure everybody is cared for. I think that’s the first thing to get some awareness around. In terms of creating a container, let me give you an example of an ex-girlfriend who was Latin. I remember she told me one time “when we’re walking on the street, the man is supposed to walk between me and the cars” so I should be walking on the street side of the sidewalk.
Steve: That’s so if a car comes, you can just throw the car back in the street.
Bryan: Exactly, that’s exactly what I thought. Are you fucking kidding me? That’s just ridiculous. Who made up that stupid rule? What is the point of that? At the time, I was like “that’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard” and so I didn’t do it.
The thing is, you can’t tell a masculine person what to do. You can’t just give a masculine person a rule and ask them to follow it and then ask them to feel good about themselves, because we seek freedom. Freedom is the ultimate Braveheart cry. Freedom! You will not take away my right to self-determination. You can’t tell me what to do. You can, but it’s not going to work well. Just try telling a man how you can drive better than him. It just doesn’t work. You can’t do that.
This whole walk on the street side of the sidewalk thing just was silly to me, but as I have been wakening to my masculinity and what that means, I get that. One of my core masculine desires is not even an intellectual thing.
It’s this core imprinted archetypal yearning to create a container, to create safety for feminine energy to move and dance and blossom, and the point of this conversation.
Now Steve, when I’m walking with a woman, it doesn’t even have to be a girlfriend – it can be a friend, a lady friend, an older woman or a young girl, it doesn’t matter – I’m uncomfortable if I don’t walk on the street side of the sidewalk. I insist on always having my body between a woman and danger.
Any potential chaos or disruption or this and that if we’re walking past even a person on the street that I’m suspicious of, maybe it’s just someone who just looks suspicious, whatever that can mean. I will walk between that person and the woman I’m with.
It shows up in little ways like that for me. It’s so much just an energy thing as well. Just the way that I hold my body in the presence of a woman, there are ways that I can hold my body in a weak manner and then there are ways that I can be so present and strong where this woman can feel me and know that she’s safe with me, know in a visceral sense that she’s safe with me.
I think that’s the thing that I really want to emphasize, because we live in an economically stressed time, and a lot of men, I’ve felt this also, a lot of men feel like “I can’t really provide a container”. They wouldn’t use this language, but they feel like “I can’t really provide a container for a woman because I don’t have enough money”, “I can’t take care of her”, “I can’t buy her things”, “I can’t necessarily afford rent for both of us by myself,” and that can be very emasculating for us.
We feel very inadequate subconsciously, if not consciously, because of that societal message that we’re supposed to provide for a woman and the subconscious yearning to be able to do so in our masculinity.
Does that make sense?
Steve: Yeah, I think a woman needs this element of safety to really grow and she needs to feel it before she can fully step into her own feminine power.
Bryan: Yeah and we may be in a scenario where our partner has to work. A lot of women want to work and I want to clarify that too. What you and I are talking about here is not a call to move back to an age where women are in the kitchen and men are out making the money.
We need women in the workplace. We need women in the workplace as women that can energize masculinity to get things done, but that can also bring their femininity to the workplace, to business, to the global economy because we need more of a relatedness orientation towards the way that we do business, because just the pure competition, the pure data analysis and “let’s get the numbers up” and let the Earth be damned, that’s killing us.
That purely masculine orientation is killing us. It’s poisoning the planet and it makes men mistrust each other.
Instead, I think we are asking, how do we as men in intimate relationships, when our women come home from work, how do we hold them in a way that allows them to be feminine?
That’s what men want.
A typically masculine man is attracted to that polar opposite. It’s a dance we do together. We want the gift of their beauty and their radiance in their love and their nurturing and their dance. We want that in our presence.
Steve: I’ll tell you the way I see it and let’s see if you agree.
In terms of creating this container for growth, for me there’s no prescription that we can give to everyone listening.
It’s more of an awareness of the full spectrum of masculinity and femininity and where they lay on that spectrum and perhaps what archetype we are. There’s this dance that continually happens between both masculine and feminine energies within us. What do you think about that?
Bryan: Yeah, we all have both masculine and feminine energies in us.
It’s ridiculous to think that one partner should always be in masculine and the other should always be feminine, especially in this modern age where we’re all evolving to be more balanced people.
However, when people talk about it, and I hear this a lot, particularly from women where they say “we should harmonize the masculine and feminine energies inside our bodies”, and I agree with that, I think there’s some confusion about what that means.
For me, I’m very in touch with my feminine side. Even my driver’s license once said that I was a female, and that’s no joke.
That was a cosmic joke, but it’s true. I have three sisters and two moms, no brothers and weak fathers.
I am very in touch with my feminine side, but you know what? I don’t want to spend half the time in my relationship being the feminine partner.
Being integrated with my femininity simply means that I have embraced my feminine nature within, which means I can be vulnerable, which means I can feel you. I can be empathetic. I can really hear you in a deep way. I can embrace you as my partner, as my female feminine partner.
Being integrated with my own femininity and embracing my own femininity means I embrace yours. I receive the fullness of your femininity because I embrace it within me, but I don’t want you turning me over in bed and fucking me up the ass half the time. I want to be the one doing the fucking and I want her to fuck me in a way that a woman wants to fuck a man.
I’m saying that and I’m just going right to the sexual part, but I mean that as much in the relationship just as a whole. I want a woman who is going to relax into my direction. I want a woman that is going to just do her dance when we’re in intimate relationship, who’s not worried about driving the bus.
She’s going to let me drive.
She’s going to surrender because I’m a worthy man.
I’m worthy of her surrender. She knows that she can trust my direction. She knows that she can trust I will make sound decisions on our behalf, and that I will take care of both of us.
Obviously the power that a woman has in a relationship is in the word ‘no’.
It’s in describing what doesn’t work for her. If I’m doing something that makes her uncomfortable or it isn’t working for her.
I’m not going to go around ordering my partner of what to do, but I do want her to be able to trust me and to follow me anywhere; that I will lead us in the best direction for the relationship.
We’re partners in that dance, but I don’t want to be told what to do.
I keep kind of coming back to that because it’s just something that I’ve so learned to appreciate over the years. In any case, to me, balance is being able to embrace the masculinity and the femininity in our relationships and in ourselves, but some people are right in the middle of the road, 50/50.
I think what you said too is one of the things that can be disorienting, it’s when, let’s say, I’m in my masculine and all of a sudden I need to just go vulnerable and just switch into my feminine.
That can be very disorienting for my partner. If I don’t kind of prevent her or let her know what’s happening because she may be wanting to be in her feminine, and she’s doing her dance, and all of a sudden I can say one thing, and I immediately force her to be the masculine partner. Or I’m demanding that she show up masculine and she may resent me for that, because that just might not be in her flow at the moment.
Steve: How do you navigate that?
Bryan: Well, disclosure – I’m not in a relationship. I haven’t been in one for a few years, so I haven’t had a lot of chance to practice this stuff just to be quite frank.
What I’m learning is that it’s important to communicate to our partners when we want to take on another orientation.
For example, if I need to be vulnerable at a time, and I don’t want to make a decision, I just need my woman to make the decision, because I just feel overwhelmed by it.
Let’s say it’s just a simple thing of just going for dinner. Where are we going to go eat? You know women get so frustrated when we put it back on them. We say, “where do you want to eat honey?”
Women are disgusted by that; they hate that. It’s so simple. I hear this over and over, especially in the coaching work I do with women. We really get into some intimate conversations.
Women say, “I just want a man to make a decision. I want him to choose. I hate it when he puts it on me! I don’t care. I just don’t like Mexican food, but anything else I want him to decide. Don’t put it on me”.
Let’s just say I’m confronted with something where I’ve got my head in too many other places and I need her to make a decision. I would just ask her, “look, I’m overwhelmed right now. Can you help me out this time around?”
Steve: I think women reading, it’s just more awareness for them. Once you’re with a woman and she’s aware of these things, you don’t need to explain anything. Yeah 90% of the time you may well be in this strong masculine role, and then the next day something might have flipped you over and taken you in the behind. Metaphorically of course.
Bryan: Metaphorically! Totally metaphorically speaking.
I’ll tell you, in the last six months I’ve coached about 90 women. Over and over and over again, especially a lot of masculine women who are feminine and they want masculine partners, but they’re so used to being masculine in their lives, and they bring that masculine energy into their intimate relationship.
What happens is they start demanding that this feminine man that they attracted, this man who is much more in touch with his feminine energy because they’re masculine on the outside.
They’re wearing their masculine shell so they’re attracting a man who is wearing a feminine shell. They start demanding that he mans up.
They start demanding certain behaviors of him.
One of the dynamics that can play out is the man can just go more and more feminine until he’s had enough.
Then he’s tired of being emasculated and he snaps into his masculine, but that’s when they fight.
She won’t back down initially because she’s already so used to being masculine, so now you’ve got two men in the room fighting out.
These are the couples that break up, come back together, break up, come back together, a lot of the time that’s the dynamic that’s playing out.
Steve: My guess is that many divorces happen because of this dynamic. You end up pushing each other away, and the issue becomes more and more aggressive.
Bryan: The woman loses all respect for the man.
She loses all respect.
He doesn’t step up.
He doesn’t show up.
He’s not present.
He’s this or that or whatever.
He’s wishy washy.
The guy on the other hand, he doesn’t cherish this woman because he’s like “fuck her, she’s a bitch. She’s mean.”
Steve: So what do you recommend for guys who are in a relationship like that where these things are popping up and his masculinity feels threatened?
Bryan: Well, I think one of the things that men don’t realize is that in that dynamic there’s a lot of things.
There’s a lot of ways to go in this, but one of the things about our masculine energy is that we’re always looking to solve a problem.
Masculinity, one of its primary functions in life, is to solve problems. We see the whole world as a giant problem.
Everything from literally trying to solve the fundamental problems of the universe to what happens on the sports field… how do we break through the defense? Or score a touchdown? Or a goal?
How do we solve that problem on the chess board? How do we solve the problem of making money?
Making money is ultimately solving a problem. When we solve the problem, we make the money.
We get the reward. What we do is we take that problem-solving mentality and we take it into our relationships with women. We start to see our woman as a problem we’re supposed to solve.
Femininity by its nature is mysterious, but we don’t get that.
Here we are in the face of this wildly feminine woman, (even if she’s wearing a masculine mask), her core nature is feminine.
The feminine has the gift of just complete and utter mystery. She is the ultimate problem we will never solve.
This is something that us men need to understand about our women.
We’re not supposed to understand them.
We’re not supposed to solve them as if they were a problem.
Steve: We’re supposed to make them flourish.
Bryan: We’re supposed to love them. That’s it. We’re just supposed to love them.
Steve: So how do we sum up the situation of making women flourish in the relationship? What is the ultimate relationship advice for men?
Bryan: I think that the best relationships advice for men is to understand we’re not supposed to understand women.
Our only job is just to embrace all of her.
The worst thing that we can ever do is in some way tell her she’s ugly. Diminish her radiance or criticize her dance. Our job is to not solve her. If we were to solve our woman, we’d just look for another problem.
We’d just look for another woman once we figured out “okay, either I can’t solve this one” or “I’ve solved her and she’s just easy now”.
We’re bored. We’re looking for another challenge. We’ll find it because that’s how we express our masculinity, through challenge.
We’ve got to realize that this woman in our midst, she’s our Mt. Everest.
She’s the ultimate challenge that will never be fully solved and we’ve got to love that and embrace that and invite that and even in a way surrender ourselves into this ultimate mystery.
I mean that’s how we experience our own infinite nature is through just the challenge of a woman that we will never resolve.
Steve: That’s a beautiful way to put it. Surrender to the ultimate loving challenge of your woman.
Bryan: Absolutely. She’s here to help us to expand, to rise.
The reason we love women is because again it’s like me… I want to run up this hill next to my home every day. There will be a time where I can just run up it. If I run up it every day, there will just be a day it’ll be pretty easy and it won’t challenge me anymore and I’ll be looking for another challenge.
But a woman who is growing and expanding, a human being and just exploring her own mystery.
Oh man! That’s the challenge, the hill that I will never ever conquer nor would I want to.
That’s how we die into our own infinite nature, men and women into each other through that constant expansion.
Steve: That’s a beautiful thing.
Bryan: It is.
Relationship Advice For Men In Summary
⟹ Never, ever think you will understand a woman’s mystery. She may never even understand the full complexity of her beauty herself. It’s a life long journey. She isn’t there to be figured out.
⟹ Love her. Unconditionally. Always.
⟹ Allow yourself to be vulnerable at times. You are allowed to do that.
⟹ Hold space for her to be all that she can be with your love.
⟹ Make her feel safe. Always. The more she feels safe. The more she can surrender to you.
Let us know any relationship advice for men you have in the comments below!