Let’s Talk Real Truths about Men!
I sat down with an incredible human to discuss some real truths about men. Truths about what men are yearning for in relationships, in connecting with other men and what it means to be a man today. Yes ladies and gentlemen, finally the things we all want and need to know! I talked with the remarkable, inspirational (I can go on and on) Geoff Laughton who—for 19 years—has been a leader in mental health, healthy relationships and spearheading a much-needed movement: The evolving man. Men sing his praises, women are constantly telling him “Thank you!” and it’s because he is providing a place where men can go to learn about being and harnessing the man they want to be.
So, what is going on with men today?
Here’s what is so interesting about what Geoff has taught me: today we live in a world where the focus is so often on women loving themselves and connecting with other women to heal. Yet it’s much rarer to hear about men loving themselves. Men are confused. Men are scared. Men desire to tap into their truest selves and understand how the women in their life experience them. Incredible stuff, right?
I have to share this. Now. As the years have gone on what Geoff has witnessed this first hand…
“Men are changing from asking ‘how am I happier in my career and relationship?’ to men getting their lives more aligned with their spirit, with their longing…and they are becoming free.”
Men are so often the ones called upon to be strong, to be masculine and to also be in tune with their emotions and true selves. How can they do it all? And who can they lean on to be in tune with their most fulfilled—as a man? I asked Geoff what the biggest transformation he has seen in men over his almost two decades of coaching, writing and acting as a mentor to men. His answer:
“They are coming alive. The biggest transformation is helping men come back to life.”
Men know to focus on the following: Their jobs. Their money. The size of their you know what…but men are and desire to value and be so much more. What do men want? They want to be good husbands, boyfriends, partners, friends, fathers. No matter their age, men are questioning EVERYTHING, and-guess what—nothing is quite so powerful as sitting in a room full of guys who are all interested in being the best man they can be.
What’s the biggest difference between a man who operates in the status quo and one who can connect with other men in authentic ways?
It’s the difference between not having others in your life who truly see you and then being thrust into a place men can get real, and can get immediate feedback from all the other men in the room. Geoff recognized that when men get together, they are forced to be wholly real. It’s hard to BS a room of dudes who see you fully and are as hungry to learn, grow and evolve.
Geoff does his thing in a way that isn’t shaming or judgemental but is loving and compassionate. He also loves how powerful the sense of community is amongst the men in his groups. All the men he knows (himself included) often act as the lone wolf in their world. They keep things to themselves and are set on figuring out their problems.
Keeping things in their mind and ego is preventing men from being the best version of themselves they can be.
This change: men, it’s inconvenient. But wow, is it so worth it. You’ve been fed a bunch of lies (okay boys and girls, we ALL have). Undoing that old conditioning and set of stereotypes about how men should be…that’s the biggest transformation. Men are learning how to fall in love with themselves and be far less dependent on how they get validated in the external world. Men are also (this is where the ladies say, hallelujah!) relying less on their woman to be their BFF, therapist, lover, business confidante, etc.
Men and women shouldn’t have to be all things to each other and in fact as Geoff reminds me time and again, they can not! We are not wired to think like the opposite sex and the moment we can accept that everything gets so much easier. like women know to rely on other women, men are joining the charge of connecting and being truthful with each other.
Men-you are hard-wired to ‘perform.’ Like how you’ve been taught it’s your job to kill the bear, hunt and provide! So what does it mean when you can’t wait to get home and watch The Bachelorette with your girlfriend? It means you’re normal. It means you are a creature who has both a masculine and feminine side that is going to ebb and flow. It means you are a human.
“Men are hopeless romantics pretending to be powerful people and women are powerful people pretending to be hopeless romantics.”
For men, it’s much harder to get to that place of showing vulnerabilities. There are a lot of stereotypes out there now that tell men they don’t have feelings, that they shouldn’t have insecurities, and that men don’t get broken-hearted. There is SO much healing that needs to happen.
Men are deep feeling creatures but unfortunately, culture and society have told men they are ‘machines.’ Jessica encourages female listeners to get interested in the men you’re dating, the men you’re passing on the street, your male friends, brothers, your father. Geoff agrees! He implores us all to “learn the person, not the gender.”
What the biggest challenges single men are facing in the dating world today.?
1. Not meeting women in person.
Oh yes. I know this one too well. We’re experiencing a phenomenon of ‘text-ashionships’ where potential couples are trying to get to know each other over messages. How do you get to know someone when the introduction and conversations happen over text or messages through an app? Answer: you don’t.
2. How to know if the woman you’re dating is “the one?”
Geoff shares some awesome advice on this one—we are so used to rushing and wanting to know right away if they are your forever person. Instead, the only thing you should focus on during that first date is if you want to go on another one! People are putting on their best face during those first few dates (meaning, as Geoff said, they’re full of it!). I love this notion because it means that it’s going to take time so you don’t have to know much of anything right away.
3. How to tell if it’s an attraction (or lust) vs. true compatibility?
One word of advice from Geoff sums this one up: SLOW. If you’re in a hurry it means you are looking for an external plug to make you feel better about yourself. And if that’s what your relationship is based on…you’re screwed! Now flip that notion: If you (men or women) are content and satisfied with yourself then there is no urgency and you can get to know another and relax and enjoy the ‘getting to know you’ moments.
Geoff is creating environments of openness and facilitating the conversations men and women need. He is advocating for more feeling and helping us all find more love. WE NEED MORE LOVE. Period.
Men and women—I can’t wait for you to tune in to our conversation and hear more of Geoff’s heart and the remarkable insights he has. We had some fun talking about what courting is (and do people even know what that means!?), discussed the relationship between a man’s mothering and his current view on manhood, and the encouragement he gets meeting men in their 20’s and 30’s who are completely ready to figure out what the missing pieces are in why they don’t feel fulfilled. Listen to this week’s Game of Love Podcast and be sure to subscribe to level up in the world of dating and love!
If you want to learn more about what Geoff and his team are doing to shake up how men are becoming honest with themselves check out his work, learn about his groups (which you can attend in person in Denver and Boulder, or virtually if you are anywhere else), send him an email! You can find Geoff at yourrelationshiparchitect.com, theevolvingman.com and at [email protected].
Until next time, get out there and love each other.