Mary Loyer: Founder of Red Lipstick Inc.

Mary Loyer: Founder of Red Lipstick Inc.

Welcome Ladies! As a Speaker and Relationship Coach, I will show you a new perspective on how to be confident woman as bold as red lipstick! If you've ever been frustrated by the men in your life or felt overwhelmed trying to find your own balance and harmony, you have come to the right place for some answers!

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Unemotional-Men As I continue my research for my book about men, I find myself confronted with many questions and  frustrations from the many women I talk to.  I only hope there is enough room in my book to fit them all in.  Just this week, over lunch—the topic of men being “emotionally unavailable” came up, as one woman sited it as the cause for her recent break up with her boyfriend.

  As she unveiled her understandably emotional story,  my mind envisioned a soap opera episode in which her boyfriend failed the emotional availability test.  Perhaps he didn’t cry enough?  Perhaps he didn’t show enough anger when another man ogled her?  Or maybe he wasn’t willing to discuss his feelings at the drop of a hat?  When she told him the reason for their break-up, I wonder if he understood what it meant?

Surely he couldn’t have understood her thirst for connection with him, and her feeling of living in a drought after he failed to be the tall glass of water she hoped he’d be.  I know I’ve seen it on shows like Sex and The City, and many girlie-flicks, as women collaborate in their frustration that their men are “still not evolved enough to be in touch with their emotions.”

At first, I did agree, after all—I grew up hearing from my Mom, and many of my friends that men need to be more in touch with their feelings.  As women, we are so good at expressing how we feel, it’s natural that we would think men should do the same.  But then I wondered, what if we think we want them to be “emotionally available,” but what we really want is something else completely?  As I set out to find the truth, I started with Webster’s Dictionary for some clues and discovered the following revelation:

emotional: expressing an intense feeling (as of love, hate, or despair)
available: capable of being used or seen

Could it be that we are expecting men to express their intense feelings the same way we do when we are sad, or angry?  Do we want them to share with us, because it will help us connect with them the same way we do with our girlfriends?  As hunters who are used to being focused on their hunt, I can imagine having easy access to intense feelings might create a challenge when going in for the kill on a daily basis.  His boss might not respond well, if he was to have hurt feelings because he didn’t get the promotion he was hoping for.  So maybe it’s a good thing that men can be “emotionally unavailable”? 

During my lunch date, my friend who recently suffered a break-up, further explained that when her boyfriend was being “emotionally unavailable”, she got this feeling that he wasn’t able to connect with her, share with her, and  over-all he seemed distant and not present in each moment with her.  “Aha!” I thought.  Perhaps what we want from men is their “presence,”  which means : now existing.   Have you ever felt the presence of a man whose attention was on you and the current moment you were together?  In my experience it can feel like being enveloped in a moment of being seen with appreciation that is warming to my spirit.    This doesn’t seem to have anything to do with emotions, does it?  I now remember these moments of presence I often share with my boyfriend, and now I’m actually quite thankful that he’s “emotionally unavailable,” as it seems he is better equipped to hunt as a result.  The better hunter he is, the more I notice he can protect and provide for me.  I’m all for that!

After talking with several men about this, they confirmed that while they aren’t able to access their emotions as readily as their women, they really appreciate when they get to transition from a day of “hunting,” to being with her and have a moment to turn their focus on her and whatever they are doing together.  So the question is, How do we allow them to transition from their day or their current hunt, so that they can, and want to be present with us?    Stay tuned for the answer next week… 

Penny For Your Thoughts ?

February 22, 2009

Ever feel like getting thoughts and feelings out of your guy is like pulling teeth?  I sometimes catch myself asking my boyfriend a question, and when he doesn’t answer me fast enough, I want to give him multiple choice or answer for him.   I use to think it might be that men were slow or maybe they didn’t get the question?  Now I laugh about it because I realized that sometimes I’ve talked to men like I do with my girlfriends.  When I get together with my girlfriends, we talk over each other like gatherers do as if we just found the ripest berry and we must tell everyone!  I love it- and we don’t even notice if one of us is interrupting the other.  It’s like a berry-fest.  No wonder I was giving my boyfriend multiple choice!  I was expecting this interchange of details and berries!

 

As hunters, men can get straight to the point, and may not even mention what they think is obvious. This can certainly be frustrating for those of us gatherers who are hoping for a good berry report.  I have since learned that if I just ask a question, and actually pause for a few seconds, my boyfriend let’s me know exactly what he’s thinking—and it’s usually pretty brilliant!  I’m liking my new 30 second rule.  The next time you’re talking with your boyfriend, husband, or male co-worker, try pausing for 30 seconds.  You might owe a lot of pennies  for all the thoughts you get!