One of the most controversial topics I address with women is one of the clearest findings from my anonymous nationally-representative surveys of men for books like For Women Only. Ready to hear it?
In your man’s mind, if you put an effort into taking care of yourself, it shows that you care for him – and if you don’t, he feels that you don’t care for him.
Yes, I’m going to go there.
Over the years, multiple women have confronted me about publishing this finding, furious that I would “defend such archaic demands” or “promote misogyny” or “body-shame” women. As if it wasn’t hard for me to hear this from the men, too!! I’ve struggled to stay at a healthy weight my whole adult life. When we hear that men think this way, it is easy to get defensive, because it conjures up the offensive stereotype of a “yes, dear” 1950’s housewife greeting her husband at the door in a dress and heels. Or we think it means that men only want a nice collection of body parts, and not the brain and heart inside. Or more likely, secretly, we’re most upset because we assume that if we’re not a Cosmo model, we’re not enough for our man …and we beat ourselves up about that already, thank you very much.
But I’ve discovered that none of those offensive ideas are in a man’s heart when he shares this very private but very real desire.
Here, instead, IS what is in your man’s heart in this area – even if he’ll never say so out loud.