Manhood is Not Automatic: What Makes a Male a Man?

| 11/01/2016 | Comments (2)

As females move along the age continuum from our teens to adulthood, our concept of what makes a male a man changes considerably. In other words, our desires and expectations change and grow as we mature and our needs change. As adults, we recognize that the way the term “man” is so loosely used in society today simply means a male has passed puberty!

Manhood defined what makes a man what is manhoodThe question then becomes what do women really want…what is it that women seek in a mature male that we believe qualifies him to call himself a man?

The answer is a complete package – a man that has reached maturity and displays a series of wonderful attributes that would make any woman proud to call him her own.

I remember a quote from Shakespeare that goes something like this: “God made him as a man so we will pass him as one.”

Very eloquent, but to women, simply being male does not entitle you to become a card carrying member of The Manhood Club, and neither is being past a certain chronological age. In reality, there are at least a dozen specific attitudes, behavioral characteristics, and mental/emotional qualities that women look for before they deem a male a man.

First off, let’s look outside of sex when trying to compile a definition of a man. Sex isn’t everything and a relationship based totally on sex is nothing special. A male that knows how to utilize his tool certainly does not make him a man. You see, any sorry, selfish, irresponsible, lazy fella could be the ultimate lover. Sex should be the last component in the definition because those skills can be developed by the couple. Working on it together can lead to an awesome experience. In other words, sex does not make the man.

The questions on the table are “what is manhood” and “what do women really want in a man?” The answer is a complete Manhood Package.

What is in a complete package? For those that are somewhat bewildered or confused, allow me to provide you with a list of the qualities women look for in men:


Manhood is demonstrated by ambition and striving for greatness. An ambitious man is a successful man because he strives for the best, no matter what his goals are. Strength does not necessitate muscles but inner strength. He is able to reach inside, draw from that strength when it is needed and share it if the need arises. He goes after what he wants without stepping on feet or toes, instead carefully maneuvering around anyone and anything which stands in his way. 

Manhood and Responsibility

He knows his commitments and responsibilities and owns up to them, whether it is family, work, and commitments. He is a man of his word and can be counted on to “come through” as promised. He is a man that recognizes mistakes and failure are a part of life but gets up and courageously keeps on trying. He admits to them, doesn’t blame others or make excuses for his inconsistencies. He learns from them and acts accordingly.

Manhood and Understanding

Recognizes that no one is perfect, including himself. Encourages communication efforts to resolve important issues. Realizes the final say does not have to go one way (especially his way) or another, but knows that a compromise is always a possibility.

The Man in Tune With Himself

He has self-awareness spiritually and mentally. He loves self, takes care of himself but is able to love others as well. He can hold a decent conversation with anyone and he knows how to express himself in any given conversation. He is respected by others and recognizes that in order to get respect, you have to give it. He can accept constructive criticism without taking it personally and recognizes that opinion is individual and each is entitled to his or hers.

Compassionate Manhood

He is unselfish and caring of others around him. He is neither self-centered nor egotistical. He thinks of others, and the feelings of others. Men are told from day one that men are not suppose to cry because tears are a display bitchassedness. Crying when grieving or sad makes men human, and it has nothing to do with weakness! The ability of a man to show his true feelings even in the face of ridicule by less developed males constitutes strength and courage.

Manhood in Relationships and Love

  • He is caring giving, honest, loyal and respects not only the lady in his life but all women
  • He is willing to work things out together
  • He respects his mate as his other half
  • He knows that sharing is essential, good bad whatever
  • The word commitment is not taken lightly and he doesn’t make one unless he is sure that is what he wants to do. He will be the first to admit it.
  • The woman in his life is there to support and encourage. He appreciates it and shows it
  • He works with her, for her, towards common goals no matter what they are

Women love compliments, doors opened and chairs pulled out for us. A little pampering does a body good. For example: a little shoulder massage after a tiring day at work is comforting.

He recognizes that chivalry is not dead. He is a gentleman. He does not take for granted he is loved. He expresses thanks and lets his woman know that he loves her as well. Her love is appreciated and not taken lightly. The work needed to maintain a relationship is done willingly and cooperatively.

Each woman’s definition of manhood encompasses many different qualities, and each woman has at least a few of her own standards. Certainly my list is not a listing of the only qualities of manhood, but it is definitely a start. Some may feel it is unrealistic to expect to have a man that is worthy of such admiration and respect… who provides such devotion. I say that there is no perfection in anyone, but for someone to be human, loving, loyal and supportive is very close.

Check out the video on mahood, which provides female single parents of sons, and fatherless young men in their teens with guidelines for shaping themselves into the man they dream of becoming. 


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Veteran social researcher, relationship advice columnist, author and radio host. Author of hundreds of articles on American and black culture, gender issues, singles, dating and relationships. Author of "Sucka Free Love!" , "The 24 Types of Suckas to Avoid," "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray," and "Why Vegan is the New Black" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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Category: Men's Issues

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  1. SilentBro says:

    Excellent article providing a balanced checklist that men and women both can use.

  2. eLLe85 says:

    Another good article, you knocked it out the box. It definitely speaks to what Women want… Sadly, it almost reads like a fairy tale these days 🙁

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