5 Myths That Keep Men Stuck Part 4: Men Interested In Only One Thing!
Welcome to Part 4 of my five part series on the five “myths” or beliefs or perceptions about men that keep us stuck in our relationships and in our lives. They are stereotypes that keep us disempowered and prevent us from fully expressing who we are in the world.
You may review the series, beginning with Part 1 by Clicking Here.
In no particular order, the “Five Male Myths” are:
1. Men don’t like to communicate or share their feelings 2. Men are afraid of commitment
3. Men’s top priorities are power, success and money.
4. Men are only attracted to looks and are only interested sex.
5. Men don’t want to be with or are intimidated by powerful/smart/successful partners.
Now let’s move on to the next myth.
MYTH #4: Men are only attracted to looks and are only in interested sex.
From an evolutionary psychology perspective, men are certainly interested in looks and sex. Physiologically speaking, we are attracted to women who exhibit the physical signs of fertility and good child-bearing genetics: youth, symmetrical features (face and body), breasts, hips, lips.
Interestingly enough, the different shapes, sizes and proportions vary across cultures and over periods of time in these cultures. While some believe that “thin is in” in Western culture today, 100 years ago, a woman with more “meat on her bones” was a sign of beauty. It is indeed in the “eye of the beholder” and this is important to recognize.
Physical appearance and the desire for sex are often the initial source of attraction for men towards women. However, there are huge psychological attractions as well that may override or even conflict with our own personal idea of beauty.
From my perspective as a psychologist and couples counselor, we each have an internal, psychological representation of what the “ideal” partner is. I am trained and certificated in Imago Relationship Therapy and in that theory we speak about the “Imago” which is Latin for image.
Deep inside our unconscious we hold this image of our “perfect” partner. This image, the Imago is based upon what we witnessed of love and relationship growing up. It includes all of the sights and sounds and smells and feelings we gathered.
And guess what, our model for relationship and attraction is very strongly based upon our primary caregivers, usually our parents and sometimes also our extended family. The Imago is also based upon our neighbors and the books and newspapers and magazines we read and the television and movies we watched. And these days, of course, it’s also based upon the ubiquitous Internet.
And we take all of those images record and store them with our own unique logic, which is based upon some combination of our genetics and our upbringing and our developing personality. The kicker here though, is that the unconscious image we have created as the Imago not only includes the good qualities we witnessed, but also the negative traits of our caregivers. As children, we’re like sponges and we absorb it all.
And so, when we meet someone that is close enough to this Imago, this internalized blueprint, our radar goes up. And if they have enough of those qualities or we believe that they have enough of those qualities, we fall “in love” and enter that first stage of relationship, the romantic stage, the honeymoon stage.
The honeymoon stage is easy though, as we focus upon the positive qualities of the Imago. The challenge in most relationships though, is when the honeymoon stage “wears off” and we’re left with this person who has many of the negative traits of our primary caregivers! That’s the stage in Imago theory know as the “power struggle” and it is usually where a couple gets into trouble and where an experienced couples counselor or relationship coach can be of support.
Now, back to the myth. Yes, we have a physiological predisposition towards physical attraction and sexuality. And yes, we have a psychological predisposition to a certain psychological profile for our “perfect” relationship.
As stated in Myth #3, as we mature as men, we can choose to continue to be driven by our genetics and our psychological past or we can choose to work on ourselves and liberate ourselves from these restrictions.
We are MORE than an accumulation of physiology and emotional memories and my work is to help men to gain this freedom and have more choice in the partners they wish to be with and the lives they wish to live. To learn more about Imago, please read my blog post, “What Are The Three Stages of Relationship?”
If you’ve enjoyed this post on Myth 4, you may read Myth 5 by Clicking Here. Or, you may view my thoughts on all five of the myths that keep men stuck by downloading that Special Report, available immediately when you subscribe to my complimentary Passion Doctor Newsletter at the box at the upper right of this page.
Dr. Adam Sheck
P.S., If you are a man interested in exploring these types of issues and more, I facilitate monthly Men’s Support Groups by teleconference line. Please contact me for more information on the Men’s Group or my other services by Clicking Here!