What are you looking for in a man? Someone tall, dark, and handsome to carry you off into the sunset? We often think of men in terms of their strength and resilience, but it’s ok for them to have weaknesses and vulnerabilities as well.
In this article, I’m going to show you why it’s ok for a guy to show weakness and how you can help him deal with some of the more common weaknesses in men.
Table of Contents
When we talk about weakness, it typically comes across as a bad thing. That’s especially true when we’re talking about men and masculinity. Our culture tends to equate masculinity with strength, and you might struggle to accept the image of an attractive man showing weakness.
The thing is that we all have weaknesses. We all have things that make us feel vulnerable and insecure. A large part of being emotionally intelligent and available is being aware of those vulnerabilities and being able to share them with the people that we love in a healthy way.
When you think about strength and weakness in a man, it’s often helpful to think of it in terms of resilience. Some guys refuse to show any weakness or vulnerability, and they become incredibly fragile as a result. The ones who understand themselves and their feelings are showing you their ‘weaknesses’, but they’re also showing inner strength.
If your guy is showing one of these common weaknesses of men, there are lots of steps you can take to make him feel more comfortable and secure in the relationship.
Let’s look at romance and dating from the perspective of a man to understand some of the weaknesses and vulnerabilities he might have, and how you can step up to be a genuine partner.
Lots of people, both men and women, believe that a man needs to make the first move if he’s attracted to a woman. If he doesn’t, he comes across as afraid or uninterested. If a woman makes the first move, she’s worried she’ll be seen as promiscuous or pushy.
In fact, the overwhelming majority of men do prefer it if women initiate at least sometimes in dating. It reduces the pressure on them and makes them feel special and desired as well.
In my experience, this is even more important if you want to date caring, thoughtful men. These are the guys who are worried about making you uncomfortable by asking you out and who wouldn’t want to overstep your boundaries.
Consider making the first move sometimes. This doesn’t need to be stressful or intimidating. Try suggesting having a coffee together or telling him that you’d love to continue your conversation soon.
This isn’t just useful in new relationships. In a long-term relationship, it can still be helpful to make suggestions and show your partner that you’re still 100% engaged in the relationship and want to find great new things to do together.
A man often feels as though he can’t show any of his weak points, especially to a woman he’s dating. He assumes that you’ll respect him more if he shows himself to be strong, confident, and able to deal with anything.
The trouble is that no one can be strong all of the time. We all feel weak, vulnerable, and afraid sometimes. That’s a normal part of being human.
Men who try to stay strong no matter what end up pushing their feelings away. They lose the ability to share the things that matter to them, which creates a barrier between them and the people who love them.
Try to find ways to let him feel safe and open up about some of the difficult situations he might be facing. It can be helpful to show him that there’s nothing to be ashamed of in his feelings.
If he’s telling you about something that is clearly upsetting him, try being explicit about how you’d feel in the same situation. Try saying “Wow. That sounds pretty intense. I’d be really stressed and anxious if I was dealing with that. How are you coping?”
He might need reassurance that it really is ok to open up. If he replies with something like “I’m fine,” you can say “Really? Because I think most people would be pretty stressed about it. It’s ok if you don’t want to talk about it, but you don’t need to hide how you’re feeling.”
Another big worry and vulnerability that many guys have comes from the fact that they’re not completely sure what you’re looking for in a man - or what you see in them.
He might easily have absorbed some of the cultural stereotypes of ‘golddigger’ women looking for a man solely for financial support and worry that you’re more interested in his paycheck and bank balance than you are in him as a person.
I’m going to be honest here and say that this is a pretty insulting view of women but it is becoming increasingly common, especially with the rise of so many misogynistic groups online who genuinely believe it. Even if he’s bright enough to know that it’s not actually true, the uncertainty can become a guy’s weakness.
A weakness like this for a guy comes largely from the fact that he doesn’t really know exactly what you see in him, especially compared to other men. If he’s absorbed this myth about women, he’ll almost certainly also have picked up the idea that women get to choose from a huge range of men and are looking for the best “mate.”
Help heal this weakness in your man by making it very clear exactly what you value about him and how he makes you feel. Try telling him something you appreciate about him every day or point out all of the things that make you feel safe, special, or loved.
Have you ever called your BFF to tell them how excited you are about a new guy you’ve met? You might have only had a couple of dates, but you’re thrilled by how well it’s going and you’re super keen to see him again as soon as possible.
Many of us use those conversations to share our enthusiasm for a potential new romantic connection but we’d never dream of being quite so obvious to the guy we’re into. We worry that we’re going to scare him off by coming on too strong too soon.
You might be surprised to realize that this is just as much a weakness of men as it is of women. Guys get crazy-excited about talking to you and want to share their enthusiasm and hope. Unfortunately for them, they might not have close friends who are willing to listen for hours about every detail of your amazing date.
This means that the fear of coming on too strong and scaring you off can be a guy’s biggest weakness. Without other people to talk to, he’s left nervous and uncertain about how much to share his feelings and how long he should hold off.
Again, the best solution to help with a guy’s weakness is to be open and honest yourself. If he doesn’t have close friends to help guide him through sharing his emotions, show him yourself.
This doesn’t mean that you have to have the “define the relationship” conversation straight away. Instead, find ways to communicate your own level of commitment and comfort.
For example, if you’re happy keeping it casual, you could tell him that you think he’s really fun to hang out with. If you’re starting to think about it as something more meaningful, you might say “It would be very easy to fall for you.”
This absolutely takes courage and vulnerability on your part. It’s not easy. But one of you has to be the first to talk about how you’re feeling, and it’s important that you share that burden between you.
You might imagine that great guys with amazing emotional intelligence and fabulous social skills are immune to the common weaknesses of men. After all, they’ve got a pretty good idea of what’s going on, right? Surprisingly, this isn’t always the case. There’s also one weakness that only kind, respectful guys struggle with.
These guys have listened to the women around them and are trying their best to understand the challenges we face. They know that we want to feel safe on a date so they pay attention to where they recommend and make sure we get home safe.
The trouble is that they know that men make women feel uncomfortable all of the time and that the guys involved often don’t realize that they’re doing it. These guys are absolutely petrified of becoming That Guy who puts lots of pressure on you or won’t take a hint.
This weak spot makes guys overcorrect in the opposite direction. They won’t message you twice in a row because they don’t want to hassle you. If you take a long time to respond, they assume that you’re trying to show them that you’re not interested.
These guys are dealing with their weakness by keeping a really strong distance until they’re 100% sure that you’re inviting them in. That makes the solution relatively simple. Invite them in really clearly.
If you haven’t been able to message them for a few days, send them an extra-affectionate message explaining. Be honest about wanting to see them more often.
There is also one unexpected thing that you can do to make it easier for guys to overcome this weakness. Be really honest about things that you don’t like.
These guys aren’t going to get defensive or sulky when you ask them not to do something. In fact, they’re going to be able to relax because you’re showing them that you can be trusted to be honest about your feelings.
I’ve already talked about how some online communities (and other aspects of our culture) are creating a false narrative about what a woman is looking for in a relationship. Even if he hasn’t fully accepted the “golddigger/meal ticket” myth, he might still be confused about what you’re looking for from a man.
This becomes a guy’s weakness when he really wants to be the best he can be for you but has no idea where to direct his efforts. This can leave him heading to the gym to get ripped, rather than snuggling on the couch watching your favorite movie.
This weakness in a man is really a manifestation of his low self-esteem. At some level, he probably doesn’t think that he deserves someone as wonderful as you and he wants to do anything he can to make sure he keeps you happy.
In the short term, you can try to be really clear about what you value, for example by explaining that you’re more concerned with how much time he spends with you than his body fat percentage.
Longer-term, it can be useful to talk to him about his self-esteem and try to find ways to improve both this and his sense of self-worth. Although improving his self-esteem is something only he can really do, you can be there as his cheerleader and support when he finds it difficult.
So, we’ve talked about weaknesses men have in romance, but what about during sex? I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that sex can be pretty nerve-wracking, especially with a new partner. Lots of us have all kinds of thoughts and worries in our minds even while we’re getting it on.
Here are some of the things men can feel insecure or worried about during sex.
So much of the conversation around body image issues focuses on women, and especially how we feel about our weight. It’s important not to forget that men can be just as insecure about their bodies.
If you’re enjoying his body, be really clear about that. You can talk about how attractive you find him physically as well as showing physical affection. Lots of guys will feel a lot less insecure when you’re kissing or stroking their body.
Not many of us have enough experience to know what “typical” or “average” sex is. Do you know how long it “should” last, or whether there’s an average number of different positions in a single evening?
Of course you don’t, but more importantly the answer would be meaningless. Great sex is sex that both (or more) of the people involved are enjoying. Unfortunately, far too many of us (and especially guys) get their ideas about the sex everyone else is having from porn.
This can make him worried about his performance in bed the same way that watching The Fast and the Furious might make him worried about his driving skills. It’s irrational, but actually completely normal, for men to be worried about this.
If he’s worried about his ability in bed, he might not actually say anything to you about it. Again, this is irrational and frustrating, but also understandable.
If he struggles with premature ejaculation or struggles to maintain an erection, you have two options. You can engage in other sexual activities that you can both enjoy without an erect penis, such as oral sex. You can also talk about strategies to deal with these issues, such as the use of medication.
Either way, it’s important to make sure that he knows that you’re still really into him. Try not to treat it as a big deal. Almost every guy will struggle with this at some point in their life, so it’s worth finding graceful ways to handle it.
You’ve probably been told that “comparison is the thief of joy” before, but this is even more true in bed. Lots of guys will feel insecure and vulnerable if they think that you’re comparing them to your ex or to someone else you’ve slept with.
Although this hasn’t been a topic for scientific research, I suspect that this is the insecurity behind a lot of men’s fixation with a woman’s “body count.” They want to date women with fewer sexual partners because they feel that there’s less risk of them being compared unfavorably to someone else.
If this is a guy you care about, it’s worth being clear that you’re not making comparisons with other men. Be really clear about this. It can be tempting to give him positive comparisons, but this only reinforces his belief that you’re ranking him amongst your past lovers.
I like to highlight how ridiculous this belief is, as a lighthearted way of dealing with this weakness. I might say “Of course I’m not comparing you. How would I hold the scoresheet? Anyway, we’d need at least three judges to get a fair score.” This often helps guys to realize that their worries are unfounded.
If you haven’t slept with him yet and he’s making mean comments about how many other guys you’ve slept with, this is a sign of his weakness, but it’s also a red flag. You don’t have to let him make his insecurity your problem.
Porn doesn’t just make us worry that we’re not having “enough” sex. It also shows us the wide variety of different sexual activities that different people enjoy. This can make it challenging for your guy to know what you’re into in bed and to be honest about his tastes as well.
This is becoming a huge problem for young people, as more extreme sexual practices (such as throttling or spitting) are becoming mainstream in porn, leaving some men thinking that this is what women want sexually.
If those are things you actively want, that’s great. There’s no kink-shaming here. But for those who don’t want these kinds of activities, it can be difficult to communicate.
Preempt this weakness by talking about the kind of sex you enjoy and encouraging him to do the same. There are loads of online quizzes where you can both say the things that you enjoy or would like to try and then it only shows you those that you’re both on board with.
A man who feels comfortable showing his weaknesses is proving his inner strength. If he shows you his weak points, he’s also showing you that he trusts you and that he’s willing to open up and be emotionally available.
Lots of men feel vulnerable about their performance in bed, especially when it comes to their ability to maintain an erection for as long as they’d like. This is a common problem for men who watch a lot of porn because they develop unrealistic expectations.
Different men will react differently to their own weaknesses. Some will embrace their vulnerability and open up to you. Others will try to push those feelings away and try to hide anything that makes them feel insecure.
Men have emotional weaknesses, just as we do. A great relationship means helping your partner deal with their weaknesses and allowing them to help you with yours. Understanding some of the vulnerabilities men carry can help make you a better and more empathetic partner.
Did you enjoy this article? Did any of those weaknesses surprise you? Let me know in the comments and why not share this with someone who will enjoy it?