A new study shows that the old saying “real men don’t cry” is about as out of date as frosted tips and sweatpants that say “Juicy” on the bum.
Online dating platform EliteSingles asked 1,500 people for their opinions on men who cry and found that women much prefer a man who is comfortable with showing emotion. That’s great news for men, many of whom admit to crying more often than people might realize – and who are more likely than women to cry from emotions like love.
There’s a long running stereotype that women are most attracted to stoic men who hide their emotions; never displaying anything more intense than a bit of brooding. So, it’s refreshing to find out this isn’t necessarily the truth.
The research shows that women want emotionally open partners. In fact, 95 percent of women surveyed answered ‘yes’ to the question ‘Do you think women prefer men who are open with their emotions?’ Furthermore, when asked specifically about men who cry, 97 percent of women said they found the act either strong, natural, or healthy. Finally, 81 percent of women in relationships stated they would like their partner to show more emotion — which makes total sense.
While the “strong, silent type” might be sexy on the surface, people who are completely disconnected from their emotions generally don’t make good partners. Anyone who’s ever dated a man who can’t talk about his feelings at all knows exactly how frustrating this can be.
While the survey results are encouraging — when asked the same initial question (‘Do you think women prefer men who are open with their emotions?’), 84 percent of men said yes — there’s still room for improvement. There’s still 16 percent of men (around 1 in 6) that wrongly believe women find emotional men less attractive. Additionally, a full 5 percent of men said they believe men who cry are weak (whereas less than 1 percent of women agreed with this statement.) In other words, there’s still a disparity between how men think women perceive their behavior and what women actually want from a partner.
Unfortunately, the survey data confirms there are still an overwhelming number of men out there who aren’t comfortable showing emotion in public. This is in stark contrast to their female counterparts.
When asked ‘If you were feeling blue, would you talk to someone about it, and if so who would you talk to?’ the majority of women answered ‘My friends’ – 52 percent would confide in a pal. Twenty-three percent said they’d talk to a romantic partner, and just nine percent said they wouldn’t talk to anyone.
However, they found only 28 percent of heterosexual men said they would talk to their friends. Twenty-nine percent named their partner as their chief confidante, and an enormous 26 percent of heterosexual men – 1 in 4 – said they wouldn’t speak to anyone. Is this because men are just less emotional all around? Well, not exactly.
The survey revealed men are experiencing things that make them emotional (albeit not as frequently as women). Less shockingly, 67 percent of women in the survey said they had cried in the previous month – but a whole 48 percent of men said they’d done the same. Yikes.
But don’t blame the guys alone. When asked, 90 percent of women and 85 percent of men indicated they believed society makes it difficult for men to open up about their feelings. Which is kind of ironic, considering the research shows both women and men want partners who are emotionally connected and able to communicate on a deeper level.
So what can we do about this in our own dating lives?
Let’s face it — we’re not used to seeing men cry and be emotionally vulnerable. So, when it does happen it can be a bit of a shock. If the man you’re dating gets emotional in front of you, don’t laugh or brush it off. Be supportive and acknowledge what he’s feeling is valid.
Sure, being vulnerable can be scary AF. Keep in mind though, your partner wants you to show emotion. So, be brave and share your feelings. The numbers are in. It’s official, women love a man who isn’t afraid to cry.