Make Them Feel Safe

In facing adversity, its important to recognize that men and women look at the world in very different ways. A real man, in all his authentic glory, will face the world, knowing that he will, in all likelihood, be crushed by it, that he is absolutely powerless against the forces of inertia, cowardice, and hypocrisy, and yet he will defy the world, either by ignoring all the forces arrayed against his mission, or by humor – laughing in its face, or just by silently staring it down. In other words, security isn’t the objective, isn’t really possible, and is only for wimps. Or, as Arnold would say, girlie men.

A woman, on the other hand, sees herself primarily in relation to other people, not directly in relation to the universe at large. Probably for reasons having to do both with biology and culture, a woman will seek security in a man; many women think that security is financial, but it’s really something more fundamental. As the writer Elizabeth Gilbert, no delicate violet herself, said about a former boyfriend, he had “that wonderful essence of Anybody Who Wants to Hurt You Has to Get Through Me First.” Gabrielle Reece is nobody’s idea of a meek woman – at 6’3”, the star athlete and model “sweats. She roars. She scares grown men the way she pounds volleyballs.” according to one profile in USA Today. Her various sports endeavors have included sky diving and drag racing. As a world famous $35,000 a day model, she is financially independent. Yet even this Amazon describes the sense of security she had when meeting future husband, and surfing pro, Laird Hamilton. Laird took Gabby tandem surfing the first day they met, the two of them on one huge board. “That was pretty much it,” she says in a low, soft voice. “You feel Laird in the water. You know instantaneously you’re okay. To have someone I feel safe with – it’s a very intuitive thing for a woman. A lot of women confuse it with bank accounts, but that’s not what I need.” (Men’s Journal, July 2004)

A man can only feel secure in the sense that he knows he will confront an insane world world with honor and dignity and humor. But a woman seeks security from a man in many ways; physical, financial, and emotional. A woman will feel safe in the world with a man who is not afraid of the world.

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