By Katie Sanders on 28 March 2017
Relationships between a man and a woman used to be more simple. There were hunters and there were gatherers, or the birds and the bees. Today, it’s probably more like the birds and the bees, lions, pandas and silverback gorillas. The hunter now also vacuums the cave and washes and hangs the bear skins on the line to dry.
The traditional roles of men and women have changed dramatically in the last few decades, at least here in Australia where we, for the most part, enjoy a fairly free and liberated contemporary society. Expectations of blokes have changed and we are all (arguably, and slowly) progressing toward gender equality in all sorts of areas.
Where women might have once only worked a short time before getting married and having 2.5 kids in their early 20’s then dropping out of the typing pool altogether to take care of hubby and said offspring, they now work hard to build careers, travel the world and educate themselves. All while trying to achieve a harmonious Zen-like balance between fitness, clean diet and a social life (AKA – time to drink copious amounts of wine). If they want to prioritise precious time for a relationship, which most women still do consider important, then he’d better be worth it.
Long story short: women now have bigger goals, wider opportunities and higher expectations of themselves and of their partners too. Modern women want men who tick many boxes and ideally can morph like chameleons into different roles, depending on what kind of day she’s having and what would be most useful.
It might be hard to keep up with her needs, but you know you’re not a character from Mad Men who expects Betty to have your supper and whiskey on the table the moment you walk in the door. You don’t want to drop out of the game (or you’re already too far in to turn back) and you can’t resist the complex charms of this ambitious and multi-faceted 21st century female species. She smells nice and likes your jokes.
So here’s an action plan: you watch and learn. Study those men who are the best in their field. Identify and extract their core attributes of the ideal candidate in each category.
Starting with the bees, the intelligent and diligent workers of the community: smart enough (without being intimidating), able to keep up a good flow of conversation with her mum and dad at a mandatory screening dinner and has some sort of job to get him out of the house each day. No need to set the benchmark at Zuckerberg or Trudeau. Hamish Blake is just fine.
Then take the lions: the Tom Hardys of the real world. Observe his confident prowl and engaging gaze. And try to go to the gym. Enough said.
Then find your local panda man: an Ed Sheeran-type if you like. He can probably play the guitar or writes the occasional love poem. He definitely knows a good red wine from a bad and he’ll put down his iPhone to listen carefully to an extended debrief on how Sally at work took all the credit today for something she didn’t even work on.
Finally, the silverback, or the loyal family man: think David Beckham. He represents good parenting, solid commitment to domestic life and an enviable ability to juggle career, partner and kids all without sacrificing personal grooming. Identify his features most realistic for you to absorb and then reflect.
Just like you would piece together your ultimate fantasy football team, you collate your creme de la crème profile and become it, live it, be one with it. If you raise the bar and strive to be your best self, maybe you might find something, someone, who’s really worth it. At the very least, you can be proud of who you are, for you too are a multi-faceted and charming individual! With some careful thought and hard work, you can be Hugh Jackman.