9 Ways You Totally Emasculate Your Man (Without Even Realizing It)

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couple fighting

There seems to be a lot of advice offered in the realm of how not to emasculate a man.

When I set out to write this list, I first wanted to understand what the general opinion looked like. What I found was what seemed to be a lot of advice on how women can lessen themselves in order to help their men feel secure.

I personally don't subscribe to the idea that women should fall back in order for anyone to rise up, no matter who it is. However, as times change, the male/female dynamic has taken on new roles and accordingly new rules.

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The objective in every relationship should be to have two equally paired partners in a mutually respectful relationship. But what tends to actually happen is women feel so empowered by their own awesomeness that they place their guy in the role of "pet" instead of "protector." 

That might make you feel like you can run the world, but it certainly won't keep manly men around for long.

9 Ways You Emasculate Your Man Without Realizing It

This list isn't about how to blow smoke up a man's behind to get what you want; it's about really understanding how we may be making it hard for a good man to shine in our presence.

1. You don't let him have female acquaintances.

Is one of your relationship rules that he can't hang with other women? Even if it applies to lifelong friends or coworkers that preceded your reign? Fail.

This shouldn't be a thing for two very good reasons.

First, because he's his own person and should be able to make his own choices about who he spends his time with.

Second, because if you have to keep a fence around your man in order to feel secure in the relationship, you're both doing something terribly wrong. Ditch the guy who can't be trusted and lay off the lady-friend rules. It's not your business.

2. You criticize his hobbies.

So he likes to skateboard but you think that's juvenile. As women, we grow out of all of our girly ways, right?

Whatever it is that makes your guy feel happy and content, let it be. Encourage and support his hobbies instead of picking them apart.

If you can't handle a guy who plays fantasy football every year, you probably shouldn't have drafted him in the first place.

3. You take over all the domestic tasks.

Even if you feel that it's the role of the women to care for the house, it's important to allow (and expect) any man to be just as capable of caring for his home as you are.

Especially if you both work and have equally busy lives, domestic tasks should be shared. He might feel like a king having a woman clean up his messes and cook his meals, but he'll also be reminded of someone you don't want to become: his mom.

4. You constantly question his compliments.

He tells you you're beautiful and you respond with a shortlist of why you think that's BS. Not a great way to encourage your man's masculinity.

He probably wants to feel like he can woo you as much you want to feel you can woo him. Don't shoot down his attempts at being sweet and romantic because of your own insecurities.

If you can't accept a compliment, seek help. Sometimes you have to accept that a man might see something you refuse to take note of when you look in the mirror. That's supposed to be a good thing, not a challenge.

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5. You depend on him as a source of your happiness.

Can't sleep without your man beside you? Don't know what to do with yourself when he has to go out of town? Snap out of it. No one should even be your entire world.

If you don't have other activities to busy yourself with — other friends, other interests — then you run the risk of being the boring one in the relationship. You also run the risk of being annoying with the barrage of "I miss you" texts pouring into his phone while he's at work.

A good man is probably going to start sacrificing his personal time in order to satisfy your desire to be close. Don't be that girl.

6. You're really bossy.

Please stop telling men what to do.

I never quite understood how much women like to boss men around until I had a little boy. I watch, fighting back laughter as little girls tell him how to sit, where to sit, what to play with, how to play with it, what to say, when to say it, and what to eat.

Their mothers embarrassingly wave their daughters away and tell them to stop being so bossy, and then look over at me with an awkward grin and say, "I don't know where she gets it from." Well, I do.

Let the man do what he wants, the way he wants to do it. There shouldn't be much conversation about it unless he asks for your opinion or if what he's doing is actually causing your pain or anguish. Otherwise, get a grip.

7. You try to fix all his problems.

His car doesn't start, so you hand him your keys; that's what a good woman would do, right? Wrong. That's what his mom would do.

You aren't his fixer. He should be perfectly capable of fixing his own problems. Not that you shouldn't be kind and loving enough to let him take your car, but let the man ask first.

He might just like to know you're actually aware that he doesn't need you to fix his problems. You might like a hero now and then, but a man likely doesn't want to be saved until he exhausts his other options.

8. You fake it in bed.

Don't do this. Just... don't.

For millions of reasons, but mainly because it's extremely obvious when someone isn't enjoying sex. Bear in mind that a perceptive man (the kind you want) is going to know perfectly well you're faking it and he'll fake not noticing right back.

But the take-away will be, not only that he can't satisfy you, but also that you're the type of woman who puts her own pleasure behind convenience. Talk about what feels good to you and strive to improve your sex life together, but don't settle for sub-par coitus.

9. You make him hold your purse.

The most annoying thing about asking a man to hold your purse is that you're basically telling him that, although you packed the items in your purse and decided to carry it out of the house, you're just too overwhelmed with whatever activity you're indulging in to actually take responsibility for it anymore.

You're also telling him you think he's a walking coat rack and that you need a man to help you handle your life.

If he asks, then maybe take him up on it if you really need to. But don't shove your purse at a grown man in public and expect him to feel thrilled about it.

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Ashley Simpo is a writer, editor, and creative consultant. Her work has been featured in Essence, HuffPost, Zora Mag, Blavity, BET, Scary Mommy, and xoNecole. Visit her website or Instagram for more.