"What's Your Idea of a Man?"

Now, this is the most practical book I have read so far on being a man in relationship with a woman.

Some key points which really stand out for me are; first of all, Youngblood’s contention that this relationship business is not a zero sums game.

One of the things that drew me from the get go are the words in the subtitle ‘A Blueprint for inspiring the trust, love and devotion of a strong woman’. The words; ‘of a strong woman’ are resonant with me because I count myself privileged to be married to a woman who embodies this definition.

This does not intimidate me, ‘I also am a strong man’, on the contrary the strength and resilience in my woman both attracts and inspires me.

But, I guess and this is the rub, I am not immune to the vicissitudes and vagaries of relational complexity. Heck, I’ve been married 25 years, been with my woman since I was 17, raised 4 children, escaped a cult, lost my religion, made money, lost money. Experienced failure and setback, picked myself up again – and again, yes, and again.

And when life is real, as I know it is for you too, if your honest and your embracing the journey with a view to try and achieve some sense of success from this game of life before you throw in the towel, you need real answers. So books like GS Youngblood’s ‘The Masculine in Relationship’ are a tremendous asset to add to your arsenal in the fight for your ‘best life now’.

GS set’s out three things which he breaks down in a clear and concise insightful manner throughout this book that can make a huge difference in your interaction with the woman in your world. They are to learn to ‘respond as opposed to react’, – ‘to provide structure’ and – ‘too create safety’.

The capacity for this is within reach for any man with a predominant masculine energy. However, it is not what we have been taught by society. In fact, masculine energy has been labelled toxic in some quarters and many masculine men, myself included have been unable to see that our ‘masculinity had any particular validity’.

This has resulted in many men of my generation and beyond feeling really, like a spare part in our relationships and families. We may be more human doings than beings, be shouldering immense amounts of pressure and responsibility, but ultimately feel irrelevant in the lives of those most near and dear. This is not a good feeling people, it breeds a tremendous sense of hopelessness and pointlessness, and in and of itself could potentially be a trigger to toxic responses.

GS Youngblood’s work therefore wades into this maelstrom with the direction that many of us have been waiting for.

On finishing this book, I remember waking up terrified, (you know a books good when it gets you like that). Suddenly aware of my failure, the years of submitting to my ‘assigned’ place as the family spare part. Suddenly I recognised the gift of my masculinity and the asset that it is. I recall picking it off the shelf, blowing the dust of that old thing and re-examining it in a new light. ‘Ah, yes structure, remember when I used to provide structure. Oh, chivalry, lets once more begin to work the neglected muscle of creating safety. (Thank you Mr Youngblood) you reminded me of the gift of masculinity that I have neglected to share with my woman and the world for so long.

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Hi I'm Omar Zac Phillips and I’m a writer. My Blog; theideaofaman.com is where I journal my experiences as a man and share The Idea of a Man Project, a 12 step process of self-discovery.

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