While there might not be any clear-cut, spelled out definition for what “becoming a man” even means, there are certainly aspects of your own behavior that will serve as indicators of your maturation.
In many cases, the manner in which you conduct yourself will often presage your place among boys, or men, in the minds of those you meet – so you want to make sure you’re acting in a way that complements others’ impression of you, not detracts from it.
Thankfully for us, these things aren’t too hard to incorporate in our own daily lives. Anyone who’s seen a few "James Bond" movies, or read something written by Ernest Hemingway, has probably already gathered the gist of what constitutes a "man's man."
And having that echelon of "masculinity" exude from your own pores will always sound more difficult in theory than it is in terms of real-life application.
To carry yourself like a man, you won't need to be a secret agent (thankfully). You won't need to write scintillatingly-engaging novels (thankfully, x2).
You don't necessarily need to love sports, hate fashion and drink whiskey either. You'll probably just have to fine-tune and refine some of your behaviors – and add a touch of class.
On the road to becoming a man, these eight habits are a good stepping stone to leap from.
8. Always wear a watch
Successful people are always on time, and the most successful can afford to be fashionably late.
If you’re finishing up dinner with a girl, schmoozing over a glass of prosecco, and you want to check how much time you’ve got to play with before your movie – pulling out your phone to check the time might give her the wrong impression.
Part of maturity is trying to stay away from your phone as much as possible – as smartphone-use typically equates to boredom – and constantly pulling out your iPhone to watch the clock should no longer be a valid excuse.
Buy a watch. A nice watch, with a metal wristband. Get in the habit of looking down at your left wrist. It’s a lot classier than fidgeting around your tight-fitting jeans awkwardly, trying to pluck out your iPhone 6 Plus.
7. Become “handy."
You shouldn’t want to educate yourself as to the different types of hammers or screwdrivers alike to fit into any type of macho, masculine gender role. You should want to do this for yourself.
It’s not about being “manly” whatsoever. It’s about being useful and independent when a situation requires a bit of work and labor.
Things like shelves and desks won’t require any genius to set up – just common sense, the ability to follow directions and, perhaps, a little elbow grease. You can do it, mate.
6. "Eat the frog first thing each morning."
There’s an old Mark Twain quote that speaks to the importance of “eating a frog” first thing each morning.
At first glance, or earful, it will probably sound stupid, but it’s a metaphor (so don’t ask for any toad omelettes, unless you’re in Paris).
What Twain (and “eating the frog”) is referring to, in fact, is attacking each day as early as possible. I mean, think about it. If you eat a big, slimy frog first thing in the morning, chances are you’ve already tackled your toughest task before all else.
5. Don't be afraid to cook for yourself.
Dinner doesn’t have to be delivery, and cooking for yourself doesn’t have to be a chore. Manhood is about independence, and if cavemen thousands of years ago could kill a f*cking bear for their own dinner, I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to boil some spaghetti without burning the sides of the pot.
If you think you’re too stressed? Try and use cooking dinner as a means of unwinding after a long day. And if you think you can’t cook – that’s nothing more than a bad excuse.
You probably couldn’t shoot a basketball before you actually tried either, so never underestimate the power of practice. It all starts in the gym kitchen.
4. Don't slack on the finer aspects of your personal upkeep.
Go to CVS, bring with you a 10 dollar bill. Grab a tweezer, a nail clipper and one of those cubed foam things that you can smooth your nails on afterwards – and buy them. You should still have some change left over to buy yourself a chocolate bar.
Your own personal upkeep is a blatant “tell” for the rest of your life maintenance. Keep your nails filed and clean, brush your teeth more than once each day. Floss. The little things usually speak the highest volumes.
3. Stop sending “important” texts.
It’s contradictory. There’s no such thing as an important text. If you have to say anything of any real significance, don’t do it via SMS text.
If it’s a work related issue, definitely get in the habit of formulating a concise, classy email to whomever it regards.
If you’re on the verge of doing something drastic regarding a girlfriend, pick up the phone and call first – and if you really want to go above and beyond, just tell her in person.
2. Read a [non-online] newspaper daily.
Go for an upscale one, too. If you live in New York, try to stay away from newsprint-cloaked magazines like The Daily News, and opt for the Times.
There’s a sense of autonomy you’ll derive from having “all the news that’s fit to print,” tangible and at your own fingertips.
It doesn’t “count” if you buy a newspaper solely to glance at the pictures in the sports section, before abandoning it to the diner table alongside the glass of orange juice and coffee you failed to finish, as well. That’s just a waste of money.
Actually read it, you’ll learn things. And while you’re at it – try the crossword. By the time you find yourself able to outduel Will Shortz on a Friday or Saturday, you’ll know you’ve paid your dues.
1. Don't wait for someone else to make the toast.
If you find yourself sitting around a dining room table for some occasion or celebration, whether it be among friends or family – don’t wait for someone else to make the toast. Just go for gold and do it yourself.
Nobody is expecting Leonardo DiCaprio – as Gatsby, with fireworks behind him – to raise his glass first, every time one of your college friends gets engaged. As long as you keep it short and sweet, I promise you can’t screw it up that bad.
It’ll show the room that you’re confident and comfortable grabbing the wheel during important moments. Real men should never shy away from the driver's seat.