It seems like every other day, some out-of-luck woman or slighted columnist attacks the “modern man” for generally lacking decorum, sensitivity and especially, chivalry. To add fuel to the fire, the current status quo of the male role model (henceforth referred to as the modern man) is generally intoxicated off that “sizzurp” and showing off his shirtless, emaciated chest in some club or throwing eggs at neighbors.
And while I can completely agree with virtually every expletive thrown at these types of characters, I can’t sit back idly and let the rest of us fall victim to male shortcomings. It’s time to right the errant ways of our peers and more importantly, to educate those who might not quite understand what the true nature of a “modern man” really is.
What is a modern man?
A modern man understands that the world isn’t centered on him. He has an in-depth understanding of his environment and more importantly, he understands his role in it. He actively listens to and engages with people in order to further their own goals. He is helpful when he isn’t asked to be and is reliable, even in turbulent times.
A modern man boasts an aura of confidence, not one of ignorant arrogance. It’s the determined look of a man who is comfortable in his abilities and has the credentials to back it up.
His neatness of dress expresses that he understands that the silver lining is in the details and it’s this almost obsessive attention to detail that sets him apart. He understands the path to success and knows that life is a marathon. He practices balance in his life and in his relationships and treats both with equal consideration.
Most importantly, a modern man treats others — even those who have absolutely nothing to offer him — as he would anyone else. No greater, no worse. To him, every person has a name and a story.
While all of these characteristics seem rather conceptual, the biggest question is how can I know when I have encountered one of these seemingly endangered species? Like anything else, the answer is in the details.
A modern man makes his bed.
It’s not because it’s an instilled habit from his childhood, but rather, the lessons he learned from his childhood: take care of your things and take pride in appearances. You know that old saying “perception is reality”? Well, that cliché is certainly applicable to a man’s bedroom. A made bed and a clean closet are small, but very poignant indicators of a man’s fidelity and history.
A modern man has a nice watch.
A watch represents so much more than just a stainless steel wrist piece. It represents that a man is conscious about time and understands that time is valuable. He is also aware of the fact that wasting time is one of the biggest travesties for a 20-something. By “nice,” I’m not specifically referencing a Rolex or Tag Heuer, but one that doesn’t have a rubber strap and can’t change a TV-channel. Side note: those were awesome when we were kids though.
A modern man doesn’t wear jewelry.
(The watch doesn't count.) This is especially important for women because in a relationship, the amount of jewelry that a man wears is indirectly correlated to the amount of jewelry he is willing to give. He may say he only has a necklace for religious reasons, that the bracelet is in remembrance of someone killed in war and the ring is either from an esteemed university — but what about earrings? No, and it's non-negotiable.
A modern man perfects the half Windsor.
It’s absolutely the most versatile knot and he has mastered it. He can tie it blindfolded, while driving, while running, even while bungee jumping. He creates the perfect dimple and the length just touches the tip of the belt… every time. His mastery of this reflects his dedication and his willingness to put effort into the smallest tasks.
A modern man has an active social group.
He networks, connects and generally associates with other men of his stature. Men need social interactions with other men — it's a simple fact. And while women think all men ever do is drink beer, wrestle and shoot at things, a modern man has much more interesting relationships with his peers. Plus, even modern men need some bromantic bro time.
Modern men have plans.
They have visions of where they want to be and have a general idea about how to get there. They analyze the angles, do the calculus, account for the risk, and execute. Not to say they are over planners, but they aren't the free spirited-hipster-types who wait for handouts. They know what they want and they make it happen.
Modern men are actively adventurous.
They try new things, they run marathons, they climb mountains and they scuba dive. They have a constant need to keep moving. A perceived downside is that if they are not progressing forward, their stagnation will lead to a massive decline in abilities. A modern man is full of adventurous ideas and things will never get boring. Doesn't sound too bad, does it?
Modern men are gentlemen.
They open doors, wallets and hearts. They treat women with the utmost respect and are persistent about having good first impressions. They firmly shake hands, look people in the eye and remember names. They have a bit of a goofy romantic side and make women feel like the center of the universe on dates. They seek to be impressed, but aren't the one-upping sort. They give credit where credit is due and most importantly, they are the kind of guys to bring home to Dad.