Where are the real men?

I was at an amusement park with my kids recently, where I observed a guy and a girl holding hands. The couple couldn’t have been older than 15.The girl led the guy up to a booth where the goal was to knock over a stack of bottles with a baseball. If you knock over the bottles, you win a big stuffed teddy bear. I watched as the girl looked up at her boyfriend, smiled at him and said, “Will you win me a prize?” The boy took out $5, handed it to her and replied, “you do it.” That was not what this girl had in mind. The girl pleaded with him for a second, but it was no use. She ended up – half-heartedly – throwing the ball herself and left with no prize. The girl was disappointed, the boy was clueless and I was dumbfounded. Someone needed to throw a ball at this boy’s head. This girl had no interest in playing a silly carnival game or winning a big, teddy bear. She wanted this boy to win her heart–and he had failed miserably.

When it comes to love and relationships, I think young men have lost their way. I cannot tell you how many amazing and beautiful young women ask me, “Where do I find a good man?” I never have a good answer for them. Young men have no confidence in leading a woman (unless he is leading her to his bedroom). I once heard of a priest who gave a homily on a college campus where he started out by asking, “How many girls in this Church have been asked out on a date this week?’ After surveying the handful of hands that went up, the priest spent the rest of the homily scolding the young men in the room for not asking girls out on a date.

Why is it so important that young men learn how to lead a woman? Consider these points:

Women want to be led to Heaven.

St. Paul said to husbands, “Love your wives as Christ loves the Church.” Just as Christ invites the Church to “follow him” to Heaven, so do women look to men to be led to Heaven. Seldom will you find a woman that prefers to initiate an invitation for a first date, a marriage proposal, or any other courtship within a relationship. God created men with the purpose of guiding a relationship toward Him, and men today are dropping the ball in this regard.

A man’s own security provides strength and encouragement for women.

In many cases, guys will say that they don’t approach women because of fear of rejection. That fear is what turns women off in the first place. When a man knows where he is going and what he is pursuing (Christ) he will not live approach a potential relationship with fear. Women want men who are secure in who they are and how God made them.

A good man provides witness to others.

One of the reasons why young men are so lost in a relationship is because there are not enough real men to provide a real example of Christian manhood. The problem of manhood will never be solved until more men step up and answer the call to lead. Until then, women will constantly be asking the question, “where are all the real men?”

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everettfritzEverett Fritz works in Catholic Youth Ministry and enjoys speaking on the topics of chastity, discipleship, and youth evangelization. He is the Content Development Coordinator for YDisciple at the Augustine Institute and holds an MA in Pastoral Theology with concentrations in Catechesis and Evangelization from the Augustine Institute. He also holds a BA in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Everett resides in Denver with his wife Katrina and their three children.

35 Comments

  1. All I can say, as a Catholic young woman, is YES.

    By Emily | 3 years ago Reply
    • Great article, but I think the same thing applies to women. The lack of “real women” is just as prevalent.

      By Seth | 3 years ago Reply
      • In my rosary group on campus the girls outnumber the guys 3:1 😛 I’ve never seen the lack of “real women” as a problem to be honest….

        By Brenna | 3 years ago Reply
        • Sign me up! hahaha

          By Seth | 3 years ago Reply
  2. I go to a Catholic college and ask myself this almost every day. 😛

    By Catherine | 3 years ago Reply
  3. This articlevis very true.

    But as someone else mentioned, the dearth of Godly women is just as big of a problem.

    I recently was a part of the dating world (now ecstaticly engaged) and I can’t tell you how many women in the range of 25-30, who called themselves Christians, were more than happy to sleep with me before marriage. Some, even brought it up on the first date. Obviously, those women were not right for me, as sex was sacred to me.

    I learned a ton about myself in the process, and going through that, I found the most beautiful girl in the world, with the most wonderful heart, and somehow managed to attract her.

    Still trying to figure out how I managed to do that last part.

    By John James | 3 years ago Reply
    • Congratulations! Glad to see it worked out. I’m only 18, so I think I have a little bit of time. Eventually I’ll run into someone who has the same standards as I do

      By Seth | 3 years ago Reply
  4. Is the intention of this article to say that women depend on men and not vice-versa? The that it isn’t a cyclical process of codependency is somewhat archaic, and, in my opinion, invalid.

    To put all the blame for lack of interpersonal relationships on men is just incorrect. In this day and age, what is stopping a woman from asking a man out, other than the almost universal initial shyness that impedes people of *both* genders sometimes?

    With an increasingly dominant feminist movement, is it any wonder that men don’t see themselves as the leaders of women (Nor should they. Each person has life and potential for independence)?

    By Kevin | 3 years ago Reply
    • Well said! It seems as though this Everett Fritz believes that men are charged with making a woman’s life meaningful, as if women are incapable of doing this on their own. And as for the example given, he doesn’t know the circumstances of the couple at the amusement park. Perhaps that boy had an injury that prevented him from engaging in the activity? Or maybe that girl consistently taunts her boyfriend for not being athletic enough and this was one of many examples of her attempting to emasculate him, and he has learned to just look the other way? My point it that you should not judge the situation and you certainly should NOT get on your high horse about it.

      By ISAIAH | 3 years ago Reply
    • Aside from the statement about feminism being increasingly dominant (eh… I don’t think the rapists of fourteen-year-olds would get thirty days if that were the case, and the male-female ratio of movie leads, directors, artists, works taught in schools, etc. would be more even), yes. Why should women just wait to be asked out, and why should guys always do the asking? Why can’t we admit that men can feel just as fluttery, shy, nervous, swooning, and awkward as women do, and that sometimes we all lose our heads when we have crushes? AND, sometimes the trouble is not “Where are the real men?”, but more “Why doesn’t Danny like me? There must not be real men!” This focus on finding a prince or a knight has left a lot of women holding rather unrealistically high standards, not for goodness, but for some general level of awesomeness that the average person, male or female, cannot attain. For example, my brother is a great kid. But, he’s also an awkward teenager. Would he be perfect and not, say, just kind of forget his manners sometimes, or just awkwardly say something stupid because he’s a teen and nervous? I can’t promise that. I can’t promise that I won’t be like that, myself,and I’m an adult! We all get fluttery and silly around people we admire,and sometimes that doesn’t make us act like these perfect stereotypes of “real” men and women. But, I think that we don’t have enough people out there saying, “Guys, you are real men. You were born men. There’s nothing universal about being a man that says you have to be super tough or like Edward from Twilight. You have to learn what it means, just like we women do. And you may be seen as different. Maybe you are more emotional, maybe you cry, maybe you like dressing up, maybe you’re awkward around girls, maybe you prefer books to sports, maybe you prefer sports to books, maybe you like computers, maybe you love cartoons. It’s okay. You’re not a real man because you act like you know things when you may not, or because you act like a leader when maybe you’d really like someone to hold your hand. It’s okay, and most women are more than happy to hold your hand and go to those scary, leadership places right along with you. And so will your friends. So, don’t worry about being a “real man”. You are real men. Worry instead about being kind, being good, about being healthy. Or, rather, don’t worry. And, eventually, people really are attracted by kindness. Good guys only finish last because they were waiting up for all their friends, who stopped to take them out for ice cream, and, along the way, they had what is called Life.” =D
      Anyway, I guess as a sister, friend, daughter, and as someone who can get all mom-like, and, yes, as a feminist, I get sort of sick of all this “be a real man” stuff. It tends to put a lot of pressure of guys, it downplays the awesomeness that is kindness, and it encourages men to go be “leaders” of women, even when they may not want to be and the women kind of don’t want a leader. I’d rather have someone to hold my hand while we both step into the scary, beautiful, strange, exciting adventure called life, and I think a lot of guys want the same thing. Also, you’re not bad for not asking girls to date. It’s totally okay to go kayaking or play soccer instead. The world isn’t all about relationships, and if you’re not ready, that’s okay. You’re still a real man. You’re just a real man who, when the time comes for a relationship (if you want one) will also be really good at kayaking or soccer. =D
      Love you all.

      By Leah | 3 years ago Reply
  5. Nice post. Just wanted to expand on what some of the others have said. I also believe that women are just as strongly called to chastity as men are. (Not that you were implying otherwise.) But I can understand young men’s frustration in not being able to find chaste, strong, holy women. And what an admirable thing to want. The thing is, women these days don’t have enough confidence to hold out for what they truly want, which more times than not, looks like a chaste relationship. More men need to step forward and make it known that it’s a pure woman they’re looking for and more women will become more comfortable holding the standards they’ve wanted to hold. And women need to continue to hold men to high standards in order to mold their hearts into pure, god fearing men. We can both lead each other to Heaven. It goes both ways 🙂

    By Clare | 3 years ago Reply
    • This what I like to see in a response. Fair judgement and advice to both sides, not just one. I believe if you do not tackle the whole issue, half is left to wonder about and blame. Bravo Clare, I highly approve! =)

      By Mason | 3 years ago Reply
  6. I feel as like this comment has some right and some wrong in it. I have been raised to always respect women and to do anything for the women you love. I continue that today. I’ve been with the same beautiful girl for almost 19 months and I fall deeper in love with her everyday, but I have women come up to me that have know me for my whole life and they say “Your the perfect guy”. They have all said that when I clearly asked them out many times, which I think some girls are at fault with there choices on men. Its not how they look, or how they dress. Its about how they make you laugh, if they comfort you, and the big thing is if they listen. Trust me, girls need to look at that stuff more. I guess Im just saying that its a great blog, but there is a story to both sides

    By Bryant | 3 years ago Reply
  7. John James – maybe the women want to sleep with you on a first date because they feel they have nothing else to offer you, to keep you? You don’t have to marry every girl you meet but you could definitely play to role in encouraging a generation to be Godly and building these women up. Manning up is about building up everyone – not just the women you are to marry.

    By Sarah | 3 years ago Reply
    • If thats the case, then why would woman assume there is nothing more? Yes guys want to have sex, but girls want it just as much. Its biology, and its not a mans main focus. Most girls I know are willing to give in to the sexual desires just as the guys I know, but it does not mean that thats all thats left to offer on either side.

      By Mason | 3 years ago Reply
    • Sarah, I try to make it a point to positively impact those I come I’m contact with. When dating, though, you don’t have much of a chance.
      I didn’t find it healthy to keep communicating with those women, mainly because I didn’t want to lead them on. A few of them I become friends with, and I now try to show those women how I feel men should treat women.

      My Facebook posts, every comment, my every action, can and should be judged by people I try to influence. So, I try to remain as respectful, humble, honest as Christ-like as I can.

      I feel it is partly men’s fault that those women are like that. Whether it was their fathers, ex boyfriends, or other men who taught them their bodies are the only thing to offer to men, it saddens me that our society is like that.

      But hopefully, my actions and my words, can influence those around me to see women as the gift that God gave man.

      By John James | 3 years ago Reply
  8. This is sexist. Nobody ever needs to be led.

    By Emily | 3 years ago Reply
    • have you ever opened your eyes in this lifetime? People clearly need to be led, both men and women. It is also clear that generally a woman’s idea of conflict resolution and problem solving is sharing and equal work and thought. That is not bad, but it is not leading. Leading is cutting through the chaos and hardship, taking charge and doing the right thing, for the sake of others, despite no one wanting to do it.

      By Jonathan | 3 years ago Reply
  9. That is a great point, I’m not trying to send off the wrong message, I think you missed interpreted my response. What I’m meaning that yes there are great guys out there, and when you say man up? what exactly are you meaning?

    By Bryant | 3 years ago Reply
    • I feel your approach was a bit too stereotypically misleading, yet with good intentions.

      By Mason | 3 years ago Reply
  10. I find this article to be completely misleading. It shows that there are no real men left to lead a woman to God, and I find that very insulting and untrue. Not to mention, where are the “real woman” that will just as well show a man to the lord? Their lack of common appearance in this world is just as rare as mens. I believe if an article is to be written on the loss of “real” men, it should be the loss of a whole race of “real” people and not just limited to one sex. This approach quite frankly deterred me from the religious aspect, to one complaining of how men arent good enough to lead a woman, except to a bedroom. Very insulting.

    By Mason | 3 years ago Reply
  11. I’ve dated at least 17 girls in the last year and I can honestly say that there is a great lack of real women out there… but from their stories there is also a great lack of real men out there too. It’s a two-way street (I could get graphic here, but I won’t)… Ladies, suffice it to say, it you’re gonna preach something, live it, live ALL of it, don’t just refuse to do one thing and then perform all other acts associated with it! We can’t take you seriously if you do that. A flimsy faith is no faith at all.

    For my experience women tend to be flaky, judgmental, passive-aggressive, all too quick to shoot a guy down, don’t know what they want and an emotional wreck. I’m currently dating one girl, ONE LADY out of all of them, who seems worth it! She’s not uber-Christian, she’s not judgmental, and she certainly does not believe in chastity… but she’s a real woman because she is true to herself. And that’s the key! So many men and women out there are trying to live someone else’s notion of what it means to be human rather than just following their own hearts. And when that happens you get this guy Fritz who thinks he can judge the interactions of a couple at an amusement park, as if that represents the dilemma between the sexes! Or a priest giving a homily on a college campus thinking he can scold young men for not finding those girls particularly desirable!(?) Are you serious!!?? Those boys are not gonna ask any of them out now!

    Women: get over yourselves. Prince Charming may want purity, but he does NOT want a prude.
    Men: Girls don’t know what they want… they never have.
    Pseudo-Intellectuals trying to sound righteous blogging about social norms in this day and age: It’s okay to preach a message of chastity and fear, but if you’re gonna dole out judgment for HOW young men and women are courting each other, then you need to give equal scrutiny.

    By ISAIAH | 3 years ago Reply
    • Isaiah, I totally agree with you. I’m in the same situation, dating a non uber-christian woman, non judgemental. I’m happy because she is true to herself.

      I’m not saying chastity is not important, but if chastity comes as an answer to fear (of sex, hell or something else) or idealization (like Freud would say), I think it is not helping to live the real love, with acceptance and commitment with the other, despite his/her doubts and mistakes…

      We all have to learn where to put emphasis in…

      By Javier | 3 years ago Reply
  12. Isaiah, I totally agree with you. I’m in the same situation, dating a non uber-christian woman, non judgemental. I’m happy because she is true to herself.

    I’m not saying chastity is not important, but if chastity comes as an answer to fear (of sex, hell or something else) or idealization (like Freud would say), I think it is not helping to live the real love, with acceptance and commitment with the other, despite his/her doubts and mistakes…

    We all have to learn where to put emphasis in…

    By Javier | 3 years ago Reply
  13. good article, with some great points made simple. However, the quote from the priest scolding men for not asking women out on college campuses shows that the author clearly does not understand the bigger picture. Why is there no longer dating and courtship in colleges? It is not just because men are cowards and jerks (although there is plenty of that). It is because women are not looking to get married and start a family. Why do you think most of them are in college? To start a career, make money and be powerful like everyone else. Modern college is an awkward bubble where everyone’s hormones are raging yet most people have no desire to get married for at least another 5-10years, if earlier they have no desire to have kids. That is 50% of why you have the hookup culture: because women don’t want to be mothers and wives, they want to be the bread winners.

    By Jonathan | 3 years ago Reply
  14. Thank you for this timely article. From my Catholic feminine perspective, I can tell you that as a woman, I want to find someone who is strong in the Faith, a leader and a protector whom I can look up to and admire. We good girls want to be pursued, to be swept off our feet, to be treasured. Guys, I understand if you are shy, but never let that possible chance that you have found that special someone slip by. Chances are, she is just waiting for you!

    By Claudia | 3 years ago Reply
  15. Excellent article! People who are disagreeing are not taking up their crosses and following Jesus. If you are living as this culture encourages this article is down right odd. If you are following in the footsteps of Jesus it is right on point.

    By DeAnne | 3 years ago Reply
  16. Great article, I just can’t believe how dumbfounded and foolish the boy was. It was a sign from God that the girl want to him to win the prize and her heart. I would done the opposite and won the prize by taking the $5 and throwing the baseball myself like all good men should do. Be courteous and kind to your girlfriends and wifes not rule them.

    By Neil | 3 years ago Reply
  17. Really is it really always the men and is this a men vs women thing cmon please we are all human I dont get why women think it’s always us really take a look in the mirror too dont judge

    By Its Always men fault | 3 years ago Reply
  18. I’ve read so many articles on this very subject. I’m not surprised at them, but they often make me a little angry. I’ve been tempted to write my own post somewhere from the men’s perspective, because there’s a lot I could say on this. Everett, you said you’ve talked to a lot of young women about this subject. What happens when you talk to the men about it? What do they say? Here’s my two cents. Take it for what it’s worth.

    I lead a small group, and I can tell you each of the men in my group has asked out at least two women in the last year. None of us have dated them, because the answer a man usually gets when he asks out a woman is “no.” You see, men can (and ideally should) initiate a relationship, but we can’t start one. That requires two people.

    Try this. Go to your group of young men, and ask them, honestly, how many women they’ve asked out in the last year. I doubt the number will be one every week like the author suggests should be the minimum, but I bet it will be much higher than zero. I have found that often, when women complain that men aren’t asking them out, you find that what is really meant is, “the men I want aren’t asking me out.” That is a pain I understand, but it isn’t the same problem.

    Even if men aren’t living up to the standard expected of us, this article does something else which itself falls short. The only advice I seem to see here is essentially “Man up.” If men aren’t stepping up, if we aren’t being courageous, if we aren’t fulfilling our duty, the first response shouldn’t be to rebuke us. The first response should be to find out why. Is it really just that men are afraid of rejection? Look into it, and I’ll bet you find that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Rather than just getting angry at young men, what can we all do to help?

    Most men I know are dying for support and encouragement. The world is full of reminders we don’t measure up. We’re not action heroes, we’re not rock stars, we’re not mega-pastors. We’re trying, but there’s a big gap between what we can do and what others want us to do. I wonder how much this issue would change if the older generation really got involved in the younger one. Most young men I know would love to be mentored.

    But whoever you are, I promise there’s a lot you can do to help others out, whoever they are. Rather than sitting in disappointment, isn’t it better to build one another up in love? What ways can you think of to help a brother out?

    By Not a real man | 3 years ago Reply
  19. I would like to applaud you for your article. I agree with it. I have also read the comments and are a little disappointed to say the least for how your article has been taken out of context. It seems some have failed to open their minds to this ideal that you’ve proposed. This endless debate on how both genders should act or not is necessary though in order to possibly enlighten the current situation. Some key points, the most traumatic and unresolved social woundedness is fatherlessness. A father teaches, provides, encourages, delights, loves, reprimands, guides etc. Unfortunately, our society is overrun by men who have children rather than men who are fathers. Thus, women are burdened with being both mother and father. We have gotten so used to leading and deciding for ourselves that we have forgotten to give back the torch to the good men and continue to emasculate them of their purpose. For example, letting a man do something for you like open a door or deciding where to eat is not about man leading you and succumbing to him, it’s about choosing to letting him be who a man is supposed to be. That Bible verse is about Christ loving the Church that He died because of this love. There’s a verse after it which means that the woman has the ultimate choice of whether to follow the man or not. We choose the man who fulfills our deepest standard and not the other way around. If men do not make any effort at all, how will women choose? In retrospect, why would a man want to be a woman’s choice If she isn’t worthy to be wooed or courted, too. The point – zero in on being the best of who you are, whether man or woman, and eventually God will cross your path with each other because both of you are ready. Change yourself and not the others around you. Maybe, If everybody did this, it would no longer be about what men and women should do or are not doing, it would be just about loving each other as is because each person in the relationship equation is complete on their own and is ready to be part of a bigger whole. #justathought

    By Rogue | 3 years ago Reply
  20. While this particular article is addressed to men, it nowhere mentions that women do not need to grow and change as well. I can understand the frustration of some men while reading this, but both women and men must be challenged to give of themselves and become a better person. Why would the writing of this article rule out the writing of one addressed to women? Just because it is not found here, does not mean women aren’t being asked to do their feminine part. As a woman, I have been subjected to the modesty talk on more than one occasion, and it seems to be a favorite on these types of forums. How many times do you think I say to myself that men need to take up their part in treating women with dignity, regardless of how she dresses? How many times do you think I say to myself “If I dress like that, no guy would ever want me”? How can you tell me that I would still be desirable, when I am the sole witness to my experiences? You have not seen the way I’ve been treated by men, subtly, or perhaps not subtly, when I have been dressed “modestly”, or covered less of my body. It seems to me that many of the Christian/Catholic men on these sites are highly judgmental of women. To me, many seem angry and bitter, especially when the topic of modesty surfaces. While I can imagine the feelings of frustration by men towards women who do not dress as they tell them, who is to say that the cause of women who do not dress modestly is the men? Let me tell you, everyday I see the immodest girl receiving attention and favor. Am I to be left alone, because I choose to see more of myself than many men will ever care to see? Sometimes, words said to me or about me by men in the past, when I dressed differently than I do now, will come to me, and I’ll think of how long it has been since I have received such blatant attention. I’ll be left wondering if dressing with dignity always brings such a feeling of undesirability..

    By У меня нет голоса, мой взгляд- мой голос. | 3 years ago Reply
  21. Run towards God. If you bump into someone along the way, introduce yourself.

    By James C | 3 years ago Reply
    • James-
      That’s great.

      By Maria | 3 years ago Reply
  22. People always complain about “young men this young men that”. No one ever took in account the fact that young men get mixed signals from everyone across the board. Women ask for more autonomy and more of a partner than a leader. At the same time women want old fashioned relationships. Its a lose-lose.

    By wendigoRED | 3 years ago Reply

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