A man needs to learn what it means to be a man. He needs to meet his own needs, and to ask for help when he needs it. He needs time with himself and time with others. He needs one or two authentic friends, be they women or men, and he needs to trust them without reservation. A man needs a companion, two-legged or -four. He needs to know his history — who were the men who came before him and which of their needs were never met. He needs to acknowledge that there may be something larger than himself, and he needs to figure out for himself exactly what that might be. He needs to be listened to without interruption, especially when he’s having a hard time knowing what to say. A man needs someplace to call his own, and if that place has a door, he’s the only one who needs the key. A man needs to know himself inside and out. Sometimes he needs to cry and to laugh, and to know that both are okay. A man needs to know that he’s only a man. And he needs to know that is enough.
Excerpted from the out-of-print book, What There Is To Love About A Man (Sourcebooks 1999), by Rachel Snyder. No new copies available right now, though used and perfectly imperfect copies can be found floating about the Internet. I’m always open to leads on publishers who might resonate with this material.