My partner is just the right combination of gentle but strong. I searched long and hard for a man like him. Most men fall too far on one end of the spectrum. They may be gentle, but they’re actually just too sensitive.
You wind up having to baby them, play therapist, and cater to all of their moods, never really feeling like they take care of you. There are pros and cons of sensitive men but the overly-sensitive man only brings the cons, ruining fun activities with his mood swings. Then there is the strong man.
He has your back. He is in control of his moods. But he’s so in control of them that he’s not a good communicator. He isn’t comfortable with his softer side, if you will. He may support you, but he won’t open up to you. That leaves you unsatisfied in a different way. You want that balance. Here are defining traits of a man who is both gentle and strong.
He will express emotions openly
If he feels insecure about his work, if he feels sad about something happening with his family, or if he just feels down, he will tell you. He lets you in. He confides in you. He knows that this is a part of feeling close with your partner—letting that partner be there for you.
He won’t let emotions rule the day
While he is open about his emotions, he doesn’t let them rule the day. He can control them in a healthy way. In other words, if he’s disappointed about something that happened at work, he doesn’t bring a bad, mopey mood to your best friend’s engagement party. If he’s angry with a friend, he doesn’t grouch about it your entire date night. He still allows himself to be present and enjoy himself. He gives emotions the appropriate time and place.
Your emotions will never be inconvenient for him
He will never tell you that it’s a bad time for you to have an emotion. If you’re going through something tough, he won’t say, “I had a long day at work I can’t do this right now. Can’t you call a friend?” He has room for his feelings and yours.
But, he will tell you when you’re overreacting
While he’ll always listen to your feelings, he will be strong enough to tell you when you are wrong. If you’re clearly the one at fault in a work dispute or a fight with a friend, he will (gently) tell you so. He wants you to grow and be the best version of yourself so he won’t enable unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns by just saying you’re always right.
He’ll openly ask for snuggles
He is comfortable asking for affection. He’s comfortable saying he needs a hug or wants to be tucked into bed. He feels safe enough with you, and secure enough in himself, to admit when he needs a little coddling.
But he can also be a boss in bed
Though he can be a lamb he can also be a tiger when things turn sexual. He can take command in the bedroom—while still considering your needs, of course—and be attractively assertive during sex.
He wants you to feel free
He wants you to feel free and uninhibited. He wants you to have girls’ nights and go on girls’ trips. He wants you to dance on tables if that makes you happy. He likes that you have male friends and trusts you with them.
But he also makes sure you feel safe
While he wants you to be free, he also lets you know that he will step in should your freedom ever lead you to feel unsafe. A great example is this: he loves that you enjoy dancing on table tops, but if another man gets handsy with you while you’re up there, he’ll do something about it.
He’ll encourage you to be strong
He loves that you’re strong. He loves that you go after your goals, kick down doors, and take down names. Whatever you think you can do, he also thinks you can do—and he even thinks you can do more.
But he’ll comfort you when you feel weak
But he understands there will be days you feel weak and down on yourself. He knows there will be days you don’t want someone to push you—you just want someone to hold you. He doesn’t hold that against you. He can just be a comfort if that’s what you need, too.
He’s sweet with animals and babies
He’s affectionate and caring with animals and babies. He’s conscious of their needs and feelings. He’s loving towards animals. He understands we have a responsibility to take care of them.
And he’s firm with anyone who isn’t
If he sees someone who isn’t gentle or responsible with their animals or children, he says something. He speaks to them directly, or reports it.
He sees his finances as his responsibility
No matter his financial situation, he’d never ask you to support him. He’d make it his goal, 24/7, to work out his issue so that it didn’t become a burden on you. That could mean taking several jobs he hates or asking his parents for money but he’d never want you to feel like he was mooching off of you.
He loves that you’re financially independent
He loves that you have your own goals. He respects and admires that you put real time into those goals, even if it means you spend a little less time with him. Though he misses you when you take on extra work or spend time with friends and not him, more than he misses you, he loves that you have your own life.
But he’d still like to support you
When all is said and done, he loves that you want to be independent and can take care of yourself. But, simultaneously, it is important to him to be in a position to support you if you need it. He’s old school like that.