I don’t like crying. I don’t think I’m alone on this one.
I do know that I feel better after I cry, so I can appreciate what might be appealing to people about that wrung-out lightness that comes after a good bout of sobbing. However, the actual act of crying itself is something I can’t stomach.
I think it’s partially because I also know I’m not cute when I cry. I get red in weird places and snot is somehow almost immediately everywhere.
It’s not all that superficial, though. It’s also because, to many people, crying means losing control — and when you’re a woman, the last thing you want is to be seen as “hysterical” if you want to be taken seriously.
After all, when a woman cries in front of a man, it seems as though, even if he temporarily takes pity on her, we worry that he may forever see her as either weak or overly emotional.
The truth is that (pretty much) everyone cries, even if we do it for different reasons. I am just as likely to cry when I’m sad as I am when I’m angry or scared or frustrated. It’s just something that my face, you know, does.
Crying around men, especially men I’m dating or involved with romantically, is the actual definition of the worst in my mind. I am constantly terrified that a guy will see my tears as lack of emotional maturity or think that I’m just crying to manipulate him and get my way.
I know I’m not alone in this. Lots of women hate crying in front of men, so I decided to run an anonymous survey and find out what men think when a woman cries in front of them.
Does it make them melt? Does it make them angry? Do they simply feel indifferent about it?
The guys who responded said some stuff that was pretty ridiculous, some stuff that wasn’t surprising, and some stuff that actually gave me hope! Ideally, you’ll find their words have the same affect on you, too.
So, without further ado, here’s what guys think when they see a girl cry:
For reference, I asked this question: “What goes through your mind when a woman you’re dating cries in front of you? How do you feel? It can be because you fought, or it can be unrelated to anything going on between the two of you.”
Here are the answers I received from 11 very honest men:
1. “Must. Leave. Too. Many. Feelings.”
2. “Crying during an argument just feels so unfair. She knows that I can’t keep being angry with her when she cries without looking like a monster. It’s how she wins every single time.”
3. “I hate to see a woman cry, especially if she’s hurt or upset. I love it when my wife cries because she’s happy. I made her cry once and felt like the lowest life form in the universe. I never want to see her cry again because of something that I’ve done.”
4. “It would make me feel sad personally. I don’t like to see women cry so I try to do something to make her happy or give her a shoulder to cry on. If a women cried I would let her cry to let it out so she feels better and try to help her fix her problems. No it doesn’t make me feel powerful just sad when she is sad. I would be sad but be strong so she can be happy.”
5. “For me, it ranges from indifference to joy. I don’t care at all if the girl is ugly. I just carry on about my day. But it’s sooo amusing to see a beautiful woman break down in tears. When a beautiful woman cries in front of me, I don’t give any help at all. That way I can watch and enjoy the show.”
6. “My work mate cried recently after discovering her mum had cancer … I worked with her for several years and when I saw her crying, I really didn’t know what to do in that situation, I felt helpless. I couldn’t think of anything so I just hugged her.”
7. “A woman crying — especially if when happens at work, makes me uncomfortable and unsure what to say or do. If my significant other and I are having a conversation of importance or an argument and she begins to cry, it means our conversation stops until the crying stops. I think crying is fine, and perfectly healthy — when in balance to the situation, however sometimes I feel it can be done as a manipulative measure to make the person opposite in an argument feel like a jerk, even if they may not be.”
8. “It makes me feel like crap even if i see one crying even if i did nothing a woman can make me sad if they are crying. It makes me feel weak and dumb and useless.”
9. “Assuming there’s nothing obviously wrong, and depending on my level of exhaustion, it’s either ‘How can I fix her problem and make things better for her’ or ‘Oh God, what is it this time, and how long will it take to get through this episode?'”
10. “When I was younger, if a woman cried around me I just panicked. But that’s changed with time. Nowadays I try to give her feelings space and wait until she can articulate something concrete that I can help her with.”
11. “I instantly feel guilty, regardless of whether I did anything wrong. In fact, I feel guilty even if she’s crying about something that doesn’t remotely involve me, like her job or friend drama. I’m all about gender equality, but some primordial part of me still sees myself as her protector.”