Dave Zinczenko is a writer on Mysteries of the Sexes Explained at Men's Health and explains to us Men's Secret Fears.
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A lot of guys try to give the impression that they're calm and cool, that they can handle the pressure, that they think worrying is for wimps.
And the sad part is, the women in their lives sometimes buy this act, or even encourage it. Heck, if he isn't worried, they can feel calmer, too. Maybe you buy the act because the only time you see emotion in your man is when he's watching the first round of March Madness, and his bracket is about to go down in flames.
Or maybe it's because the only time you've seen him sweat was when he had to wear a suit to an August wedding. Or maybe it's because the last time you asked him, "Aren't you worried?" he responded with a dismissive, "Nah."
While men pretend that they're wired with steel cable, not nerves, they have their shakedown moments, too. Here are some of the biggest worries that can weigh on a guy's mind.
That He's Going to Lose His Hair
Yes, I know it seems surface-level to worry about such a vanity issue as baldness, but lots of guys equate follicle failure as a failure in masculinity, as well. Oh, we know it's not true - that hair loss has nothing to do with how funny, smart, or good a guy is. But knowing is a heck of a lot different than feeling. Pluck a lion's mane sometime, and see if he purrs.
That He's Going Broke
Economic shocks (like the one we're in right now) worry guys for lots of reasons: Your man probably feels like one of his largest charges in life is to be able to provide comfortably for his family. While money and job problems have their own tangible effects, they can also undermine the way he sees himself as a man. So if he's a little freaky around the checkbook, it's because his bank balance is closely tied to his emotional balance. A simple four-step plan for your savings like this one can ease his fears.
That He'll Have One Cheeseburger Too Many
Millions and millions of guys worry about their health - more, of course, as they get older. The one killer that really makes us think: the heart attack. One minute you're watching Simpson reruns; the next minute you're staring at the ceiling of an ambulance. Because we've read too many stories or known too many people who checked out earlier than they should have, the threat is always lingering - in our bodies as well as our minds.
That He'll be Called Out in Public
Some of us are thick-skinned when it comes to taking criticism from bosses, spouses, and every other kind of critic. And some of us have skin thinner than a Spring Break T-shirt. But none of us like getting called out or picked on in front of a crowd. It's not that we can't take the criticism, or can't think of a comeback, or can't accept the fact that we're imperfect. It's that public attack forces us to counter-attack or retreat - both of which have their downsides.
That His Kid Won't Make the Free Throw
Granted, a guy is going to worry a heck of a lot more about the big things when it comes to parenting - that junior wears a helmet when he rides his skateboard, that he does well in school, and that he thinks drugs are for losers.
But want to see a guy's heart pump? Put his kid on the field, court, or dance floor. He's pulling hard for his gene-carrier to do well - not because he wants to live vicariously through them (as most people assume), but because he wants to see their smiles and their fist pumps. It's because happiness is directly correlated to theirs.
That He'll Fail to Perform in the Clutch
When a man can't rise to the occasion he feels about as useful as a '63 Oldsmobile with rusted spark plugs. But before you put him up on blocks, reassure him that more than one in ten will have trouble with erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives, and the other 9 guys out of 10 have good reason to be concerned as well.
As part of our research for the new book "Eat This, Not That!," my coauthor Matt Goulding and I undercovered evidence that the American diet is slowing our sex lives (for both men and women) to a crawl. You can find out why that's happening and discover the best and worst sex foods by clicking here.