Women have been the subject of debate since eternity, men claiming they would do anything to reveal the secrets which lie within the intricacies of our delicate brains, sometimes reaching the conclusion that we are absolutely innocent and harmless other times that we are totally vicious and cunning – apart from being the source of nuisance to most of the men since Adam and Eve – what they don’t know is that we too want to know more about how men think and what do they really want in life.
I don’t claim that I have done a 100% accurate survey about how Egyptian men think and what Egyptian men want, this is neither a case study nor a guide to what men want, but I can say that after asking as many males as I could encounter during the few days I had to write this article, I have made some conclusions which are related only to the random subjects I interviewed.
Age 5-10: these were the easiest age group to interview, whenever I asked “what do you want?” they responded spontaneously: pilot, policeman, doctor, football player. They didn’t take time to think, nor did they try to beautify the answer to impress.
Age 10-20: it gets complicated; this age group didn’t have a clue what they wanted, after staring at the ceiling or sky for sometime, they would answer: PS, iPhone, Wii, outings, impressing girls…full of shallow and vague ideas about life and love, this age group is not shaped yet, naturally due to inexperience.
Age 20-35: they are starting to develop ideas and learn about the value of life, of course with an individual variation. They are ambitious, they want more solid relationships, they want to focus on careers, building themselves, they aim for being the best; genuinely with the fire of youth and the lack of real life let downs, they are more touched by their surrounding world and the tragedies happening around them, they experience deeper emotions. Some want to be more religious, some want to flee out of the country to explore new cultures or try their career somewhere else; it’s all about experimenting with more solid issues. They want understanding and company and someone to share their dreams and hopes with. They hate shallow girls and think that girls their age are too nice because they have an ulterior motive: to get them to propose!
As they approach the mid 30s, they want to balance pleasure with personal goals, by now they experienced failure in relationships, gone wrong at some points, lost a job or started a family; they experience life with extreme fun and extreme sense of disappointment and bounce back and forth from hope to despair, but they do bounce. They are full of energy to fight and love and hate, they have opinions which carry them high and let them down. They want a beautiful woman who has an opinion but wouldn’t argue too much.
Age 35-50: they want financial security, they want understanding, compassion, attention, and they tend to balance life, personal relationships and their relationship with God. They want peace of mind but they can’t get it yet. They are reaching the peak of their character formation. By now, they have gone through a lot; they want to rest but still feel vibrant. This age group was the more controversial. They are goal oriented, they know what they want in a woman, they have more experience with colleagues, daughters, wives, they may have made terrible mistakes or have been victims, but they sure have an idea about who they are by now. They hate women who lie and who are not true. They don’t judge by the looks but still want beauty, maybe a different kind of beauty. They want to have more space, more trust, and more time to absorb what is happening around them and inside them; they are facing mounting changes in their career, mind, spirit, health and financial burdens of getting their kids well educated and secured. They don’t want to face the reality and responsibility of growing older but they have to, so this seems to be a tricky period of their life, where they have to face the changes.
Some fall for younger women to prove they are still attractive, some dress in a totally inappropriate way to prove they are still young, some fall in cycles of depression, some turn cynical and some maintain their integrity evolving gracefully into mature responsible men. This seems to be dependent not only on the man’s status at this point (still single, divorced, separated, widowed, or stable in a good family), it also depends on his upbringing; is he used to falling and standing up again? Was he raised up to believe that the exterior is more important than the interior? Is he ready to let go if things fall apart? Is he a fighter? Is he resilient enough? Is he easily affected by the people around him? Does he feel like a victim? Does he take responsibility for the decisions he makes? All these shape up the man at this particular age group and the smart ones who learn from their mistakes are the ones worth holding on to.
Age above 50: This category is probably blessed just as those below 30, especially as they approach 60, the first answer I got when I asked “what do you want from life?” was “nothing”, then I got more detailed explanations, some said that they have done everything for their kids who by now have finished their university studies, maybe got engaged or married by now, they have reached a peaceful stage with their partners where they know everything about each other and have established a good level of understanding. Some wanted more money to ensure a secure life for their children and grandchildren, some dreamed of a great vacation or to visit a relative abroad, but mostly they wanted to perform pilgrimage (Haj) and almost everyone wanted good health. This age group has seen a lot and been through a lot, they know that through the past years that the responsibility was tough, that fighting for a career was tough, that raising the kids was tough, they know their mistakes by now and want to enjoy life. They hate women who always complain, or women who put their kids before their husbands. This category doesn’t want to run anymore or fight with their partners, they want peace in every sense of the word.
Men follow the most natural course of growing up. I have to say that the most straight forward answers I got were from boys below the age of 10, as they get older, they pause for answers, they look for good answers and they strike back the answers for impressive ones. They are deeply affected by breakups and economic problems, they are torn between familiar motherly traits and foreign emotional relationships, they want the old traditional version plus the modern version of a life partner, they are confused between being the leader of the house and the side by side companion, they crave understanding but sometimes have no clue to the keys to understanding, they want to be their woman’s boss, lover, friend and son. They don’t know how, but they need to act all these roles at one time or another, as each is a part of their upbringing, which as women, we are some how responsible for it.
To know what men want, love or hate is to understand them more and to enjoy their closeness and give them the peace and comfort they crave. May God be with them, it turned out it’s hard to be an Egyptian man!