Now that is an interesting question. We can reasonably assume that a healthy man will naturally attract healthy women. However, as men we want to be healthy anyway aside from what women want (or don’t want).

We don’t want to live life just to suit other people at least certainly not to the extent that we get tempted to behave in ways that are phony. We want good relationships, of course. We want good relationships with women (and also an intimate relationship with a particular woman). However, we also want to be my our own person. That means we need to have a good relationship with ourselves.

There must be some approach that would allow a guy to be authentic and get on well with healthy women. Nice Guys are good at creating friendships with women, but are not so good at getting lovers. Male Bastards are good at getting lovers, but not so good at sustaining friendships with women. Perhaps to be a healthy man we need to combine the best qualities of a Nice Guy with the best qualities of a Male Bastard?

The positive qualities of Nice Guy are things like; being a good listener, sympathetic, caring and responsible. What about the good qualities of Male Bastard? Are there any? Well there are if we think about it. The good qualities of Male Bastards are things like; being confident, bold, independent and – above all – exciting.

It is interesting to look at what women say about the down side of Nice Guys. Most Nice Guys are very familiar with the down side of Male Bastards (they get to hear about it from their women friends often enough), but not so familiar with the down side of Nice Guys. There must be a down side or they would be being snapped up, right? If we look at what women say about the negative sides of Nice Guys, they say Nice Guys can be needy, boring, timid, insecure and tend to behave like doormats (ouch!).

If we look at what women say about the negative sides of Male Bastards they say they never listen and are irresponsible, not dependable, offhand, uncaring and behave in domineering ways.

Let’s map those traits out in a table:

Nice Guy: Positive Traits

Male Bastard: Negative Traits
Good listener Never listens
Sympathetic Offhand
Caring Uncaring
Responsible Irresponsible
Affable Domineering
Dependable Not dependable
Sensitive Insensitive

Male Bastard: Positive Traits

Nice Guy: Negative Traits
Independent Needy
Exciting Boring
Bold Timid
Confident Insecure
Deliberate Doormat
Assertive Passive aggressive
Thick-skinned Easily offended

Isn’t it interesting that the positive qualities of Male Bastard offset the negative side of Nice Guy; and that the positive side of being a Male Bastard offset the negative qualities of Nice Guy? Mind you, that is partly because I deliberately tried to do that when creating the table! However, it was really easy to do which tends to confirm that both Male Bastard and Nice Guy are just two sides of the same coin. Or, rather, two sides of the same person.

No more Mr. Nice Guy

Of course most of us are not purely 100% Nice Guy or purely 100% Male Bastard. We usually display a mixture of the two. This again tends to suggest they all men may well have both a Nice Guy and a Male Bastard inside us. That is why the much touted advice to Nice Guys from well meaning friends, ‘just be your self’, does not work. If a guy is stuck on one aspect of himself and am wary of the other aspect then the ‘self’ that he feel comfortable in is out of balance. In other words he thinks he is being himself, he may have totally blanked out the rougher, tougher parts of himself (his Dragon as I like to call it) and assume that he just needs to try even harder to be nicer.

A Nice Guy does not need to develop the negative qualities of Male Bastards (this unfortunately seems to be the approach of many sources of advice to men) he needs to develop the positive ones. The Nice Guy does not need to become irresponsible, uncaring or insensitive. What a Nice Guy needs is to develop positive traits such as assertiveness, boldness and confidence. Likewise a Male Bastard would be foolish to try and become more insecure, or timid. What a Male Bastard needs is to develop the positive traits of sensitivity, affability and to become a good listener.

Some men find that they go through a phase of experiencing the negative side of their unexpressed nature in order to get a handle on that part of themselves. Nice Guys may seem to become ‘uncaring’ or whatever; and Male Bastards may seem to become ‘needy’ and the like. However, it is important to realize that it is just ‘a phase’ it is not a permanent choice in attitude or lifestyle. It will pass and they will begin to express the positive side of those qualities.

Being A Healthy Man

We all have a Healthy Man inside us (whatever kind of body male/female we inhabit). He is a combination of the good qualities that we were born with. We can be both confident and caring. We can choose to be deliberate; and we can choose to be affable. We can be sensitive, assertive, independent, sympathetic, bold, dependable, exciting, and a good listener as the need arises. We can choose to develop and combine all the elements of our nature as men rather than believing that we need to make absolute choices between them.

We don’t have to be Nice Guys or Male Bastards. We can be Healthy Men that live dynamic and fulfilling lives able to relate to women, children, and the planet that we live on, in healthy ways.