Emotional men: women prefer a man who can cry

Emotional man on bed with sad dog

In 2018, things are changing. Gender perceptions are being altered, and less healthy stereotypes are being challenged and mended. One of the most prevalent of these is the notion that men don’t cry. Although this idea has been discussed extensively before, we thought we’d do a little digging into the male and female psyche to discover the truth: is a man who can cry attractive?

Our idea was that, if we could finally prove our hunch that women are more attracted to a man who is comfortable showing his emotions, then we could finally help to bury the belief that society is against men being emotionally vulnerable. And guess what? We are thrilled to say that, after surveying over 1,500 people, our results show exactly that: ladies much prefer a man who is comfortable with showing emotion. However, we also stumbled across some unexpected – not to mention fascinating – findings…

Men: sobbing in secret?

Now: we found some truly exciting and deeply revealing results in this survey. We’ll begin with the frequency of which men and women cry, and then get to the really juicy stuff.

We found that men overwhelmingly admitted to crying once every few months, with some 27% of male respondents answering this way. 14% said once a week, another 14% said once a month, 17% said they only cry at weddings, births, or funerals, and 2% (15 men) said they cry every day. And 50 stoic individuals (6%) said ‘I do not cry.’

However – there’s something fishy about this: on the next question, ‘when was the last time you cried’, over 47% of men chose either ‘this week’ or ‘this month’ – which seems to imply that, unless there was a nationwide Mexican wave of contagious weeping that we somehow missed in the last month, some men have been telling porkies about how often they shed a tear.

Women were far more honest about their crying habits, with some 47% admitting to crying at least once a month, and 67% saying they actually had cried in the previous month. Interestingly, the same percentage (2%) of women as men said that they cry every day. Fewer women (only 1%) chose the response ‘I do not cry’, however somewhat surprisingly; one in ten women (11%) answered ‘Only at funerals, births, and at weddings, etc.’

How do men believe women view them crying or showing emotion?

Okay – this is where it gets real.

In our survey, we found that while 95% of women answered that ‘yes’ to the question ‘do you think women prefer men who are open with their emotions?’, only 84% of men answered the same way. That’s right: despite women overwhelmingly establishing that they prefer a man who is open about his emotions, a massive 16% of men (around 1 in 6) who wrongly believe that women find emotional men less attractive.

This disparity between how men imagine women perceive their behavior and how women actually perceive men certainly goes a long way to explaining why many men feel they shouldn’t cry or show strong emotion. Further, among women with partners who took the survey, 81% stated that they would like their partner to show more emotion.

What was the last thing that made you cry?

The most common reason to cry, for both men and women, was sadness: 58% of men and 60% of women said that they were most likely to cry when feeling down. For 11% of men and 10% of women, happiness is their most common reason to cry, while for 6% of men and 8% of women it’s pain.

Most interestingly, though, men are more likely than women to cry because of love. A full 13% of men think that love is the feeling most likely to make them cry – just 11% of women agree.

So how about the last thing that made people cry? We put this question to our male respondents and found a great range of answers – from the sincere to the very silly. Have a scroll through the slideshow below for some of the more tear jerking and/or rib tickling of responses.

Who do we confide in? Gender differences

A stark and, if we’re honest, pretty shocking contrast arose on the question ‘If you were feeling blue, would you talk to someone about it, and if so who would you talk to?’ Interestingly, over 52% of women said ‘my friends’, while just 23% said their partner, 9% said their siblings, and 9% said they wouldn’t talk to anyone.

When we asked men the same question however, we found that only 28% of men said they would talk to their friends, while 29% named their partner as their chief confidante. An enormous 26% of men said they wouldn’t speak to anyone – a fact that we hope will change, now we know with certainty that women prefer men who are comfortable discussing their emotions!

How does society feel about men and crying?

Despite the difference between the genders, one thing was largely agreed on: 90% of women and 85% of men indicated they believed that society makes it difficult for men to open up about their feelings.

However, let’s level with each other for a minute: society is a vague term. Society is everyone, living together, and the institutions we create. But any society is comprised of individuals. And, with the above results of our survey into the attraction of a man who shows more emotion, we can assume that even though our perception is that society stops from opening up, in reality, both men and women deeply crave the ability to communicate on a deeper emotional level.

So what are you waiting for? Fellas, it’s a concrete verdict: be brave, relax, and show your loved ones more emotion.

Women love a man who can cry.

Want to discuss this study further? Get in touch at [email protected]


EliteSingles ‘Men and Emotions’ Survey, 2018, 1,521 respondents

About the author: Alex Rennie

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