Interview: Only a Naive Man Believes He Has It All Figured Out with Wayne Levine
Wayne Levine is the Director of BetterMen Coaching in Agoura Hills, California, where he coaches men to be the best men, fathers, husbands, and leaders they can be. He’s also the author of the best selling-book “Hold On to Your N.U.T.S - The Relationship Manual for Men”. Today he explains what it means to be a better man and how that relates to dating and relationships.
Your website’s tag line is “Being the man you want to be in your relationships and in your life.” What are the typical problems that men come to you about? What’s your strategy for helping them?
What I’ve found over the years is that, as men, we’re all much more alike than different. Most of us want the same things.
- we want to feel joy and passion
- we want to be happy in our relationships
- we want to feel of value and spend our days making money in a way that fulfills us
- we want to not be so angry, jealous, resentful
- we want to have ridiculously awesome sex
- we want to know that we’re good enough as a man and father
- and we want to feel the confidence necessary to live without doubt and fear
…among other things.
The men receive the help they need man-to-man. I see what I do as fathering. Many of us did not receive the fathering we needed or wanted. But it’s never too late to get the support, guidance, ass-kicking, validation, and love we need to be the best men we can be.
I work with men through the real relationships we develop. Eventually, men can replicate that kind of masculine relationship in our men’s groups, and in their lives. Through our work, men learn a number of vital skills as they develop a greater confidence in their own masculinity and intuition. From there, they feel more comfortable in their own skins and are better equipped to kick ass in life.
In your mind is there a prototypical “man” (ie A type of man that all men should strive to become)? Or is it more fluid where it depends on the individual and their personality?
A real man knows his N.U.T.s (non-negotiable, unalterable terms) and honors them in his relationships and in his life. That’s what my book is all about.
We compare ourselves, with devastating results, to too many others. A real man is the man you were born to be. Our challenge is to be able to recognize who that is, connect with that inner voice, embrace our masculine, and reject a lot of the unnecessary and destructive expectations and limitations placed upon us by unhealthy caregivers and our very confused culture.
As I tell the men, there’s great power in not giving a shit what others think about you. Know your commitments and be the best man, father, husband, and leader you can be. Take care of those close to you, but don’t get lost in the foolish pursuit of pleasing others.
You also run men’s groups where you get 8-10 men together to meet for 90 minutes a week. What normally happens in one of these men’s groups? What kind of topics or skills do they work on? What has been the results in these men’s lives?
I could tell you what happens in group…but then I’d have to kill you!
Confidentiality is key. What is said and what takes place in our groups stays in our groups. That’s how trust is built among men. We sorely lack that level of trust in our communities.
Men bring every possible issue that challenges them, pains them, excites them, and pisses them off. When a group is working effectively, no topic is off limits. I have very few rules for the men. First, be on time, Second, don’t hit anyone. Beyond that, be the man you want to be and then trust the process and trust the men to help you get to your truth. It’s dynamic, chaotic, awe-inspiring, effective, and magical.
You have a post on “Amazing Dating Advice” where it boils down to “Be the man you want to be, and you’ll get the woman you’re to be with…” can you tell us more about how you came to this conclusion? Is this based on personal experience or through your life coaching?
Life experience as well as years of work with hundreds of men.
I have no patience for the seductive movement and their manipulative and destructive methods. These charlatans may be able to help you get laid. But what you need is much more significant, ultimately, than sex. And as we get older, we realize how important it is for us to have deep, loving, and intimate relationships with women.
When you’re the man you want to be—or at least moving in that direction—you will attract a woman who is attracted to that man. You won’t need to fake it. And who she initially sees, will be who you really are. Now, you may be on your best behavior and exceptionally charming at that first encounter. But ideally, this is just you at your best, not something manufactured.
But it takes work to be that man. That’s why I suggest that all young men put energy into developing a clear the vision of the men they want to be and learn the rules about men and women in relationships. Then they’ll find an ideal match. Warning: good relationships continue to require a great deal of work and commitment. Know that going in.
A lot of men think they have it all figured out and don’t like asking for help. As a life coach who specifically helps men become better men what would you say are the benefits or reasons men should consider coaching or a men’s group?
Only a naive man believes he has it all figured out. We can all benefit from the support of trusted men. The problem is that most of us in the last couple of generations have not seen examples of those types of relationships. This is a very large and complicated discussion. But suffice it to say, we have lost a critical source of wisdom as a consequence of our attempts as a society to balance the gender scales and right our wrongs.
In whatever form, seek out trusting relationships with men. I happen to be one of the guys who’s an expert in teaching men how to do just that.