Men and Competition
To our significant others.
I write this hub as a service to all the guys out there who have to fight, cajole or make lousy excuses when they want to spend time with their friends and/or game or compete. I want the ladies that we all love and appreciate to understand why it is so important that we men be allowed to enjoy the spirit of competition on a somewhat regular basis. I have had problems in my past with this so I know how difficult it can be. Not everyone realizes why the drive to compete is there. Not every man can explain that yearning that burns within. I will try to do so here for the benefit of our significant others.
Please understand, it is in our nature. The spirit of competition lives within the breast of every man. Be he the big ex-sport star or the brainy geek who spends his off time playing online RPG's. No matter our age, no matter our religion or upbringing we cannot deny the competitive juices that course through our veins. We need it, even when we lose more often than not, we enjoy it. Why?
Competition has the been the true spirit of man's evolution since we first began as a species. Even the most singular cells have to compete with other cells for sustenance and room to breathe. Animals compete with one another for food, territory and the right to mate with the fertile females. Men compete essentially for the same things. However, what is the mindset of a man in his forties who has already raised children? What is left for such a man to be competitive about?
Let me explain. Every man has these instincts. We measure ourselves next to the other guys in everything we do. I, for instance didn't play sports much in my youth, so while I respect professional players I would not actually bother to measure myself next to them. I could not possibly compete. That being said I still strived for competition wherever I could find it. As a teenager I had many a jock breathing down my neck because their girlfriends liked me. This was a sort of competition that I was not usually aware of, but it was there.
Any game you can think of brings out those instincts. Want to play a game of monopoly? I will try my damnedest to beat you although I know I was never good at it. There were times in my life in which boredom had set in. You know what I mean, same job for so long, same routine, same day to day, and the only thing that would stimulate some life back into my wilting spirit was competition.
I get together with friends bi weekly and play either an RPG or a wargame. I look forward to this moment for two weeks because it is the only time I will get to measure my actions and decisions against those of my peers. Its fun and although it isn't really serious we spend a lot of time cursing and glaring at one another. At the end of the night we smile, shake hands and talk about how we are going to compete next time. We live for it. It gives me something to look forward to beyond my next meal or when my girlfriend decides to be nice to me for once.
The most important thing about the spirit of competition is that I believe it keeps men sharp. In the past men needed to stay sharp in case their family was attacked by a hungry animal or another tribe. Today some men have gotten lazy, many have forgotten what it means to be a man. By staying in the game, whatever that game may be for the individual, they do not forget what they are and they do not lose that important competitive edge. Keeping you're man happy in this regard is important. It gives him some space, it gives him something else to think and talk about, although you really don't want to hear about it, I know, believe me I know.
The only danger is when a guy forgets his limitations. The last time I played a game of football with the neighborhood gang, a gang much younger than I, I walked away with a bruised knee, a mild concussion and separated shoulder. As much as it hurt I could not have felt better about myself. All the times I nearly caught that teenager playing quarterback was a victory. The one time I actually tackled and fell on top of him, convincing him he should not allow me to catch him again, was a great victory. It didn't matter if I was successful. I was competing.
Ladies, my point is, don't try to drown you're man's instincts. This will only cause you relationship issues down the road. Let him go. Let him find out he isn't young anymore. Perhaps you should let him nurse his own wounds as a marked lesson, but never belittle him. We are men, what you wanted us to be when you first met us, now let us be men.