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Gender stereotypes can be as crippling to men as they are to women, easily seeping into their social lives, careers, their entitlement to safety and wrecking it all from an unseen ‘within’. This could extent to even their love lives.

Relinquishing stereotypes—all the damaging preconceived notions that shape unrealistic expectations-in-love—can be a crucial step in bettering communication and boosting opportunities for a healthy relationship. Below are some insidious male stereotypes that are best let go of:

1. Men leave you when you become overly-attached.

This misconception often leads to mind games and hard-to-get flounces. In reality, it may just do a couple good to trade this horrendous thought in for a chance at honesty.

2. Men cheat on you when you ignore them.

Correction, men cheat on you when they’re all-round jerks. Get to know your man for all he’s worth, and pay him a base degree of trust if you’re in this for the long road—if he’s earned it.

3. Men are extremely prone to violence and anger.

Anyone who has an underlying aggression problem will be prone to violent behaviour. Unfortunately, the media will take to portraying men as the carnal perpetrators more often than not.

4. Men don’t care about weddings.

While they might not be as into flowers or frills, expressing dedication to an elaborate proposal and chivalrous commitment should mean something. They’re just as likely to be keen on picking out suits and getting involved—don’t single them out of the lovely prepwork.

5. Men can’t be in a relationship without sex.

There are abstinent men who swear true to their creed. And while some may not live up to the same standard, it really all boils down to principle.

6. Men need to be the breadwinner in the family.

Men and women are both equally capable of upholding a family, no matter where the crux of the finances lie. Equating a male spouse’s worth to his hand in income can be damaging to more than simply the relationship—it’s an added pressure that’s erroneous and suffocating all at once.

7. Men should ‘talk like men’.

Widely, effeminate men are judged for the way they communicate. That, however, in no way reflects character—don’t take poise and tact for weakness and undermine a guy for it.

8. Men can’t be raped.

This revokes a man’s right to respect, empathy and even justice. Rape is a violation of your whole being, and male victims grapple with the same turbulent feelings as female victims. It is so immense a stereotype that many men are scorned for simply confessing to having been raped.

9. Men don’t care about the feelings of the women they date.

They care, even if their affections aren’t as visible as you might hope. It will take understanding from both ends, though, to circumvent this bogus stereotype.

10. Men shouldn’t cry.

Everyone needs an outlet to vent their grievances, and crying, as understatedly universal as it is, can be the most liberating outlet of all. When we condemn a man’s right to crying, we condemn his right to humanity. Tears are healthy, and it is important that men feel healthily—unconditionally—entitled to thinking so.

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