Entertainment Entertainment Dating

Advice: I hate it when my boyfriend cries

I feel like a jerk about this but I can’t stand it when my boyfriend cries. What do I do?-- Don’t Cry Me A River

You “can’t stand it” because it makes you feel upset and helpless, or you “can’t stand it” because he’s a dude and we all know the only fluid manly men are allowed to leak is of a southern variety (and I don’t mean cheesy grits!)?

I hope it’s the former because good god, let men cry! They already can’t hug each other without being called homophobic slurs (unless it’s in a sports context--after beating on each other for hours, they are allowed a few tepid butt slaps), the least we can do as humanity is let them have an iota of an emotion on occasion. Would you rather he punch a hole in the wall instead? Is that more of an acceptable male response?

Despite our cultural prevalence for the tough, tearless man, science and biology are firmly on the side of saline. Suppressing the urge to cry can trigger physiological changes that lead to worse ailments, such as high blood pressure. Also, a study published in the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinity found that football players who cried about game outcomes reported higher levels of self-esteem as opposed to their stoic, dry-eyed counterparts.

It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a healthy and natural bodily response, like sweating. Granted, you didn’t elaborate much on the circumstances of your boyfriend’s weeping. If he has long-term, crippling anxiety or is incessantly crying over menial things like “Celebrity Ghost Stories” or the less riveting Taster’s Choice coffee commercials, deeper problems are probably at stake, and he probably needs to get to a therapist pronto. If he’s crying over Adele’s “Someone Like You,” that’s fine. That song is engineered to make us cry, fer real.

If your concern stems from genuinely not knowing how to help, then stay calm, resist the urge to try to “fix” anything the next time it happens, and focus on being comforting, nonjudgmental and empathetic, i.e. the way you expect to be treated when you cry. Let him cry if he needs to--who knows, maybe he’s been suppressing this shit for years and the faucet has finally burst.

And don’t forget to follow the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you when you have snot in your hair.

Want to ask Anna an anonymous question about love, sex or dating? Email your quandary to redeyedating@gmail.com.  Need to give your dating life a boost? Sign up for RedEye Dating.

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • 'Furious 7': At this point, you know, whatever
    'Furious 7': At this point, you know, whatever

    Muscular, perpetually mumbling bowling pin Dominic Toretto (Human Aggro Crag Vin Diesel) doesn’t just prefer Corona, the beach-branded standard of Mexican beer-flavored water. He won’t even consider trying a Belgian Trappist ale, widely regarded as being among the world’s...

  • '5 to 7' is hot and bothered
    '5 to 7' is hot and bothered

    Not long after hordes of viewers hungry for some good, clean (dirty) spanking action flocked to “Fifty Shades of Grey,” a smaller, better movie comes along that actually contains, you know, passion between its characters.

  • 'While We're Young' is hilariously wise
    'While We're Young' is hilariously wise

    That’s so old-fashioned, Cornelia (Naomi Watts) remarks warmly when 20-somethings Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried) say that they’re married. Then they add that their wedding took place in a water tower to the sounds of a mariachi band. And there was a slip...

  • Where do Emanuel, Garcia stand on the issues?
    Where do Emanuel, Garcia stand on the issues?

    Chicago's April 7 runoff election is looming, and there are plenty of people undecided about whether they'll hand Mayor Rahm Emanuel another term or go with the new guy—Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia. So we've rounded up the top issues and where the candidates stand to...

  • McDonald's raising its minimum wage, but some say it's not enough
    McDonald's raising its minimum wage, but some say it's not enough

    McDonald's plans to raise starting wages by $1 above the local minimum at select restaurants, just one of the changes on tap as the world's largest fast-food chain tries to win back customers and fend off a union-backed effort to raise pay throughout the industry.

  • Teen who got controversial heart transplant dies in crash during police chase
    Teen who got controversial heart transplant dies in crash during police chase

    An Atlanta area teenager who said a heart transplant two years ago gave him a second chance at life died this week when he lost control of the car he was driving while fleeing police, according to police records.