My Boyfriend Acts Feminine (What to do)

This article will examine what it means if your boyfriend acts feminine, how it affects your relationship, understand societal expectations of masculinity, and embrace femininity in men. 

Many women choose the macho type of man when looking for a boyfriend. However, not all men are macho; some men have more feminine mannerisms. 

If your boyfriend acts feminine, you may worry about what people will say. In society, many feminine men are said to be gay. However, it is important to note that not all feminine men are gay.

If your boyfriend acts feminine, it means he is comfortable in his masculinity and does not need to act macho to show he is masculine. 

With society being biased against men who act feminine, it would help if you understand your boyfriend’s unique characteristics.  

One’s mannerisms are part of who one is, and it is hard to change them. So, if your boyfriend acts feminine and he is comfortable with his femininity, it is who he is, and you should not try to change him. 

With societal pressures to be more masculine, your boyfriend deserves someone who accepts him the way he is and does not pressure him to be more masculine. 

The Societal Expectations of Masculinity

According to Randy Flood, a psychotherapist and Director of the Men’s Resource Center of West Michigan, when growing up, men are told not to be two things, gay or a woman. You often hear, “don’t be gay,” “stop acting like a lady,” or “be a man.”

Society has put a lot of pressure on men to be masculine. But what does masculinity mean exactly? Masculinity is the societal expectation of being a man. It refers to the roles and behaviors attributed to men in society. 

Masculinity is also related to power in most societies. In most cultures, leaders in political, social, and religious settings are male.

Women and girls are treated as second-class citizens, and a boy who acts feminine will be a step down in the societal hierarchy. Society prizes masculinity, and men who are feminine pay the prize. 

For instance, when a boy is growing up, he is expected to take martial arts classes or play a sport but should not take ballet lessons. Their peers troll them if they act feminine or dare love something deemed feminine. 

Unfortunately, masculinity is linked to aggression. A study by the Duke University showed the link between social pressure, masculinity, and aggression. 

Societal pressures have led to many men having burnout because they are expected to be something they may not live up to—a man is expected to be handy and be the provider or breadwinner in the family. 

A man is expected to work hard and provide for the household. His masculinity is measured by how much he can provide. 

Moreover, in the past, masculinity was measured by the cynicism of a man. Men were expected to be emotionally distant.

But the good news is, nowadays, things are changing gradually, and we have embraced the vulnerability of men. It is more common to see a man cry and show vulnerability than it was in the past. 

In a society where people judge and expect too much from men, they are forced to conform to these expectations.

For instance, if a small boy wants to take ballet lessons, he will be trolled and may end up abandoning what he likes for a more “manly” activity. 

It is a sad state of affairs; society expects men to be rough around the edges. Recently, I saw a video that said men should not have a skincare routine and should be in the gym working out.

This may have been in jest, but not everyone will see it as such; a man who maintains his skincare routine is seen as feminine. 

Moreover, a feminine man is said to be gay. We cannot all be equal; some girls act masculine and are tomboys, but when a boy acts feminine, he is a “sissy.”

How is this fair? Society is more accepting of women being masculine than men being feminine. Talk of double standards, huh? 

What Does It Mean When A Man Is Feminine?

When your boyfriend acts feminine, it may worry you. However, there is nothing to be worried about. He is only expressing who he is. Femininity means different things to different people. 

For instance, if your boyfriend wears floral patterns or feminine scents, he may be considered masculine. Some other signs of femininity include;

  • He uses a lot of skin care products.
  • He lets other people take control.
  • He easily talks about his feelings.
  • He is not afraid to show his vulnerability. 
  • He doesn’t connect activities considered masculine.
  • He is stylish.
  • He doesn’t have body hair. 
  • He is sensitive
  • He is compassionate.

If your boyfriend has the above qualities and is comfortable with them, he is feminine. Men who are comfortable being feminine are comfortable in their masculine and have nothing to prove. 

Moreover, a man with feminine qualities does not mean he is less of a man. Many straight men have feminine attributes; they are just not as pronounced. 

How Femininity In Men Affect Relationships

If your boyfriend acts feminine, it will affect your relationship. The good news is the effects are not all negative. If you wonder how dating a feminine man will affect your relationship, here are some effects.

1. Emotional Intimacy

If your boyfriend acts feminine, you will have emotional intimacy in the relationship. There is a lot of stereotyping around gender roles, and a feminine man is deemed weak. 

However, if your boyfriend acts feminine, he is emotionally open. He can share his emotions and show vulnerability. You can connect more with your boyfriend if he is feminine than you would a macho man.

A feminine boyfriend is sensitive. He will hold you when you cry and want to listen to your sob stories, while a macho man may dismiss your feelings

2. Good Communication Skills

Feminine men have better communication skills than masculine men. So, if your boyfriend is feminine, you will have an easier time talking to him. He will listen to you when you speak. 

Feminine men are more empathetic; if your boyfriend acts feminine, he will be easy to talk to. You can talk to him without fear of judgment or dismissal. Instead, he will put himself in your shoes and acknowledge your feelings. 

A feminine boyfriend is in touch with his feelings and can communicate his feelings. For instance, if he is going through something that overwhelms him, he can communicate his feelings, and you can know how to help him. 

3. Healthy Partners

There are a lot of diseases linked to masculinity. For example, research shows traditionally masculine men have a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases.  

If a man is traditionally masculine, he will be closed off and not want to show his emotions. Even when he is going through a rough patch, he will not want to share what he is going through with you. 

However, if a man is feminine, he will talk about his feelings. He will be vulnerable enough to open up about his problems. As the saying goes, a problem shared is half solved. You will offer support and solutions to his problems, allowing him to move on and be healthier. 

According to research, men are more reluctant to ask for help if they have depression, leading to many men not getting treatment for depression and other mental health conditions. 

4. Power Imbalance In A Relationship

Most relationships will have a power imbalance if the boyfriend acts feminine. If your boyfriend is feminine, you may tend to be more masculine to restore the balance. ‘

Most women prefer masculine men because they feel more secure with them. On the other hand, if a man is more feminine, most people may feel like there is an imbalance in the relationship. 

The Potential Harm Of Trying To Change Or Suppress One’s True Self In A Relationship

Self-expression is important in a relationship; you should be in a relationship where you feel comfortable being your authentic self. If your boyfriend acts feminine, you should give him the space and security to be himself. 

However, if your boyfriend is uncomfortable with his femininity and wants to be more masculine, you can support him in his journey to seek masculinity. However, according to Ashton, it is difficult to change someone’s mannerisms. 

There is a lot of potential harm in trying to change who your boyfriend is and asking him to suppress his authentic self. Some of the drawbacks of trying to change your feminine boyfriend include the following;

  • Resentment– if your boyfriend acts feminine and you try to change him, he will resent you. When we date someone, we want them to accept us for who we are, flaws and all. If you expect your boyfriend to change, he will resent you. 
  • Loss of trust– if you want your boyfriend to change his femininity, he will lose trust in you. It is bad enough that everyone else wants him to change, but if he can’t trust the person he loves to accept him for whom, his trust in the relationship will erode.
  • He will feel unappreciated– if you expect your feminine boyfriend to change, he will feel unappreciated in the relationship. A feminine boyfriend is emotionally mature and communicates well. If you ask him to change, he will feel you do not appreciate his positive traits. 
  • Lead to break up – if you are dating a feminine man and ask him to change who he is, he will not want to be in a relationship with you, and rightly so. You want to be in a relationship with one who accepts you, and if you do not accept your boyfriend’s femininity, he will not want to be with you. He deserves someone who loves him for him and not wishing he could be someone else. 

Embracing And Accepting Femininity In Men

A feminine man is not less of a man. He is just more in touch with his feminine side and has more emotional intelligence. 

If your boyfriend acts feminine, you should embrace him and love him for who he is. After all, there must be something that attracted you to him. 

Moreover, there are benefits of having a boyfriend who defies traditional gender norms. Some of the benefits include the following; 

  • You are more secure in the relationship– if your boyfriend defies the traditional gender norms, he will be more open to listening to you and care more about your emotional well-being, something most macho men are not good at. This will make you feel more secure in the relationship because you know you can talk to him about anything. 
  • There is equality in the relationship- if your boyfriend defies traditional gender norms, there will be equality in the relationship. There will be no stereotyping; the roles in the relationship can be divided equally; there won’t be gender roles. 

For instance, if you want to work and be the sole provider, your boyfriend can stay home and raise the children. Your boyfriend can do the household chores, and you can fix the car. 

  • You are happier– when a couple does not conform to the traditional gender norms, they are happier. They will do what works for their relationship without worrying about what other people say or do. A new kind of happiness comes with the freedom to do what you want. 
  • You are healthier- when you do something you are happy with without following what other people are doing, you will have better mental health. All the stress of trying to conform to something you are not entirely comfortable with disappears. It is better to be your authentic self than pretending to be someone you are not to please society. 


Having a boyfriend who acts feminine is okay. It is who he is, and self-expression is important. So, if your boyfriend acts feminine, embrace his femininity and love him the way he is. 

There is a lot of pressure on me to be masculine, so be the safe place where your boyfriend can be his authentic self.

After all, a boyfriend who is comfortable in his femininity has better communication skills, is more emotionally intimate, and has better mental health. 

You should not try to change your boyfriend if he acts feminine. If you try to change him, he will resent you, lose trust in you, feel unappreciated, and it may lead to a breakup; after all, no one wants to be with someone who can’t accept them for who they are. 

However, when you embrace your boyfriend’s femininity, he will be secure in the relationship, happier and healthier. 

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