Things a man should stop doing after 20? After 30? After 40?

We talk a lot on the site about how men today are having a hard time moving from boyhood to manhood. Many grown men still dress and act like teenagers.

I'm sure we all have our personal list of things that we think a grown man should stop doing at a certain age-  :Putting away childish things," so to speak.

So what's on your list? What should a man stop doing after 20? After 30? After 40?

Here's a few of mine I thought of off the top of my head.

After 20

- No backwards ball caps unless you're wearing a catchers mask at a softball game
- Asking professional athletes for autographs

After 30
- Watching MTV
- Living with your parents
- Saying "dude"

After 40
- Fantasy baseball

Yeah, it's arbitrary. But it's fun. Have at it.

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Can't remember what book it was (I wanna say it was Combat Swimmer: Memoirs of a Navy SEAL), that one of the former SEALS said, 'You can lose just about everything in life but your sense of humor, and still survive'.
I'm positive that the generations that grew up saying "dude" will continue to say it for most for most of their life. It is the same thing with old men and the old fashion terms they use, they still say them because they grew up using them. Dude has just become common with the last two generations, that is why people think of it has a youthful expression.
The idea that you should do whatever you damn like at whatever age you are is a distinctly modern one.
Topher,
To a certain point, there is not a damn thing wrong with being selfish. Honestly, a person does have to look out for number one (albeit not while affecting others negatively, of course).


I don't agree with the idea that "you should do whatever you damned well like at whatever age," Brett. I believe that idea smacks too much of arrogance,
Exactly, BUT....

Obviously, as I said once before to Michael, I believe, that doesn't encompass things like being rude, cruel or obnoxious "just because you can." There are rules of civility and decency, whether written or unwritten, which govern dealing with others.
As long as you are not infringing on/affecting the rights of others or shirking your responsibilities, then you should do whatever you damned well like at whatever age is ok.
The idea that you should do whatever you damn like at whatever age you are is a distinctly modern one.

The idea that you should do whatever you damn well like is new ("do your own thing"; "if it feels good do it"), but so is the idea that there are things appropriate to one (adult) age but not another, isn't it?

The idea that we *have* generations, and that 20-y-o men should be friends and colleagues with 20-y-o and not 40-y-o, etc. -- or that they should have different clothing styles -- or that they have distinct roles in life, aside from whether they were at the top of the ladder or just starting -- is not one I've heard before the 1960's. The Generation Gap was new then. Sure, people later reacted to it by trying to stay on the right (young) side of the gap with style, but before then, there wasn't a gap to lie to yourself about.

I have a picture of my grandfather and grandmother back around 1930 or so. They looked middle-aged, except for their smooth, young faces. They were 20.
Well, the generation thing has been there forever. The Greek epics and tragedies have young gods v. old gods motifs. Tocqueville argues American democracy encouraged greater trans-generation harmony than European aristocracy in Democracy in America.

As for the second idea, seems it too was there with the Epicureans and other hedonists forever. That it would be a prevailing view, yeah, that's new.
Note that I wasn't talking about the old complaining that the young are arrogant, ignorant, and lazy, or the young thinking, Geez, grandpa, you're past it. I was talking about the idea that the young, middle-aged, and old should be segregated into different social circles, clothings styles, and life roles.
Hmm. Maybe that's an effect of our industrialized society. With an intellect-based culture, we try to group people by experience level, rather than social class or occupation. We've always had the young, the middle-aged, and the old. To some extent, we've also always segregated ourselves by age. Now I think there are just more delineated steps through adulthood. Certainly the clothes thing is new.

Though Aristotle argues for marriage for men, for example, at 32? 36? somewhere in there. Yet he'd probably say men should vote, serve in the military, etc., more around 18. Though Jewish legal adulthood is at 13 for males, there is religious significance to turning 30 and 50. That speaks to "life roles." Not sure what you mean by "different social circles." People will always be friends with those with whom they have much in common, including age and the resulting levels of experience, family obligations, etc.
Disagree. The demarcation between boys and men is ancient and I'm surprised you would argue against it. Although the line was simply between boy/men/elders. In tribes across the world when a boy was a boy he wore certain things and was allowed to do certain things. When he went through a rite-of-passage, he stopped associating with the boys and only socialized and lived with the men. And when he was an old man he lived with different expectations as well. This was true in varying degrees up until about the 50s. There were boy things and man things, and when a boy became a man, he put away the childish things-dressed differently, talked differently, engaged in different activities, and had different goals.

Note that I'm not arguing that there were ever lines marking things appropriate for 20/30/40. (As a side note, a generation is about 20 years, so we're obviously not talking about generation gaps here). That was just for the sake of having a fun discussion-that has, of course, as most things do around here-had all the fun sucked right out of it. But then those who objected weren't objecting to where the lines were drawn, but to the idea that there should be any difference in how a man acts when he is young and when he is older. And so I simply come back to what I said before-that the idea that there shouldn't be different expectations for youth and for men is a distinctly modern one.
No, no, I *didn't* argue against a demarcation between boys and men. As much as I've promoted the concept of initiation into manhood, and recognition of the fact of manhood in the young, on this site, of course I didn't! I argued against the idea that segregation of *men* into social groups based on age is traditional, rather than modern. In traditional societies, once you're a man, you're a man.

My passion about this is that I think the new way, not knowing what it takes to be a man, having a sort of moving goalposts and no clear demarcation -- is too discouraging to the young. It sure was to me. I had to wait till 38 to claim that title, and that's a shame.
I still have to read the thread, but thought I would chime in:

After 20
Start polishing your appearance... Meaning no more team jerseys, baseball caps EVERYDAY, sneakers with EVERYTHING.
Expand the group of people you associate with... get some different kind of friends.
Start reading and learning about life... learn about finances and economy, leadership, communication skills, etc.
Get some more hobbies outside of your computer and video games, get more social.

After 30
If your a man and one of your goals in life is to settle down and have a family, well, then by 30-35 you should have a serious relationship that might turn into marriage.
Stop wearing things like Ed Hardy, and other t-shirts and things aimmed at a younger audience... you do not want to look like Bret Micheals.
Hopefully you should have a steady income by now or atleast know what you are doing to keep things stable financially.
Limit video games to an hour a day if at all (but I knwo we are a different generation)

After 40
No more childish clothing FOR REAL NO ED HARDY NOW
Polished appearance: sophisticated elegant, etc.
More in control of their emotions
No more strip clubs, I think this is pretty tacky, even after 30... but in your 20's I guess you just want to see women :P
Pull up your damn pants!!!!!!

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