Men have feelings. Valid ones.
Our culture has tried to socialize them out of this, but, man, feelings are durable!
Couple that with the socialization that makes men the pursuers, and men may be facing a lot of rejection on a daily basis. That can sting. It can hurt. It can feel scary and disheartening and plain old sad. Men deserve to process these feelings in connection. They deserve to be heard and met where they are, received with an open heart.
AND women/people who reject men, aka set boundaries for themselves, saying “I am not available to supply you with my attention” are not on the hook for witnessing the feelings of these men, even though those feelings deserve open-hearted witnessing.
A man’s needs are valid. A man’s needs are not any woman’s mandate. A man’s needs are his responsibility, but that doesn’t mean he has to face them alone or meet them all himself. A man who takes responsibility for his needs, following a rejection, may call his friend or his coach or his mom and ask, “do you have space and time to provide me with some connection? I have some feelings I don’t want to hold alone.”
A man who doesn’t take responsibility for his needs might say “It hurts that you’re rejecting me! I’m sick of being rejected. Tell me why you’re saying no to me.” He may demand that the person who stated a boundary provide him with attention in what is potentially a more intense way than the way they just barely stated their unavailability for.
What’s inappropriate about that is the boundary violation, not the request for connection. If someone is unavailable to meet you, there is always someone else who is available. You don’t have to choose between crossing a boundary or having connection.