You don't have to be her knight in shining armor. Whether she's your girlfriend, wife, or just a friend you don't have to save her. Not all the time, and certainly not at the cost of your own well being. You're going to see a lot of propaganda about "real men" over the years. Ignore it. You are both real men. I was there when you were born and I have watched you grow. I can testify to this fact. So when someone tries to tell you how a real man takes care of his woman, take it with a grain of salt. I expect you to be caring, supportive, kind, generous, and compassionate with everyone including the women in your life. However, you are not responsible for their physical or emotional well being.
While we're on the topic of "real men" your masculinity doesn't hinge on the degradation of women either. It's okay to share the household responsibilities. There are no "mans jobs" or "woman's jobs". Your job in your relationship with anyone is to equally distribute the burdens in a way you both agree to be fair. This means it's ok if she makes more money than you and it's ok if she doesn't have a job. It's up to the 2 of you to define how your relationship is going to be balanced. Don't let anyone else tell you how to define your home life.
Communicate. A lot. The old adage "men are from Mars women are from Venus" isn't entirely off base. Chances are unless you find an anomaly of a gal, she's going to think very differently than you do. Chances are sometimes it's going to be hard to understand. The only way you'll ever understand her is by asking her how she feels, and why. Let her explain herself. Don't assume you know. You probably don't. This goes for all your relationships (with men too). Talk to your colleagues. Talk to your friends. Talk to your teachers and your kids and your parents. Put down your electronics and listen to other people. Especially if you're trying to make a life with them.
I have hope, that by the time you're a man, the world will have changed. Realistically I'm not sure it will have. So know this: being a woman is hard for so many reasons I cannot begin to explain to you. Not the least of which being an anatomy that works very differently than yours. Women are not weaker than you. They are strong in different ways. They are not less intelligent than you. They think in different ways. Men and women aren't the same, but they are equal. Just because someone is different does not ever make them less.
We all come from different places. The world, for my generation atleast, has put a lot of work into making women insecure, and frightened. It has taught hate rather than love, and many young women come from homes that stifled them rather than empowering them. Keep that in mind when you approach anyone, but especially a woman. You don't know where she's come from, and you don't know if she had to work twice as hard to get where she is. This comes right back to the talking thing. Ask questions. Listen intently. Let people share their story with you. Be open. Let people change you, not because they want to, but because you need to be ever evolving to become better.
Sometimes girls cry. Usually a lot more than boys too. Remember that anatomy bit I mentioned earlier? It comes with a completely different set of hormones. When you might get angry, a woman might get sad. Sorry buddy that's the difference between testosterone and estrogen. I reiterate here that it does not make her weaker than you. Just different.
You're going to meet so many different people of all ages, races, genders, sexualities, religions and creeds. Don't let stereotypes pre-form your opinions. Treat each person as an individual. Don't make assumptions. Let them teach you who they are so that you may share your true self with them.
You're going to get hurt. Someone is going to break your hurt. It's going to feel like being broken into a thousand sharp pieces of glass. You're going to heal and while you're healing try your best to let go of the anger and resentment that tries to form inside of you. Don't hold the actions of one person against every other person who tries to love you.
Be a gentleman. No matter how much culture and society changes. Hold on to that ideal. It's not about saving people. It's about respect. You don't have to carry the weight of the world to open doors for the person behind you and help someone who is struggling cross the street. Don't let anyone tell you this is wrong or sexist. You can open doors for men as well as women. Pick up something if someone drops it and hand the item back to them. If you see a woman being harassed, step in and do something. Not because she's a woman but because you would do it for anyone.
And lastly, forever stay my sweet little boys, even when you're grown men.