When you are sitting in front of your computer thinking, “What would a man do in this situation?” you are already a step removed from the character.  Your character is not a representative of mankind, thinking man thoughts in a manly way.  He’s Paul, and there are many unique things about him.  Yes, his maleness is one, but he has a lot of notable personality quirks, any one of which may be much more defining in the given situation.  He is introspective, spiritual; he shuts down when his emotions get too much for him; he doesn’t like spicy foods, and so on.

It’s like when I was first dating.  I didn’t know what the whole thing was about, and I wanted to be better at it.  So I got all these books that claimed they would help me figure men out.  You know the ones, Mars and Venus and so on.  You know what?  They didn’t help because I wasn’t dating “men.”  I was dating a specific man and the best way to relate to him was not to learn about males as a class and then extrapolate to him as an individual.