11/1/2011 1:20 PM
Written by Evan Marc Katz
I’ve got a lot of theories about dating and relationships.
Whether you agree or not, my theories aren’t based on what I want to be true.
They’re based on the hundreds of women I dated, the thousands of women I’ve coached, and the many books I’ve read about relationships.
Which is not to say that I’m always right, but that when I offer you something, it’s an idea that has some measure of intellectual merit.
The latest theory I have is that there is a huge swath of men who can’t make ANYONE happy in the long run.
Any woman who dates one of these men will have fleeting moments of intense happiness…followed by many more moments of intense pain.
What makes my theory all the more confounding is this:
The men who can’t make ANYONE happy in the long run are very often the most desirable men of all!
It’s like a poisonous flower being the most attractive one.
Sometimes, the most charismatic men are the WORST relationship bets.
Now, this isn’t news, of course. In fact, if you were to replay the lowlights from your most disappointing relationships, you’d probably discover this on your own.
Personally, I can recall one relationship of mine that started off white-hot.
She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever dated – so attractive that she took her profile off of Match.com because of the constant bombardment from men.
After three weeks we were exclusive.
Our differences were many. The sex was hot. And there were moments when she was the greatest girlfriend in the world: designing me a mixed CD with original cover art, flying to New York to meet my mother, taking care of me after I had sinus surgery.
But in between those moments, my girlfriend insulted me frequently. Called me passive-aggressive. A liar. Obsessive. Dismal. A joke. She stormed out of weddings, parties and restaurants, forcing me to chase her down and drive her home. She broke up with me three times, including on the aforementioned flight home from New York.
When I was 28, I put up with it. I was sad and lonely, frustrated with my career, suffering from low self-esteem and generalized anxiety. The fact that a beautiful woman chose me was something I couldn’t pass up, no matter how much pain it caused me.
Today, I wouldn’t have given her one month.
This is what I mean from learning from your mistakes and not repeating your patterns.
So, think back to your George Clooney/James Bond type. He’s a charmer, first and foremost. He’s so good at it – so effortless – that he doesn’t even come across as smarmy. He’s just extremely comfortable in his own skin. The fact that he does well financially and dresses the part just adds to his mystique. He’s got a great sense of humor, strong, passionate, articulate opinions. He’s inherently likeable and projects a very basic human decency. In fact, there’s not a bad bone in his body.
There’s just one thing:
Clooney and Bond march to the beat of their own drummers.
It’s not that they don’t care about what you say, it’s that they care about what they think more. As a result, life is lived exclusively on their terms. Which, if you think about it, is pretty consistent for smart, good-looking, successful men. If he doesn’t get his way, he just finds another woman who will allow him to always get his way.
And, for the charismatic alpha male, getting his way means doing whatever he wants. Spending late nights at the office? Frequent international travel? Calling you only once a week because he’s so busy? Restlessly trying to figure out how to keep you around, but still remain single? Never committing to marriage or children or plans more than a few weeks in advance?
This is who he is.
Instead of waiting for him to change, start to recognize that, despite this man’s considerable gifts, he’s an AWFUL long-term partner, precisely because he doesn’t want to be accountable to anybody but himself.
The only thing to do with this kind of guy is to walk away.
Another guy who doesn’t make any woman happy in the long run is the guy who’s perpetually finding himself.
Don’t get me wrong: this man has his own charms. He’s invariably cute and funny. He’s creative and passionate. He’s amazing in bed. He makes you feel connected to him and he makes a genuine effort to make you happy.
The problem is that he’s fundamentally unhappy himself. He’s the man who puts freedom above everything. He’s the struggling filmmaker. He’s the frustrated novelist. He’s chronically underemployed. He’s the guy who doesn’t always pay taxes or his credit card bill. He’s the one who’s always in therapy. He’s a recovering addict. He struggles to maintain relationships. He still struggles with his last break-up. He may be a wonderful, original man, but he never seems to have his shit together.
And even though he might be a great guy, his perpetual drama makes him a vortex of suffering, and another bad long-term relationship bet.
I’m not sure what percentage of attractive men fall into either category, but I’m betting that it’s a whole lot of them.
From now on, the second you see your prospective boyfriend fall into either of these two categories, you break up with him.
Otherwise, you’re willingly taking on years of pain and suffering, waiting for the man who is all potential to become someone that he’s not: your future husband.
And if you still doubt me – if you still want to defend your poor choices in men, consider this parallel: if you were to get on a plane but were told that it had only a 1% chance of landing, would you still board the plane?
No freaking way.
That’s the chance you take when you invest your love in a man who doesn’t have the desire or capability to be a solid, faithful husband. Your Bill Clintons. Your Tiger Woodses. Your Ashton Kutchers.
Last week I talked about the meaning of attraction – how it’s organic and intoxicating, but it doesn’t mean you have to act on that attraction.
I meant it.
The men above will always be attractive, but they can’t give you what you need.
That leaves all the rest of the men in the universe to do the trick.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of good men out there who CAN make you happy for the rest of your life. But they can’t do their job if you’re still dating one of the guys I mentioned earlier in this email.
Get rid of them and start a new love life that has long-term potential.
Warmest wishes and much love,
Evan Marc Katz