March 18th, 2014 by Nina Atwood
There are four general categories of guy dating pain that you may encounter. One is a potential salvage job, one is potentially dangerous, and two are projects that you could spend a lifetime on and get nowhere. Here’s the difference.
One: The commitment phobe. This is the guy who can’t comprehend settling down, but that doesn’t stop him from dating.
The true commitment phobe has it wired this way: Commitment is PERMANENT, FOREVER, and you can NEVER GET OUT OF IT. He can’t commit because what if he makes a mistake? He can’t reconcile that in his mind so he gets involved, tries to settle down, but becomes increasingly fearful and anxious as the relationship progresses. When he can’t stand it anymore, he breaks up in order to relieve his anxiety.
You can spot him by ferreting out his relationship history wherein you will see a very long line of one to three year relationships that he always exits. George Clooney is a great example of the true commitment phobe.
No, you cannot change or rehabilitate him. Only he can choose to change, and that would take lots of professional help. Usually a commitment phobe changes only when he reaches a point of suffering that drives him into therapy, so you might be able to influence him by breaking up before he does. But that’s a long shot, it’s painful for you, and it’s high risk emotionally. It’s best to move on and search for someone who is commitment ready.
Two: The flake. This is the guy who always leaves you hanging – he cancels dates at the last minute, constantly changes his mind about what he wants, and runs hot and cold. One day he’ll text you ten times and then nothing for a week.
The flake is usually unstable in other areas of life – job, career, friendships, even family. He lacks a clear sense of “self” – he doesn’t know who he really is or what he wants out of life or relationships. He blows with the wind and, depending on his mood, you will hear from him or maybe not.
How to spot: he asks for dates at the last minute, usually by text message instead of a phone call. He fails to nail down the details, leaving you wondering what time you’re getting together and where you’re going. He may even be very sweet, but you will never pin him down. Frankly, he’s not worth trying to rehabilitate. Flaky people bring drama and instability to your life. Run from that guy.
Three: The potential stalker. This is the guy who ‘likes’ every post/photo on your Facebook page and who wants to be with you 24/7.
The biggest problem with the potential stalker is that he’s fundamentally insecure. He fears being rejected or abandoned, and he puts out that vibe, which eventually turns women off. He’s the opposite of what most women want – a man who is emotionally strong.
How to spot: he wants way too much, way too soon. He wants to see you every day of the week and you just met. He can’t handle it if you say “not tonight.” The minute you try to push him away, he begins to act out, and sometimes that comes across as stalking behavior, but the danger is that it can escalate to violence if he’s really unbalanced. The best thing to do is not get involved with him; you can’t rehabilitate him, and he’s potentially dangerous.
Four: The control freak. This is the guy who’ll want to do things his way and who may gradually push your friends and family away.
The control freak operates from anxiety. He’s afraid of losing – you, his own sense of mastery and control, or something that is valuable to him. If he pushes your friends and family out, he’s dangerous and not worth rehabilitating.
How to spot: he’s picky about how things are done and wants them done his way. If he’s controlling in small ways (i.e., he wants to load the dishwasher his way), he may be worth salvaging. If you love him, offer reassurance from time to time. Hug him, tell him you love him. Be lighthearted about the little things he likes to control – don’t make them a big deal. If you think he’s a good guy and worth it, accept that it is a part of him. If he tries to run your life, especially in important ways like telling you to quit your job or dump a good friend (and he means it), you probably won’t be able to work it out.
Most of the guys I work with and know are good guys and NOT one of these guy types. The truth is that good men don’t need rehabbing. The real goal is to attract one of those guys.
Guys: don’t be one of these types. Take charge of your life and build your confidence. Learn to be a leader, never a controller in relationships. Read Date Like a CEO and get on the path to a wonderful lifetime love!