He’s Not Worthy! You Deserve Better!

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best man

I just finished reading the first several chapters of Lori Gottlieb’s book – Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough. I followed that up with some browsing in the single mom blogosphere.

Can I just say: Oy!

I knew women went about choosing men in a different way than men choose women. But to read it in print really scared me. (Lori Gottlieb’s book offers solutions in subsequent chapters. Can’t wait!)

Why do (some) women make choosing a man so complicated?

I will preface this post by saying I know I’m generalizing. I know I’m attributing behavior to most women when it may just be the authors I read, and the commentators I read, and the sources they quote, and my ex-girlfriends who acted this way too. (i.e. it seems pretty darn universal)

What I’ve taken home from this exercise: a woman can fall for a guy for whatever reason, and romance is always better than being practical. But sometimes she won’t fall for the “right” guy or the “good enough” guy because he doesn’t fit her mile long checkbox list describing her ideal mate.

Let’s say, though, that a woman allows herself to fall for a guy – then the fun begins. She scrutinizes him with the help of her girl friends.

  • “He didn’t smile at the waiter! What do you think that means?”
  • “He didn’t call me at lunch, and he always calls me! What does that mean?”
  • “He yelled at a puppy who crapped on his best shoes. What does that mean?”

At some point, the girl friends reach a tipping point and start giving responses like this:

  • “You deserve better than him.”
  • “You shouldn’t settle.”
  • “He’s not worthy of your time.”

To which I say – WTF?

Since when do your girl friends have so much power over who you choose to date? Since when are they privy to every interaction with the guy? Since when have they walked in the shoes of either party in the relationship? Who are they to say anything? And why should you listen?

I’m not saying you have to date every poor bastard who comes along. But sometimes when you find a good one, your girl friend just doesn’t get it. Ignore her! (I know, I know, women talk about everything and often do things by collective. That can be a powerful thing. But I don’t get it when it comes to love.)

One of my girlfriends post-divorce had a BFF (I think that means Best Friend Forever, but really, I don’t speak girl-talk, so maybe I’m wrong.) The BFF pulled me aside early in my relationship with said girlfriend and told me: “David, you are really great for her. She is so happy. You are bringing positive things out in her. I’m really glad she’s dating you.”

One month later, when the girlfriend and I were spending so much time together that BFF was actually left to fend for herself on a Friday night (BFF was dateless), BFF started telling the girlfriend “I don’t like the way David does X. When he does Y it bothers you. And then there’s Z.”

Cue the chorus:

  • “You deserve better than him.”
  • “You shouldn’t settle.”
  • “He’s not worthy of your time.”

Um, can you say: BFF was jealous that she lost said girlfriend to a guy?

Then there’s the group of women who get their nails/hair/whatever done together, and talk up a storm. Here I will paraphrase an actual conversation one of my ex-girlfriends had with her friends:  “My man gave me flowers.” “My man gave me diamond earrings.” “My man gave me a Lexus.”

WTF again! Is it all about the “stuff” you get?

Happiness comes from within. If you attach your happiness to what someone does for you, or says to you, or gives to you – you are setting your relationship up for failure. At some point, he’ll get busy or have a bad day. And he won’t do/say/give you that magical thing. Then what? Will you still be happy and in love? Or will you hit the eject button? I’ve come across a lot of women who admit to doing the latter. Or worse – have girl friends who tell them to dump him.

From my experience, guys don’t usually tell other guys who they should date. We ask questions like: “are you happy with her? Good.” That’s it! We don’t question what makes the guy happy, what she’s doing for him, what she’s giving him, what she’s saying to him. We simply ask whether he’s happy spending time with her. (And is she good in bed. But the answer is always yes.)

If you enjoy spending time with someone, then even when they’re not with you, you can remember that you enjoy spending time with them, and the magic is still there.

Maybe guys are wired differently, or maybe we’ve been programmed by society to expect less. We’re supposed to provide and protect, and what we get in return is kindness, warmth, and love. We really don’t need much more than that. (And yes, I’m referring to the stereotypical “we” that doesn’t really exist.)

Now then, if I’m worthy of a comment, leave one. And if not? Leave one anyway, and tell me how you really feel.

Meanwhile, I’ll get back to Lori Gottlieb’s book…

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