|Sibling Hearts / Siza Padovan|
I thought I’d put my stamp on this topic now for the benefit of my daughters and to have a little fun; since after all college is letting out and I’ll want to try and beat the folly (think running of the bulls at Pamplona, Spain!).
I’m handing out an advisory flyer to share wisdom on the subject of men and boys a.k.a. men wannabes. One reason for this advisory is for my two youngest, as the college ranks filter into summer attitudes.
Reason number two is for my other two daughters who are out of undergraduate school now and have started their full time lives; you can never hear enough advice from your dad on the subject of men and my thoughts on the matter. You can’t see me smiling as I write this.
A third and final reason, I’ll acknowledge up front, is to spark some discussion, comments and feedback from my readers, so don’t hold back! I’ve touched on this subject previously, with regard to teen dating, in my blog entitled, “Daughters and Dating – Protecting Your Daughter From the Harsh Realities.”
To my daughters:
Here’s my list of types to avoid, whom at this writing you may have already come in contact with in one form or another. You may witness some meaning relating directly to guys in your past. I know you are smart to stay one step ahead of the nonsense and have the wisdom to dissect and work through the absurdity, but lets elaborate on some unusual characteristics we haven’t discussed or in case you missed my class that day (this will be fun):
1) Nice Guy - How many times have I heard, "Dad, he’s a nice guy!" The nice guy is ok as a single attribute when you’re in high school. It’s a fine and acceptable start, but you’ll need more now. Boys charm, Men prove worthy with many consistent acts of chivalry, generosity (I’m not talking about money), and kindness as a standard. This is with everyone in his life, not just when he wants something. He’ll be multi-dimensional. Heed this, its a greater indicator of things to come. If he has nothing else to offer, move on.
2) Narcissist - The one who appears to have great confidence in himself and looks wonderful on the surface, then slowly isolates you from your loved ones such as your family and closest friends. Anyone pulling you away from your social network and lifelines does not have your best interest at heart. It’s all about him. In the contrary, he should be motivated to meet your family and your friends. He should want the best for you even at his own sacrifice and compromise. He’ll want to know your origins. If he wants an exclusive relationship and he has an opportunity to meet your family and chooses against it, then maybe there’s more than meets the eye.
3) Man Child - a.k.a. Mamas Boy, or more plainly the irresponsible and emotionally disconnected. In my youth, names like Billy, Freddy, Johnny, and Tommy were popular. If your guy is not from the South U.S., where these adult names are common, and he’s still going by what his mommy called him when he was little, then maybe questions about his maturity or accepting responsibility to want to grow up should play in mind. I know there may be exceptions. He may be fun and dynamic, perhaps even a free spirit on the surface, which can be attractive initially. Though the likelihood is he’ll never understand commitment or responsibility as long as his mom is still taking care of him. Men have autonomy, speak for themselves, and do their own laundry.
Incidentally, on the subject of names, random or arbitrary ones he selected himself because he didn’t like the name given at birth? When we are boys we go through a phase in our young teens about our names. Why wasn’t I called Clint because Clint Eastwood is cool! We usually get over it and especially by the time we're 14. Coincidentally, my younger brother, Mark, in his infinite youth couldn’t understand why I got the cooler name. Bruce? Really!?!? I asked for a trade!
In my opinion, there’s a maturing process in understanding with what we are given, what we have and where we came from. Guys should accept their names, among other things, and focus on change in other areas. A name doesn’t change who you are; its all about attitude and acceptance of self. Again, perhaps another small indication of larger things to come! There are extra points when there is history or meaning in his name. This says something about his origin and who raised him, in my opinion. For example with my middle name, John, is from a foster child my parents cared for and wanted to adopt before I was born.
4) Control Freak –This calculating persona will never be happy with himself and find redemption in fixing others. He may look good on the surface initially, as he may be a workaholic and be successful in his profession; although this may be more of a result of his stubborn and persistent behavior. This may only be workable if you have a strong personality and can deflect his need to know everything always on your status. He’ll act strong on the outside to hide his weakness in the core; the vulnerability he protects by distracting those around him with his smarts, deflecting persona, and his own pursuit of constant perfection.
5) Seducer - a.k.a. Perennial Bachelor. Real men don’t need to seduce or use vices such as alcohol or shiny objects, as examples, in order to inhibit your ability from knowing what you don’t want. Men only have a need to prove to themselves. Men will invest the time with you, even through a platonic relationship or friendship, in lieu of taking advantage of the moment with seduction. This type isn’t to be confused with the romantic; the difference is winning over your heart as the target opposed to just sex. There’s not a whole lot to say on this type, which is rather pedestrian and not complex. This type should be spotted a mile away.
6) Cheater – a.k.a. Hedonist who likes women almost as much as himself. He may be a great catch and quite possibly a remarkable man in his own achievements, interests and personality. This unfortunately attracts a lot of self-absorbed women who don’t care if he is attached or even married with kids. Don’t focus on the women, only focus on him; how does he handle all the attention? He may have difficulty saying no; read President Clinton or ex-Senator John Edwards. In the contrary, men have backbone, know how to say no, and lay down the law with public expression of his own personal commitments. Further, he won’t have anything to hide. Those who can’t say no only facilitate this kind of behavior from other women.
7) Bad Boy – a.k.a. Free Spirit. On the surface he’s a risk taker, exciting, spontaneous, with roguish exterior and mysterious interior. He may own his actions and be decisive. He may have needs and be sensitive with slight personality constraints; all a recipe for you to jump in and help him fill the voids he lacks. His emotional reliance on you will be attractive initially. Digging a little deeper you’ll find a man with a rocky past, issues with authority, and unrevealing relationship dysfunction. What will result is a dooming situation that leaves you with financial loss because he’s probably not working and him running for the next best situation you weren’t even aware.
As with everything, there’s always a silver lining. On the other side of the coin, I have a recommendation:
The Diamond – As with regard to “in the rough.” I know, good luck finding him? Chances are, he’ll find you. He’s confident, fun, witty, reliable, dependable, and most of all, proven and consistent over time. He’ll be your partner and you’ll work together as a team. He’ll have your respect; you’ll have his undying love. You’ll have similar or common interests. Learning and discovering together how to manage similar interests successfully may be foresight for how things will work in a better, larger venue.
To all successful relationships, friendship is the foundation, in my opinion. Friends have respect with one another and trust is learned quickly. There are no pre-conceived notions with friends, which allows you to be uninhibited and grow. Friends usually have common interests; that’s perhaps how you met. You get to observe and learn about each other over time and see character, strengths, friends, family, and personal philosophy about life, challenges, and achievements.
In the contrary, opposites do attract; unfortunately in the long term, they don’t stay together. When we're young, we find others to fill voids in our own lives and we even marry them and have children. Then we grow up and discover one day we're two different people, with no common interests. We didn’t change, only our perspectives matured.
Similar interests, philosophies, and thinking foster and attract energy and longevity. There are always exceptions and relationships are not perfect. The “7 men types to avoid” is more a list of things to heed and this should facilitate healthier conclusions.
Were these types on the mark? What advice would you have to share?
© 2012 Bruce Buccio