By Norine Dworkin-McDaniel, Special to Lifescript
Published July 25, 2014
At first glance, he seems like Mr. Absolutely Right. He sweeps you off your cynical feet with nice dinners, roses, thoughtful gestures. The sex is incredible. You want to introduce him to your mom. But before you fall hook, line and sinker, stop! He could be one of these 7 dating mistakes. Plus, for added insurance, find out if you’re dating a loser with our quiz… Some men are master anglers. Once you’re hooked, you’ll invest your love, soul, money and, possibly, valuable childbearing years before realizing – too late – they don’t do happily ever after. In the end, they’ll break your heart, shatter your ego and frustrate the heck out of you. Though these bad boys may be hard to spot, they send out subtle clues that they’re relationship kryptonite. Read on for the 7 types of men to avoid … and how to spot them before they reel you in.
1. Mr. Perennial Bachelor This guy’s well-mannered, smart, attractive, witty, successful, and his kisses melt you like ice cream in July. You can’t believe that some woman hasn’t walked him down the aisle long ago. Even if you approach him with caution, his charm and persistence probably will win you over. Then, just when you start considering whether to take his name or hyphenate, he’ll peel out of the relationship faster than a NASCAR driver, leaving skid marks on your heart. How he’ll lure you in: Ask about his perpetual bachelorhood, and he’ll tell you he just hasn’t found Mrs. Right yet. The unspoken suggestion? You could be her. But dating Mr. Perennial Bachelor is a fool’s journey because there is no right woman – and never will be. “Women always think, ‘I’ll be the one,’” says Los Angeles-based psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser. “But if no one has been right, you probably won’t be either.” Spot him before you’re hooked: He doesn’t introduce you to his friends or family, which means he’s in no hurry to fully integrate you into his life. But the biggest giveaway is that his last significant relationship was back in college and every relationship since has lasted only a few months at most. Around the time you’re expecting your relationship to shift into serious, he’s putting it in reverse. “If a man hasn’t gotten married by the time he’s 50, he’s probably not going to,” says relationship coach Joyce Morley-Ball, aka Dr. Joyce.
2. Mr. Marry-Go-Round Unlike Mr. Perennial Bachelor, this guy’s all about getting married. Unfortunately, he treats marriage like a luxury car lease – and you can be sure that in a few years he’ll be ready to trade you in for a newer model. “The relationship is over when the romance is gone,” says Mark Rogers, Ph.D., an Irving, Texas, relationship coach who works with Dr. Phil. Mr. Marry-Go-Round hasn’t figured out that all passion cools naturally, and when his does, he’ll blame you. “He’ll say, ‘You weren’t the right one because when I find the right one, I’ll stay in this infatuated euphoria forever,’” Rogers says. How he’ll lure you in: He’s a virtuoso romancer, so dating him is like being on a permanent honeymoon. Plus, the fact that he’s been married before suggests that he’s not afraid of commitment. If you’ve been dating men who can’t even whisper the “M” word, someone who’s practically sprinting down the aisle and introducing you as the future Mrs. So-and-So is certainly seductive. Spot him before you’re hooked: Find out exactly how many times he’s been married. If he’ll soon outpace Liz Taylor – and his brides are getting younger – that should stop you or at least make you pause. “If he’s been married two, three or four times, there’s a good chance that he could be married two or three or four more times,” Kaiser says. Another indicator: If you suggest slowing things down, he gets impatient because you’re getting in the way of his next acquisition – you. “This is someone who’s used to getting what he wants,” Kaiser says. “You become the thing he wants.” If you decide to take the plunge, at least make sure to get a fair prenup.
3. Mr. No-Money Bags He has champagne tastes on a beer budget and a walk-in closet full of financial skeletons. But that doesn’t bother him because he also has a preternatural ability to get into women’s wallets as well as their beds. He’s counting on you to keep him in the style to which he hopes to become accustomed. “He looks for the financially well-off woman so he can mooch off her,” says relationship expert Celeste Simmons, co-author of You Know She’s a Princess When… (Third Dimension Press). How he’ll lure you in: He’ll play on your natural affinity for nurturing and caretaking. It’s like stumbling onto a beautiful, crumbling Victorian house: You see past the sagging floors and peeling paint and envision how magnificent it could be. You figure a little “investment” will pay off big for both of you. Besides, what’s a little money when he’s the man of your dreams?
Spot him before you’re hooked: Whenever it’s time to pay, his wallet is conveniently AWOL – it’s in his other pants, he left it at home, he’s short on cash until he gets paid. Initially, it might seem reasonable to float him a little extra. But eventually his handout requests get larger and larger until one day, you may find yourself buying him a car, co-signing on a loan or making a down payment on a house. He’ll try to convince you that “it’s for us,” but as Simmons points out, you’ll be the one on the financial hook. When things go south, not only will he break your heart, he’ll also put you deep in debt and tank your credit rating.
4. Mr. Mama’s Boy He’s sweet, affectionate and understanding. Unfortunately, he’s still hung up on another woman – his mother. Not exactly the threesome you might have had in mind. Mom still influences his professional decisions, his investment portfolio, where he lives, who he votes for. Project into the future and you can count on her influencing everything – from where you buy a home to how you raise your children. And if you push him to choose sides, guess who loses? Yep, that would be you.
How he’ll lure you in: Any man who loves his mother will know how to treat a woman, right? “If you’ve been involved with guys who’ve been great in romancing you, but haven’t had an emotional connection and then you meet someone who cares about how women feel, that can be really ttractive,” Rogers says. Spot him before you’re hooked: He compares you to his mother – and you come up short every time. The real test may come around Valentine’s Day: If you’re alone with a box of chocolates because he’s taken Mom out for a candlelit dinner, cut him loose. “At the most intimate level of his heart, he still loves Mom as much or more than you,” Rogers says.
5. Mr. Peter Pan Syndrome
Though he’s in his 30s or 40s, at heart Mr. Peter Pan Syndrome is still a frat boy. Life’s a nonstop, movable kegger and he’s the affable host. He’s on a first-name basis with all the bartenders in town, thinks 401(k) refers to computer stuff and is always ready for a trip to Las Vegas. But if you run into hard times – say, you’re in a serious car accident or you lose your job – he’ll be way, way out of his depth. Difficult situations aren’t in his repertoire, and when the going gets tough, you’ll be going it alone.
How he’ll lure you in: His spontaneity and sense of adventure bring out the kid in you. He’s the one who persuades you to go parasailing in Cancun or ditch work for an afternoon at the ballpark. Spot him before you’re hooked: He’s managed to dodge major responsibilities. By now, his buddies are entrenched with mortgages, marriages, even babies, but he’s still footloose. When it comes to dating, “let’s keep things light” is this guy’s mantra. Peter Pans eventually do grow up – into perennial bachelors.
6. Mr. Egomaniac He’s brilliant, accomplished and has an unflagging belief in his own infallibility. “You never see him waffling or agonizing about a decision,” Rogers says. “He’s extremely decisive because the world revolves around him.” On the rare occasion when he’s not 100% right, he won’t take it well if you point it out. He may want an accomplished woman, but not one so successful that you eclipse his glory. He may even undercut your success. He might embarrass you at an office party or run you down in front of colleagues in the guise of “being funny.” When you complain, he’ll accuse you of being too sensitive. How he’ll lure you in: His confidence is irresistible. “He’s got that Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, macho inner strength that’s really appealing,” Rogers says. Spot him before you’re hooked: He never tires of talking about himself or the things he’s interested in. There’s no give and take, just his lecturing. “He doesn’t care what you have to say,” Rogers says. “He may listen, but only long enough to prepare for his next persuasive statement.”
Another giveaway: He surrounds himself with sycophants, but has few real friends. “If you’re not a good listener or you only want to talk about yourself, the only people who are going to be around you are submissive people,” says dating expert Stephany Alexander, founder of WomanSavers.com, a Web site dedicated to outing cheating or unethical guys.
7. Mr. Control Freak Going out with this man is like dating a boa constrictor. At first, his embrace may seem warm and secure. But before long, you’ll be suffocating. It’ll start with going to the restaurants he chooses, seeing the movies he picks, hanging out with his friends. But eventually he tries to dictate everything, from what you wear to how you spend your free time. “He’s trying to get you to be who you’re not,” psychotherapist Kaiser explains. “One day you wake up, and you’re like, ‘Where did I go? I don’t even know what I like to eat anymore!’”
How he’ll lure you in: All this attention is certainly flattering. After all, he must really love you if he’s so concerned about you, takes such care of you and wants to be with you all the time, right? Spot him before you’re hooked: He insists on orchestrating all your dates and tells you how to dress or act around his friends. Even if you’ve only been on a few dates, he phones frequently and has memorized your schedule. He’s suspicious of any relationship you have with any other guy. He expects you to agree with him, and if you don’t, he tries to convince you you’re wrong. Run – don’t walk – away. “With a control freak, you have to give up more and more of your separate experiences, separate activities, separate friends,” Rogers says. “And then it goes deeper to separate thoughts and feelings until you’re emotionally micromanaged. And that’ll kill you.”