Ask Dr. Tracy

For Women: Men to Avoid, Part 2

In "Men to Avoid, Part 1", we reviewed some men who won't marry you. Here are the men YOU don't want to marry.

The Achiever

The Achiever is a universal man married to a higher cause, dedicated to something larger than he is, like medicine, or humanity. The Achiever is an admirable member of society but a lousy partner in a relationship. He pays little attention to you and is often too tired to do anything but sleep when he takes time off.

Your love for each other is a grain of sand compared to the global grandeur of his more time-consuming passion, but he does have some advantages. He is dependable -- for some things. He always knows what time it is, he makes dates well in advance, and if he can't show, he'll either call or be reasonably apologetic.

It's easy to get sucked in by an Achiever. On the surface he's such a good citizen, so attractive, successful, hard working, affluent, even intelligent. He's the man your mother always dreamed you'd marry.

It's impossible not to think of marriage with him, because an Achiever offers financial security and obviously needs a wife. Then he could devote more time to his coma patients or to his study of prehistoric reptiles. Without having to worry about details like cooking or cleaning house, he could save precious seconds. Actually, a robot would do fine for that, but he needs a Stepford wife to sit quietly at awards dinners and look good.

If you try to get him away from his work, he will only make you feel tacky and small. Your world consciousness will be suspect and he'll most likely suggest volunteer work of some kind. If all this upsets you, don't complain to your mother or your friends; they'll agree with him.

The Timebomb

The Timebomb is your classic unstable personality hidden beneath a normal veneer. Timebombs come in several varieties: latent alcoholics, compulsive gamblers, obsessive Don Juans, drug abusers, physical abusers, and just plain crazies. If you could see the inner person, you wouldn't go near him. The problem is that the Timebomb is attractive and charming on the surface, and it's hard to hear the Timebomb ticking....

He's so nice in the beginning that you tend to get hooked. Then, just as you begin to feel certain that true love has at last felled you and someone else at the same time, an explosion goes off. And of course the first time it happens you don't recognize it as a pattern.

The Timebomb doesn't just get mad when you argue. He breaks your jaw. He doesn't just fall in love with another woman. He runs off with your best friend when you're seven months pregnant. He doesn't just lose his job, he gets fired for embezzling money and expects you to stand by him during the trial. He doesn't just blow money at the track, he loses your life savings.

Afterwards, he swears he is reformed; he'll never binge, gamble, cheat, O.D., hit you, or go crazy again.... If he's got you hooked on loving him, you forgive him and hope all will be well.

But it isn't, and the signs were there all along. His ex- wife doesn't speak to him, his former live-in girl friend is in an institution for the mentally disturbed, and a jealous male or enraged female is always trying to kill him. He hates his job and always wanted to be an actor. He even took lessons once.

If you listen very closely, you can hear the ticking. A Timebomb seems to enjoy telling about his perilous personal life: how his ex-wife tried to run him over with her car, how some guy tried to shoot him for dating his girl.

Get out when you hear the ticking, not after the explosion. Separate your bank accounts and divide up your mutual possessions. Then change your phone number and the locks on your door. Never accept collect calls from jail.

The Waffler

The Waffler won't make a decision. He's not sure of anything, including whether he wants you. The basic reason he can't decide is because he's greedy. He really wants everything. He's afraid he's missing something with someone else each minute he's with you.

A Waffler never makes a date ahead of time for anything because he is afraid something better might come along at the last minute, and then he'd be committed to you and unhappy all night thinking about what he might have missed. He breaks dates often, especially after the initial glow of a relationship is fading, whenever he thinks he's found someone who looks better. He never stops looking, even after he's been married for years.

Even when he's with you, there's no real fun with a Waffler because he can't enjoy the here and now. He's always imagining a prettier face, bigger tits, a taller, longer- legged version of you somewhere. No real woman ever lives up to the fantasy one in his mind.

A Waffler can change his philosophy of life in an hour; he considers changing careers, homes, selling out and moving away. Nothing he already has is ever any good for very long. He thinks that more or different or new acquisitions will make him happy. What he really needs is about two years of intensive professional help, not you.

The Supervisor

The Supervisor is a natural critic and speaks only from his own perfection. When you meet him, he immediately gives you all his credits, and lets you know you're very lucky he's chosen you. Naturally, you're impressed by his good taste. It's obvious from he way he criticizes everyone else that you and he are the perfect two. If it isn't obvious, he tells you.

He knows how you should dress, put your makeup on, even brush your teeth, and as long as you agree, he's happy. He knows what will make you happy, too. He will direct your career, tell you how to talk to your mother, even what you want in lovemaking. He knows without a doubt that what you really need the most is him.

There's always a moment when things start to go sour in a relationship with a Supervisor: when he discovers you don't dust the tops of the doors. The first chink in your perfection is his opening. From there he splits your self- confidence apart, leaving your ego in little pieces. Suddenly you can't do simple things you always did almost automatically. If you make coffee, the pot burns up. If it's a roast, it's still frozen on the inside. There's no way you can do anything right.

It's all downhill from there. Soon the slightest infraction of the supervisor's rules of conduct turns him into a raging beast and you into a tear-dripping mess.

The Carpetbagger

The Carpetbagger is easy to spot because he stayed over at your apartment one night and he's still there. He doesn't have to call home because he doesn't have one. His dog is in the car and so are most of his belongings. He always has enough clothes with him to last at least a month.

He's always broke and hungry when he gets to your place and will stay as long as you feed him and give him lots of love. He's attractive and sweet and helpful around the apartment and a wonderful lover. He has a way of just fitting in. But, of course, he never takes you anywhere.

He's either about to make a fortune or has just lost one, and it makes a wonderful story. He knows you'll nurture him between fortunes.

No matter how much you give the Carpetbagger, he doesn't give anything back, except playing the guitar and making love. When you think he's gotten everything you have to offer, eaten all the food in the apartment, finished the wine, and exhausted you, he'll say, "I have a load of dirty clothes in the trunk of my car. Is it okay if I just put them in your machine?" Then he needs dogfood for his Great Dane, stationery to write his mother, a stamp of course, and do you have a sweater big enough for him to borrow?

In the beginning the Carpetbagger can be tender and delicate with his lovemaking, almost worshipful, a wellspring of foreplay. But when he finishes with lovemaking he usually finds something urgent he must do, leaving you with a foretaste of his ultimate splitting. After he's moved on to a fresh nurturer, your apartment feels empty, as though your favorite guppy passed away.

The Fairy Godfather

The Fairy Godfather is almost impossible to resist. His pitch is that he's not like all those other men who weren't so nice. He's different, and he's here to show you what real love is like. "Just give me a chance," he begs.

Whatever your secret fantasy is, the Fairy Godfather ferrets it out. He wants to make you happy, so he pretends to be whatever you always wanted. He promises to make your dreams come true, even before he knows specifics. He loves you, loves you, loves you! He never takes his eyes or his hands off you. Even if there's something obviously wrong with the man, you pretend he's okay because, after all, he does love you and that's good for something.

In almost no time at all, he's like a member of your family. Your parents always ask how he is. They too believe your Fairy Godfather is going to protect you from the world. Lucky you.

Whatever your dreams -- marriage, career, a family, travel - - the fairy Godfather is here to make them true. He not only makes dates in advance, he has wonderful things planned for the rest of your life.

The fantasy dangled before you by the Fairy Godfather is like a golden carrot, and like a tired racehorse you perk up at the bait. Soon, the idea of losing him is inextricably tied to the thought of losing all those dreams, of never getting to do all the wonderful things he has planned for you. You see houses, trips, true love, marriage and babies floating away with his love, and so you battle to keep your affair going.

It's a losing fight. The Fairy Godfather is a fantasy (partly ours) and his promises are worth less than the paper they're not written on. You finally begin to notice that nothing you both talk about every actually happens.

What To Do If You Keep Winding Up With These Guys

  1. Read my article "Spotting the Crazies".

  2. Read my article on "`Qualifying' Someone".

  3. Read "The Nosebiter" in Section 3 of my Library, and all the "Did For Love" case histories in Section 1, and let them strengthen your resolve to stop falling in love so quickly.

If you're really ready for a grown-up relationship, and you're not just using unsuitable men to avoid commitment, then work through my article "Developing Realistic Criteria", which will help you stay away from the Time-Wasters. Then follow the step-by- step process outlined in the rest of this Section and the next two Sections faithfully, and you'll be in a fulfilling, committed relationship within a year.

Related Keywords: Your Requirements, Qualifying Someone, Bad Prospects, Criticism

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