Ask Dr. Tracy

For Men: Women to Avoid, Part 2

In "Women To Avoid, Part 1", we reviewed some classic types you'd only want to have a fling with, if that. Here are some (slightly caricatured) types I'd suggest you not even get started with.

The Achiever

The Achiever already makes more money than you do, and she likes it that way. It gives her power she's too insecure to live without.

On the surface, the Achiever may look like the dream woman of the 1990s. She's bright, witty, and attractive. If you're the kind of guy who's not put off by high-powered women, you find it flattering that she's chosen you over all the high-powered guys she meets at work.

In the beginning, your romance with the Achiever is a rush. You enjoy the fast pace, the time-is-more-important-than- money lifestyle. You even have occasional fantasies of being a kept man, of living a life of leisure on her terrific salary.

Then her secretary calls to tell you that she's off to the airport for an out-of-town meeting and can't make the trip to Hawaii you'd been planning for six months. Or she proposes going into business together. She's got it all figured out, and she can raise the money. Soon after that, your ulcers start. If the business is a failure, your relationship falls apart. More likely, the business will be a roaring success, and you'll never see her without making an appointment with her administrative assistant.

Life with the Achiever means you come after the achievement. Whatever is going on in your relationship is trivial compared with her next presentation, merger, sale, or promotion. And you can forget a home life. For her, quality time together is a round of golf shared with some visiting businessmen. Like the famous scene in the movie "Network" with Faye Dunaway, she won't have sex unless she can reach the bedside phone, in case there's a business call.

The Achiever is hell to live with, but you won't get sympathy from anyone. She'll claim she's doing it all "for us." Your parents will be in awe of her and think you're a complainer, and your male friends will say you got just what you deserve.

The Virgin

--or almost. The Virgin has never had an orgasm before, and may never again without your constant attention. And now she loves you, loves you, loves you, like an adoring puppy. Of course, if the relationship doesn't work out, it's all your fault, since she was a virgin, or almost, before she got involved with you.

Fooling around with the Virgin is fun for a while, but it's like the electric company. Once you turn on the juice, you have to keep paying the bills. And paying and paying. Most Virgins aren't very practiced at birth control, so they often get pregnant, and they definitely don't believe in abortion. So you're stuck, for life -- with the Virgin, the Virgin's parents, church choir, and a very conservative lifestyle.

Of course, it's an ego trip to think that you're the guy who finally broke through her reserve, that only you can make Ms. Frigid act like a sexual lunatic in bed. But the ego massage lasts only so long, and then you realize that the only thing you saw in her was the challenge.

The Man-hater

Accept it. Some women just don't like men, often with good cause. The Man-Hater loves to find a nice guy like you who'll stand there while she takes out her hostility for what other men have done to her. You'll wind up paying for the misdeeds of every man in her life, from the boy who tormented her in kindergarten to her younger brother, her father, and especially her first husband.

Man-Haters look like ordinary women when you meet them, but there are signs of incipient man-hating. Man-Haters consistently put down men and praise women. In the beginning, the Man-Hater pretends that you're different from all those other men who've treated her badly, but soon she begins to see signs that you're really not. By this time, you're in love with her, so you try to convince her by the power of your love that you're one of the good guys.

The trouble with a Man-Hater is that she doesn't recognize a good guy when she gets one. Even the smallest indiscretion, like leaving the toilet seat up or not being able to find something when it's right under your nose, will reveal the permanent unforgivable rotten core she sees lurking inside all men.

The Man-Hater often covers her basic dislike and mistrust of all men with feminist grievances. She's not putting down men, she's defending women.

No matter how much you love a Man-Hater, you won't be able to make up for the wrongs suffered by her and all the other women in the world, which she'll expect you to do. Don't even think about being the good guy who changes her mind about men.

The Waffler

The Waffler just can't make up her mind. She can't decide if she wants you or someone else. She can't decide if she wants to have a relationship or just fool around. One week she's a member of the girls-just-want-to-have-fun club, and the next she's talking about having babies.

The Waffler hates making dates in advance. "Call me Friday and we'll talk about Saturday night." Or "I won't know until I talk to my veterinarian to see how my sick cat is doing." Greed keeps the Waffler from making any irrevocable decisions. If she commits to going out with you too soon, well, something better may just come along and then where will she be?

The Waffler breaks dates all the time, because something better does come along or because she simply changes her mind. The Waffler has a fantasy man in mind and a fantasy relationship. Since nobody's reality ever lives up to her fantasies, a Waffler who makes a date ahead of time begins to dread the date as it approaches. She knows you can never be as terrific as she is hoping you'll be.

One reason the Waffler isn't fun to be with is because she's never happy in the moment. She's always yearning for someone else, someone taller, stronger, richer, better in bed -- someone she'll never find.

The Walking Wounded

Because she is just divorced or ending a long-term relationship, the Walking Wounded needs a interim relation- ship while she figures out what happened, who she is, where her self-esteem went, and what she's going to do with her life.

Should you make the mistake of accepting the assignment, you'll be in for an unlimited amount of crying towel duty. The Walking Wounded will spend hours telling you how that monster did her wrong. She'll replay her last relationship ad nauseum, and your life will be filled with stories of what he did yesterday and today and what he's going to do tomorrow.

She spends most of her time talking, thinking, wondering, worrying about him instead of you. You'll always feel like she loves him more than she loves you even though he treated her so badly; and so you try harder to treat her even better. You bring flowers, you tell her you love her forty times a day, you buy her presents. But no matter what you do, the shadow of her broken heart hangs over your relationship.

Let some other guy be her interim relationship.

The Supervisor

The Supervisor is a perfectionist who goes around assessing the performance of the world to see if it lives up to her exalted standards. Since nothing is ever perfect, she's constantly telling you what's wrong with everything.

At first, it can be flattering that someone with such high expectations and good taste has chosen you. So it's you and she, the two perfect people, lined up against an imperfect world. But soon you start to realize the imperfections in each other, and you turn on each other.

She realizes that your lapels are three-eighths of an inch too wide and that you're wearing last year's cuff. No sooner does she get all your clothes updated than she realizes that something is wrong with your job, or your car, or your apartment. Finding things wrong with the world is her way of life, so she can be very difficult to live with on an everyday basis.

You begin to realize that no matter what you do, no matter how much you let her run your life, it's still not perfect enough. When she realizes that you can't do anything right, she takes over living for you. Eventually, either you succumb, have a frontal lobotomy, and spend the rest of your life following her around; or you grow a beard and start wearing clothes from the Salvation Army to get her out of your life.

How To Avoid Them

Getting more serious now, the best way to avoid witches, bitches, and crazy ladies of all varieties is to understand that they have neurotic needs, whereas normal women have normal wants.

What Normal Women Want:

Family ties

What Witches, Bitches, and Crazy Ladies Need:

To use you for their own agenda without caring what happens to you
A man to make their lives okay
Everything all at once
Unconditional love
An endless party

If you're attracted to a woman who looks like one of the classic witches, bitches, or crazy ladies, or if she seems to have a neurotic need, stay away. If she's really sexy and coming on to you, it's hard to say no, but you can reprogram that first reaction. Instead of thinking, "I wonder what she'd be like in bed," try thinking, "Whoops, there goes trouble for somebody, but it isn't going to be me!"

And remember, if you want to find happiness, try falling in love with a normal, well-adjusted woman.

What To Do If You Keep Winding Up With Crazy Ladies

Read "Spotting the Crazies" and "`Qualifying' Someone".

If you're really ready for a grown-up relationship, and you're not just using unsuitable women to avoid commitment, do the exercises in "Developing Realistic Criteria" below. 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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