Is your man a real Peter Pan?
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Just idly chatting, as you do...
Sitting with a friend in her garden idly chatting, as you do, we were talking about some of the men we know. Their good points, bad points, relationships and so on. Typical Saturday afternoon 'glass of wine in the garden' chatter. We were having this good old chinwag about one particular man and why he doesn't seem to be involved in any relationship, ever. After sipping more wine, it suddenly came to us that this man is just like Peter Pan. We thought about it, had more wine, and found that in our pasts we had accidentally stumbled upon many Peter Pans. Some were our best friends, and others, we had hoped would be more than that but it had never ever developed that way. Another bottle of wine, and we were ready to discuss the implications of trying to get involved with a Peter Pan, and its effect on our sanity.
Peter Pan Syndrome
The amazing thing, is that when I got home and blurrily focused my alcohol-glazed eyes on the computer screen, I found out that we did not invent this whole Peter Pan thing. Some bloody twit got there before us. So we didn't stumble on a new phenomena never previously thought of. Here we were celebrating our discovery with another bottle of wine, and it had already been discovered and written about. In 1983, to be precise, by a man called Dan Kiley. The book was called, strangely enough, The Peter Pan Syndrome. Now, how a man can write a book about a very male syndrome, I don't know.
When I read about the Peter Pan Syndrome, I disagreed with the findings. The men I know who are like Peter Pans are not like this at all. Dan Kiley said that men with Peter Pan Syndrome show the following psychological traits:
- their emotions become paralysed or are exaggerated
- they can't just experience joy, they have to be hysterically happy
- they can't just feel angry, it had to be a mad murderous rage
- they can't just be disappointed, it has to be a huge deep dark depression.
Now, the men I know who are like Peter Pans are nothing like that at all. That to me sounds more like old Danny boy is describing sociopaths. And when I looked further into what he said, it made me really think he was giving the wrong name to this syndrome. I actually felt angry he had used Peter Pan incorrectly! When old Dan the Man spoke about how Peter Pan Syndrome sufferers dealt with relationships, this is what he said:
Males diagnosed with this syndrome
- Find it hard to show their love and express their feelings
- Lose touch with their emotions and have no idea what they feel
- Procrastinate and put off making a commitment
- Feel guilty and blame others for everything
- Have difficulty in relaxing and are always tense
- Have no real connection with friends. Believes friends can only be bought
- Easily panics and feels desperately alone in their attempts to belong
- Alcohol or drug abuse is used to get high in order to drown out the existence of daily life challenges
- Have a problem with their mother
- Don't get on with the Dad and probably not even talking to them
- They believe their parents don't love them and never approve of what they do
- Have problems with authority figures
- Tend to be emotionally immature and exhibit silly behavior
- Have a macho attitude that hides their deep inner insecurities in attempts to hide the fear of rejection
- Become extremely jealous and exhibit violent outbursts
- Become easily provoked to fits of rage when a woman asserts any independence
The types of men we were discussing who we thought were like Peter Pan were nothing like that! Peter Pans are loveable which is part of their attraction. The man he is decsribing is just a dickhead!
Danny boy did interestingly also come up with Wendy Syndrome as he reckoned every Peter Pan needed a Wendy. Now, with this part I do think he hit the nail on the head. A woman with Wendy Syndrome is the responsible person behind every Peter Pan, his mother figure or the woman who 'mothers' him and helps him to deal with all the things in the world he doesn't like. I can see myself as a person who suffers from Wendy Syndrome.
Which one are you?
Peter Pan is a real man
While I think both women and men can be a little Peter-Pannish, it is mostly men. You do get women who wear mini-skirts when they're sixty and try to look young by having plastic surgery and are absolutely obsessed with their looks. They tell you some rapper is their favourite to impress you with how young at heart they are, but in reality they listen to Max Bygraves or Nat King Cole. But, it's mostly the Hollywood types, I reckon. Personally, I've never met a real woman who has had plastic surgery to make them look twenty when they are seventy, however, I have met women who try and act like young teenage girls when they are in the thirty to sixty year old bracket, and it does come across as pathetic and desperate. Oh well, to each his own.
So, back to these men and what we think identifies a man with Peter Pan Syndrome. I have to say, I find these men very likeable and easy to love. However, loving one of these men could make you a little like poor Tinkerbell. No matter what you do, how much you give, how hot you look, like Tinkerbell, Peter Pan will always only look on you as a best friend and will never commit to a full on relationship with you. They are commitmentphobic at heart because committing is something adults do and they don't really want to go that route. Not all Peter Pans display all the symptoms or traits I've listed here. If you are with a man that seems to avoid taking the next step and making that final commitment to you, you could be wasting your time with them. I guess, it depends on what you want out of life. If you are happy to be a Wendy, or a Tinkerbell, then there isn't a problem.
- like playing xbox360, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3 even though they are over thirty
- buy all the gadgets available and collect them as little boys collect Pokémon cards
- have a group of guys they hang out with doing sports, clubs, pubs, etc
- have a woman or women as their best friend(s) and confidante
- are a little obsessed with their looks and try and dress younger than what they are
- listen to 'young' music that doesn't fit with their age
- will drop their partner for younger model
- thinks a flash car makes them look younger
- will lead a woman on and when the woman thinks there is a relationship, will pull back
- is quite competitive amongst other Peter Pans
- often has some kind of an addiction problem
- even if they are in a satisfying relationship, will continue looking and chatting to other women on the internet as this makes them feel young
- might have had an overprotective mother, parents or been the only boy in a family of women
- often react to arguments with immature comments or behaviour
- don't like taking responsibility for anything. Nothing is their fault.
- don't like having serious discussions, especially about the future, as they live for the here and now.
- can't understand why you want to stop having fun and behave in a more adult fashion.
- make great dads as they are on the same level as their kids
- turn all conversations to them. They are very 'me' or 'look at me' type people
- are great to hang out with as a friend
- love the TV remote more than they love you
- change their women faster than you change your underwear
- change their interests faster than they change their women, following every new fad that comes along.
- freak out when they spot a grey hair on their head or if they start to go bald
- need constant reassurance about how good or young they look for their age
Peter Pan is a real man, not a fictional character. He is a man who doesn't want to grow up and might still try some of his behaviours his mom told him were cute when he was little, to try and get out of trouble. Some women aid and abet this behaviour by 'mothering' Peter Pan. These are the Wendys. Some women do all kinds of things to try and make Peter Pan commit to them, but he never will. These are the Tinkerbells. He prefers to hang out with his mates, the 'Lost Boys' and run to Wendy when he needs help. For him, Tinkerbell is just a 'gadget', a 'plaything.' Is your man, a real Peter Pan?