- Gender and Relationships
Why Do Men Sabotage Relationships By Doing The Houdini Act?
"Don't make me leave, please, I won't bother you... let me move in with you. I already slept in your bed." - SNL
Why do men sabotage perfectly good relationships? This is what motivates me to work as a freelance writer of relationship advice.
It's no mystery: I write relationship advice for experts-- for peanuts. Yes, I've read all the books, articles and lived through the toughest dating moments to know what all this is about. I'm proud of it and ashamed at the same time.
Why? Because I was married for 15 years, and didn't even know half the stuff I know now. I guess I read the cliff notes to make it until the whole ship sank. So now I'm ready for the full on SAT exam of love: I've done my research and I'll do a great job, I promise!
Only, there's a problem: the guys are not playing along according to the expert "rules."
What? You ask. Let me explain.
I refuse to follow any dating rules, other than be myself at all times. If that means getting too physical, too fast, then shoot-- I make mistakes, too. But I go into dates with my positive attitude, avoid the topic of ex-baggage, and live in the moment. Sounds like I should meet someone I can relate to by now, right? Wrong.
What have I learned? The rules don't mean a thing if the other person drops the ball.
Why do men keep sabotaging dating relationships? That is my final answer, er, question. Really. I thought men are looking for a connection, too-- at least the more mature ones. So why don't they give a woman a fair chance to get to know her before they decide she's not what he's looking for?
I started to realize a pattern in all my relationship attempts: I was open-minded about dating all kinds of men: short, balding, younger, older, students (in college-- of course!), shy, cocky-- you name it. My main deal-breaker was if a guy was too physical or negative about life, but many just stopped communicating with me after only one or two dates.
And so I call this the "Houdini Act".... when a guy disappears, and you're left wondering "why?"
I read a great book on this subject by John Gray Ph.D., Mars and Venus On a Date. In his relationship expert position, he suggested that for men, the best way to decide if you are compatible with a woman is to date one woman at a time, and give her several weeks of dating to see if you feel any connection (*laughing in my mind*). From my experience, it seems most men do the opposite: they date multiple women, sort of like sampling chocolates from a gift box, tasting to see which one they like the best. Only, John Gray says this very act keeps men from finding true love (since they have one track minds, and several women can confuse their line of thought).
Meanwhile, he suggests that women do the opposite: date several men (as to not get emotionally attached to just one) as she gets to know them, and picks one that best suits her. Now, most women do the opposite by dating one guy at a time, and regardless of whether or not he's right for her, she sort of settles into her "relationship" with him-- at least until he pulls the Houdini Act and she can start looking again.
So, relationships have eluded me for some time, and I have to say: I do love my freedom. But I never realized how hard it is to even establish a relationship. Or maybe I'm having a streak of bad luck with guys who are going through more drama than I am. I'll keep watching for a guy to come along who's as open-minded (and has an open heart) and patient when it comes to finding love. I think he's stuck in traffic somewhere.