I get a lot of emails from readers and a common theme running through them is choosing a man for sometimes obscure reasons and taking a judgement that he is great relationship material based on this, and then ignoring clear red flag behaviour because their mind is set on their perception of him. Now I’m not saying that some of the things listed below are not good characteristics in a guy, but in the hands of a woman with low self-esteem and a reluctance to use her judgement skills, some of this stuff is just plain madness! In part one, I look at the first 5 most common reasons…

1. He’s married/has a girlfriend

You deduce: The fact that he’s married (or even divorced) or that he has a girlfriend shows that he is capable of commitment, hence he is a great candidate for a relationship because he’s not afraid of them. It’s just ‘her’ that’s the problem.

The reality: Assclowns get married and have girlfriends too! He is the problem. If a man is having an affair with you, I don’t care if he’s been married for a gazillion years, he is being dishonest and he is not behaving in a committed manner. Yes it shows that he can have a girlfriend/get married but you have to look at the bigger picture and recognise that being in a relationship doesn’t curtail his wandering eye.

2. He’s really good at his job.

You deduce: He’s really good at his job, which shows a dedication and commands respect, which seems to appeal to you. If he’s been there for a long time, you believe that he’s responsible.

The reality: The fact that someone is good at their job means… they’re good at their job. That’s it! If he’s worked at the place for a long time, it may be because the company or the job is the best thing since sliced bread, it may be that he doesn’t like change, and if it’s exactly the same job for a long time, it may show underachievement. Mr Unavailables are often very good at their jobs because they focus their energy there, blaming it as a reason for their lack of commitment and drive for the relationship, or using it to wow Fallback Girls in the workplace into having a secret office liaison. Anybody can be good at their job if they want to, but it’s not an indicator of them being suitable relationship material. Obviously if you want to interview them for a job….

3. He has a lot of friends/everybody respects him

You deduce: He’s liked by everyone and respected by his peers, the town, the village, so that must make him really great relationship material because he’s been validated by others. If you have low self-esteem, you can bask in the radiant glow generated by him.

The reality: If one more woman tells me something about everyone at the school/zoo/shop liking him, I may weep! Who cares? Men who don’t spend time with their girlfriends or on their relationships, often do charm the crap out of people. Mr Unavailables are consumate performers and charmers, when it suits. If you went out with him tonight, he may well treat you like the best thing since sliced bread because his ego needs the people who see you to perceive him as Mr Wonderful. The fact that he’s liked and respected, only matters if that is reflected in your relationship.

4. He’s really well educated

You deduce: He’s got a strong educational background so he must be schooled in relationships. Or, you really admire and respect him because your father was well educated and an overachiever, or you desire him because your own father wasn’t well educated.

The reality: I like well educated guys but it doesn’t mean a damn thing if he mistreats you– it might just mean he’s cleverer about it! Again this is a characteristic that means nothing if it’s not in the context of other great things. I’m not telling you to go for a dumb guy; I’m saying don’t isolate one thing and overlook many other more problematic issues.

5. He goes to church/very religious

You deduce: He’s a churchgoer/very religious so he must have high morals, be ready to get married, and keen to treat you well. He’s a gooooood man.

The reality: I’m not knocking people that go to church but the fact that a man goes to church shows…that he goes to church. Do you have any idea how many wife beaters go to church each Sunday? Thieves? Serial Killers? Being religious and going to church is a possible indicator of strong moral fibre and a good person but again, if he doesn’t treat you in a manner that reflects this, it means zip.

Check out part 2

What can you learn from this?

Don’t take one characteristic that you value highly and dine off it in isolation. Look at the bigger picture. Does his behaviour and how he treats you match your perception of him?


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