Mel asks “Why is it that men can totally transform themselves into the ideal partner when they finally fall in love, or meet ‘the one’, especially, if they’ve been bastards to their previous girlfriends?

Do they really keep up their good behaviour throughout their relationship (i.e. live happily ever after scenario)?

Wouldn’t such a man fall into his old pattern of behaviour when a difficulty arises in the relationship?

What truth does the idea that ‘past behaviour is a true indicator of future behaviour’ bear on this?”

OK before I answer these questions, you need to understand what a ‘bastard’ is. This is a man who is self-centred and disrespectful to women through both actions and words. He’s inconsiderate and lives by the hard and fast rule of treat her mean and keep her keen and he’s not changing his ways anytime soon. Lying, stealing, cheating, beating, deceiving, abusing mentally or physically are just some of the things that may be part of his repertoire. He often plays mind games with women to ensure that they end up so f*cked up that they either stay with him because they’ve become stupefied, or continues to seek out further bastards when the relationship is over because they no longer have a great sense of self-worth and have become bastard junkies.

A guy isn’t a bastard if he was a decent enough guy but he broke up with you for whatever reason. It’s important to understand that a guy is not a bastard just because things didn’t work about between you.

Why do men ‘transform’ into the ideal partner?

Relationships are a result of the sum of two people and other than when you get those smarmy bastards that dupe you into believing that they’re nice guys, most women who go out with bastards choose to. Call it drama seeking, call it making a rod for your own back, but sometimes we get exactly what we’re looking for. In the same respect, when he is in bastard mode, he tends to go for women that make it easy for him to behave in this way. But yes, sometimes a leopard does change its spots and the bastard becomes The Ideal Man.

What actually happens is that for whatever reason, and it isn’t always explainable, the guy feels inspired to be different and to be more than he was before. Men don’t change because you ask them to and will only stop being emotionally unavailable or a bastard when it suits and not a moment sooner. In order for a man to really fall in love he will need get in touch with his emotions and if he was a bad boy or emotionally unavailable and you were with him, this would have been impossible. Things and people do change and it may well be that he is in a different place mentally to where he is now and this has yielded positive relationship interaction. However – some men haven’t actually changed and are just going through an extended ‘chase’ phase (where they blow their hottest) but they eventually they start to blow rather cold…

Do they maintain the good behaviour?

Who knows? It’s different strokes for different folks and unfortunately 1) we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors and 2) his or her version of ‘ideal’ may be very different to someone else’s. Some men are accidental actors. They are so distanced from the reality of themselves and their interactions that they don’t even recognise how dangerous their behaviour is. If the guy hasn’t dealt with the issues that governed his behaviour then it is very likely that he’ll wake up one day, panic, and retreat to his previous form. Sometimes a guy mistreats a woman as a result of being unable to cope and communicate with his emotions and whatever struggles he is going through. Any woman he goes out with during this period will get the sh*tty end of the stick, regardless. If he’s really in a different place mentally to where he was before then he may well maintain his “good behaviour” but again this is all subjective.

Wouldn’t such a man fall into his old pattern of behaviour when a difficulty arises in the relationship?

This is all dependent on whether he has resolved the issues that governed his previous relationships. How we choose to cope with the rough times when we’re in a relationship is one of the key factors that determine its success. It depends on what the difficulty is and it also depends on how evolved he is in the current relationship. It is very possible that he has made a concerted effort to get in touch with his emotions and acknowledge things that stood in the way of having healthy relationships. Obviously if he hasn’t changed then it spells big trouble for the relationship.

What truth does the idea that ‘past behaviour is a true indicator of future behaviour’ bear on this?

An individuals past relationship behaviour is only some of an indicator to their future behaviour. It wholly depends on what it is and whether it has been dealt with but as a general rule I advise people to steer clear of obvious red flag behaviour. That said, you don’t need a reference from a man’s previous girlfriends because it is down to you as the individual to judge your man on how he is with you. Very few people can be objective about someone they used to go out with and who potentially broke their heart. Suddenly he’s a wanker, has a small penis, and was crap in the sack but that’s not what they used to think when they were begging him not to leave. Let’s be fair – We all evolve and circumstances and a different mindset make us very different in relationships. I used to be emotionally unavailable, a commitment-phobe, and a pain in the arse in relationships but I have changed. We all have the right and opportunity to be more than we were before.

I get the sense that by asking these questions you hope to find some answers about a man who has done this with someone else. What IS important is that you don’t spend time wondering why he is so different with someone else than he was with you. It’s the not the same relationship, circumstances, or the same people. You can’t validate yourself based on whether this guy could have been more than he was with you and it’s a matter of accepting that whatever and whoever he’s doing, it’s not with you. Many women derive their self-worth on how successful they are at the holding onto of a ‘bastard’ or emotionally unavailable man. If you manage to hold on and get him to change it’s like some sort of victory and you get to feel you’re worthy. If he really was a bastard, he wasn’t worthy of your time or a relationship with you and it’s best to move on.

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