Some women over 60 have re-entered the dating game, often after a marriage that ended by death or divorce. They hope to find Mr. Right while avoiding Mr. Wrong.
This year, in his 20th book, Weed Out The Users The Couch Potatoes And The Losers, expert relationship counselor Gregg Michaelsen describes three families of the Wrong clan – Users, Losers and Snoozers – and contrasts them with Mr. Right, a man you can link up with, if you are at your best.
The User is a con artist who will pose as Mr. Right, initially giving you respect, attention, consideration, perhaps even charming your friends and family. Your first few dates on the town are followed by excuses to stay in, at your home or his.
He sizes you up with questions that seem attentive but are calculated to find your vulnerabilities. He’ll continue to date others. You’ll be asked for favors, but get little in return. Soon, you’ll find he is not interested in what interests you. His conversation centers on himself.
Eventually, Michaelsen writes, “He doesn’t listen, doesn’t make plans, and can’t remember your birthday. He is a narcissist.” The world, including your world, is to revolve around him.
What should you do? Give him time to expose himself by his actions. Slow down the progression of the relationship, and try to observe him objectively. Wait a month or longer before you decide he is worth continuing to date.
The next category is a man who sticks around, more parasite than partner. The Loser won’t commit. Perhaps he’s endured sad break-ups or saw his parents’ marriage fall apart.
Whatever the reason, he may think he wants a committed relationship, and you may think so, too, but it is not likely to happen. “Years could go by before you finally realize he is useless,” Michaelsen writes.
I’m familiar with such a relationship. I advised the lady in question to clear her decks, open up her dance card, and make room for someone better. She did, and she has found herself a better man. However, she had ‘invested’ about five years with the loser, mostly a waste of time.
Someone wisely said, “You can’t fly like an eagle if surrounded by turkeys.” Even one turkey can take up too much time and energy, too much psychological ‘space.’
Michaelsen suggests an observant four-date sequence to find out what’s true about the man you are dating:
Machiavellian? Acid tests? Yes, but dating is not playing bean-bag. You are weeding, making room in your garden for the right person. If you marry a loser, you will lose, too. You’ll be kept waiting repeatedly. He’ll be lazy and selfish. He may have an ex-something still in his life.
As a lover, he’ll be unexciting, unless stimulated by porn. Soon, you become an afterthought. When you need him, he’ll be Missing in Action. Don’t blame him; you’ll only waste your time, as he expertly plays the Victim.
Don’t despair. According to the author, two more types hold promise: the Snoozer and Mr. Right. A Snoozer can be transformed and trained to become a Mr. Right. Basically good, Snoozers need care and feeding, judicious use of carrot and stick, and you must present some challenge and mystery.
Michaelsen writes that the snoozers are inconsistent. They reluctantly – and sometimes – take responsibility in the relationship. Usually, they do not carry lots of emotional baggage from the past, and they can be encouraged to become what you seek, if you identify what needs changing, inspire change, and support the outcome.
You are entering into a period of wielding carrot and stick, praise for good behavior, withdrawal for bad. Think of how you’d get a puppy socialized. Effective, if not grand.
However, this seems manipulative. It resembles the adage that women marry men they hope will change, and men marry women they hope will not change.
At the top of Michaelson’s list of positive attributes of Mr. Right is that he takes 100% responsibility. This is the opposite of the victim mentality. He has goals and plans, enthusiasm, respect for others, reliability. Furthermore, he is “always in the chase mode,” always wooing you, openly or subtly.
He is always chasing you because you have made yourself into a ‘high-value woman,’ one any self-confident man would want.
Like creating that mythical professional baseball field in the movie The Field of Dreams, if you have made yourself a ‘high-value’ woman, you will attract ‘high-value’ men, and you’ll avoid the Users, Losers and Snoozers.
Are you or a friend dating? How are you distinguishing User, Loser and Snoozer from Mr. Right? Please join the discussion.
Tags Senior Dating Advice