Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How to tell Mr. Right from Mr. Wrong

So you’ve met a man you think might be Mr. Right. He’s charming, attentive, romantic and the sex is hot enough to catch your socks on fire if you were wearing them. But is he as perfect as you think he is? Are you seeing the real person or is he putting on a show? Is he a keeper or should you run for the nearest exit?

Here’s how to tell:

Listen. Listen to what he tells you—not about you and how wonderful he says you are, but what he says about other people he has or has had relationships with. Pay attention to what he says about four key people: his ex girlfriends/wives, his mother, his co-workers and himself.

His ex girlfriends and wives

No one has a string of happy relationships behind him or her. Relationships work until they don’t. Sometimes they work for a lifetime, sometimes only for a few months with every time frame in between. People can and do make mistakes by hooking up with not-so-nice people.

The bottom line is this: if your man has one ex who is a bitch—she probably is. But if all his ex girlfriends and wives are “bitches,” “whores” and/or “psychos,” the relationship problem wasn’t with them—the problem was—and is—with him. If all his past relationships have been with women he now calls bitches or whores, either he’s drawn to those kinds of people or that’s how he thinks of women in general and that’s how he’ll come to view you. When he got involved with those women, he told them the same thing he’s telling you—how special they were, how they were different from all the other women he’s dated, how much he loved them. Why else would they have gotten involved with him?

If he’s cheating on wife with you, keep in mind that he promised her even more than he promised you. If he’ll lie to her, he’ll lie to you. As the saying goes, “if they’ll do it with you, they’ll do it to you.”

His mother

A lot could be said about the mother-son relationship, but I’ll only focus on two things: The traits your man admires most about his mother will likely be the traits he’ll want in a wife. The things his mother did for him are likely the things he’ll expect from you when the relationship gets serious. He may not consciously be aware of his expectations, but they’re there.

His mother’s habits or behaviors that annoy him the most will be his hot buttons. If you do those same things—or if he thinks you’re doing those things—you’ll get a reaction instantly.

Get to know his mother, listen to what he says about her and ask yourself how alike or unlike her you are.

His co-workers

Our jobs sometimes require us to perform certain tasks that we would not prefer to not do or that go against the grain. A manager might have to fire people. Not easy. A doctor might dread giving patients bad news. We might have to act more aggressively to get the job done than we would prefer to act in our personal life. We might have to make hard business decisions. Tasks and job requirements change. Character does not. Our public/work character and our private character are the same. People are not dishonest, unethical slackers at the office and paragons of virtue at home.

The way a man speaks of the people he works with is a good indicator of his basic character and personality. Yes, bad bosses and annoying co-workers happen. But if every boss he’s ever had is an “asshole,” he’s telling you how he feels toward authority in general. If all his co-workers are “morons,” he telling you how he gets along with people—and how he’ll eventually get along with you.

My nephew has a saying: “If you meet an asshole, you’ve met an asshole. If you meet three or four—it might be you.” If your man has had an interaction with a not-so-nice person in his life, that’s life. But most people he comes into contact with are not nice, either his personality attracts those kinds of people or that’s the way he views them. Either way, it should be a cause for concern.


Lastly, listen to what he says about himself. Here’s the kicker: men who are assholes will tell you they are! When a man tells you he’s a jerk, believe him. No one knows him better that he knows himself.

Like a spin doctor, he’ll present the information in such a way that you won’t take it seriously , but the truth will be there. He’ll present it as joke, or will turn it into a compliment about you. “I’m such an asshole, but that was before I met you. You’ve reformed me.” “I’m such a jerk. I don’t deserve someone like you.” “I cheated on my wife and my ex girlfriends, but I didn’t love them the way I love you.”

If you want to know what kind of person your man is, listen. He’ll tell you what you need to know so can make your decisions accordingly.

You deserve someone special. Make sure he is.


Gem Sivad said...

"When a man tells you he's an asshole..." Words were never more true.:)

Great post!


the irish librarian said...

This post should be read by every woman by the age of 18 (if not earlier). In fact, it should be taped to her bathroom mirror!

And I totally agree that when a man says disparaging things about himself-it might be the only time in his life he's telling the truth! Pay attention!
Well said!

Jean said...

Great post and a must-read for young women and older women alike! Some men are gems, but some are not and we need to learn to be able to tell the difference.

Mary Quast said...

Great post! I wish I would have read it when I was younger. So true! I'm sharing this!

Kayelle Allen said...

Excellent advice. This is the kind of thing young women should learn at their mother's knee from the time they're babes. I always taught my daughter to listen to what her boyfriends said about their mothers and how they treated her. She's now happily married to a man who treats her the same way he treated his mom -- like a queen. In other words, just like dear old dad, who's a king.

Anonymous said...

The only true thing my ex ever said to me was that he destroyed everything he touched. I should've believed him.

I won't make that mistake again.

Savanna Kougar said...

Cara, so true. When a guy tells you he's an asshole... BELIEVE HIM!!!

Cara Bristol said...

Ah...the lessons we learn...