Being a Badass Chick who attracts lots of men, I have learned through trial and a heap of error, that certain types of guys do not make good boyfriends or husbands. They are like rotten tomatoes brought home from the grocery store. They do not get better with time, love, or hope. To save trouble and improve my shopping skills, I began to approach the subject of dating the way a scientist conducts a lab experiment. In the end, I discovered that the dead-end mates fall into seven distinct categories. (See “Where Have All the Good Men Gone?“).
The first of the seven categories is ScarMan.
Just as unworkable as the ScarMen who idolize their exes, are the ones who spend the whole evening bad-mouthing them
He goes by different names. Some call him, “The Hurt Puppy,” “The Whining Wounded,” “Battle-scarred Galactica.” ScarMan seems to have just gotten off a relationship and can only obsess about it to the exclusion of everything else, including you. He spends the entire evening talking about: (A) How great the ex was or, (B) What a total bitch she was. In both cases, he completely ignores the fact that he is out with you nor does he ask you much about yourself, like “How was your day?”
If you are looking for a satisfying relationship, where you feel you are first in a man’s heart, throw ScarMan back on the beach. His “poor me, me, me” routine does not get better with time.
Stuck on Her!
In reality, his last relationship may have been ages ago, but he has not moved on yet. The most common ScarMan is the guy who was stunned when his woman left him. He didn’t have a clue that she was even unhappy! By the time she told him, she had already moved on emotionally. Meanwhile, he still clings to her memory. He was clueless then and he is clueless now. How did he not notice that his ex was unhappy? Don’t think you are going to be his key to enlightenment.
If the breakup was recent, don’t try to be the good nurse administering to his wounds. He only wants her and if his neediness melts your heart now, eventually you will be annoyed as he drones on and on about her. Clue: He thinks constantly about her and therefore he talks constantly about her. That means he is not thinking about you. You will resentfully mutter to yourself, “Hello! You are out with me. What makes you think that my idea of a good evening is talking about her all night? Get over it!”
Let Go Already!
Another ScarMan variety is the veteran of a breakup or widowhood that happened a long time ago. These ScarMen act like it just happened yesterday. Don’t think that you will be the one to turn them around with the sexiness and intrigue that has worked so well with other guys. They are not open to the new. Besides, if they are widowers, their wives were saints who never did any wrong and you are in competition with Joan of Arc or Mother Theresa.
What a Bitch!
Just as unworkable as the ScarMen who idolize their exes, are the ones who spend the whole evening bad-mouthing them. Don’t think that you will come out like a glowing rose in comparison. If he talks this badly about his ex, what will he say about you if it doesn’t work out? Basically, it is annoying to listen to a guy go on and on about another woman whoever and whatever she was or did, especially if he is out with you.
Good Girl/Bad Girl!
One example is my gorgeous friend Carina. She invited me to her house for dinner. She had been married for several years. During the whole dinner her husband talked about how horrible his ex wife was. No matter what my friend did or said, it was only a point of departure for him to mention his ex.
Who wants to hear about someone’s ex-wife all night long? We certainly did not. A few sentences here and there are all right. But Carina lacked the badassness to say, “That was then and this is now. Let’s talk about us. Talk about our projects together. Ask our guest about herself. But don’t bore us with a past that neither of us can do anything about!”
She Beat Me!
Another example was the ScarMan Ted. “My ex-wife used to come after me with a frying pan and beat me up on a regular basis,” he said to me across the romantic candle-lit dinner table. Over the six-course meal he regaled me with stories of the various ways he was her punching bag. His detailed account was destroying my appetite. I was beginning to picture myself practicing one of my kickboxing moves on his head too. Maybe that was the only way his ex could break through his self-absorption.
When I asked Ted why he put up with it for so long he said, “Because I love her and I kept hoping she’d change.” He still wanted her back! She had already moved on emotionally long before she left him. But she still lived on in his memory and I had to hear about it!
Difficult to Change!
It is difficult for ScarMan to change. It has to occur to him that he is a bore, stuck in the past. He must recognize that he will never be happy and he can never make another person happy if he persists with his war stories and tales of The Glory Days with Her.
He might be with you, but he is not really “with you.” You might be tempted to rescue him, or think that you will be the one woman who gets his attention away from his ex. You might turn yourself inside out to find ways to make him forget. But your self-confidence will erode as you fail to compete with the past.
Time: The Healer?
Time might heal his wounds, but how long do you want to wait around for the scars to fade? In the end, it is much easier to find someone else, who is emotionally free to be interested in you and your conversation; someone with the potential to love you. Unless you are so smitten with him (for some chemical reason beyond logic) that you can tolerate his absorption with the past, throw him back! Otherwise you will always feel secondary, even if he is first in your heart.