As men, we play different roles in our life: friend, brother, co-worker, neighbor, etc.
But, some roles take on a toxic life of their own, especially when they cross boundaries into your relationships and into the world of getting the girl. There are seven roles that guys often (and sometimes unknowingly) adopt those sabotage relationships with the women they love.
In moderation, these roles are like wine — fine and, sometimes, even healthy. But when these roles become a man’s entire persona, the relationship turns into a giant headache of a union that leaves both parties swearing off dating for good.
The trick to being a well-rounded, emotionally available man is to pick and choose the best qualities from each role to fully support the emotional needs of your woman.
The seven types of men who make relationships miserable for women:
1. The Father
Sometimes referred to as ‘Daddy’, the man who fills the Father role offers support, safety, and security, all things that go along with an actual father’s providing nature. A woman finds this attractive because it makes her feel safe and reassured. Sounds healthy? Well, so does apple pie.
In reality, the Father doesn’t see his partner as an equal; he sees her as someone who fills the role of a daughter, as someone he needs to parent. When she is wrong, he scolds her or dominates her, for instance.
What this eventually creates is a dynamic where the woman rebels and does things just to spite her man, because that’s what happens if you treat someone like a child; they start acting like one.
2. The Bad Boy
If every romantic comedy has taught us one thing, it’s that some women always do go for the Bad Boy.
He’s exciting, he’s daring, he’s adventurous, he often comes with a motorcycle (or at least a leather jacket). He’s attractive because he’s not trying to please anyone; he’s simply being who he is, and this type of honesty is something many people seek in a relationship. But the Bad Boy is certainly not all good.
The downside to him is that a woman can never truly trust the Bad Boy. He’s honest, yes, but he’s only true to himself and out for what he wants (in other words, he’s selfish). This means that if he wants to sleep with another girl, or fifty, he’ll have no qualms about doing so.
After all, it’s his way or the highway, and women know this and, for that reason, they only see the Bad Boy as a short-term thrill.
3. The Patsy
The Patsy is the guy who is ideal for bringing home to Mom and Dad for his compassion, understanding, reliability, and moldability; he’ll sacrifice himself to make sure he wins the approval of others.
To put it simply, he looks great on paper … but, like paper, he’s flat and one-dimensional and that’s why a relationship with him becomes something women eventually want to shred. The Patsy is impossible to date long-term because a woman feels trapped by him. Since he’s the opposite of a jerk, she’d be a jerk for dumping him. Yet, his emotional dishonesty makes it hard to trust him.
He’s so intent on pleasing everyone that he never says how he feels or what he truly thinks, and that makes him too much of a wildcard to invest in emotionally. And it ultimately turns the Patsy into the nice guy who always finishes last, Mr. Friend Zone, Mr. Unlucky in Love, and Mr. Perpetual Hand Cramp.
4. The Knight in Shining Armor
Nearly every female Disney character has ridden off with her hero — the man who swoops in to save the day. Charm, romance, confidence — it’s all a turn-on. But there’s a reason we don’t see what happens to these characters after the credits start rolling.
When a woman relies fully on her man (or anyone, for that matter), she becomes co-dependent. By expecting someone to save her again and again and again, she fails to develop the necessary skills to save herself.
Their relationship then evolves into one where the woman needs her man, even if she doesn’t necessarily want him. This gives the Knight in Shining Armor a sort of power and dominance over her that is never healthy, not even for cartoon characters.
5. The Business Man
The Business Man is rational, predictable, and concerned with fairness.
These are traits that get him promoted at his firm, but in love, they can turn him into a miser, so concerned with things being equal that he keeps track of who pays for what, who last did the dishes, and who owes who an orgasm.
As one can probably guess, romance isn’t the Business Man’s forte.
Relationships are a two-way street; that’s in self-help books and on bumper stickers everywhere. So, yes, things are fair, but at the cost of tenderness, sacrifice, and love. There are times when he expects to give more and, other times when she will.
6. The Peter Pan
Straight out of Neverland, the Peter Pan is the man who has never grown up. He’s fun, for sure, and women adore his whimsical nature, and his light-hearted playfulness, go-with-the-flow attitude, and spontaneity are all attractive. But everyone has to grow up at some point.
What the Peter Pan fails to get is his partner’s respect. He has plans that his woman knows will never come to fruition, he isn’t willing to put in hard work or consistent effort, and he’s a perpetual underachiever.
He can’t actually deal with real emotions and real problems, and that makes his relationships ultimately very fake.
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7. The Seducer
The Seducer has one focus: his woman. He says exactly what she wants to hear and makes her feel like she’s more attractive than any other girl in the whole world — even more attractive than the hypothetical baby Angelina Jolie and Halle Berry have together.
That, of course, makes him compelling, because after all, what woman doesn’t want to hear those things?
The problem is that the Seducer doesn’t really desire a relationship, he merely wants the chase to flatter his own self-worth. Once he lands his conquest, he isn’t sure what to do with her so he just bats her around like a cat does a mouse.
He’s scared by the thought of long-term and is not marriage material. Some women will fall for this, others will see through him like a window that has just been washed.
Adopting one of the above roles from time to time isn’t likely to hurt a relationship.
And the truth is, most men have a little of each persona inside of them.
But playing one part, and only one part, creates a dynamic that makes it difficult for a relationship to survive, and all but impossible for it to prosper.
Clayton Olson is an international relationship coach, author, and speaker. He delivers private virtual coaching sessions and leads online group workshops for both women and men.