This is Part 2 in a series of posts, if you missed it please begin with Part 1 by clicking here.
In this series we are looking at various types of men to avoid. Narcissists, hot and cold and emotionally unavailable men. The behaviors of these three seem to overlap a great deal which can make it difficult to decide which sort of challenging man you’ve come across.
While hot and cold men or emotionally unavailable men are difficult, the most damaging to a woman seems to be the narcissists. They leave women full of self doubt, insecurity and wondering what they could have done better. Before I share the story of a friend let’s look at the definition of narcissism.
Narcissism: excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance.
Synonyms: vanity, self love, self admiration, self absorption, egotism, conceit, self centered-ness.
In Psychology narcissism is viewed as extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.
There are many articles available online discussing narcissists and relationships with them. You will find the links to some of these at the end of this post.
Now, for the story.
I have a friend who does not fit the typical characteristics of a victim for a narcissist. She is a single mother who is very devoted to her child. She has a wonderful career and works very hard to be financially stable and independent. She has been though a bad marriage and divorce and when she does decide to be interested in a man she is looking for an equal partner not a one night stand or a sugar daddy. But she’s not really looking either, so it would take someone pretty amazing to become an important person in her life.
Recently this friend was in a position to get to know someone she was mildly interested in. At first he was great. He was determined to win her over, giving her the hard sell of all his great qualities and showing her that he would be a good addition to her life. So she gave him a chance despite her deep mistrust of men and relationships.
Things progressed until one evening when he was having dinner with her and her son she finally decided to ask “Are we dating?” This is a question that most women end up asking at some point or another just to clarify whether the relationship is going somewhere or whether seeing other people is still an option etc. His answer was No.
Considering that the “relationship” had already led to physical encounters and her introducing him to her son she was dumbfounded. He was the one who had pushed his way into her life, yet according to him they were nothing serious. She had made it clear from the beginning that she wasn’t looking for a casual fling, if she was going to invest her time and affection in someone it needed to be going somewhere. So what kind of jerk leads a woman to believe he’s looking for the same thing, then just backs off? A narcissist.
He sold himself, won her over and got what he wanted from her, then left her wondering just what she had done wrong. She had done nothing wrong, and in fact if you look at his history and speak to women from his past you’d probably find that this is his modus operandi. If a woman is not responding to him and falling for his charm he’ll up the ante and make himself into whatever she needs…temporarily. Once he wins her over the challenge is gone and he knows that she will soon see how flawed he is so he backs away leaving her to wonder what is wrong with her.
Even the strongest and most independent women will fall prey to a narcissist because he knows how to play to the things they want in their lives. He offers all that and more then backs off. He’s gotten his ego boost, his conquest and he can move on. But he’ll be back when he needs a bit more of an ego boost.
My friend’s guy decided to volunteer to take care of her animals while she was out of town with her son. A friendly gesture, to keep the door open. When she thanked him his response was a comment that he wasn’t always a jerk. A little self pity there, as if he’s apologizing for being a jerk but still not taking back what he’s done.
More than likely he wanted her to reassure him that he hadn’t been a jerk and that she understood, to keep her on the hook a bit longer in case he needed another ego boost he could reel her in a bit and slip away again.
Lucky for my friend she’s strong enough not to fall for that tempting hook and will keep him out of her life now. But the moments of self doubt and wondering what was wrong with her were damaging and it will take her a while to recover and even long to be able to trust what a man says or even how he behaves again.
Many women aren’t so lucky and find themselves with empty bank accounts, ruined self esteem and nasty divorces after they invest their whole lives in someone who only loves himself and only needs a woman to boost his ego and make him feel powerful and good.
Have you ever been in a relationship with a narcissist? Were you able to get out and move on with a different man and see just how detrimental that relationship had been for you?
I’m not a psychologist but I’ve recently realized that there are three classifications of men that all seem to be pretty negative. There are many characteristics of these three types of men that overlap making it hard to determine just which guy you’ve encountered.
There is good chance that over the years you have met and possibly been hurt by one of these men. That is not to say that women are naive or gullible, just that we are often manipulated by what these guys project and don’t see the real person underneath until it is too late. Narcissists, hot and cold guys and emotionally unavailable men are ones to avoid unless you are looking for future heartbreak. Learn to recognize the signs and walk away from men like this before you get sucked into the madness.
I have some friends who have recently encountered men that fall into these categories and without naming names I’m going to share their stories and experiences with you over the next few posts so that you will have a better understanding of some of the types of men you may want to avoid.
The first friend met her guy through an online dating site. They talked and seemed to have a lot in common so they met for lunch. Everything was great and she really liked him. Suddenly he seemed to vanish. He didn’t return her calls or answer her texts. She pretty much let him go because she assumed he wasn’t interested. (What any smart woman would do- never chase a man that doesn’t want to be caught.)
Then out of the blue a few months later he began texting her again. He flirted, he was friendly and there was no real explanation of why he had gone AWOL other than he had some things to deal with personally. So, she gave him another chance, everyone has baggage and things to deal with before they are ready to begin a serious relationship. They took things slow, not introducing each other to their children or even jumping into bed for several months. It is now 2 years into a relationship that has been a series of push and pull, hot and cold periods that have kept her in turmoil.
They make plans and he bails out nearly every time. He has missed her kids’ birthday parties, family events and holidays, even her birthday and Valentine’s Day have been victims of his wishy-washy attitude. He always comes up with some excuse that she buys, but to outsiders it appears that he has no intention of publicly committing to a relationship with her. She’s more than a booty-call but not quite an out in the open relationship. She defends this saying that he does call her his girlfriend to other people and that people know about her even if she hasn’t met them.
When he’s feeling trapped or pinned down on any certain point he turns things around making her seem clingy and needy or demanding. In fact she wants nothing more than a real relationship with someone who doesn’t freeze up and back away when things get emotional or difficult. He blames most of his issues on his previous wife and is punishing my friend for the things that the ex-wife did. This is not fair to my friend.
Their children have met and she has encountered some of his friends here and there but he has yet to meet any of her family or friends. He keeps her at a distance and whenever he has any stress or feels they are getting too serious he pushes her away.
Now my friend is a patient person and she tries to understand his anxiety problems, his emotional barriers etc. and she attempts to help him work through these things because she thinks the best of him despite what he shows her.
Does this make my friend weak or gullible? Some would say so, others would say that she knows what she wants and is willing to put in the work to make the relationship last in the hopes that one day he will wake up and be a mature and emotionally ready man that she can commit to.
In my opinion this guy is the emotionally unavailable hot and cold man. My personal reaction to the problems she encounters is to dump his ass and find someone better. But my opinion doesn’t matter, she loves him and believes that deep down in his weirdness he loves her too and she just has to break down his walls and help him see how to be in a relationship.
Have you ever dealt with a guy who runs hot and cold? Or one who freaks out at intimacy and emotional connection? Feel free to share your story in the comments.
Read Part 2 here.
More information about hot and cold, emotionally unavailable men:
16 Signs Your Man is Emotionally Unavailable
Ten Signs You Are Attracted to an Emotionally Unavailable Person
Why Men Act Hot and Cold
It is a good thing to be comfortable and secure in your relationship. You no longer have to worry about looking your best every time you see your love interest, or being on your best behavior. Sadly, that security and complacency can lead to both partners letting the romance slip to the back burner. Day to day living, making a living, and knowing that the other person is there with you means that you often forget to let them know how special they are to you and how much you appreciate them being on this journey with you.
The good thing is that it is easy to incorporate some romance into your day to day life. The key is to show your partner that you can still think of them in the same way you did when you first started dating.
1. Set aside one date night per week. You don't have to go out or even spend money. Simply decide that both of you will dress up and pull yourselves together and share dinner, conversation and a movie together without worrying about bills or kids or other stressors. If your date leads to a fun evening in the bedroom all the better!
2. Do something your partner enjoys every day. Maybe surprise them with their favorite candy or leave a love note somewhere for them to find. Little things can make all the difference in bringing back some romance.
3. Surprise your partner with a special dinner on a Wednesday night. Simply bring the element of pampering and surprise to a mundane day when it is not expected and you'll be rewarded by the response and possible reciprocation of the gesture.
4. Read together or begin a television series. Reading the same book or watching a series together from the beginning can become a special time you share together and lead to conversation that isn't related to day to day activities.
5. Make an effort. Any effort you make to show appreciation and a touch of romance will improve your relationship. It can be easy to let these gestures fall by the wayside of day to day life, but small things can make a huge difference in now you and your partner look at and appreciate one another.
Relationships are work. But they are rewarding, fulfilling and with a little practice romance will become effortless as you and your partner begin to turn to one another in different ways. Create your happily ever after by showing your love every day in special ways.
My name is Suz and I'm just an everyday woman who is trying to figure out when exactly I turned old. I'm not a doctor or an expert- what I am is a woman who wants to know for myself and to share what I learn with other women.
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