Strong, independent, fierce – today’s woman is a force to be reckoned with. She believes in having it all – the office gig with great benefits, the leisurely lifestyle, and a beat face that’s Instagram approved. But why can’t she find a good man who matches her moxy?
My inbox has a constant flow of young women who are high-performing goddesses ready to seize the day, but they somehow can’t settle down with the right guy. And if she’s doing all the heavy lifting, why is it that every man she meets is dead weight? What gives?
This is a pretty common complex in the world of modern dating. High-value Hannah is a magnet for Low-life Lawrence, and if we’re going to see more couples walking down aisles, then we need to get to the bottom of why and how to break this toxic cycle.
She’s Tapping into Her Maternal Instincts
I’ve recently opined on my experiences with women in the corporate world. To further expand on my thoughts about the office environment, I’ve noticed that women who do level up in their careers tend to take on the “Mama Bird” vibe, taking responsibility for everyone around them. This unsuspectingly crosses over into the dating realm and it’s the source of all chaos. This “momma” feels the need to double-check her man’s every move. Casual conversations turn into “Did you remember to make a doctor’s appointment?” And at that point, the boyfriend has turned into a baby boy. (Congratulations?)
Healthy, grown men absolutely do not tolerate parental behavior from a significant other.
The hard truth these high-powered women don’t realize is that healthy, grown men absolutely do not tolerate parental behavior from a significant other. This leaves the girl boss with nothing but big babies in her corner. Sure, he’s probably funny and maybe even amazingly intimate, but that’s only because it’s easy for him. He still needs someone to remind him to apply for a job, take out the trash, and make the bed, and what woman in her right mind wants that, every day, for the rest of her life?
But, alas, our girl boss thinks she’s helping. Maybe she believes she can save him from himself. But reality is, that’s exactly how you raise a man-baby, and the answer is to put him up for adoption ASAP.
She Can’t Trust Anyone but Herself
We can thank third-wave feminism and all those cringey Lifetime movies for sowing the seeds of distrust in an entire generation of women. Today’s boss babes want to have everything under control, and this, inadvertently, attracts men whose lives are out of control. She’s scared of the strong and masculine, so she in turn becomes it to protect herself from the man she was told to worry about. Sadly, this causes her to put up a wall around the amazingly responsible lover she’s biologically wired to want, leaving her with a loser who has no desire to be the provider he’s supposed to be.
Boss babes want to have everything under control, and this attracts men whose lives are out of control.
If he can’t earn a decent salary, she’s got it. If he can’t take her out, she’ll pay for it. If his credit is shot, she’ll sign for it. And the snowball rolls downhill from there. Unfortunately, this relationship dynamic leaves her chronically unfulfilled. He’s refusing to meet her in the middle, but this only happens because she’s also refusing to let him love her as he should. And when she's has had enough, he's left feeling lost.
Fact is, in a relationship, no one is beyond their responsibilities to one another. She may not want to hear this, but getting involved with someone without the presence of trust spells doom for every situation from the very start.
She’s Seduced by Good Sex
Here’s the thing about the bad boy. He knows he has absolutely nothing to offer except a good roll in the hay. And that’s usually what he’ll hook you with. He knows a high-caliber girl is stressed and could use romance in her life. And she’ll fall for it, hook, line, and sinker. When problems surface, he cleverly coaxes you back into his arms to repeat another cycle of chaos.
My advice for this comes from my grandmother, who was known for serving random relationship tea. One day, while I was venting about some unmotivated loser in my life, she said, “Hold out and see what happens.” First, I was shocked that my own grandmother would even blurt out such a rogue recommendation. Second, I’d learn that she was – in her words – “right as rain.” He started to miss dates, tell lies, and engage in avoidant behaviors when I found the strength to refuse his intimate advances. At this point, I could see his true colors and washed my hands clean of the situation. (But I didn’t have to because the trash took itself out, thankfully.)
The solution to toxicity is to stand firmly on our standards and never step off the square for anyone.
My grandmother's advice helped me come to terms with the fact that 1) Nothing is new under the sun, and 2) The solution to this and all other toxicity issues is to stand firmly on our standards and never step off the square for anyone – not even for sex.
Advice columns have us engaging in this wrongthink, that having high standards is a deterrent to a healthy and happy relationship. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you’ll know that I always look to the past for guidance on how we should approach the future. For the most part, our grandmothers and great-aunts had no problem attracting a high-value man who would treat her like the high-value woman she was. The major link between then and now is that dating standards absolutely matter and that lowering them is like trading your future for a fool.
If only our girl boss had known this before she hooked up with the latest loser, she wouldn’t be doing his Cheeto-stained laundry after working her eight-hour shift to support them both. She deserves better.
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