I was reading some interesting facts on men, women and dating today, and I came across Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others by John T. Molloy. I have always tried hard to stay away from books like this because they are usually insulting and flat out wrong. But, Molloy’s research comes from marketing statistics, which seemed like an interesting source to learn about who men want to date based on their marketing preference. Anyway, I was able to glean a bit of fun info. In an excerpt from his book, he talks about “Stringers,” and I couldn’t help but see the parallel in Avoidants:
If you’re dating a man who has had one or more long-term relationships with other women and didn’t marry them, there’s a real possibility he’s a stringer. A stringer is a man who strings women along. He likes having a woman, sleeping with a woman, eating with a woman, possibly sharing his life with a woman without ever making a real commitment. He often tells women, up front, he never intends to marry, so if and when he decides he wants to cut out, she has no reason to complain.
If you think you may be involved with a stringer, establish a deadline. If he doesn’t commit to you within six months, get rid of him. Pay no attention to his excuses. He may tell you that you’re coming on too strong. He may complain that the two of you haven’t been going together long enough, that he doesn’t know, that he hasn’t made up his mind. In fact, he is likely to tell you anything that will get you to stick around without his needing to make a commitment. Don’t fall for it. The chances a stringer will marry are very slim; he is simply not the marrying kind.
This kind of blew me away and I couldn’t help but think about G and S, my two classically avoidant ex-bfs. Were they stringers or avoidants? Who knows. A rose by any other name is still a rose, right? Equally interesting he writes that “Men who live at home with their parents are less likely to marry than men who have their own places.” And to clarify he doesn’t mean men who are temporarily living back at home after a divorce. He means men who have kinda never left home. I say kinda because, well, taking an extended vacation doesn’t mean you’ve technically moved out. Of course, I thought of S. He technically never moved out of his parents house. I remember how ambiguous his living situation always was because, well, he was embarrassed to say he still lived at home. So, he would say, he lived in an apartment that was annexed to his parents’ home. Truth was, he lived in a room off the kitchen but still hung out in the basement where all his records were. Funnily enough, him not leaving was so extreme, eventually his parents did. They basically packed up one day and just left. Ok so now, technically, he lives on his own.
The reason I share this is because it’s important to not just date anyone if you’re interested in a committed long term relationship. There are signs. And whether these types of characters, either men or women, are called stringers or avoidants it doesn’t matter. It’s the same kind of red-flag behavior that needs to set off an alarm with you, telling you something is not right. I didn’t listen to that alarm because, despite knowing that men over the age of 40 are less likely to get married, and men who still live at home are less likely to remain in a committed relationship, I thought I could outsmart the statistics. I couldn’t. Chances are you can’t either. And even if you can, wheph, it’s a rougher road.