6 Classic Mistakes Women Make With Men

There are some classic mistakes that women make with men. So classic that I honestly wish a book was made of them -- a rule book -- and women had to read it in high school. And then take a test on it. Like 50 tests. And they had to memorize every single word.

But there is no Relationship 101 unless you count the ones in the School of Hard Knocks. You have to live it or have your friends live it -- sometimes multiple times -- for the lessons to kick in. And sometimes then they don't even stick. But, boy, if every woman knew these classic mistakes, and to avoid them, before plunging into the dating world in their early 20s, what a different experience love could be for those ladies. Here are 6 classic mistakes women make with men.

Classic Mistake #1: I can change him.

Although people do hear that old adage, "People don't change," no one really takes it seriously until he or she is faced with a person who needs to change. It's at that point you go into denial. "Oh, he just needs someone who understands him," "If I do everything for him, he'll feel like he wants to reciprocate," etc. Chances are, that is never, ever going to happen. Not that people don't change -- they do. But YOU can't make them. A good rule of thumb is this: If you knew that this man would be EXACTLY the same for the next 50 years, would you still want to marry/date him? If the answer is "hell no," then abort mission if you aren't married yet. And if you are already married, carefully consider what your next step is and whether it should be divorce.

Classic Mistake #2: I'm the exception.

I've seen far too many intelligent women get involved with a guy with a horrible romantic history who then goes on to cement the pattern with them. Why? Because they thought they would be the "exception." I've heard: "We were such good friends, I thought he'd never pull that on me." I've heard: "He cheated on his wife, but that was 10 years ago." I've heard: "He broke off two engagements, but this time he says he's really ready and has met the right person." Not that you're definitely NOT the exception -- hey, maybe you are -- but chances are, you're not. And why would you want to risk it anyway?

Classic Mistake #3: Not listening.

I've come to believe a man tells you pretty much everything you need to know about him in the first few months, if not the first few dates. If he says, "I'd really love to get married, but I've found it so hard to find someone I'm compatible with," women hear: I'd really love to get married. They don't hear, "I find most women are incompatible with me, and I'm not even considering that this might be my fault." I had one friend whose new man told her right off the bat that he gets tired of women after two months. However, when she confronted him on this, he backtracked and said he was just joking around. Guess what happened after two months? Listen. And take heed.

Classic Mistake #4: Giving points for being "honest."

If a man is telling you all about his troubles, his rocky romantic history, his financial problems, or his drug addictions, women tend to think: "Oh, he's being so honest with me, that must mean he doesn't plan on doing any of this stuff with me." Women find it impossible to believe a man would advertise his future bad behavior. But men often give you a warning for a good reason -- they are testing you to see if you will stick around after hearing about their chronic unemployment, cheating history, or addictions. If you do, then they consider that you've had fair warning.

Classic Mistake #5: He will leave his wife for me.

This is such an old-timey classic mistake that it's crazy to think there are women who still fall for it, but they do. As high as the divorce rate is, chances are a guy who gets involved with you while he's with his wife is doing it because he wants two women -- not one. If he dumps his wife, that would mean he's only got one woman. You. Which is not what he wants. If he swears he's leaving his wife soon, what harm can it do to walk away and tell him to call you once the divorce is final? If he likes you that much, it should only speed up the process, right?

Classic Mistake #6: Marriage and/or children will change him/settle him down.

This does happen with some guys, but it's a huge mistake to assume it's going to happen. In fact, women who are with abusers are never more at risk of being killed than when they get pregnant. And guys with a history of cheating are likely to do it even more once they get married. Guys who cheat are usually commitmentphobes who use other women to keep distance from you. So getting married will only intensify those commitmentphobic feelings and increase the desire to cheat.

Have you ever made any of these classic mistakes? Would you tell your daughters about them?

 

Image via Heide Benser/Corbis

love, marriage