Good Men, Hornswoggling, Jerks & The “Lucy Cliché”
I hate being a cliché, but I remembered this cliché that had something to do with some decent, unsuspecting guy getting hornswoggled by a sexy, manipulative, gold-digging divorcee.
The whole thing reminded me of this great song by Eric Clapton, “Watch Out for Lucy.”
Yes, I’ve dated a few divorced ladies. No, I don’t think I’ve been hornswoggled by any of them. However, one was driving the truck that laid me out for a while. Still, I wonder whether I was the mark for one of these “Lucys” and a cliché to boot.
So I decided to do a little research and googled “nice guy falling for divorcee cliché.” Surprisingly, I didn’t find much about the “Lucy Cliché.” I was even more surprised to read the search results, which almost exclusively shared information and advice for women. Moreover, these women were seeking advice about how to date good men. Women wanted to learn how to date a good man because, you know, they didn’t know how to behave with a good man.
As a younger man, I was quite a bit more reckless than I am now. Sure, there have probably been a few activities listed in the penal code, which had I been at the wrong place at the wrong time, well, “There, but by the grace of God, go I.”
Many of us have said, “I’m glad there weren’t smartphones when I was kid.” No, never have I maliciously or purposely injured anyone except in the cases when I had to defend myself, my family, or someone who wasn’t able to defend himself or herself, so I am no angel. Still, if the definition of a good man today is a man who has worked diligently for his family, respects others, and takes responsibility for his actions, well, of that I am, and many of my single father readers are guilty. I’ve never believed a guy has to be a jerk to be an alpha male.
Good men may finish last only because they put their women first.
Yet, women have to learn how to treat a guy who treats them like garbage. Lauren Evans asks, “How does one treat the nice guy? The nice guy that texts you the morning after the first date? The nice guy that stays round to make out till 3 in the morning?”
In The Good Men Project’s, 5 Things I Had to Learn In Order to Love My Nice Guy, Joanna Schroeder offers women who are dating a good man advice, “You need to stop being a jerk, even when you’re in a bad mood.” Schroeder continues, “If you’ve lived in chaos most of your life, or if you’ve had abuse or a lot of drama in past relationships, you’re probably going to be really uncomfortable with the sense of ease that comes from being in a healthy relationship with a nice guy.”
So Schroeder observes her audience; women who date nice guys need the advice to refrain from “being a jerk” and may “be really uncomfortable with the sense of ease” that results from dating a good man. That’s mind-boggling to me.
How have so many women become so bitterly jaded that they need to be told to be a decent human being? Well, yes, some have, and yes, some men are jerks.
I think a woman who is attracted to a “bad boy” mistakenly sees him as an alpha male when, in fact, he’s just a jerk. She may eventually realize he is a jerk but believes she can change him. Of course, she can’t. She marries him and then is mystified when he doesn’t mature, treats her badly, or perhaps, even physically or psychologically abuses her. A decade or two later, the woman has a bunch of little asshole kids, which sustains the cycle of asshole men and wonders, “Why all men are jerks?”
Is marrying a jerk justification for treating a good man, a nice guy, like garbage? Umm, no. As Joanna Schroeder advises, “Because you’re an adult now, and you have control over your choices.”
Here, also, is a little advice from me, my dear ladies: if you find a man who is straight-up crazy about you, who lets you know that you’re the first person he thinks of in the morning and the last person he thinks of before he goes to bed, who respects you, loves you, and makes you squirm with excitement when you’re with him, who invests his time in you, who wants time from you, who listens to you and talks with you, and who’d not only bury the body, but also give you an alibi for the crime, leave him alone. If you don’t know how to love, respect, and honor the good man he is, regardless of the reason, just leave him alone.
For the good men out there, accept nothing less.