Why am I always the girlfriend they have before they settle down? My past three serious boyfriends have all gone on to settle down with the girl after me. I am in no way clingy, never try to force them to settle down nor the jealous type. I’ve reached the point where I can’t deny that I’m the common factor here, how can it not be me? I’m turning 40 (in four days) and completely alone and completely confused. What do guys want? Liz
Good question, Liz. If it weren’t for the Manswers Men I’d be toast. Being the one before The One has happened to me too (and, I’ll wager, most women), and after three strikes I totally get your paranoia. However, I encourage you NOT to turn this into a self-fulfilling prophecy with every new guy you date. Because it’s not. It won’t be. Try instead to spin it in your favour: these exes weren’t the right men for you. You weren’t the right woman for them. To get all philosophical on you for a moment, everything is unfolding as it should. And somewhere out there, is a person who will be your fit, and you his. Let’s see what the Manswers think.
Love, reality chick
Manswers Man Dr Phil says… You have pretty much answered your own question, Liz: timing is everything and it does have to be a soulmate or someone you share similar goals/outlook on life. Maybe the fact that you weren’t clingy, forced then to settle down or were jealous in any way is partly why they moved on 🙂 Seriously! Blokes sometimes need to be pushed into the important things in life – or they remain a little boy/party animal/irresponsible reprobate for life. You may feel like the clock’s ticking, but remain strong, be patient and have faith. The right guy will come along and when he does – don’t let him go.
Manswers Man BB says… Liz, I know at least 3 other woman around your age in exactly the same situation, so you’re definitely not alone. For most blokes (and I suspect most woman) the decision to settle down usually doesn’t simply happen at a certain age, rather when you establish a real connection with the other person and a feeling that it just feels right. Could it be that these three guys have enjoyed being with you but for whatever reason haven’t seen a future together? Why don’t you ask them? This may be painful, but if it were me I’d want to know. More to the point, did you see a future with any of them? That’s a question to ask yourself.
Ultimately, what guys want is to be with someone they love being with – and it sounds as though he just hasn’t met you, yet. Just be patient, when you meet him, you will know it.
Manswers Man Glen says… Sure, a lot of younger guys go out and party like there is no tomorrow. Plus, we tend to have an agenda, we need to complete a lot of our goals [first]. But when we get a bit older, we become more cautious in who we date and we ask ourselves, ‘Can I be with this women for the rest of my life?’ We make sure she is the one that we can communicate with, enjoy the simple things with and most importantly be ourselves with. It’s a mission.We test the waters before we sink the anchor.
Most men are looking for a partner in life – although, it really scares a lot of guys when the time has come to settle down. It’s a big commitment. We don’t want to make a mistake. We don’t like to be wrong. It’s also about change. We find it hard to change our lifestyle, so we either stick to what we know or we think, hell with it, let’s roll the ball down the hill and see were it lands. Guys tend to move on to the next girl, because if it get too hard we can’t cope. But the good news is we do learn from our mistakes (I know, hard to believe). To your question: why are you the girlfriend they have before they settle down? I do think to get it right is very hard. Both parties need to be able to talk and work out were they stand and maybe you needed to communicate that better next time around.
Over to you, RC readers… What makes a guy want to settle down? If you’re a guy who’s settled or married, what were the triggers for you to take that leap? Our letter-writer would love to read your comments.