Linda Lewis Griffith

Are you dating a ‘loser guy’? Here’s how to identify a deadbeat — and what to do next

A friend recently complained, “I’ve picked another loser guy.”

This high-functioning woman makes great decisions in nearly every area of her life. But when it comes to finding male partners, she strikes out every time.

Several of her boyfriends have abused drugs and alcohol. Many can’t hold a steady job. The most recent fellow lived with her rent-free for two years, all the while promising he’d go back to work very soon.

This woman is certainly not alone. Lots of women fall for do-nothing men, then end up trapped in relationships that go nowhere.

They nag, threaten and plead with their slouches. Still, the pattern never changes.

The exhausted, frustrated caretakers then face two unenviable options: either break up with the slacker or keep the status quo.

Women fall for these fixer-uppers for lots of reasons.

Some dream of rehabilitating the downtrodden. They fantasize that their acceptance and support will work miracles on lackluster beaus.

Others see admirable characteristics that elude their friends and family.

Still others believe they’re unworthy of anyone more productive. They’re convinced they should take whoever comes along, even if he’s a chronic deadbeat.

Of course, every human being deserves kindness and compassion. Each of us has untapped potential.

We can also become needy at a moment’s notice due to an accident, illness or loss of a job.

But dating is the act of selecting an appropriate partner, not volunteering for a charity.

Our task is to find someone who is capable of contributing to the household finances, raising offspring, purchasing insurance and funding an IRA.

Potential spouses should be emotionally able to weather life’s inevitable crises, not card-carrying psychological burdens.

When potential mates show signs of underperforming, that’s our signal to flee ASAP.

Don’t wait until your lives are further entwined. By then, it’s too late.

You deserve a top-flight partner. Set your sights on nothing else.

Signs your partner is a fixer-upper

You pay all of the bills.

You do the vast majority of the work around the house.

He’s at home during the day while you go to work.

He hangs out with low-functioning friends.

He’s chronically unemployed.

You’re concerned about his drug and alcohol use.

You make excuses for him to your friends and family.

You frequently argue about his behavior.

What to do if you’re involved with a fixer-upper

Get out now. If you’re not married and he’s living in your home, ask him to leave.

Be strong. Yes, he has some good points. But he’s not good partnership material.

Don’t worry about how he’ll survive. He’s a grown man and can take care of himself. Don’t make it your problem.

Don’t let him try to change your mind. He may plead for another chance. Don’t fall for it.

Get support from your friends and family. You’ll need their help when you’re feeling alone and vulnerable.

Make better choices in the future. Watch for any telltale signs of low-functioning men, then avoid them like the plague.

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