Today I feel the need to explain why smart women would date inappropriate men. The short answer is so obvious: dating inappropriate guys is safe because you know you are never going to truly fall in love with them.
I could just leave it at that, but that is just not my style. An in depth analysis of this phenomenon, however, could easily be the subject of various dissertations, and I am not about to delve into such an endeavor here. I will say this– my observation is that women that have good relationships with their fathers tend to cut guys a lot of slack; meanwhile, those like me, who grew up without fathers, or had poor relationships with their dads tend to subscribe to the general belief that “all men are pigs,” and then we seek out the exceptions to that rule. I will proffer that the best approach is probably somewhere in the middle, and if you want to find a satisfying meaningful relationship, you need to take the time to reflect on past relationships with family, friends and former partners to figure out your own pattern. If you don’t like what you see, it is totally within your control to change yourself.
One of my esteemed divorce colleagues told me that the reason we stay in business is because “women marry men thinking they will change; men marry women thinking that they won’t.” That insight is priceless! The fact is that we cannot change those around us– you either accept someone the way that they are or you need to move on. On the other hand, men need to be prepared for the fact that motherhood will drastically change their wives. Raging hormones, sleep deprivation and the added stress of finding that perfect work/life balance, can send the best of us into a frenzy.
I would implore women to cut guys some slack– most men are not trying to be jerks, they are just clueless. We speak totally different languages, and often we only hear what we want to hear from the other. Learning to communicate effectively takes time and effort. Our trainings also color our perception– as a lawyer, I was trained to focus on words; meanwhile my psychologist friends were trained to look at behavior. I have learned that paying attention to both is your safest bet when trying to figure out another person and maintain a strong, healthy relationship.