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Why Ladies Love Outlaws

Aug 17, 2007
Cool and aloof and standing alone in the corner of the bar, he's desired and wanted by every woman in the room. He's attractive, but it's not his looks as much as his attitude that makes him so wanted. He's arrogant and intriguing. He's unpredictable: he dates a woman once and she never knows whether she'll see him again or not. He says he'll call tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.

Yet, when he's with a woman, he makes her feel special, sexy, feminine. He validates in her what she has always wanted to believe about herself. Even though he has a reputation for treating women badly, she thinks he'll be different with her. This man, like many others of this type, will not, and cannot, give women what they want. Yet women continue to pursue these "emotional outlaws."

By emotional outlaws, I mean men who take -- emotionally, financially, and/or sexually -- without giving anything back. Sometimes they're the typical womanizing Don Juans, sometimes freedom-loving cowboys, alcoholics, workaholics, or married lovers. They avoid intimacy, they're often critical, and usually intimidating. Often charming at first, they never open up, share of themselves, or give anything back to the relationship.

My "outlaw" male clients say, "Women tell me that I should be more sensitive, yet the worse I treat women, the more they seem to love it. They keep coming back for more. Being insensitive works. Explain that to me!"

Women feel excited and aroused by this type of man because they have to work hard to try and win him over. The "not knowing" if he cares and unpredictability of his interest cause an addictive factor to set in. And all kinds of women chase after these outlaws: bright women, career women, beautiful women, financially secure and self-sufficient women. But they all have one thing in common: they're insecure when it comes to getting a man.

Why Women Choose Men Who Are Bad for Them:

We think we're not good enough.
When a man rejects us, we believe that we aren't good enough in some way or he would love us. Instead of getting angry when he hurts us (which is the natural healthy reaction that would keep our self-esteem intact), we try harder to prove our worthiness by trying to please him.

We see cool and aloof as "strong."
When men act the opposite of needy (cool, aloof, distant, unavailable, non-communicative), we often misinterpret that as "strong" and powerful. We give them credit they don't deserve. Actually they act like this because they are afraid of intimacy and insecure about relationships and are just covering their fears with a facade of strength.

We want to prove him wrong about us.
When someone does not allow us to get close, we interpret it two ways: we feel rejected and unloved, and we assume that they are better than we are. Then we become addicted to proving their rejection wrong, taking on the challenge of showing them that we're good enough by chasing them (which actually just proves we're needy and turns them off).

We want to save him from himself.
The typical "outlaw" often sends the message that if he found the "right" woman he could be tamed. This makes a woman feel special and hooked into saving him. She decides that he has "potential," and thinks he needs her. She thinks that by "understanding" and loving him more, he'll become healthy, appreciative, and eventually fall in love with her -- when the opposite is really true: the more she gives to him, the more he loses respect for her.

What these women don't understand is that these men have shut down emotionally and can't feel, much less love anyone. They are damaged goods. Being with a man like this puts a woman in a "no-win" situation. Trying to get an "outlaw" to love you is as impossible as getting a cat to bark. Tell him he needs therapy and move on!
About the Author
Carolyn Bushong, a Denver,CO licensed therapist, helps couples and singles in her office, on-line,& by phone. Author of: Loving Him Without Losing You, Bring Back the Man You Fell in Love With, & The 7 Dumbest Relationship Mistakes. Has appeared on Oprah. http://www.carolynsays.com. 303-333-1888.
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