I’m in my early 30s, have my career on track, and am looking for a man to marry and have kids with. I’m not in a rush but want to keep focused so I don’t find myself settling for less in a few years. I’m currently monogamous with a guy I really like, but he’s got a reputation as a player. I’m wondering if we’re attracted to each other because of the challenges: me domesticating him and him trying to have sex with me. I’m weighing whether to get closer or date others. My friends who have met him are split on whether he’s a keeper.
He Said: Many of us guys run the streets for a decade or two before we decide to pull into a driveway and park. While it may occasionally be true that a man starts wearing Snuggies for two and watching Glee on the sofa with his fiancée because he met “the one,” it’s more likely that he met a good woman at the right time. The fact that your guy was a player may not be a reason to discard him—if he’s had enough of running around and is ready to focus on quality rather than quantity. However, since neither you nor your girlfriends have a consensus on how sincere he is, you need to act on the knowledge you have. In other words, put him on the friend track for the time being, and keep shopping. He may not like the status, but if you aren’t clear on his or your intentions, give him an opportunity to bring more clarity to the situation. Who knows? He might someday add color and cut to round out the offering.
She Said: Well, there’s the politically correct, self-help answer: If you’re serious about getting married, don’t date players. Then there’s my honest answer, which is that no woman worth her salt would turn down a man because he has heretofore been extremely successful at getting other women to jump into bed with him. I mean, really, the challenge of domesticating him turns you on for a reason, and it’s not a solely neurotic one. It’s pure biology. Bottom line: Women want a man whom they know is desirable to other women.
Being a player is something most men outgrow sooner or later. You simply need to ascertain whether your man is there yet. Has he been sticking to his word, calling when he says he will, following through? Has he introduced you to his family or met yours? Is he integrating you into his social circle and vice versa? Does he make future plans? Does this reputation of his include how long he usually sticks around, and are you two past that point yet? You need to deal with the current facts instead of looking at the past.
Instead of running from a challenge, a smart woman takes these things into account. If all signs point toward his ability to grow into a committed partner, there’s no reason to toss him. If the signs are unclear, then simply ask him how serious he is (and if he runs from that question, you have your answer). Putting him on the friend track or dating others is only going to increase his player tendencies and make him pursue you, but that’s not the information you need. You need to know if he’ll stay the course once he has you (which is now)—not whether he’ll pursue once you run away. Most men will chase a woman who distances herself, but that doesn’t equal staying power.
Confused? Heartbroken? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org