In the News
Wise Anne Wises Up
But why was such a smarty dating a schmuck?
So Anne Hathaway finally “Got Smart” and dumped her loser BF, Raffaello Follieri, after four years together and apparently shacking up at his NYC pad. It sure did take a lot of drama for her to get rid of him – from the investigation of his children’s charity to a positive drug test and courtroom outbursts. Yet it’s not so much his behavior that shocks us but the fact that Anne – with her good girl persona, suburban New Jersey upbringing, and Vassar-educated mind (even if she did drop out)- put up with his shenanigans for so long.
Which begs the age-old question, “Why do so many great girls date such losers?” Author Dalma Heyn even wrote a book about it, exploring some of the most common dysfunctional males in Drama Kings: The Men Who Drive Strong Women Crazy (I should note that my copy is dog-eared with highlighted passages and late-night margin notes along the lines of “!!!!!!!”).
As one who has fallen privy multiple times to the man who looks great on paper but harbors deep emotional and possibly criminal issues, I offer this theory: Strong, smart women crave a challenge. That’s why they’re strong and smart in the first place. They’re ambitious, successful, at-the-top-of-their-game glass ceiling busters (and, let’s just be honest, often ballbusters too). They’ve tackled so many obstacles in their professional lives, landing deals and roles and jobs and contracts with their trademark perseverance and savvy. They assume it translates to their personal lives too. And as women, they see potential in a man. After all, our role from the dawn of time has been The Nurturer – to see potential in our children and excavate it so they grow to be upstanding, contributing citizens. The subconscious nurturer within us sees a man with something good bubbling under the surface and says, “Now there’s a project! Let’s bring it to fruition!”
And it never works. Not if the man doesn’t see true “partner potential” in himself – and so often, that’s the case. If he sees himself as unworthy or underhanded or as one guy I dated (for far too long) described himself – “a scoundrel” – that’s all he will ever see. At least without serious therapy and it seems the most disturbed men never avail themselves to counseling to alter their self-image – either because they accept it (“Hey babe, that’s just me – deal with it”) or are unaware of it (those are the ones who, when you try to discuss the issue with them, manage to turn it around on you and, as Dalma says, drive you CRAZY).
The important thing is, when you find yourself following the signs to Schmucksville, pull a U-turn and hightail it outta there. To learn how to read the signs, read Dalma’s book. Or take a cue from Anne. She got smart this summer in more than one way. Even though she was on the road for way too many miles, let’s just applaud the fact that she found her way home.