THE BLOG

Finally, a Therapist's Red-Flag Guide of Single Men to Avoid

05/15/2015 04:35 pm ET | Updated May 15, 2016

Note: This one is for the single women of the world - one for men will follow ...

You're a single, professional woman, and you'd like to find a long-term partner. On the surface, you'd think that finding a mutually rewarding and healthy relationship would be easy, but we all know it is not, and here's why: The pool in which you're fishing is shallow and poorly stocked, my friends. We're looking for top quality fishing, and all we find are throwbacks ... must we settle for less than we want and deserve? Of course not. There are ways to locate a person who's a healthy fit - it takes time, patience, being deliberate and mindful in the process.

First, what is a great guy, and what is a throwback? We have to define the terms.

What a great guy is was defined by the cave woman millions of years ago. The most prized man in those days was strong and healthy, faithful, had a cave in a safe neighborhood, could protect her if needed and was great at hunting and gathering. Cave woman wanted to be safe, have healthy children and plenty to eat. She wanted to survive.

Things haven't changed much, except for now we also throw love and personality into the equation. Today's great guy is someone who is confident, kind, intelligent, consistent, commitment-oriented, secure, honest, healthy, smart, fun, funny, emotionally available, able to make you a priority, interested in life, and a hard-working provider. He digs you. These guys, by my estimate, are less than 5 percent of the available male population.

Where did I get that number? Personal and professional experience, and uh, statistics ... the type of guy you want exists, he's just found in the 17% of the population whose IQ is above average - 110 or above• - and even more important, is capable of objective, abstract and critical thinking and processing - with that addition we need to whittle the number down to 5 percent.**

The others are throwbacks by professional woman standards. They may be good people, but they aren't good partners. Throwbacks haven't honed their brain - literally - they haven't maximized their human potential. Perhaps they've taken the easy path in life, haven't applied themselves, feel a bit entitled, maybe even stunted their brain's potential with chemicals or not continuing their education ... in a word, they're immature. Note to throwbacks: No need to take this personally or send hate mail, that would prove my point. Simply begin developing yourself so you can reach your relational potential. It's about time, don't you think?

Now, as a public service I have prepared a list of throwback red flags you need to look out for:

1. Still tethered to mom and/or birth family after age 35 - If they tell you their family comes first, you never will.
2. Over age 40 and having had either one (usually) short marriage and/or very few or no long term relationships. Don't fret over not being able to grab this one, despite his age, this person, who physically looks like a man, is still a boy, and chances are he has a secret that only the liquor store knows for sure.
3. Hangs with a bunch of guys who fall into # 2 listed above or are terrible husbands.
4. Brags about how his children will always come first, and he's an empty-nester. See explanation in #1 listed above. They're well meaning, but terribly misguided.
5. You're not sure what he does for a living. Sometimes he's working, sometimes not, but whatever it is he does, there's no name for it, when he talks about it you don't understand it, and no one has ever seen him do it.
6. He wistfully talks about the good old days when he used to be successful. When times were good, he bought his women expensive jewelry and cars like they were a penny a pound, he traveled the world and had his picture taken with Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela and they asked for his advice. But today, all he can give you is a toothpick after you pay for dinner. Don't worry, he says, the good days shall return ... in the meantime, can you loan him a hundred bucks?
7. Never ignores a short skirt, pretty leg, ample booty or boobs size B cup and above. No explanation necessary.
8. Misunderstands or doesn't understand most of what you say. Sorry, but there are a ton of men out there who look and dress well but just don't have many kilowatts upstairs. If you say, "I am looking for a man who is capable of emotional intimacy," and his defense is, "I am very emotional," run!
9. Smokes pot, uses drugs. Those of us who are still alive and lively appreciate men who are present, motivated, energized, and healthy. Pot suspends your ability to tune into other people. Need I say more?
10. Hates his job. If you don't like what you're doing, make a plan to do something else, then do it. Stagnation is a turn-off, and the top 5 percent wouldn't dream of it.
11. Doesn't monitor his health. He's sick and a tooth is loose but he won't go to the doctor or the dentist. Girls, if he doesn't get check ups, doesn't floss, and avoids doctors you'll be dating a ticking time bomb with no teeth, and worse, he's the type who won't get Viagra or Cialis when the day comes.
12. Unemployed trust fund kid. These guys have the bucks, but are as boring as freeze-dried hamburger and have the maturity of a 15-year-old.
13. Personalito Nondevelopmento. Speaking of boring ...
14. Not curious. You're together and he never (or barely) asks you anything about you - good Lord the minutes will tick by slowly with this one - and if not you, what is he interested in, anyway?
15. Controlling. Wants final say over what you think, feel, believe, do and where you go? No thanks, dude.
16. Poor provider. A mutual decision for him to stay home with the kids is OK, but there's no bigger turn-off than a man who is unwilling to be a provider.

Although that's a long list, unfortunately it is not a complete list. I'm sure you will help me to think of some more. But the good news is that although 95 percent of men are like the ones listed above, we still have that allusive 5 percent we can choose from. Where are they? Most are in relationships, because they are commitment-oriented, but sometimes women stupidly kick them out, and occasionally, as horrible as it is, their partners pass away. Your job is to be patient, ready and aware so you will recognize a jewel when he shows up.