It was ten years ago when I was truly poor and unknown. I was lying on my kitchen floor with my cousin in my tiny New York City apartment. I could feel the splintery wood of the worn floor poking into my back. My cousin was ranting as usual about men. She would return home with stories of dating victories and prince charming only to have them frog-out on her in a matter of weeks. As she yelled to the ceiling with her arms raised and body flopped on the floor, "Why can't I find a good man?!" I rolled myself over now lying like a beached seal, pushed myself up and said six words that would change my life, her life and hopefully yours. "No Cheaters, No Beaters, No Drunks." Yes ladies, these three simple deal breakers became my mantra and eventually my plan to find Mr. Right, Right Now!
I know what you're thinking; it can't be this easy and simple but I assure you it is. As I evaluated the No Cheaters, No Beaters and No Drunks Rules it because clear that every bad relationship began with me allowing one of these three types of men into my life. I don't share this information with you because I want to hurt you or speak ill of men you have loved in the past. I share this with you the same way I share real health issues with my clients in my role as a dietitian or when I drove the cooks working under me to success as a chef. I say this because, honestly, it is the only way to achieve a healthy relationship and you truly deserve that.
Rule #1 No Cheaters. This being the first of the three coveted dating rules I find it to be the most experienced by women that I have known. Now if you are reading this and saying, "I have never been cheated on, all my men are loyal," I say well you may think so, but cheating for me doesn't have to mean with another women, well at least one he's sleeping with. Yes, I am talking the mamas boy. This is cheating in every sense of the word however it's harder to recognize. Who doesn't want a man that loves his mom? It's a sign of being a good person and hopefully a good father when you have children yourself. It's ok if he loves his mom but it's not ok if he's IN love with his mom. If she has a key to his apartment and you awake after a night of love making to the smell of pancakes only to wander into the kitchen to find her doting over him as he watches vintage cartons you must get out. Get out now and never look back. Seriously, save yourself the time and heartache. There's only room for one queen-bee in that house and you my dear are not it. The second type of cheater is cheating with work, we call him the workaholic. This man is obsessed with work and projects no matter the profession. He must spend time, all day finishing this never-ending cycle of projects. If he says I am working on my career now and soon I will have time for just us, he is lying -- maybe not consciously but he is lying. If you are not number one now when his career is just starting you certainly will not be a priority later when he is a stressed out CEO with tons more real work to do. As I said, Get out, Get out now and never look back.
Rule # 2 No Beaters. This, the second of the trio of rules, is also a bad apple. Now of course real hitting is never allowed and we all know that but sometimes we find the man that is always beating himself up. Now I don't mean you come home and he is cutting himself in the bathroom "just to feel something". I mean he can never be happy with who he is and is constantly self-deprecating. At first you say, I can help him. He just needs a pick-me-up, a little helping hand. No ladies, no! This seemingly non-abusive partner is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Not only can you not change him but he will change you and not for the better. Being around someone that is always dragging you down will spoil your relationship like mold. I don't mean a delicious blue cheese, because, after all, everyone has ups and downs--a little whining is allowed. I am talking about two-week-old milk staring up to you with deceptive eyes from the fridge door. He's rotten and will spoil anything you add him to no matter how delicious. The other type of beater is also beating himself but not -up, he prefers -off. That's right you casually sit at your laptop only to be bombarded by bums! And nipples and a never-ending stream of porn. It's good to have a healthy lust for sex but this man is a glutton and the worst part is his beating himself off instead of taking care of business in the bedroom with you. Both you and your computer will need a full reboot after this man is out of your life.
Rule #3 No Drunks. Anyone who knows me knows I am fan of the vino. That being said, if your man is rocking a Long Island Iced Tea at 9am on a Tuesday, it's not a spring break vacation to Mexico nor are you trapped at an airport for a never launching flight there may be a problem. Besides your normal "alcoholic drunks" I feel the next man we discuss is the most extreme of the group. He is a drunk but for escape. Yes, at first he is so entertaining and adventurous. He steals you to bring you to an all-daylong museum visit followed by a picnic in the park. He whisks you off to a fabulous vacation where you watch sunsets and listen to calypso music. How can you not love this man, I mean he is the one! Well when you find out he hasn't been to work in two weeks you may change your tune. This man loves to run away from anything real and once you become real he will soon run from you. It's only a matter of time. Our final type is also a drunk, a drunk on himself. This one is a classic "Yummy" (young urban male). He is sexy, he is smart and he is funny and by-George he knows it. On your first few dates with him you are so into him because he is well... awesome. You're so into him that you don't even notice that he hasn't asked anything about you and I mean anything. You think to yourself, he's so cute but I don't think he even knows my name. I am a vegetarian yet he has taken me to this Brazilian steak house. He hasn't noticed that my entire meal has consisted of bread. He has not stopped talking for the whole fifteen courses of meats. During lamb he told you about when he learned to ski with Bode Miller, during pork-loin he described in great detail how everyone at work is jealous of him and during the sirloin he shared with you graphic and unnecessary information about the women he dated last summer. As you make your way to the bathroom you notice he has strategically seated himself across from a mirror. My advice is to skip the bathroom and make your way out the door and head home. He probably won't even notice you're gone.
All that being said, I believe, no I know for a fact, that if you follow these three simple rules you can and will find the love of your life. It happened to me and it can happen to you. There are tons of great, loving and amazing men out there just waiting to be snagged all you have to do is find him by weeding out the losers. A few months from now as you listen to one of your cousins or sisters or office gal-pals drone on about how there "aren't any good men out there" share with them these three simple rules that if followed with keep you in a Healthy Relationship for the rest of your life.
Are you not sure if dating your man is violating one of the Three Rules, send a letter to 3Rules@GinaKeatley.com and we'll take a look.