It doesn’t matter your gender or age, I’m pretty sure we have all dealt with what I like to call “the overgrown little boy” (OLB) in our lives.
Mine came as a little bit of a shock. It was only a few years ago when I met, “Greg.” He was an older gentleman in his fifties, absolutely gorgeous (don’t we all just hate men for getting sexier as they get older?), with a great career. I dated him on and off for a couple of years, but the relationship itself was straight out of a poorly written Harlequin romance novel (minus all those rippling muscles and torn corsets).
Greg’s OLB qualities became apparent when he started to display excessive amounts of childlike behavior – his commitment confusions, his selfishness within the relationship (“me” mentality), the fact that any time we’d have some semblance of a disagreement, he would completely shut down and close me out.
Then there was, “Joe,” another older gentleman, in his late forties, terrifyingly gorgeous, and extremely successful. I fell and I fell hard, again, only to realize a little over a year later that Joe, like Greg, was nothing but an OLB. He presumably fell in love with me – the first time he’d been in love according to him – and it completely scared him into pulling away. Like Greg, Joe exhibited subtle demands of everything within the relationship having to focus on him, and the same old emotionally selfish qualities.
How is it, that these men can have successful personal careers, businesses, hell, even families in some cases, and yet when it comes to a meaningful relationship with me (or you!) they are completely inept?
OLBs come in all shapes, sizes, and age groups – so how do you spot one? I think I’ve narrowed it down to three simple observations:
First, I’ve noticed a pattern of at least one previously failed, extremely young, marriage – and they usually qualify it as “I was young, I was naÔve, I didn’t know what I was doing,” or something along those lines. However, let me just point out that there are plenty of people who are young, naÔve, who don’t know what they are doing, who are married and they work on the marriage. The “I quit” mentality of such a short lived romance insinuates a lot to me, and to you.
Secondly, they seem to lack meaningful male-relationships. They may have a few “close” friends and perhaps one that is considered a best friend (but almost always that best friend is out of state, out of country, or you’ve never spoken to him). Other than that, the friendships are work-related, business-only, or highly superficial.
Third, despite your willingness to keep things casual in the beginning (you know, to simply date?), OLB’s are looking for quick means of validation. They want you to fall in love with them, they want to fall in love with you, RIGHT NOW. You can spot this when they start dropping the “we” word and excessive future planning. It is very important here that you catch that these as hoaxes and not sincere fantasies of tomorrow.
I know I’m not the only woman to have dealt with the overgrown little boy” (OLB). What’s your story? How can others avoid this dating pitfall?