Why an “ODD” guy could be GOOD guy

Jul 24, 2023

One of my early Group Program clients – let’s call her Sarah - came to me after a long string of disastrous encounters with unsuitable men.

In common with a lot of us, she had a very definite picture of the kind of man she wanted: He was tall and handsome, reasonably solvent, worldly and charismatic. As a result, she was attracted to men who were very charming, and very polished in their dating behaviour. The men who knew all the right buttons to press.

Unfortunately, this meant that Sarah had a habit of dating narcissistic men and those with other Dark Triad traits, since these men tend to know the “right” way to be romantic, the clothes to wear, how to wine and dine, and how to “woo” someone.

So she ended up suffering a LOT of heartbreak.

But then during our time together in the Dating Evolved program, when it came to assessing men during online dating, I couldn’t help noticing that she was still going for the guys who “ticked the boxes” while passing by men who were much more likely to be a good relationship bet.

I remember one occasion when she shared a message she’d received from a guy on an online dating site. She was horrified by it, but I actually thought it was lovely. He was full of eagerness and enthusiasm to chat with her and although perhaps he over-disclosed a bit at this early stage, he sounded genuine and clearly really liked her. But Sarah thought he was weird and shut down the conversation.

I wasn’t sure that was a good decision without giving him a bit more of a chance.

The thing is, not all guys are experienced in the dating game. While we tend to spend a lot of energy trying to avoid guys that are just playing us, particularly with online dating, we shouldn’t assume that all men know how it all works. Some guys might be new to online dating, or dating in general - just like you were once - and so they could come across as naïve, over-enthusiastic or maybe a bit odd. Careful not to discount such men, because once you actually get to know them you might find they could be great partners.

I’m happy to say that after my support, and that of other women in her group, Sarah did eventually change her search criteria and she found a lovely guy, who had a few odd quirks, but treated her like a queen!

It's easy to get into a habit of dismissing men because they don’t look or behave in exactly the way you’ve come to expect from the “right” kind of guy. Maybe he doesn’t know the right kind of wine to order. Maybe he hasn’t heard of the latest must-read book or the exercise routine that’s in vogue right now. Maybe he doesn’t have great dress sense.

I remember another client a couple of years ago, who had been having a lovely time messaging with a guy. They were well aligned on values and he was funny and made her laugh a lot. But when she met him for their first date, although he was kind and considerate – qualities that really matter for long-term relationship happiness - she couldn’t get over the fact that he wore green shoes that didn’t go with the rest of his outfit. And that was the end of that as far as she was concerned.

Something that’s worth bearing in mind is that men who aren’t super-confident and polished in the ways they relate to women in a dating context may well have experienced more rejection in their lives, and as a result they might have lower self-perceived mate value than the ‘cool’ guys. That doesn’t mean that they have lower value as a partner, but what it does mean is that they’re likely to feel lucky to be with you and they’ll invest themselves in the relationship – that’s a win-win all round!

So maybe give them a chance to grow on you?

This isn’t about settling for weirdo! This is about prioritising the qualities that actually matter for a long-term relationship – things like honesty, kindness, loyalty - and increasing your chances of a high level of investment from your man!

So what do you think? Do you have a habit of favouring men who have a pretty slick performance when it comes to dating?

Or do you think you can embrace a few quirks?

Mairi Macleod PhD