Women and Men: Men who love too much

He's clever, he's kind, and he gets on with your girlfriends, writes Eleanor Davey. That's right: he's a womanising swine

There's only one problem for a woman who has a relationship with a devilishly handsome, intelligent, flirtatious, loveable man who spent the early days charming his way into her affections and bedroom. Such an unusually impressive specimen of that gender will always be in demand with other women - and respond to it.

Sadly, like Diana's video sex-romp story, the ``new man'' turned out to be an elaborate hoax. And so, fingers burnt, women are left with ``old man'': either uncommunicative, hobby-obsessed bores - the man's man - or the good ones, capable of conversation. Most of the latter - if they know anything about moisturiser - are gay. The rest are multiple-booked on an ongoing basis.

For these men adore women. Unlike conventional philanderers, they respect them. They respect them so much that they would rather spend an evening with a girl than a bloke; and if they get sex at the end of the evening, well, why not?

"I have always loved women," says Dylan, 34, a copywriter in a small London advertising agency. "I have relationships, but that doesn't stop the next funny, beautiful, intelligent female, and yes, preferably with large knockers, catching my eye. Most of my friends are women. I always hated that all-male Friday night experience or the rugby club on a Saturday evening. My brother goes for all that, but I love female company; the conversation is so much more intimate and emotional. So, even when I am in a relationship, like now, I will have nights alone with my female friends. And we often end up getting a bit pissed and going back to her place. It's no different to my mind to men getting pissed at the rugby club and pulling their trousers down, it's just bonding."

Dylan is a friend to his girlfriend's women friends. They tell his girlfriend how lucky she is to have found a man with a sensitive side. He has, he claims, flirted with them all, and actually slept with two. "My girlfriend is always delighted that I get on with her friends. She says it makes a change. I have never made a move on her friends, they always came to me. I'm passably good-looking I suppose, but mainly it's because I amuse them."

Dylan has been with his present girlfriend for a year and a half. But it is, he claims, a casual thing, and he believes they have an open relationship. "I can't see how monogamy is possible, and I'm sure my girlfriend thinks the same. We're both in advertising, it's a very social profession. Sometimes I'll go a fortnight without seeing her when we're both out every night. It may sound weak or unsound, but sex with other people is inevitable. Actually, I have had more aggro over my behaviour from male friends than I have from women. They can't believe what a lucky bastard I am. But I listen to them talking about their Psions and realise that it's not down to mere luck."

"Some men admit quite openly that they prefer the company of women," says consulting clinical psychologist Dr Paul Brown, who specialises in sex and relationships. "And their penchant would tend to make them terribly attractive and probably quite fatal to women. These men will be quite upfront and say from the outset that they have never been able to make a long-term commitment. Often the women will take that as a challenge." The honesty and ability to communicate emotions will make him stand out from the traditional Neanderthal that women are used to dealing with. But of course he will still want to sleep with other people.

Post-feminism - whatever that is - has left western females more sexually and emotionally demanding. They no longer get so easily seduced into the you-cleaning-woman-me-lager-lad relationship, but instead have sought out a new kind of destructive relationship. One with a male who is all too aware of his imperfections, but just as helpless, it seems, to do anything about it.

Under no delusions that he is anything other than rubbish at relationships, John, 34, remains endlessly attracted to new women. "I am always faithful to one woman at a time, but I only achieve that by having a new partner every three months. I know I'm a sad git, but if it's there I take it. I know that I don't want to grow up (and if I didn't I've had so many women tell me this, that I would have got there eventually). But I don't want to live with anyone. I want an easy uncomplicated life. I don't want to get to know anyone's parents or go shopping in Ikea.

"I love women. I love to have conversations with them until six in the morning, and you only really get that at the beginning of a relationship. It's not that I stop fancying the person I'm with, it's more that I start fancying someone else too and I am a decent chap and so I give them the old heave-ho. I must be very shallow, because I let go very easily, I'm never bothered. And it always amazes me when I end it after just three months and a girlfriend can say `but I feel so close to you'. I want to explain to her that, no, actually I'm like that with everyone. She just thinks that she's close to me, but you can't say that, can you?"

While the old male chauvinist is busy on the outside of the tent pissing in, the woman-loving man is inside the tent pissing on your sleeping bag. The damage is more direct because they seem at first to be so empathetic, so much one of the girls.

"When a woman has a relationship with a man who seems to be utterly charming and understanding and yet announces himself `not the commitment type','' says relationship counsellor Lesley Parrish, "it is very common for her to think, `well, I'm the one that can change him, it will be different this time.' She cannot understand why, if they get on so well, he should not want to stay.

"It may be that he is the kind of person who exudes an energy and warmth that everybody loves. Particularly this happens with very successful or famous people, who often have enormous charisma. When someone starts a relationship with that charismatic charming person, they think that the charisma is exclusively aimed at them. In fact, that person may be addicted to the high of attraction or of popularity; they may not be able to control it. And let's not be sexist, it can cut both ways. It's just that men are still more able to get away with it. And because they are so charming, this kind of man often stays friends with his conquests. They see him as a lovable rogue who can't help himself."

Conventional wisdom would have it that men who are multiple lovers of women are dysfunctional. John Collings, professor of psychology at Leeds Metropolitan University, says: "Men who are always falling for new women and can't maintain one lasting relationship are often quite inadequate, no matter how well-adjusted they seem on the surface. They are too anxiously trying to feel wanted by many women, when all the evidence suggests that men are healthier and happier when they are in one long-term relationship."

But maybe conventional wisdom is wrong and the men who love women are right. Maybe monogamy should not be the goal. Dr Brown thinks it's possible. "More than 50 per cent of married men and almost 50 per cent of women say they have committed adultery. Monogamy could seem like a waste of our natural skills of attraction and flirtation."

Long-term monogamy can be explained as a phenomenon peculiar to the post-Victorian era. Before this time, most relationships would have ended in the death of a partner before the issue of infidelity came up.

Dr Brown adds: "DNA studies have revealed that many of the animal species that were previously thought to mate for life don't."

So maybe the men and women who continue to form many relationships - but in positive, communicative ways - are right. Maybe biology dictates that we all want to flirt and have sex with each other all of the time. So maybe biology dictates that even trying to have a long-term relationship is like saying women shouldn't wear trousers.

SPOTTING THEM A MILE OFF

For the old-fashioned, who still want to avoid a man who is in love with all women:

1. He's still in touch with all his former girlfriends. They all seem lovely, if wistful, but they don't blame him

2. When you ask "what are you thinking?" he is happy to say

3. He doesn't like football

4. He has a valid opinion on lipstick

5. He has already got to know all your female friends ...

6. ... And they've started ringing him

7. You can tell him anything

8. He always notices when you're wearing something new

9. He seems too good to be true ...

10. ... He is

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

    £26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

    Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

    £24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

    £22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions