Relationships and Romance: It Really is That Complicated

By: Charles E. Rawlings, M.D., Attorney ~

All women want what they can’t have and once a man realizes this he has just been handed the key to being with almost any woman. Sad but true; moreover this knowledge is really what separates the bad boys from the good guys. The bad boys, regardless of their socioeconomic background, use this knowledge to their advantage. They remain just out of reach, never committing, never saying I love you, never phoning or texting on a regular basis. Such behavior drives most women crazy-they want what they can’t have. Contrast that type of behavior with a good guy’s actions. He acts interested, he sends flowers, he calls, he texts, he says I love you and means it. Ahh, but generally he is too available, he isn’t a challenge, he is too easy, until a woman decides to opt for marriage. Then, the nice guy is gone, she chased after the unavailable and is left without. Then she settles, usually for a lesser man-she let the good one get away. This knowledge that women want what they can’t have is very powerful leverage for the male who understands. Rest assured, however, men evidence the very same behavior.

I was sitting at an upscale restaurant last evening in Charlotte listening to the two women engaged in a heated conversation at the adjacent table. They were obviously educated, intelligent, well-to-do and in long-term, committed relationships. It was these relationships of which they were discussing. The discussion was illuminating, sanguine, and congruous. I don’t normally eavesdrop but when one of the ladies mentioned that her significant other was “too nice” my ears immediately perked up and I began to listen. Both women were fully engaged in the conversation but the one whose significant other was “too nice” did the majority of the talking. It seems as if this man, whoever he was, had a fatal flaw or at least a significant problem – he cared too much. He seemed to remember all the correct dates, phoned regularly, listened closely, asked her opinion frequently and in other ways demonstrated her importance. She, on the other hand, seemed to want him to be more off-putting, be more jerkish, be more egomaniacal. Her companion listened patiently and nodded at the appropriate times. Then, as only a female can, her friend leaned over and told the speaker that, she too, wished that her significant other would act a bit more “ass-holish.” That’s right, she wanted an asshole as a companion. I was a bit taken aback but the women at my table all seemed to confirm that, well, yes, some men can be too nice. Hmmm, imagine that.

My friend has a “biological” theory as to why women would be attracted to the jerks, the egomaniacs, the assholes of the world. His theory is that these types of men would appear, at least in a superficial way, to be the stronger set of males. They would at first blush appear to be those males most capable of defending themselves, most capable of defending their mate, most capable at propagating their genes. On the other hand, they may also be the set of men most likely to be harmed, maimed, injured or killed in a useless fight based upon their ego – their maniacal lack of restraint and inability to compromise. Where would that leave their female mates? It is an interesting teleological argument.

My friend also has another theory about the notion that women want what they can’t have. Actually, it’s not so much a theory as to why they want what they can’t have but a theory on the stability and attraction of a couple based on that notion. He calls it the inverse relationship law. Such a law is not that unusual to find in the physical world. The force of gravity drops off in an inverse relationship to the distance between objects, acceleration is in an inverse relationship with the mass of an object. Moreover in a relationship, it is very well known that the power a person exerts over another is inversely proportion to the caring – in other words, the person who cares the least has the most power in the relationship – think about it!

My friend’s theory is that as the considerate nature, actions, and “niceness” of a man increases, the attraction for and likelihood of a date with a woman go down. Same with the relationship, the higher the “niceness” of the man the lower the likelihood that the relationship will last and that the male will remain attractive to the female. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending upon how one utilizes this knowledge, such an inverse relationship appears to be almost universal. Okay, I hear the howls of derision again but be honest ladies you find nice guys dull and boring – you want the evil bad guys – the ones who don’t call, the ones who keep you guessing – the ones you want but the ones you can’t have!

So, if women want what they can’t have, how do they get, obtain what they do want? Things that make up their agenda- security, children, real estate. Things that make a woman’s heart go pitter-patter. That’s the precise subject matter thoroughly explored in my book, “It Really Is That Complicated.”

About the Author:

Charles E. Rawlings, M.D., Attorney is the author of “It Really is That Complicated.” For more information about Dr. Rawlings, visit