Written by Michelle Spencer
The Clinger is a breed of man that every woman should avoid. He may seem refreshingly open and charming at first. He may even shower you with compliments and thoughtful gifts so that you think to yourself, “Wow, this guy must be really smitten!”
But do not be fooled. He is merely trying to win you over as quickly as possible so he can latch onto you and lock you down for his own ulterior motive.
According to a new survey conducted by biological anthropologist Helen Fisher (in conjunction with match.com), nearly a third of men would commit to a woman they were not in love with, as long as she had all the other attributes they sought in a mate. You know, like ovaries and a job. Fisher also found that these same men would be in an exclusive partnership with a lady they were not sexually attracted to. (Note: The numbers were far lower for women.)
These men are Clingers. They lurk in major cities and suburban towns across the country and - ladies beware – they can take many forms and guises. Below is a listing of some of the most notorious categories, currently on the prowl. If you encounter any of the following, you may be in the presence of a certified Clinger.
The Handsome Actor Guy (a.k.a. The Barista)
You can’t believe this charismatic, chiseled-featured hunk of man is into you. And he’s so sweet—always bringing you coffee. By the third date, he suggests moving in together because he wants to spend all of his free time with you. He also casually mentions that his SAG membership will set him back a little over $3,000 and he can no longer afford rent on $8 an hour.
The Ready-To-Have-A-Family Man
He’s on a quest to find a willing uterus. Could it be yours? From the very first date, he wants to know all about you…and your ovaries. Have you ever had kids before? Do you want to? Are you fertile? Will you make a good mother? Do you get along with your parents? Does your family tend to be athletically inclined? What dominant and recessive traits run in your family?
The Need-To-Land-a-Lady-Before-I-Go-Bald Guy
He compliments your eyes, your wit, your jokes and especially your hair. He professes infatuation after the second date. He’s constantly shifting his coiffure into a vague non-part. While he appears to be engrossed with you, you catch him stealing glances at those late-night Hair Club For Men infomercials. He casually asks if you find Jason Statham attractive. He wears hats…a lot.
The All-My-Friends-Are-Coupled-Up Guy
It never occurred to him to pursue an actual relationship in his 20s. Why the rush? But now that he’s 30-something, all of his buddies are speaking the “We” language, and he wants to be fluent as well. He’s on a mission to say, “Yeah, we hated that movie, too” or “We’re cooking pasta together tonight” and not be talking about himself and his pit bull terrier.
The Finally-Met-a-Nice-Girl Guy
He finds it refreshing that you didn’t grope him under the table on the first date. He’s relieved that you aren’t seeking a man to buy you Brazilian blowouts. And he thinks it’s sweet that you call your parents weekly. But the real shocker? You actually eat carbs and drink beer. Who are you? According to him, you’re his future wife. Commence lockdown.
The British Bloke
This charming man who’s on holiday meets you and is instantly smitten. You bond over Black and Tans. He begs you to meet up with him again while he’s in town. You oblige, and he’s giddy as a schoolgirl. Several rounds of gin later, he tells you how much he wants to live in the States and tries to convince you that you’re "The One" because you both love Zeppelin.
The Been-On-Every-Dating-Site Guy
Plenty of Fish hooked him up with bottom-dwellers. E-Harmony rejected his "un-Christian-like values." Match brought him promising candidates, but he never advanced beyond email courtship. He finds sending winks and clever messages exhausting. Even the photos with his infant niece didn't work. Then you came along—right before his three-month membership ran out.
The Want-To-Get-Over-My-Ex Guy
This scarred soul recently suffered a heartbreak and wants to move on. You’re the life preserver he uses to float to Rebound Island. He immediately clasps onto you like one of those stuffed monkeys with the Velcro hands. Your relationship moves faster than Usain Bolt. Two weeks in, he can’t bear the thought of losing you. Overwhelmed, you long to retreat to the Island of Freedom.
Le French Homme
Upon first meeting, he proclaims, “You are so beautiful, I must kiss you at every stoplight as we wander ze streets of ze city!” He’s always passionate about women, but in his 30s, he’s especially over the top. Between cigarettes, he confesses that he wants to whisk you to Paris so you can be together forever. He has that certain je ne sais quoi—and it’s way more intense than his breath.
The Don In Distress
This desolate man takes refuge in his castle, doubtful he’ll ever find a dashing dame. Then, he meets you—probably through an online dating site or when his friends force him to let down the drawbridge for an eve of recreation. He confides in you, and you bestow him with empathy. Soon thereafter, he is convinced you saved him. You are his dragon slayer. And his breathing tube.