Little Red Riding Hood Syndrome


“I am not a fair weather friend”… said the wolf to little red riding hood, as he slipped his arm around her shoulders and handed her a cup of tea…

Margaret was astounded and angry at her own foolishness for falling for her latest boyfriends smooth lines. She was a sophisticated, well educated and quite beautiful woman in her late 40’s.

She had come into therapy distraught over her bad luck with dating men in the Boca Raton, Florida area. This was not the first female patient that had expressed her disdain for the games that men play in the game of “internet dating”.

As a Marriage and Family therapist, and Clinical Sexologist, I will address the women’s perspectives on this issue, that I have recently had opportunity to speak with in my research on the subject. So as not to abandon the male’s viewpoint, I will address the man’s point of view in my next posted blog.

So lets get started. First and foremost, women are complaining about several major repeated patterns of behavior seen in many of the men they have met. Listed below are the major offenders as stated by local women interviewed:

  1. “they all seem to have ADHD… and can’t date you without being right back online while dating you”
  2. “men lie about their ages and pretend to be something that they are not”
  3. “if they don’t have ex-girlfriends… they are still married or “separated” and expect you to put up with listening to them talk about their ex’s.
  4. “these guys can’t even follow through, they take you on a date, tell you how crazy they are about you, and then don’t call back for a week, while having “coffee dates” with other women… all the while having made a date with you for the upcoming weekend.

OK… OK… OK… I get the picture… As a single woman myself, I have kissed my share of frogs. The key question here is… WHY DO PEOPLE FAIL OUR EXPECTATIONS OF THEM?? And that is exactly what they do, because we set ourselves up for these disappointments!! People are people are people… that’s right… we are humans with human frailties. All of us make mistakes, and not only fail others but ourselves as well at times.

I believe that in this twenty-first century of “internet dating”… we as women have to be, …and by the way… this is not an if, or a maybe, but absolutely a mandate that we “MUST BE” diligent in our survival instincts!! In other words… you must be discerning in your choices that you make.

Think of it this way…would you scatter your finances away haphazardly, or give away your most valued possessions to just any old person that passed your way. Of course not!! Then I ask, why are we as women…so often giving away our most precious belonging….our essence and soul energy. That’s right.. your essence… that which makes up the core of who you know yourself to be, including your sense of self, self-esteem, loving heart, physical life force, etc.

If the local men are acting like “boys with their toys”… living their second childhoods all over again, why must we be susceptible to their fragile egos and acting out adolescent behaviors??

Although the question concerning how to find the “perfect partner” is often raised, the answer lies in loving and respecting yourself-first. On the subject of sex, love and your body, you can never truly give to another, what you have not accepted for yourself. If you don’t have love for yourself, you can’t be loving to others.

Attaining this type of self-awareness means that, “you are aware of what the boundaries and pitfalls of internet dating entails”. You’re give physical, energetic, emotional, mental, soul-level, and spiritual aspects of your being, while maneuvering through this cyber-space world of the dating and mating process. Why not guard against the dangerous curves in the road ahead??

Ultimately you are responsible for taking responsibility for your own safety and growth. So even if the big bad wolf… slips you that slippery and slimy cup of tea, it is up to you to decide if you want to go down that path! As they say… “IF YOU DON’T STAND FOR SOMETHING… YOU’LL FALL FOR ANYTHING… little Red Riding Hood.