4 Big Signs That You Have Mr. Big Syndrome

Most collegiettes would know of the nefarious Mr. Big, the on-again, off-again beau of writer Carrie Bradshaw in SATC. He set the benchmark for emotionally unavailable men everywhere, and as the years go by since SATC last aired, we’re slowly finding ourselves falling back into old patterns. The Mr. Big of the 90s is a character that’s still very much embedded in the life of the millennial Collegiette.

Almost every girl craves an Aidan - sweet, caring and loyal, but if that is the case then why are we constantly finding ourselves being reeled in by the Mr. Bigs of the world? Why do we trade in comfort for anxiety? Why do we claim we want someone stable but toss it away for the reckless man who’s more interested in making us run around in circles? Fret not, ladies! Here are a few signs to help you diagnose if you suffer from Mr. Big Syndrome:

You’ll make as many excuses as possible for his erratic behaviour:

He’ll rarely ever show any interest in any activity that you invite him to, and he’s scatter-brained at best. The second you show signs of losing interest, he’ll pounce like a lion in the savannah. It’s as though he’s playing “Eenie Meenie Miney Mo.” If you’re constantly making excuses for his behaviour by saying things like, “Oh he didn’t call because he was busy getting his cat’s teeth cleaned” or “He didn’t show up because his friend had an allergic reaction to shellfish the night before” chances are, you’re in great denial of having Mr. Big Syndrome.

You like the idea of him better than actually being with him:

He represents a certain fantasy of the type of man you’ve always pictured yourself to be with. He’s handsome, funny, witty, and always knows the right thing to say. He has a fascinating life and everything about him earns “Oohs” and “Aahs” from your friends. Probably the most intoxicating thing about him is his ability to remain mysterious. There’s always a side of him that’s closed off to you and he knows exactly when to remain aloof and detached from you, because he knows it’ll drive you insane. Run far and fast, friend. If you’re using the word "mysterious" as a euphemism for guarded and unavailable, this is a problem because it’s impossible to date someone who wants to remain a stranger to you. He certainly has no problem accessing you at your most vulnerable, because everything to him is a switch of power and he has this incredible knack of convincing you that you’re important to him.

His greatest nightmare is the word "Commitment":

His birthday is coming up and you get him a pair of mismatched socks because it’s a running joke with you two. You think it’s cute and give it to him, he smiles and poof! He vanishes and doesn’t call you for days on end. He then resurfaces with an elaborate story involving a road trip and how he “really wanted to call” but “lost his phone” etc. The smallest sign of the two of you getting closer drives him to the edge, and you’re rarely a factor in any of his decisions. He’ll avoid any conversations of where the two of you are going, and will refrain from using any labels. You’re not his girlfriend; you’re his girl/friend. It’s not a date; it’s a dinner thing. If you text him anything serious at all, he’ll change the subject and if you address the issue in person he’ll do one of two things: pretend you never said anything at all or completely shut down. He’s like human Teflon, no relationship sticks.

Friends, Lovers or Nothing:

You’re not sure if you’re in a relationship, just flirting, or in the friend zone with him because he operates with blurred lines. Your relationship with him is based on his convenience. The most frustrating thing is that he has absolutely no problems connecting with or getting into relationships with other people, just not you. He’ll constantly play the victim and blame you for “making things difficult,” and will constantly leave you feeling guilty for his lack of emotional maturity. On some days, he’ll leave you feeling like the luckiest person in the world and the very next day he’ll leave you feeling like an eternal question mark. You have a right to a healthy, stable relationship and you shouldn’t have to be the only one accommodating his fear of commitment. You may think you’re walking the tightrope between friend and lover with grace, but be careful to not let that tightrope become a noose.

The bottom line is that you need to give yourself the respect you deserve and understand the person you’re trying to share a real commitment with. He can’t be a manifestation of some fantasy you read in a fairy tale; he’s a real person with numerous flaws. But if you’re looking for commitment and his biggest fear is committing, then you’re in a relationship with no win-win. If he can’t give you what you want, you need to be able to recognize that and be firm with yourself and move on. You shouldn’t allow anyone to walk all over you.

Remember Eleanor Roosevelt’s words “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” If you feel like you’re constantly trying to make the relationship work with little or no input from him, then maybe it’s time to let this one go and embrace the possibility of a relationship where you can feel more respected.