Repairing Relationships

Building intimacy and joy into your relationships

Is Your Mate Hot and Crazy?

Will men put up with insanity for looks?

 The “Hot/Crazy Matrix” is the latest YouTube sensation, with over 5 million hits and coverage on all the cable television talk shows for the last month. Dana McLendon III, a divorce lawyer and elected city alderman in Franklin, Tenn., produced  a video based on the the idea first uttered by the fictional character Barney Stinson on the "How I Met Your Mother" sitcom on CBS. McLendon has cleverly repackaged it, claiming it that tells the viewer “what you need to know about how to deal with women and how to analyze the situation that you may be in or want to be in.” According to McLendon's theory of female human behavior there is a  “crazy axis” and a “hot axis,” with “hot” measured from zero to ten and “crazy” starting at 4, because “there’s no such thing as a woman who’s not at least a four crazy."

Sadly, the Hot/Crazy Matrix does describe the dating behavior of many American men.There is no real discernment involved. American men are entertaining any woman who reaches their standard of physical beauty and charm as a potential mate. Instead of using the courtship process to sort through candidates to determine compatibility and shared interests, many American men look to any woman who meets their basic standard and will pursue her to become their wife or cohabitant. They are making life determining decisions based on a look, a laugh or the sparkle in a woman's eyes. They worry about silly things like compatibility later.

In a fraction of marriages and cohabitations, men and women practicing this insane courtship cheat the hangman and, through dumb luck, match up with someone of compatible personalities, similar interests, values and goals. Reading about those did find a modicum of happiness despite this Hot/Crazy style of courtship is like reading about state lottery winners. More likely are the marriages that fall back on the old patriarchal marriage notions of separate roles for each partner working toward perpetuation of the family unit for economic success and perpetuation of the family by procreation. Otherwise there is no reason for marriages based of "hotness" to last longer than the honeymoon. When the sexual mystery becomes old and the passion cools, many practicioners of the Hot/Crazy Matrix suddenly discover that the "crazy" factor of day to day compatibility trumps looks. 

 

 

 

J.R. Bruns, M.D., is co-author of The Tiger Woods Syndrome, a book about repairing relationships.

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