Posted on

Always Something Better Syndrome

I’ve been thinking about this for quite sometimes and wanted to hear some different perspectives on this question: how long & in what circumstances do you hold out for something better, relationship wise? Well, let me explain what I mean a little bit better.

I have had many men tell me that they have let good women go or can’t seem to make the ultimate commitment because they think that there’s alwasy “something better.” Why limit yourself to good when you can have better, or to better when you can have the best?

I suppose this can be said to be akin to a woman’s idea of “the one.” Women are usually looking for a certain feeling. They believe they will “just know” when the time is right & that they are with “the one.” I’ve been “humored” by some recently engaged women we smile knowingly at me when I ask and say serenely “when you know, you know.” If you believe them, they knew months ago & were just waiting for him to catch on.

But the men with Always Something Better Syndrome (ASBS) aren’t waiting on a feeling or certain characteristics: they seem to be waiting on Perfection with no timetables or outward signs of looking for a commitment (re: Ebony Brown from that Boondocks Episode.)

(and they will find a way to say that’s not good enough either!)

My married friend I went to dinner with (whom we will call Mz. Wifey) has the theory that all men want to settle down and know they should, but because of commitment issues, they use ASBS to keep the door open, even when they are with good women. “Eventually they realize they’re already committed, aren’t looking for anyone, don’t want anyone else , & aren’t going anywhere. They just have to stop fighting it and commit.” Hmm…

I’m a firm believer in vetting a life partner, of making sure they are what you are looking for and what you want. You should get what you want because you can’t just give them back, and even if you could, you can’t get the time you wasted on them back. So taking one’s time and thinking through your options is important. But at some point this can begin to be an impediment, or an excuse not to commit at all. My question is where is the line between carefully searching out what’s best for you and being too darn picky indulging commitment phobia? No one, I’m sure, wants to begin they want to settle down, only to realize their best choices are behind them.

Romantic comedies specialize in pairing up the hot guy with the perfect girl he continuously overlooked, but most often in real life, unless tied to you by a child/ren, she’s probably not sitting somewhere waiting for you to figure it all out (and kids don’t guarantee she’s waiting either).  You look for her on your Facebook page and find her under another name and get your heart crushed and feelings hurt.

I’m not sure how you balance it. I want to side with those presumptuous almost married chicks  and say you just know; but what if you don’t? What if all you ever know is you let your perfect mate get away? You shouldn’t settle for less than you deserve or can get either. So there you go; I”m officially thinking in circles.

What’s your two cents? Is ASBS real? How do/did you settle down without settling? How did you get over ASBS? Who/what have you overlooked in the pursuit of something better, something perfect, and do you ever regret it? Do you believe it’s even possible to miss out on your perfect match?

P.S. This is my first time embedding a video, so I hope it works! If not, help your technology challenged friend (so she doesn’t have to ask her boyfriend)!

4 thoughts on “Always Something Better Syndrome

  1. I enjoyed this post. I think there really is something to what you have said.

    I live and date in New York City and my single friends and I have always thought that this theory really rings true here. This city thrives on status and you always see men “trading up”. Even if you find yourself in a relationship, you wonder if his eye is trained over your shoulder looking for the next best thing.

  2. “My question is where is the line between carefully searching out what’s best for you and … indulging commitment phobia?”

    I never had a “feeling” someone was right for me. I have a list of needs that involve the type of man I want to spend my life with and the type of man I want to spend this weekend with. I think we all know with certain who we want and how “perfect” this person is for us – some who exercise ASBS have not found those needs in their current mate which is fine but should not drag time from the other person’s life.

    I do not like the “feeling” that most newly married women use to confirm their mate is “the one”. A feeling is fleeting. I haven’t met a woman who has been married 10+ years say anything about a “feeling” but I may be wrong.

    1. I have seen both situations–ones in which the individual knew with certainty what they wanted and held out for it, and individuals who were just scared to commit. The difference seems to be whether or not they regret it in the end.

      Some women don’t have a feeling. They say that, but they have carefully reviewed the man to death and decided on him, at which point they wait for him to catch up. Some do go on feeling, with varying levels of success. I think feeling (woman’s intuition, if you will), mixed with practicality is more my style. A person can meet every item on the list and the chemistry could not be there, or the other way around. Sometimes the opposite of what we think we want early on can be a good match, too.

      People with ASBS are always wasting someone’s time. If only people could either be honest and admit someone isn’t what they want, or deal with their commitment issues before getting involved with anyone else…

  3. […] the interview, we are discussing red flags to look for, how independent women affect relationships, Always Something Better Syndrome (ASBS), commitment phobia, common issues in marriage, and what people need to be doing during engagement and […]

Comments are closed.