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Tuesday, March 17

Tips to Avoid the Chickenhead Syndrome

I’m at the age where a lot of my friends are entering new phases of their lives with long-term, committed relationships blossoming into engagements and marriages. So, as you can imagine, the most common topic of conversation among my single girlfriends involves some aspect of dealings with men.

Just recently a group of my college buddies and I got together to catch up on a range of things. We started with family updates, then moved to work drama, and of course ended with dating dilemmas.

I sat back in silence as one of my girlfriends, who happens to be young, attractive and accomplished, described her situation.

She’d been in an on-again-off-again relationship with a guy for over five years but hadn’t been able to totally commit to him for a variety of reasons. First, she didn’t feel like he was capable of having substantive conversations with her, thereby, starving her mind of food for thought. Secondly, she felt as though he was emotionally and financially unstable from being unable to jumpstart and maintain a steady career. Third, she found him to be a little boring. And fourth, he didn’t give her butterflies. And according to her, in five years, he never had.

As I listened to her, it appeared pretty evident that she and this guy lacked chemistry and didn’t belong together. And it seemed silly to me that she would continue dealing with someone knowing that it wasn’t working. I started thinking to myself that this situation would have an easy diagnostic, and we would quickly move on to the next girl’s dilemma.
But then she threw us a curveball.

She admitted to the group that she understood that this particular guy didn’t meet the majority of the criteria she had for a prospective mate. But she was hesitant to let him go because of his potential. Due to his college successes as an athlete, she knew where he was capable of being in two years or so, and she wanted to be there with him. Meaning, she knew the possibility existed for this guy to make a lot of money in a sports-related career, and she wanted to enjoy the lifestyle that came with it.

At this moment, I was kinda confused. Was my friend really telling us that she was stringing this guy along until his potential transformed into something kinetic? The first thing I wanted to blurt out was that she probably missed five opportunities at true happiness waiting on this dude whose potential may remain just that.

But I didn’t say anything. None of us did. And my friend kept talking.

She confessed that while she was waiting on him to get it together, she’d made new friends—friends that were more financially stable, charming and capable of having thought provoking conversations that required an opinion. But then she pointed out that these guys were either too short, too light-skin, too fat or too ugly.

That’s when it dawned on me. My girl had the Chickenhead Syndrome. I was in disbelief that I actually had a close friend in her late 20s who still used the same superficial qualities as criteria for a mate that we used in high school. For clarity’s sake, the definition of Chickenhead I’m referring to, as described in popular culture, is an around-the-way girl who isn’t about anything and often digs for gold.

This description doesn’t fit my friend completely, which is why I say she has the syndrome, or a group of symptoms that characterize the Chickenhead condition. The truth, though, is that she is not alone. And luckily, there is help for my friend and all other women affected by the Chickenhead Syndrome. If you or someone you know has been afflicted, simply follow the tips below.

Tip 1: Know ThyselfIt isn’t until you become a student of yourself that you can truly know yourself. And it isn’t until you truly know yourself that you can accurately know what you want in a mate. Establishing and living by core values will help define your character and help you understand what you are willing and unwilling to compromise in a relationship. Obviously, my friend doesn’t know herself well enough to know that the guy she’s been dealing with for five years will probably never make her happy.

Tip 2: Treat Thyself. To put it simply, money isn’t everything. It won’t give you great conversation. It won’t protect you. It won’t listen to you when you’ve had a bad day. And it won’t help you raise moral and socially responsible children. And quite honestly, I don’t know why anyone would waste five years waiting on someone to come into some money when they have their own. But then again, that goes back to knowing yourself. Women should grow accustom to treating themselves (to a vacation, spa treatment, movie or whatever) so that money and the what-can-he-do-for-me attitude don’t become dominant focuses of your thoughts, freeing your mind to see what he’s really about.

Tip 3: Reverse the Role. Think about how you would feel if a guy who knew you were less than what he wanted decided to string you along until you made it as a top model or top executive at your company. Or maybe you were mostly what he wanted but were too short, too fat, too light-skinned or too ugly.

Studies show that women who followed these tips saw results in as little as four weeks. However, if you don’t see improvements this quickly, simply repeat the steps until desired results are achieved. And soon enough you'll see how easy it is to set your goddess free.

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