“The greatest crimes do not arise from a want of feeling for others, but from an over-sensibility for ourselves and an over-indulgence to our own desires.” —Edmund Burke
Beware of Mr. Wonderful. Really? But isn’t that the very thing that all women are looking for? A man who moves us, charms us, connects with us. Someone who is perfectly romantic, funny, rich, charming, friendly, outgoing, ambitious, says all the right things. Someone who loves kids and animals, pays attention to us, doesn’t take us for granted. It's what all girls want.
Remember the saying, “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is?” Not that there aren’t Mr. Wonderfuls out there in the world. I think there are. But they are categorically not perfect. Perfect isn’t a particularly realistic expectation. So when you find yourself with a “perfect” man, raise a mental Red Flag and make sure your eyes are wide open. Consider that you need to learn more about him. Maybe there is a side to him that you haven’t seen yet. Or maybe you haven’t been willing to see it.
Too often, the very qualities that we look for in a man are especially true of a man who may be at best, dishonest, at worst, breaking the law. And by the time the truth about his character begins to unfold, we are already so deeply hooked and committed that even an otherwise educated, smart and savvy woman would turn a blind eye.
Most women don’t set out looking to fall in love with someone who breaks the law. But we are susceptible because we yearn for that perfect relationship on some level. So we find ways to rationalize behavior in a man that might otherwise have raised an eyebrow. Because if we really look at the Red Flags for what they are, we lose the hope we had for building the perfect life with the perfect person.
What is a criminal?
For most of us, “criminal” conjures up images of violence and drugs. Gang bangers and drug dealers. Street crimes. Bank robberies. Murders. The stuff you see on TV. But there are other, less violent crimes that are just as devastating. These are often referred to as white-collar crimes. Think Bernie Madoff. Ken Lay, of Enron. These guys represent the very top of the white-collar food chain, but there are plenty just like them walking among us, creating havoc in less public ways. People like this get away with what they do for so long because they have some very compelling qualities. And the lesser-known guys are likely just as convincing and charismatic as the big boys.