The Myth of the Different Man


Here are two fundamental truths about my relationship history:

1. The thing I’ve liked best about every man I’ve fallen for is how different he is from all the others

2. I have had the exact same relationship with the exact same man about 25 times in my life

Now I know I’m not exactly the queen of logic, but even I can deduce from that that the men I’ve been involved with have really not been that different from one another. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely ain’t good.

I think that for most women, when we travel the road to wifedom, what we’re really looking for is a man who is different from all the other men we’ve known. And when we find one we think is that mythical magical “different” man, we’re as much excited by that difference as we are by any of his actual qualities. We like to attribute bad experiences to the qualities of the man rather than to his actions (or our own), so we try to find someone who doesn’t have whatever quality we’ve decided is troublesome. 

For some it’s going outside their race. For others it’s going older or younger, more or less educated or wealthy. I’ve tried switching from tall men to average heights (I’m convinced that the height differential between a man and a woman has a profound effect on their relationship, but that’s another post for another day). These days I’m convinced that giving up hot boys and going for a more bohemian type is the move.  

We look at differentness as insurance against experiencing the same hurt we’ve been through in the past. A woman who gives up Leo men in favor of a docile Taurus thinks this will save her from getting her face kicked in like she did the last time. 

The thing is though that – however much men may differ from one another on or just below the surface – at their core most men are pretty much the same. My male readers are probably strenuously disagreeing with me, but there are certain fundamental principles of dating a man to which you almost never find exceptions. Just trust me on that men. 

Of course this means that every woman who becomes involved with a so-called different man will experience the most disappointing thing a man can do to a woman: the revelation that he is exactly the fucking same as all the others. There’s always a moment when he does that thing that you know he’s gonna do but you’re hoping against hope that he won’t do. But of course he did it, because it’s what men do. 

So what happens when your different man turns out to be the same? Well smart girls recognize that you can’t fight nature. They accept the fact that they’re dealing with a man not unlike the others and alter their behaviour and expectations accordingly. Dumb girls continue to believe that their man is different. They come up with bullshit excuses for his exactly the same behaviour and refuse to accept the fact that the only thing different about that man is the fact that she wants him to be different. Until she eventually clues in that the different man does not fucking exist. 

But this is just my theory, what do you guys think? Ladies do you believe in the myth of the different man? Do you know any? (No one is allowed to use Most as an example here I’m telling you that right now). Men do you think you’re different? Are women fundamentally all the same? Speak your piece in the comments. 

bag lady. digital nerd. beauty junkie. shoe whore. i'm a sucker for big words and box-fresh kicks. know a little bit about a lot of things and have something to say about everything.

Comments 23

  1. Starita34 says:

    Somebody feed those models! (Which yes, are just this side of the Mason Dixon line of homosexual)

    I was staunchly in the men are NOT the same camp til you dropped this jewel: “the most disappointing thing a man can do to a woman: the revelation that he is exactly the fucking same as all the others. There’s always a moment when he does that thing that you know he’s gonna do but you’re hoping against hope that he won’t do. But of course he did it, because it’s what men do.”

    You cut to the core of me Baxter…just reading it I had a movie montage in my mind of the exact MOMENTS of realization when my “different” man did something so typically male (in a bad sense) and it broke my lil hopeful heart…so a part of me must agree with what you’re saying…but that’s partially because I’m doing the choosing as well. I pick similar men, as I’d assume most women do. I’ve got a prototype in mind, some nonnegotiables, and that leads to some similarity in the men I pick, not all men IMO.

    So yep, I’m still drinking the kool-aid I guess, in general I do think that men are different. As different as humans can be at least. and eff you for lowkey calling me a dumb girl for that opinion!

    PS: I had a small conniption fit of chuckles when you warned against using Most as an example! LMAO #YouDaYouDaBest (that count as CanCon?)

  2. Cheekie says:

    “(No one is allowed to use Most as an example here I’m telling you that right now)”

    *cackles heartily*

  3. Kema says:

    OMG! Get out of my head. I am so looking for a taurus and am done with leos.

    What you said makes sense. I have always tried to date ‘different’. I’ve had the thug, oreo, cornball, hot boy, and nice guy and now that I think about it they were all basically the same relationship. Now I’m coming to the conclusion that yes men are fundamentally the same but maybe the main reason for the sameness of each relationship is the common denominator… Me.

    Maybe if my line up of exes had dated another woman they would have been ‘different’ but the same type of different in which she was accustumed.

    1. emti says:

      the Taurus man is the same as the Leo man he just hides it for longer
      trust me on this i’ve been with both

  4. I love it when I get mentioned by Max. Anyways, this is a great post, you really dug deep on this one. I think, to an extent, most men are pushed by the same needs and desires, so, the resulting picture of a man you receive is probably the same. It takes extraordinary circumstances to produce an extraordinary individual – whether his extraordinary-ness airs on the side of good or bad.

    That said, the thing that sticks out most when women express the inability to find a different dude, is that they miss the obvious answer. I bet all the men reading this are thinking the way I’m thinking. It’s right there in front of your faces ladies. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. It’s you – women. If you’ve been attracting the same type of man for 20 years, and that man is not the man you want… then there’s something about yourself that you need to change. It’s that simple. It’s not that all men are the same, it’s that you’re the same, so the same man keeps rolling on around.

    Sit down and make a list of all of the things you want in a mate. Like, everything, from the most shallow of wants like say style of dress, or eye color – to the more important ones like, views on religion and spirituality and relationship expectations. Write it down… write it all down. Then, take a good hard look at your list, and start writing another list. On that list write down what the man you just created in your previous list might look for in a woman… every detail… from the most minute, to the most important. Then, and this is the most important step… take a long look in the mirror. Are you that woman? Are you almost that woman? What you’ll probably find is that you either need to change what your expecting in a man, or you need to work on some things in yourself. Once you have it all figured out, don’t be discouraged, get to work!

    I’m not talking about changing things about who you are at your core. I’m talking about the other things. The things that can be changed. The things that lay just above core characteristics and extend out to what you’re actually presenting. All of those things affect who you attract and all of those things can be molded.

    Men spend our whole lives doing this… working on our presentation. This is because women force us to. It’s either adapt, or get left in the cold. Women, conversely, get told their whole lives to just ‘Be themselves’ and “Mr. Right” or, “Mr. Different” will roll along. You been hoodwinked, led astray, run-a-muck… Bamboozled! That’s not the way it works.

    Again… great post Max!

    1. BGirl says:

      Adding ^^^this^^^ to my file of things Most says.

  5. wg4ever says:

    long time reader, first time responding(sorry lol.) I am a man. My newlywed wife can tell you that SOME things a man does wont change. I think you’re speaking more on a cheating man. The whole idea that men WILL have more than one women in their life. Again, I’m just assuming this is in a large part of what you’re hinting towards. I’d like to think that anything a man does other than cheat wouldnot have u running for the door. You’re right, a man is gonna be a man. Just as a woman is gonna be a woman. Any extra acts are by choice. It’s all about choice. Decision making. If you love your wife as much as I do, you dont put urself in situations that will encourage infidelity. What helps me avoid certain situations is my past. I am the type of man that, not only learn from my previous mistakes, but also the mistakes of my peers. A man has to be ready to settle down BEFORE he even starts to look for a wife. A man cant see his wife until he is ready to be married. No woman should assume that they can make a man marriage material. He should be ready before he even meets you. And for those that have heard a man say he’s ready to settle, ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS. And it doesnt take a week to see if his or hers actions support their claim. Max, you have alot to do with the amount of reading I do now. Thanks and stay true to you

    1. max says:

      I like your perspective (and welcome to commenting). I actually wasn’t thinking of cheating at all when I wrote this, because I would never call cheating a “man” thing to do. Women do it just as much and are usually grimier about it than men.

  6. Sam Sharpe says:

    Love you max, but I’m going to say this is horsesh**. I think the Most Interesting…summed it up nicely so I won’t say much more.

    “There’s always a moment when he does that thing that you know he’s gonna do but you’re hoping against hope that he won’t do. But of course he did it, because it’s what men do.”

    See, without knowing what this thing is that men do, it’s difficult to take this seriously. Either way, this is kind of like saying since all cars accelerate when you step on the gas then all cars are the same. But anyone who’s ever driven a K-Car or an Echo, then driven a Benz or Bimma knows this ain’t true….

    In case you’re wondering, in this analogy I’m the Benz or Bimma.

    1. max says:

      Hahaha I love that you said it is horseshit. I knew you were not going to feel me at all but I wasn’t expecting that.

      But I won’t argue with you or Most because the ways in which all men are the same is one of the things men will never understand about themselves…and that post is coming one of these days.

      1. Sam Sharpe says:

        I’m glad you weren’t offended by my use of horsesh**. I thought it was possible you’d be offended….but rest assured, I meant it lovingly.

        Anyway, I look forward to reading that post…one of these days.

  7. melissa says:

    last week i tweeted, “guys are so weird sometimes,” to which i got many replies that all said the same thing: “girl…all guys are weird all the time.” which means to me that they are the same in some way. they are the same in the sense that they are different from women. they may move differently or have a different way about them, but i do think that the fundamentals that make men men are the same or similar across the board.

    (does this make sense? i’m at a training course and i’m replying while the instructor is talking about something i already know. lol)

  8. LaLaBakir says:

    Hmmm…I don’t know. There may be certain behaviors that all men display simply b/c they are a man. Same goes for women. But I don’t think all men are the same. Thinking back on past relationships, any issues I had w/ dude of the moment…they were all different.

  9. superblackgirl says:

    Steve Harvey wrote a book, I can’t remember what it’s called, that basically cosigns Max’s argument (Note: I write this having only read the first chapter of that book). It was about men being innately primal, simple creatures who behave in certain ways — protector, provider, and two other things I think (I guess this would be a better comment/argument if I could remember). But I remember him also mentioning how women sometimes want men to be more and what they want is essentially against a man’s nature.

    I’m not saying I disagree with Most/Sam, because I am definitely of the opinion that you get what you accept (if you accept bad behaviour in men, you’ll just get more of it/them). And I do believe that women will trick themselves into thinking all kinds of “horsesh**”. It’s like a woman dating a married man — 99 times out of 100, he’s not going to leave his wife. But every woman who enters into that kind of relationship thinks she’s that elusive 1… until the moment that Max is talking about hits her.

    I do think there are ways of thinking and behaving that are essentially male or female — maybe it’s nature, maybe it’s socialization, I don’t know. But when a man behaves in the same bad ways as the one before him, and the one before him (ad infinitum), it kinda makes you wonder if the “different man” is in fact myth.

    Having said that, I think I am exactly the same and totally different than every woman I know. Figure that out.

  10. “You know what I really hate?”

    – men who intentionally try and be different

    On another note, I think that being different comes from the power within to do what you want no matter what.

  11. Diggame says:

    Damn Max you went real deep on this one! We are all pretty damn similar it comes down to the individual man making an individual choice with said woman. Its all about personal choices for a man and timing I believe

  12. all of the women i’ve ever dated were completely different in the physical aspect. i guess that comes from me not really having a type. to me pretty is pretty. i’ve dated light skinned damn near white women to women darker than me. i’ve dated short women and tall women. americans. africans. skinny women. slim women. pretty, witty, girly, whirly, one that like the party but come home early. light kinda dark, short sorta tall, slim kinda thick i swear i love em all.

    as far as who these women are on the inside i see some glaring similarities. most of my exes love and are fans of music. all types of music. they are ambitious and most have a great sense of humor. also i’ve noticed a lot chicks (except for 2 maybe) that i’ve dealt with wore glasses or contacts.

    i will never say all women are the same. there are too many of them. *shrug*

  13. Yvonne says:

    there are only 2 men – men who love you at the wrong time and men who love you the wrong way. all the other types dont even matter…

  14. tdixonspeaks says:

    I need to re-read this tomorrow. i think my comment is similar to what’s above:

    “I have had the exact same relationship with the exact same man about 25 times in my life”

    I think most people have the same relationships repeatedly. Women who deal with abusive men will probably date more abusive men. Not because he’s abusive, because he has the traits that attract her in the same way the last dude did.

    That’s just one example, and maybe not the greatest. I think all the men are “the same” to you and do the triflin “same as all the others” sh*t because you dig them. Did you do anything different to meet a man that was really different? (i’m not coming at you, max, its more a general “you.”)

    I think we women are more alike than we let on. Granted, i DO think i’m different than the rest of these broads, but there are LOTS of women just like me tryna get chose off of being different. Do men even WANT “different?” at the end of the day, i might pop the hell off on some “dayquan, what are we doing here? im tired of playing games witcho triflin @ss!” and sulk to my girls about just wanting to find “the one” because these men aint sh*t.

    incoherence – i haz it. *sleepytime*

  15. KitKatCuty84 says:

    No, I don’t believe there are different men. Tall, short. Light-skinned, dark-skinned. Rich, broke. Street-smart, book-smart, NOT smart. Logical, emotional. Interesting job, boring job. Creative, pragmatic. Has a car, takes the subway. Kids or no kids. Older, younger. From the North, from the South, from the West Indies, from AFRICA. It’s ALL THE SAME.

    It’s terribly depressing and always a disappointment when you realize the new combo of traits you were trying in the new guy reaches the same result. I feel like going back and trying to make it work with exes that weren’t that bad at this point, since there’s no one new out there. Or perhaps becoming a spinster. I’ve always been a cat person anyway.

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