Dissecting the Modern American Male

The Need to Prove

The other day I was watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians (yes, I admit it, let’s move on) and I noticed some interesting patterns in the behaviors of the three male attaches: Rob Kardashian, Scott Disick and rookie member Kris Humphries.  In the episode, the whole posse is on vacay in Bora Bora, living it up and instigating drama.  What I noticed about the guys is that throughout the episode, they all have very clear modus operandi, like there is an underlying drive behind their actions and words.  More specifically, they all display a consistent need to prove something.

Exhibit A

Rob, the only brother, spends the episode lamenting his situation, and how he feels unaccomplished.  His friends are employed or in school, his sisters make millions doing practically nothing and he is starting to feel the insecurity of his own idleness.  He is out to prove to himself, to his family and to the viewing audience that he can stand on his own two feet.

Exhibit B

Meanwhile Scott spends the episode in his predictable loop.  He does something to irritate his wife Kourtney and then makes a grandiose gesture of apology.  Then he irritates someone else in the family and again tries to absolve himself of bad behavior.  Throughout the episode, Scott keeps repeating the same mantra, both in words and in actions, that he is worth more than his aggravating manners.  Effectively, he is trying to prove to everybody that he isn’t a douchebag.

Exhibit C

Finally, pro-baller Kris mingles with the larger Kardashian clan doling out advice to everybody; on childrearing, on family relations, on behavior in general.  Much to the chagrin of everybody else, Kris drops nuggets of knowledge all over the vacation bungalows until Kim appropriately (and might I add tactfully), puts him in his place.  But throughout the episode we see Kris trying to prove that he should be taken seriously and has something to add to society besides his offensive rebounding skills.

I bring up these three examples of The Modern American Male because they are indicative of how all guys constantly have a need to prove something.  It could be the guy you met at the frat mixer at UCSB who tried so hard to prove to you that he is more mature than his 19 years.  It could be your twenty-something boyfriend who hasn’t found a job because of the economy and all he wants to do is prove to himself that he can make a decent salary.  There are countless options.

Now, how does this relate to dating?  In reality, most “need to proves” are harmless, but in my opinion there are two “need to proves” that women should be wary of.

The first is the Scott Disick syndrome, where the guy is trying to prove that he is not a douchebag.  These are the guys that will constantly say things like “I’m really a good guy, I swear.”  Or they will try to excuse their behavior by saying things like “I swear I’m not like that, I was just drunk.”

Methinks thou dost protest too much, as they say.

I get worried about these types of guys because you know that sooner, rather than later, they will disappoint again, and again, and again.

The second type of syndrome occurs in guys that are in their late thirties but are still trying to prove that they can live it up like 24-year-olds.  You know the type… They roll up into the club wearing pointy black leather shoes, Ed Hardy Jeans and a short sleeve button down that is open to the sternum revealing trimmed graying chest hair.

I get worried about these guys because they are more concerned with trying to fool themselves into thinking they still have it than acting their age.  Plus it just seems creepy.

So it is important to take a hard look at your prospective future besheret and try to figure out their m.o.  Is he more like Rob?  Like Scott?  Like Kris?  Or is he trying to prove something different altogether?

Image of Lamar, Scott, Rob, and Kris via the Chicago Fabulous Blog; Image of Rob via Pajiba.com; Image of Scott via Starsightings.com; Image of Kris via Julia Combie

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