Why Women Pursue Plate Spinners
Plate spinners exude unavailability (aka they’re a challenge) so it’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit and excitement of trying to hook someone like this. “It’s a competition with yourself to see if you can turn an emotionally unavailable person into an available one,” says Sbarra. “It’s also a way to escape real living. If you chase after someone you can never really get, you ultimately avoid finding someone you can get.”
The truth is, if you really wanted to be in a solid, healthy relationship, you would choose someone who was actually available and—here’s a concept—there for you. But after riding this exciting, heart-thumping rollercoaster, a nice, available guy that has "relationship" woven into his DNA can seem boring by comparison—even if he’s far from it.
“It’s like Carrie, Aiden and Mr. Big,” explains Sbarra. “Aiden was a regular, good guy who was there for her. To most people Aiden looks great—he’s not a dud. But for Carrie, there’s something about her personality that made him seem ‘boring’ and that boring is the signal of death. And with Mr. Big there’s a chance of explosive happiness. That’s a fairly big mistake people fall into.”
Also, despite the fact that you spend the majority of the time feeling crummy when you’re in the clutches of a plate spinner, starting over doesn’t always look so appetizing. “Many times the woman desperately wants to be with this particular guy and the other alternatives in her life aren’t so good,” explains Sbarra. “You think, ‘at least I can have some physical contact and be intimate with him because if I kick this guy to the curb, I have to start all over again with someone else.’”
How to Stop the Spin Cycle
It’s not easy to quit cold turkey when you’re hot and heavy for a guy who oozes charm and sex appeal and is more electrifying than anyone you’ve ever met before. “I know these guys can be really exciting and the feeling you get when you receive that text, you meet up and have great sex, but how are you going to feel the next day when you have no idea if or when you’re going to hear from him ever again?” says Sussman. “The glory of that conquest is not worth the pain you’ll feel the next day. It’s a steep price to pay.”
If he’s not giving you what you need—and if he’s a plate spinner, he’s not by definition—it’s up to you to do something about it.
Sbarra suggests being straightforward with him (and honest with yourself) and telling the guy what you want, whether it’s seeing each other more often or a genuine commitment. “It has to be a specific request, yes or no,” says Sbarra. In other words, “this is what I’m looking for—are you on the same page?” Yes, it’s a gamble and chances are he’ll tell you that he’s just looking to have fun, or else his false charm will kick in and he’ll agree that you should see each other more often, but then he’ll never step up to the plate. In either case, it’s time to say buh-bye.
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