Boys vs. Men

by mssinglemama on June 3, 2008

There are men, and then there are boys…

This weekend two boys (who shall remain unnamed) where sitting in my kitchen. I was hosting a mini after hours thing. So, I popped a pizza in the oven.

“I’m running outside, keep an eye on the pizza, okay?”

“What? What are we supposed to look for?” one of them asked.

I ignored it, assuming he was joking. Five minutes later I walked back inside and the oven was smoking. I flipped out. One thing about being a single mom with zero interest in boys…you don’t give a damn if they think you’re “uncool” or “bitchy” – especially if it’s late at night and you’ve had a few shots of tequila.

“What’s wrong with you guys? You seriously don’t know how to cook a frozen pizza?!!!”

Did they jump up to grab the pizza? No. They sat there defending themselves…they didn’t jump until the fire alarm went off – and even then, I had to tell them to go turn it off. Unbelievable.

These two boys are clearly far from becoming men, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily immature. Maturity is something that’s hard to put a finger on … and no matter what a boy or man’s age, his maturity level can run the gamut. The true measure of a man’s maturity is how he treats you, not whether or not he knows how to cook frozen pizza.

Enter Larry Bilotta’s Male Maturity Scale, he sent it to me after discovering my blog through the post, “Should I Leave My Husband?”. Usually reserved for married women trying to find out what makes their husband’s tick, Larry realized how useful this scale can be for dating single moms.

Here’s how it works – have four women, your friends, your family or even your guy’s ex-wife or girlfriend rate him on this scale. Why? Because your view could be clouded if you’re too close to him.

–The Male Maturity Scale by Larry Bilotta –

Baby Man

He wants his own way all of the time. You owe him his happiness. He owes you nothing. It all revovles around him. He’s obsessed with himself.

Kid Man

He can be nice sometimes but when bad feelings stroke, he can’t fight them off and becomes selfish, nasty and demanding. He may even give you the silent treatment.

Teen Man

He knows what’s right and wrong in a relationship but he can be swayed from doing what he knows he ought to do. The more bad feelings you have, the more bad feelings he gets.

Young Man

He wants to do the right thing for you most of the time but a nasty comment can get away from him now and then. He does apologize since he knows when he strayed from his promises.

Together Man

He loves you, is considerate of your feelings and your security. He thinks about what’s important to you above the demands of the rest of the world. It’s rare when he gets self centered but it does happen.

Mature Man

He’s strong in the issues of family. A man of steel who will defend you against all comers, yet a man of velvet who is considerate, thoughtful, great with kids and keeps his bad feelings under control. Never arrogant, always fun and a great listener who is easy to love

———————–

I’m thinking the Mature Man sounds ideal for us single moms … but what are the odds of finding a Mature Man who isn’t already snatched? Hmmm… let me know what you think – leave your comments and dish some dirt on your men or ex-men.

Larry is reading and will be available to give you one-on-one responses or if you’d like to contact him personally visit, Marriage Success Secrets.com.

[Photo Credit: The Sewing Bird]

Related posts:

  1. Man up fellas…why? Because you’re the man, damn it.

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren June 3, 2008 at 10:39 pm

That’s a really neat scale! Let’s see… I think I’d rate Anna’s dad as somewhere between Kid Man and Teen Man.

Reply

Jennifer June 3, 2008 at 10:43 pm

My ex is totally the baby and kid man! I’m sure that he still lives with his mother doesn’t help him move up on that list either! lol

Reply

Yvie June 3, 2008 at 10:51 pm

This is interesting. I remember them saying to me, if you’re going to find a mate, make sure he’s older than you are. Say 5 years to 10 years older?

I guess it’s hard to decode them, as they also find it hard to decode women. I have met someone who is 24. He’s very mature and very ideal—yet what’s frustrating is he’s hung-up with the ex that he can’t get over with.

Then theres this guy of 20 who I met some time immemorial. So hard to put up with, he’s the kid man. He demands what he wants and doesn’t care squat if you’re not. Tells his sad story so you’d consider that hey why not give in to what he wants—NOT!

And then there’s this guy who is completely different from the rest of the one’s I met. He is opinionated, he is fun to be with, He has no baggages, I feel loved around him. I love everything about it. But sometimes, he gets all too crabby—turning into Mr. Hyde. (He’s my husband by the way) Hahaha. My husband’s scale goes from Teen Man up to Together Man. I forgot to mention, we’re both 26.

So I guess age also have a lot of role to play with maturity. But I have to add experience in life and personality. Should we admit to ourselves our own faults, shun from putting the blame on others–then this world will be a better world for all of us.

I’m curious what Larry’s gonna say about this. :)

Reply

greenbeanmama June 3, 2008 at 10:54 pm

When it got to mature man, I could hear the triumphant music and the emphasis in the narrator’s voice, saying STEEEEEEL and velllvet. Nice. I want one. My last one bounced between the baby and kid man. I am so much wiser now. Thank you!

Reply

Jenice June 4, 2008 at 3:48 am

I had accross between baby man and supposedly together man. What do you do when they are both in the relationship?!

Reply

Sparkling Mama June 4, 2008 at 6:42 am

My ex was a baby man, kid man and teen man all rolled into one, lucky me!! He ex is younger than me and I have vowed to never date another younger guy again. (I realize there are exceptions to this rule, but I’m not taking any chances!)

Being in a relationship with a together or mature man would be so refreshing, where do I find one?

Reply

SingleWorkingMommy June 4, 2008 at 8:38 am

“you don’t give a damn if they think you’re “uncool” or “bitchy””

SO TRUE! I think how I used to always try to seem fun and hip around men before having Son. Now, as a single mom, I seriously don’t give a rats a$$. I am who I am… deal.

As for the scale–it’s interesting, but I don’t know if I buy it. I’m always eager to try to “define” people–it’s easier that way, but I don’t think it’s so realistic. People are who they are (sense a theme?). The truth is, I see qualities of each of those “types” in SD–and bunches of other people (women included). Yeah, they might act a certain way more times than not, but the question is, how do you use the fact that a man is a “Kid Man” to your advantage? If you love that person, how can you make sure it works–that your personalities mesh?

Reply

mssinglemama June 4, 2008 at 9:15 am

Larry??? Tossing these to you my friend…

Reply

littlemansmom June 4, 2008 at 10:41 am

you mean there is something out there other than ‘baby man’?…lol…..

Reply

Larry Bilotta June 4, 2008 at 11:32 am

These are great ideas in these responses.

Jennifer, you said “his mother doesn’t help him move up that list” is such an accurate statement. Mothers who dominate their boys into either submission or dependency will be of very little help to a single mom. A clear and present danger!

Yvie, you were making the comment about choosing an older guy to try and stay on the safe side. When you look at the patterns, you see that the passing of years only helps some men. Other’s remain exactly like they were programmed in the first ten years of their childhood. I have a free report on this topic that can give you some more detail about this called Your Invisible Lifestyle at http://www.fulfilledcouple.com/resources.html if you’re interested. Your opinionated, fun to be with, no baggage husband still struggles with becoming Mr. Hyde and can’t control it. So common a problem that most girls just accept the Mr. Hyde appearances. You also observed that he moves up and down the scale from Teen Man to Together Man. If you want to know the answer to the question “Why Does He Do That?”, the answer is in his childhood. The more abuse or neglect or both in his childhood, the more trouble and heartache you live with in adult life. It’s a simple and dependable principle. I had a wife of four kids whose married to Kid Man. The other day she told me “When me and my friends were in our 20′s we really believed that if he’s nice to his mother, that’s how he’d treat us. Now I come to find out that it was the wrong idea. The truth is that the way his father treated him, related to him, acted around him and treated his mother, THAT’S the man you’re really getting.

Green Bean Mamma, you read that Mature Man description and immediately had a vision of what you wanted. That’s why I created this scale years ago. Many women are confused about what they want. The Male Maturity Scale gives you focus. Helps you decide if you can live with guys on the lower parts of the scale or if you really want better for yourself than that.

Jenice, your cross between Baby Man and Together Man is a result of what happened in his childhood. You should ask some questions and find out more about who was the adult in his first ten years who threw things at the wall and stomped around when things didn’t go his or her way. Also ask who might have been the “together” person who modeled self control. It seems he got both sets of instructions in his brain and he’s bouncing between them depending on the situations that set them off.

Sparkling Mama, you mentioned a man who happened to be hit with a childhood with all the down sides of the Male Maturity Scale. You’re right, you were not so lucky. Fortunately, this choice of men has nothing to do with luck, and everything to do with what you focus on. Men you first meet on the low end of the scale can be very charismatic, charming, fun to be with, exciting and make you feel carefree and light. You naturally conclude that if he’s this way now, he’ll be this way all the time. Could a worst conclusion ever be made than this? You don’t want to look at how a man makes you feel when you’re getting to know him. He is performing and hunting. This is NOT his real behavior. I’ve worked with thousands of couples over the years. Want to know what you will actually be living with? Then look into his childhood. I’ll be glad to answer more questions about how and when to do this.

Single Working Mommy, I loved your comments. You’re definitely a girl who doesn’t take crap from people before they find you in their face. I like that! I’m married to your sister : ) Your point about “people are who they are” is a statement that infers people don’t change. You’re right. They don’t. The vast majority of us just live according to the instructions from our childhood in support of our birth nature, or “temperament” as the psch guys like to call it. The combination of a guys birth nature (Control, Perfect, Fun, Peace) and the instructions of the adults who raise him are ultimately what you’re buying when you choose a man. You then asked a great question. “How can you make sure that your personalities mesh?” I’d answer that here, but I’m writing more than anyone wants to read so I’ll stop.

Reply

SingleWorkingMommy June 4, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Larry–Whaaaattt? You can’t stop there!! Lol…

I’m gonna check out your site though, Larry. You are doling out some very interesting information, and I’m all about learning. Especially as I try to repair the relationship with my baby’s daddy. Now go hug my sister. :)

Reply

AlLaf June 4, 2008 at 1:24 pm

This scale is neat, if you ignore the fact that it takes TWO to dance.

There are girls I dated who acted like princess with me, and I’d act like a needy baby with them.

Those same girls could be great mature women now with other men. Like I consider myself mature with my current girlfriend.

Basically, it depends. Relationships are about chemistry. This scale is dump because it leaves out half the relationship, in this occurence the woman, who are just as likely to be immature (regardless if she has kids or not) than a man.

I’m sure about one thing though. Generalizing and giving grades to people is certainly not a sign of maturity.

Reply

AlLaf June 4, 2008 at 1:53 pm

And if I may add, the degrees of maturity describe here are mostly based on the degree of love your partner has for you.

A man who doesn’t really love you will grow selfish, frustrated and blame you for just about every wrong in the world. Picture that same man with the girl of his dreams. He will probably worship the ground she stands on and be so caring and nice that he might even end up getting used. If he’s not too bright, he’ll probably say she is immature instead of admitting she just didn’t love him as much as he loved her.

Hell, I myself got walked over by some women I loved. I’ve also took women for granted because deep down I didn’t really care about them. It happens to all of us. You have to find a relationship where both partners love each others somewhat equally. It’s so simple. Nothing to do with maturity.

When you love someone…you will WANT to take care of them. When you don’t, you HAVE to and over time, you feel like throwing up when they just ask you to be nice to them.

Reply

AlLaf June 4, 2008 at 2:07 pm

One can be mature and responsible without being “uncool” and “bitchy” btw.

Taking yourself too seriously is never a good thing, regardless of your age.

The more I read this blog, the more it appears that its author is narcissistic.

Reply

dadshouse June 4, 2008 at 3:13 pm

AlLaf – “A man who doesn’t really love you will grow selfish, frustrated and blame you for just about every wrong in the world.”

I think that’s true for a lot of people. But some people strive to be self aware. When they notice themselves feeling selfish or frustrated, they ask themselves questions to figure out what is bothering them. They can then act on those feelings in a positive way, rather than lashing out. But your observation is true for a LOT of people in the world (not just men)

Ms Single Mama – first off, the pizza story reminded me of a scene in that Spike Lee movie “Do the right thing” (Or maybe “Jungle Fever”, I forget), when the 20-something woman comes home to her dad and 2 brothers, and the men are sitting on the couch brooding. And they ask “where were you? We’re starving to death! Go cook our meal!” Um, boys, can’t you cook your own friggin’ meal?

I think Baby Man is the guy who insists on not wearing a condom for a one night stand. http://dadshouseblog.com/2008/06/04/who-needs-protection-its-only-a-one-night-stand/

I thinkg Together Man and Mature Man are great for single moms. And some single dads already fit those descriptions.

Reply

dadshouse June 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm

AlLaf – one more point, I don’t agree with you saying this blog is narcissistic. Narcissism is extreme self love, egoism, the need to feel important. Ms Single Mama isn’t like that.

She’s certainly confident and keeps things positive about her approach to parenting, dating, and life. But she doesn’t claim perfection. She is flawed, like anyone else, and she admits that. Maybe you aren’t used to being around confident women. Who knows?

You have to admit, she has more experience as a single mom and a woman than you. (You’re a man, right?)

Reply

AlLaf June 4, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Her false premises that being a single mom automatically makes her all kind of awesome is what I’d call narcissism.

I’m sorry, I don’t see how making broad generalizations about males (“omg! men have no empathy cuz they don’t throw their arms in the air when my boy cries!!!111one”) qualifies as confidence. Nor does putting yourself on a pedestal based solely on the fact that you’re a parent. It is more likely to make you look like an idiot..

Also, funny you would mention confidence because on a comment on another post I listed a few qualities people recognize I have (not baseless claims like claiming that I’m the most mature person ever like she does) and she was quick to call me conceited and I quote “a royal asshole”. Figure that one out. I guess confidence is arrogance if you have a penis.

Btw – Most of my friends are women. Most of them are older than me, have kids, have great if not better careers, have travelled, are good-looking…etc. In fact, my girlfriend herself is a single mom with a successful business of her own. So I guess that kinds of nullifies your little assumption that I’m not comfortable around confident women, eh?

And no, I won’t admit that being a single mom and a woman gives her more experience than me or anyone else for that matter.

How did you come to that conclusion? How do you even compare “experience”? Are you on drugs? Because I’ve never heard anyone that you could consider good company make such nonsensical claims.

Reply

Ms. Single Mama June 4, 2008 at 6:27 pm

1. Larry, I am so sorry your post has been hijacked by Alfie …

The reason I called him a “Royal Asshole” (which he clearly is) – is b/c of this comment he left under another post:

“Face it, for most men who aren’t losers and have other options, kids are a turn off. But for some reason, many single moms react like fat women with that bizarre logic of “We’re better once you get to appreciate us” Well, no, that makes no sense. You’re fat, deal with it. Just like you have a kid, which for most men, I repeat, is a turn off.

So what are your options?

Act like a princess? Be picky and demanding?

No. Your option is to be extra nice, extra open-minded, extra comprehensive, extra everything so that the man doesn’t run away as soon as you tell him about your child or eventually, after living with both of you. Just like a guy with a short dick, you start with a handicap. The sooner you accept it, the more likely you are to attract men who are worthy of being called that and not just desperate dudes looking to settle down.

My girlfriend, a single mother, understood that. As soon as she realized I could date any younger, hotter girl without kids. “

Reply

AlLaf June 4, 2008 at 6:54 pm

Way to trim my comment, honey.

Ed Note: To read the entire comment (it’s even longer than this one) go here: http://mssinglemama.wordpress.com/2007/11/15/tips-on-how-to-date-a-single-mom-for-the-guys/

Look, calling me an asshole doesn’t prove me wrong.

What I said is pretty much what you’ll hear in any conversation between men.

For any men: women without kids > women with kids.

Fact, as much as you want to spin this. So single mothers have to have other extra qualities (not just claim they have them like you do) if they want THAT guy.

My gf won me over a long time ago. But face it, she had to work extra hard not because she’s weak and meek as you’d like to think. No. But because SHE HAD THE INTELLIGENCE AND MATURITY TO RECOGNIZE WHAT IT ENTAILS FOR >>ANY< women with kids.

People aren’t crazy. They do things that are in the interest. It already takes a generous type of man to be able to cope with someone else’s kids, there as to be at least SOMEthing in it for them.

Based on that little list of yours: “A man should provide, cook, be nice, cease to exist unless I say otherwise…blah blah blah”, I doubt you’ll find someone that isn’t desperate. My two cents.

I talked about this with my gf not long ago. She herself told me that when she finally ditched her checklist and started looking for a man she LOVED rather than a “life partner”, she started attracting decent men. If you don’t understand why that is, I’m sorry, but you’re helpless. :-|

Reply

AlLaf June 4, 2008 at 6:55 pm

whoa…weird copy past.

Reply

Ms. Single Mama June 4, 2008 at 7:54 pm

The fact is this. I do not need a man and lately I’ve been wondering if I even want one. If a man does happen to want me, despite – as you call it – my “handicap” then he will have to make my life easier to become a part of my family. And in turn, I will make his life easier – believe me. When I’m in love … it’s actually quite embarassing because I am such a doting girlfriend/wife.

Here’s the big difference between you and I, Alfie, you believe that a woman should want a man. Why shouldn’t she? And you believe that single moms should worship any man willing to be with them. I call guys like you creeps. And by the way there are thousands and thousands of single moms out there doing just fine without a man.

My post on How to Date a Single Mom was intended for men who have fallen in love with single moms … because – guess what – it’s tough to date us. Why? Because we are far from average. We don’t care about rules, we don’t care about your rippling muscles or your tight ass – we care about how you treat us, and yes, it makes a big difference if you can help out around the house. The post is NOT about being in a relationship with a man. Obviously we have to give them something in return … relationships are all about give and take.

This is the last time I’m going to respond to your comments.

And if you leave any more bashing single moms, I’m going to delete them. I never delete comments, but for you, I’m willing to make an exception.

P.S. Your gf and I are not the same people … b/c there is NO way I could love a man who doesn’t help me out around the house – period – I was already married to one. To me, an attentive and helpful man is incredibly sexy.

Reply

Jessee June 4, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Rock on Single Mama. Guys like the above only give men a bad rep.

Reply

dadshouse June 4, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Hey AlLaf – I didn’t make any assumptions about you. Read what I wrote. I sad “Maybe…”. That’s conjecture, not assumption. As for experience – Ms Single Mama is a woman and you’re a man, so of course she has more experience at being a woman than you. What’s to debate there? What’s nonsensical? Perhaps you misread what I wrote? Perhaps you used to be a woman? (That’s conjecture again, not assumption.)

It would be great if everyone played nice and didn’t make lude comments and crass remarks. It’s a blog, not a mud-slinging pit.

Reply

Dan June 5, 2008 at 2:21 am

blah, blah, blah, blah…just some name..no balls…knucklehead

Reply

Leslei June 5, 2008 at 9:18 am

Anyway, very interesting thoughts Larry. Is there a similar scale for women? It’s kind of amazing when you look at it like that so clear to see what you’ve settled for in the past & what you really need for a functional relationship!

Reply

Larry Bilotta June 5, 2008 at 11:01 am

I was fascinated by AlLaf’s comments. He’s obviously intellectually intelligent. There are many people with university degrees who are intellectually intelligent, great at debate, know how to win, even if that means putting people down with their intelligent wit. What ms single mamma is talking about in her reaction to AlLaf’s comments is Emotional Intelligence, as it’s fully described in Daniel Goleman’s book by the same name. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to control negative emotional impulses. I can be intellectually intelligent, but have very little emotional intelligence.

This is what the Male Maturity Scale is describing…levels of emotional intelligence. People who are raised in homes where there is no emotional intelligence in the people who raise them, rarely end up with emotional intelligence as adults. Many of them will pursue education in a big way and increase their intellectual intelligence, but never put a dent in their degree of emotional intelligence. If you don’t have emotional intelligence programmed in by the people who raise you, but instead you were raised in a home with things like sarcasm and blame, then in most people’s cases, it would be natural to live that way as an adult. Add intellectual intelligence to that and a person can appear very smart and highly offensive.

When you run into a person who can’t control their negative impulses, they feel good about saying things like “Her false premises that being a single mom automatically makes her all kind of awesome is what I’d call narcissism.” If you took a survey of ms single mamma’s readers, you’d probably find very few who concluded that ms single mamma believes she’s all that and a bag of chips.

AlLaf’s comment could be called “a lack of tact” because it’s putting down the host of the site. The other question is, what good do comments like this serve? Will ms single mamma choose (A) Suddenly wake up and realize “Oh my god! I’m living on a false premise! I’m thinking I’m awesome just because I’m a single mom. What’s the matter with me?!”

Or will she (B) conclude “AlLaf’s an immature jerk and he’s the one with the problem.” On thinking about it, it’s obvious what she and everyone else would do. They’d choose (B). Now what does this do for AlLaf? It fuels his fire for more debate and the need to overcome others with his intelligence and wit. Why? It’s because of the people who raised him that way. (although I’m almost certain he would never agree with this premise. He probably sees himself as completely independent of his parents ways and beliefs). I don’t want to get too much into what I call the Invisible Lifestyle, but you can read my report if you want more detail on that topic.

I’d sum this up with one idea. The more you live without tact, the more you offend. The more you offend, the more you need to find only those who can live with your offenses.

Problem is, we’ve got blogs now. Everybody gets to share. We never had anything this open and free before. Now ms single mamma has to decide if she censor’s AlLaf or continue to be against censorship and risk having him offend her readers in the future. With great influence, comes great responsibility I suppose.

Reply

AlLaf June 5, 2008 at 12:46 pm

P.S. Your gf and I are not the same people … b/c there is NO way I could love a man who doesn’t help me out around the house – period – I was already married to one. To me, an attentive and helpful man is incredibly sexy.”"”

Last I checked, I’m the one doing all the chores in the house. Mainly because I like it, it’s relaxing. I already told you that. No need to try to make things up.

Reply

AlLaf June 5, 2008 at 1:12 pm

@Larry,

I am amazed by your ability to read people’s mind through your monitor. How much do I owe your for this diagnostic?

http://tinyurl.com/4nnjfg

What you call “lack of tact” is rather language barrier as it is obvious that english is not my first language.

I’m sorry but pidgeonholing people doesn’t make you a therapist.

@MsSingleMama

I understand that it’s hard to date a single mom. I’m dating one myself. Superficial things is not her first priority.

All I’m saying is that based on what I’ve read of you (perhaps it’s only my interpretation) , there is this premise on your blog that: woman with kids > woman without kids. That having children automatically makes a woman mature, interesting, caring, nice, etc…

I do not agree with that. Some single mothers are great, some are just terrible. Ironically, in my personal experience, it is always the latter who say “We are so nice and this and that!”

There seems to be an attitude of denial among certain single mothers because after all, a child is beautiful, no? Why yes it is, but on the other hand, a child also bring a lot of disadvantages from a single’s man point of view. Why is that wrong to say? Like I said, life isn’t Jerry McGuire.

Again, this might not be your case but based on some of your post and comments I read here, this “WE ARE AWESOME BY DEFAULT” attitude here seems somewhat prevalent.

I’ve used as much nuance. I hope you’ll understand my point. If not, well, I’m sure Larry will clear that up by dissecting my childhood ;-)

Reply

AlLaf June 5, 2008 at 1:24 pm

And not to stir some more shit, but if you want to pidgeonhole me some more Larry, I would ask you to do so directly to me.

Talking about someone at the third person like he’s a “subject” and using “we” as if you had an audience is the oldest not to mention lamest way to debate ever.

Surely you know that already.

Reply

Andrea June 5, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Oh, he’s a troll, ban him.

OooooooK. Back to the original subject of the actual post, which hasn’t anything to do with a certain troll’s ego or his fabulous relationship, so far as I can tell….

I married a baby man (#2) and a kid man (#1). And had a relationship with another baby man post-divorce. Yuck. Feels slimy just thinking about it. Anyway.

I do, however, take exception to the idea that people can’t change. I came from a horrible family (one cause of the multiple marriages) and if I really thought i was stuck with that experience for life as my template of relationships, I probably would not get up tomorrow. And I have made it a part-time job (on top of actually working and parenting) to address those issues–for myself, not my partners. It doesn’t come naturally but it is possible.

Given that, I would not want to hold a man’s childhood against him or accept that it is an unavoidable destiny. It’s more important to me that if the childhood were less than ideal, he has some sort of insight about it and knows what he would need to do differently. And yep, it still might be a challenge. No one is perfect. To me it’s the commitment to a better future that’s important, the willingness to change.

Reply

mssinglemama June 5, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Yes, please, everyone ignore AILaf, let’s get back to the real story here … boys vs. men. Fun!

Larry, what do you think about Andrea’s thoughts? And is there a scale like this for women, as Leslie referenced?

Reply

AlLaf June 5, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Ok, I’ll get back to the subject too. After all, I did talk about this in my initial comments. Sorry for calling you narcissistic. It was unecessary.

Hug? :-) Anyway…

Like I said before, a “Kid Man” might act this way with you (the general you) and act a completly differently with someone else. I don’t think it has anything to do with the way his father treated his mother.

I would agree that childhood is a large part of who we are, but it doesn’t dictate our actions. We aren’t subjected to an unescapable fate. We do react in our relationships based on our personal references such as our parents interactions. Emphasis on the word react. By that I mean that the base problem here is that Mr.Ex simply didn’t love you enough and it brought out the worse in him. Along of course, with his childhood negative baggage, which is a secondary issue since it might have not have surfaced had he had more love for you or if it’s too corny for you, admiration, respect, affection, friendship…etc.

In conclusion, I think this scale, while lovely, not only relies on generalizations but doesn’t address the main problem in relationships. Which is that relationships with people who don’t share similar feelings turn into unhealthy power struggles, with one acting like a child/princess and the other getting abused in one way or another.

And to quote Larry’s question, what good does it serve to put a label on a dude’s face? Saying your ex is a “Baby Man” changes what except for that warm feeling of post-breakup exonaration?

Reply

SingleWorkingMommy June 5, 2008 at 8:28 pm

I don’t agree with *a lot* of what AlLaf has said, but he has some interesting thoughs about the topic at hand. Especially his comments about generalizations. People don’t always fit into nice neat boxes. A person’s childhood might cause them to act a certain way part of the time, but certainly a baby man doesn’t ALWAYS act like a baby man. And Larry’s scale had the kid and baby men with really NO good attributes, at all. While the together and mature men are all about good attributes. C’mon… there have to be SOME things wrong with them. No one is perfect. In addition, your mature man could be someone else’s baby man.

“Relationships with people who don’t share similiar feelings turn into unhealthy power struggles, with one acting like a child/princess and the other getting abused in one way or another.”

This though to AlLaf’s really intrigues me, because in two particular relationships, I was accused of “not being in love; stringing that person along.” Also, those two guys also nn’d me Princess (which, really, may sound cute, but NOT a good NN. I told them when they started calling me that I didn’t like it, but the did it anyway.)

To wrap it up, I think scales/generalizations/etc. have their place, but I think it would be wrong for Single Moms to start saying “I need a mature man!” I think you should fall in love with someone you respect and admire, and then keep on falling in love–work, stay committed, compromise, etc.

I think people can use scales like Larry’s to help you deal with conflict when it arises. It can help you to identify situations so you know to best react when they crop up–but not as a box to shove someone in.

Reply

Larry Bilotta June 5, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Andrea, you take exception to the idea that people can’t change. I can see where you would conclude that from my comments earlier because I didn’t expand on this very well. You’re what I call a “Bucker”, as in a bucking bronco who bucks off the rider. There are “A People” who Always do what mom or dad always did, and then there are “B People”, Buckers, who buck what mom and dad always did. You’re a bucker. Buckers are strong people. They make statements like you did: “I have made it a part-time job …to address those issues–for myself…It doesn’t come naturally but it is possible.”

Buckers got stuff in their childhood they never asked for (abuse, neglect, etc), and started bucking in their teens and never stopped. A Bucker has the instructions in their brain to do what mom and dad did in those first ten years, but when that brain neuron containing the troubling instructions fires, the Bucker says “STOP! I’m not doing that! I’m doing something better.” Then the Bucker proceeds to decide what is a better choice and does that. This takes a lot of energy every day and often, Buckers get tired, but Buckers are showing they have free will. They are not going to be destined to live the life their parents lived.

“A People”, Always do what mom and dad always did. Life is simpler for them because they don’t need to fight or question anything. They simply act, even without thought. My wife grew up in a home that used sarcasm as communication. Without giving it a thought, she can come out with critical, and witty comments. A kid whose dad was obsessed with bass fishing, can’t take any interest in fly fishing if he’s an “A Person”.

I’m saying all this to lead up to the practical use of the Male Maturity scale. Let’s not think of it as a condemnation tool. It can be used that way, but it should really be used as a single mom’s awareness tool. I’ve found that the more secure a man is with himself, the more a woman feels secure and unthreatened to be who she really is at her best, (Mature Man). But the more a man feels insecure, threatened and uncertain within himself, the more insecure a woman connected to him will end up feeling, even if she doesn’t want to, even if she wants to “love” him, even if she wants to bring out the best in him.

That’s the reason why I don’t have a scale for women. A woman alone, like a man, cannot locate herself on a scale. She’s too close to herself. But certainly, men could, though she probably won’t get any benefit out of that. So let’s deal with single moms considering a relationship that’s starting to look good to them.

Men work hard at trying to hide anything that might be unattractive. Many men don’t know how to get rid of their inner feeling that drives that outer vibe you feel. An insecure, uncertain, threatened inner feeling in a guy that comes out as a vibe you feel is really coming out of what happened in his childhood. Some guys are very good at hiding that…for a while. But over time, especially when you are around them every day, they end up looking like the lower end of the Male Maturity Scale. That’s where my wife Marsha found me…at the low end. Problem was, I had no idea I was at the low end. If someone asked, I could talk about how together I was. I didn’t have a clue, but everyone else did and many avoided me. I responded with “Oh well, their loss!” That was back in the 70′s.

This is the reason why men cannot locate themselves on the scale. They are just too close to themselves to see clearly. Only other women who know them from the past can locate them accurately. Picture this. You’re dating a guy and on the second date say “So can you give me the phone numbers of three women who have dated you in the past? I’d like to get their objective opinion about you.” Now imagine how Baby Man would react to your request. It would be like asking a person with a bad job record where they’ve burned bridges, to give references to those supervisors. The bridge burner knows what you’ll hear and tries to hide it.

The Mature Man would say something like “Well, I can give you their numbers but you probably won’t like their reviews, and I sure can’t defend myself, but heck, why not. I can handle the truth.” That’s what you are looking for. A man who admits his faults, can laugh at himself, is confident but self depreciating with humor. You can really like a guy like that.

Next time, I’ll talk about the one question you can ask a guy to find out what he will REALLY be like when you live with him long term. You can take the result of this question to “the bank”. (sorry for my long ramblings)

Reply

mssinglemama June 5, 2008 at 9:46 pm

What a cliff hanger??? What is the question??? Dying to know…

Remember this key point – Larry’s tool is for us to use when we first start dating a man – you know when lust takes over and clouds good judgement? So, Larry, I would never want to ask a guy for the #’s to three of his exes … could I use this list before I fall hard for a guy? Maybe just keep these things in mind on a first date?

Reply

Larry Bilotta June 6, 2008 at 1:50 pm

Ms single mama, if you’re not comfortable asking the bold question then maybe you might consider this alternative approach.

It revolves around asking three questions in light, casual conversation, the kind you have on first and second dates. You can even ask these three questions while standing around with drinks in your hand at a wedding reception and a guy you just met. These questions generate a lot of banter and even laughs at times. The reason you can ask these questions in that early stage is because they sound like you’re just interested in other people and are normally curious. Besides this, these three questions give guys a great feeling of being interviewed like a celebrity.

You start with your opening to the subject that sounds something like this. “I’ve always been very curious about people. In fact, I’d love to hear more about who you are, where you’ve come from and the people and places that made you who you are today. For instance, what was your greatest accomplishment in your high school years?”

Your introduction question gets him feeling safe. He now understands that you want to understand him by finding out positive things from his past. You prove that with your first question about his high school accomplishment, which for most men, is a great opportunity to be funny, dodge the question or tell a genuine story. That’s question one.

After he’s told his high school success story and you’ve reacted positively to it (as positively as you can) you can then ask question two which sounds like this: “So Dan, here’s a great question. When you consider all the success you’ve had in your personal life, how much would you credit to your mom and dad?”

Here’s where you want to listen closely. When a guy reacts with negative jokes about his parents, that’s not much of a good sign. When he reacts with immediate and glowing sincere praise for his parents, that’s a great sign. It’s very important that he back up his first reaction with stories to prove what he’s saying is true. You want to hear stories such as “My dad would always tell me that you’re only as good as your word.” You need to be careful to judge how real these stories are.

Any stories that demonstrate a good parent/child connection means you discovered a guy with good programs. If you don’t get any stories, watch out. If you hear what I call the “killer phrase” that sounds like “Um, I don’t really remember my childhood.”, then do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. You’ve got trouble right there and always will. Think of the “killer phrase” as finding Pandora’s Box.

If you asked me this question years ago, I’d answer it this way: “My personal life? My parents and my personal life? Well, you remember that song from the sixties titled We’re on the eve of destruction? Well that would be a good song to describe how I was raised.” This is a typical answer from a guy who wants to mix his childhood pain with humor. Now my wife Marsha knows how absolutely dysfunctional I was when we married, though I certainly didn’t know it. I won’t go into the details but the marriage was nothing to write home about for her. I was a messed up kid.

Once you’ve got that question, you want to confirm it with question three. “So tell me more about your dad, how did he relate to you, or how did he treat you as a kid?” He’s still open to answering this because of your opening introduction about who made him who he is today. This question is really key. It relates to what ms single mama called the “cliff hanger question”, but I’ll get to that later. Question three is where you find out if the guy had any connection to his father at all. Here’s answers I’ve heard from guys over the years as I ask this question in job interviews.

“Well, my dad, he worked a lot, so I didn’t see him much.” or “He was kind of the strong silent type. You just had to see the look on his face to know he wasn’t real happy with you.” or “With 8 kids in our family, you were lucky if dad knew your name.” Stories like these leave you nowhere. They are not about dad/son connection. They are about disconnection, distance, an aloof father who didn’t know what to do for his son. Now you’re in the twilight zone. Anything goes with this guy. You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.

I hope this helps. I’m sure you’ve got more how-to questions. This introduction and the three questions requires you to be completely relaxed and natural. You may even want to practice in a mirror.

Reply

wtf June 6, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Weirdo above me

Reply

Sara June 7, 2008 at 10:38 pm

Alaina,

I’ve often been fond of saying, “there are men, and then there are penis owners.” This scale seems to reiterate that for me!

Reply

mssinglemama June 7, 2008 at 11:11 pm

Sara – you are hysterical!!!! Thanks for adding a laugh into this comment thread.

Larry, these are really, really important questions… I also like to look at how men treat their mothers. Can’t wait to hear more.

Reply

Yvie June 8, 2008 at 8:19 am

Hi Larry, I am amazed by your answers. This is very interesting. Do you also have an emotional scale for us women? Say, kid woman or so on? I know it’ll be completely different but I’d also want to see a version of Female Maturity Scale.

Thanks for replying. :)

Reply

Larry Bilotta June 9, 2008 at 11:26 am

Ok, ok…I give up. I’ve been asked for a Female Maturity Scale for years but I’ve resisted. I couldn’t believe women would want it or use it. Single mamma has inspired me. I’m still not sure how this will help single mom’s. Please convince me.

Here it is. The Female Maturity Scale.

Baby Gal
She can’t see any way but her own every time. Almost everyone is an inconvenience to her and if you’d of been better, smarter or a more considerate person, she wouldn’t be so mad at you, but never the less, it’s all your fault.

Little Chick
She can get you to do what she wants but can’t control her bad feelings which let her know this problem is something you did, and now you’ve made things so difficult. She has some good days with you but other days bring to mind Dr Jeckle and Mr. Hyde.

Teen Queen
She knows what’s right and wrong when it comes to your behavior. It’s a struggle to hear a point of view other than her own, and impatience is immediate if you don’t perform as she expected you to. She can admit her mistakes if you admit yours first.

Cosmo Girl
She just wants to be loved but can’t really describe how to do that, but when you get it right, she makes you feel like a million. Mind games seem to come naturally though she doesn’t mean to. She says A, but does B on Monday, then on Tuesday, she’s logical and rational. So what’s your problem?

Finely Feminine
She has self confidence that’s not arrogant and she’s secure under most circumstances. If you’re attracted to her, she’ll keep you cordially at a distance with her morals. She wants to know all about you because she’s no dummy when it comes to relationships. Far more thinking than emotion, Finely Feminine will turn her man into a winner in life.

The Real Woman
She’s all about commitment and following through. She has self discipline and she’s totally responsible. She turns sour grapes into fine wine with ease. She’s funny and light, serious and smart and knows how to adapt to every situation. Like the women of the old west, if you want her, you’ll clean up your act and be a man. If you don’t, you won’t get her. She’s the prize to be won, the woman to be fought for. If you win her, you’ve won it all.

Reply

mssinglemama June 10, 2008 at 11:03 pm

Larry! This is awesome. I hate to say it … but I think I’m a mix b/n the Cosmo Girl and the Finely Feminine. Hmmm….

Reply

Larry Bilotta June 11, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Alaina, It’s fun to look at the scale and see where you believe you are. I don’t dare look at the Male scale and pick where I am. I’ve been way too wrong about myself before. That’s why it’s so much better to get other people to vote. It would be cool if we had a Male/Female Maturity Scale voting site where you could send the scale to five people you know and they would vote in an anonymous way. I’d like to see that!

Reply

B. November 12, 2008 at 10:26 am

I know I’m late to the table here, but I’m wondering if you’re still in touch with Larry. Because after reading about the importance of the father/son relationship in later romantic relationships, the question I can’t get out of my mind is this:

How do we (as single mothers of sons) ensure that our sons pass these relationship litmus tests?

It’s obvious that Larry has done a great deal of research and I wonder if, he can tell us *not only* what fathers have done right/wrong, but what single mothers have done right/wrong in raising the men on this scale.

Reply

Larry Bilotta February 20, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Hi B.
Here's my opinion about what Real Dad's do. It can tell you a lot about mothers trying to raise sons.
http://parent-helper.blogspot.com/2008/12/secret-
Larry

Reply

NotADad April 18, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Sorry to all you great yay sayers, but I think Larry's scale is bullshit. Or rather, the gradations are too fine and too convenient for purposes of blame. "Boy man", "teen man" – c'mon, get outta here! Why insult boys and teens? Their needs are perfectly valid, they are people too.

People are not any one level. If you think about an accepted scale of human development, such as Piaget's, the tiers are quite coarse and complex, and these overlap. Not admitting the overlap or the complexity of growth, and distilling men into such naive categories, really is dehumanizing. If you tried this with women, you'd have your balls in a sling.

First ladies – draw up an equivalent scale for yourselves, and then you will see how silly thin thing is when projected back onto yourselves, something all too many people are very bad at doing. Instead of from-you-onto-men.

When looking for someone grown up, first grow up yourself. Which means not putting people into pigeonholes and projecting your own immaturities onto them.

Reply

Ali May 27, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Hahaha… I am on my way to being the man of steel… Iron man in every sense… Optimus prime… Hercules… You name it. And guess what, rewards seem to be high.. looks like all SOPHISTICATED women will be looking for me…. hmmmm, gotta keep this heart protected well from the snatchers… gotta find that one awesome woman m looking for who deserves my protection and love… otherwise shes just gonna get fat and ugly and say to me “Oh looks are so important to you”

“Yes baby, keep urself in shape from inside and outside, this is a real man, otherwise get out of my house right now.”

Reply

mcsquared October 22, 2010 at 7:47 am

you apparently don’t care if they think you’re a drunk either.

Reply

stinkerbell July 16, 2012 at 10:12 am

Ok, wow on Larry’s ‘killer phrase’ in regards to a man’s childhood. I stumbled upon this site; I’m married, not a single mom. My husband had an overly controlling, out of control father who treated(s) his mom like a second class citizen. Hubby, on the other hand is very softhearted, and doesn’t fly into tantrums. Larry’s comment concerns me b/c as of now, I know about his father etc…. but Hubby claims that things were so traumatic for him where his father is concerned that he really has parts of his childhood he doesn’t remember. Ironically, my own father has the same phenomenon. As a wife, trying to have a positive marriage, what does this mean, and is there hope for us? What are some pitfalls I need to be aware of? This is our second marriage each. We’ve been married for 6 years, with all the struggles and strife of a blended family (we both have children).

Reply

Larry Bilotta December 21, 2012 at 11:18 am

Stinkerbel,

You are asking very good questions that most people don’t ask when they are married, even married the second time. Here is a list of basics that I have gained from conducting hundreds of interviews with adults about their childhoods and about the childhoods of the people they marry.

These basics come from those interviews and the patterns that emerged from the interviews over and over again. It turns out these patterns are very dependable.

Basic 1 – The greater the pain you experienced in your first 10 years with your mother and father, the shorter your marriage will last.

Basic 2 – A man will treat his wife the way his father treated his mother in his first 10 years – and it will happen when he is in a tired or weakened condition.

Basic 3 – The more an adult cannot remember their childhood, the more pain is contained in those first 10 years.

Basic 4 – A woman will treat her husband the way her mother treated her father in her first 10 years –and it will happen when she is tired or in a weakened condition.

Basic 5 – A person whose parents stayed together but were miserable, has a program in their brain that forces him or her to stay in an unhappy married condition. The program is called “Stay married, stay miserable.”

Basic 6 – The more pain a person has in their first 10 years of childhood, the more likely they will face a complete Midlife Crisis somewhere between 35 and 45 years old…on the condition that he or she is married at the time.

To sum up these basics, if your father got instantly angry at small things, so do you, if your mother nagged her husband, so do you, if your father was highly organized, so are you, if your mother was picky and critical of virtually everyone in the house, so are you.

EXCEPTION: if you hated the way your mother or father was on a certain issue, you will “buck” that the rest of your life and actively and consciously go against the way they were. To be a “bucker” of your parents programming takes a great deal of willpower. In my interviews I discovered that buckers are exhausted by the work they have to do in resisting the programming of their first 10 years.

A simple way to think about this is the word selfishness. The more mom and dad focused on their own needs and showed no sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others, the more you will be the same in your own intimate relationship.

If you were programmed to be self-centered, you will have to work very hard to not be taken down by it because after all, who wants to be close to a person who cannot feel what they feel and enjoy meeting their needs? A self-centered person does not have the “software” to give us what we want in an intimate relationship.

You can marry a person who has a chaos filled childhood yet you won’t immediately see many signs that it’s there until the day it explodes into their life. That’s when you suddenly catch all the emotional flak and collateral damage as this person becomes exactly as caustic and self-centered as the people who programmed him or her. This is called the Midlife Crisis. I have discovered that people who experience the ultra-selfish meltdown of the Midlife Crisis all had very painful childhoods in their first 10 years.

You can see a Midlife Crisis coming because there are a series of clear signs that must take place to turn it on.

For example, just today I interviewed a woman who said that she had married her “soul-mate” until the day he his Midlife Crisis arrived. It totally shocked her.

Here are the eight signs that all turned on within six short months after he resisted it over 20 years:

1) Their oldest daughter left for college.
2) His sister brought her teenage son to live with them.
3) She became depressed after the daughter left.
4) He started traveling a lot for work and being away.
5) His stress was extremely high because of his very cruel boss.
6) She had health issues and couldn’t have sex anymore.
7) His mother that gave him up as a child called and left a message that she wanted him back in her life.
8) His chaotic childhood launched him into his surprise Midlife Crisis.

But be sure to remember this…

The Chaos Kid, as I call them, does not decide this, their childhood decides it FOR them. Just watch for multiple signs taking place at the same time.

These are required to launch the Midlife Crisis.

– Larry Bilotta –

Reply

John August 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm

I came across this as I was searching for more on Larry Bilotta (i’d stumbled upon him on youtube).

I think Larry’s ideas are interesting and may have some merit but I think his comment to AlLaf is not credible are actually rather sophmoric — and I think AlLaf’s response to Larry is credible. I also do no think AlLaf is a troll. He makes total sense to me and he sounds sincere. (I assure you I am not a troll either.) I think Larry’s “maturity scale” for men (or women) might be an interesting tool and “lens” from which to view a situation, but clearly reality is not so cut and dry.

I don’t really understand why Larry was so reluctant to make the female version. Maybe single mamas (or anyone else) need to get themselves rated (and move themselves up the list) before they go hunting for mr./ms. “mature”.

Here is another idea. Why pigeon hole yourself as “single mother” or “single father” or “married” for that matter? We are mammals. Mammals are sexual. Mammals have children. It’s what we do. We are really not that much different than our dogs and cats that roam the neighborhood and come back home with a litter. We are apes, that’s what we are! “Single”, “married”, “divorced,” etc. — these are all just stories, they are fictions that you allow yourself to enter into, or that we are drawn into. I realize that we have to live in society, but society’s trappings don’t always have to always live in your head. You are you — you may have a child — animals have children — it’s what animals do.

And, by the way, we are primates. Primates are generally not monogamous. And that includes humans. (see http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism/355084/more-evolved-monogamy-nonsense-wesley-j-smith) I am not saying monogamy is bad or good, I am just saying that it’s time for anyone who wants to call themselves a “single parent” to stop secretly thinking that she or he has somehow “failed” (and carrying around the attendant self loathing) if for some reason or another he/she is not still keeping much company with a previous breeding partner.

Reply

Leave a Comment