Single moms: Stop dating wackos!

It has happened yet another time. You, a sexy, smart single mom who considers herself pretty savvy meets a guy who seems perfect, and the two of you spend some really special times together. Things are just peachy and then out of the clear blue sky he drops some unforeseen relationship bomb. You thought you were hearing wedding bells, but looking back, it may have just been a warning siren. And just like that, as quickly as your bliss began, you find yourself single and absolutely mystifiedagain.

Does this scenario sound familiar? If your answer is a fed-up yes, you are not alone! These days nearly every single mom, or single woman for that matter has at least one romance war tale that sends shudders up her gal-pal's spines during happy-hour story time. And after the stories come the inevitable questions: Why do my princes keep turning into frogs? What has happened to the opposite sex? And of course, What am I doing wrong?

Here are some answers. Chances are good that the problem really doesn't have much to do with you at all. Society is changing every day, and we are seeing more and more Wackos wade their way into the dating pool. You have to be very careful when you go fishing for dates these days-you could end up catching a real stinker!

To be clear, the term Wacko is my catch-all word that defines the many unbalanced individuals who walk among us every day. Despite the tongue-in-cheek moniker, the subject of Wackos is a serious one.

Wackos of the very least offense are often greedy, arrogant, and self-centered. They like to control all situations and need to be the center of attention. They are like pesky mosquitoes, a minor irritation. Unfortunately, Wacko behavior can also be much worse. The most unsavory Wackos are prone to fits of vicious rage and may even be dangerous.

If you are one of the countless women who find themselves dating Wacko after Wacko, it is time for a change. There are good people out there, but if you're too busy wasting your time with guys who engage in crash and burn relationships, you'll never be available for real love. Wackos are often drawn to women who are willing to host them.

Women are very vulnerable to becoming Wacko hosts without even realizing it because so much of what makes a host is intrinsic to womankind.

To find out if you have been unconsciously attracting Wackos, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do strangers spill their life stories (often in embarrassingly graphic detail) within minutes of meeting me?

2. Have I spent my life helping people, being a good friend, and more than periodically pulling the knife out of my back?

3. Do I spend hours listening to "friends" and their problems only to be cut off when I try to share my own?

4. Does my life lack balance?

Wackos like to take advantage of real and even perceived acts of hospitality. This applies to platonic relationships and certainly applies to romantic ones. Women who are viewed as pushovers are prime targets for Wackos. You may actually be attracting Wackos to your pool of available men. When these dysfunctional relationships go wrong, you find yourself taking all the blame. It's time to stop.

Read on to learn about the various Wacko-types women often date and how to stop the cycle.

The Wishy-Washy Wacko. This type of Wacko is probably one of the most frustrating! He is quick to fall in love and even quicker to fall out of it. The wishy-washy Wacko will sing you sonnets after the first date and tell you how deeply smitten he is. You'll actually begin to believe the hype. And then one day he vanishes into thin air, and explains himself only if you manage to corner him and demand an explanation. If you're lucky, you will hear an excuse like "I got scared" or even "I always do this." Wishy-washers really do believe they are in love at first sight. Unfortunately, this sentiment crashes and burns most of the time before your love can even get into the air-leaving you confused, hurt, and angry at being so casually dismissed.

The Smart Gal's Defense: Let action speak louder than words with this one. Its okay to revel in the compliments and general sappiness; just don't drown in it! Tell this emotionally stunted man-child that time will tell and to calm down before you contract diabetes from all the sugar spouting from his lips. If he hits the road after your coaching, that's fine. You already knew he was a high-risk Wacko. And if he turns out to be for real, you will have laid the groundwork for a decent relationship.

The Diva Wacko. Have you ever dated an actor? They are fun as can be: great in a crowd, quick to make the room laugh while they simultaneously make you feel like the only girl in the world-for the time being. Men (of any occupation) who are the life of the party come with just as many setbacks as they do benefits. Don't believe it? Try to keep him focused on one subject (like you maybe?) for more than five minutes. Or count the mirrors in his apartment. Is he more high-maintenance than you are? The downside to dating a Diva Wacko is that you live in constant competition for attention-with him! Divas are fickle in gracing you with attention as well. You may find yourself center stage for a brief moment in time but don't expect it to last.

The Smart Gal's Defense: Unless you are really ready to rise to the occasion and love competition, stay away from this one even if his appeal is mega-tempting. Not only will you find yourself striving daily to be entertaining enough to keep up with him, but you'll be alarmed by the countless women who are attracted to the most boisterous fellow in the room. Unless you are very confident in your own charms, save yourself now from this world of pain and just don't go there.

The Controlling/Jealous Wacko. The Jealous guy is very hard to detect at first because he usually seems so normal when you start dating. But you will soon find that this man is not good news. Jealousy is a common characteristic in Wackos of all different types, because control is such an important issue to them. A jealous-natured man is usually attracted to traditional, old-fashioned girls, so if you are a more conservative lady, just be aware that you are at risk. It goes back to the philosophy behind who makes a good host. A quiet, reserved, and polite young woman is going to look very desirable to a man like this. Unfortunately the jealous Wacko is a dangerous Wacko. He wants to control you, and the moment you stop letting him, you may be at risk for emotional and physical harm.

The Smart Gal's Defense: Speak your mind from the beginning. While there is nothing wrong with letting the man take the lead on occasion, he has to understand up-front that he can't call the shots in your life. Don't shy away from your opinions just so he will like you. This will backfire later, and by that point, you may not be able to get out safely. Also make it clear that you are not going to give up hanging out with friends, family, and ex-boyfriends who are still in your life. If he has a problem with this, you will see it immediately, and you should end the relationship then and there. Remember that these Wackos are manipulative geniuses. Don't fall into their traps.

The Wacko Leech. Yet another "undesirable" is the Wacko without enough ambition to seek out his own goals. A Wacko Leech will begin to date you and quickly lose all interest in his previous life, friends, and activities. He is someone who looks to go through life without seeking out real experiences, choosing instead to let you be his human life support system. You may come home from work to find your Wacko sitting on the couch asking, "What are we doing tonight dear?" His over-attentiveness may seem sweet at first, but you will soon realize just how much you valued your space when you were single.

The Smart Gal's Defense: First of all, use common sense at the beginning of any relationship and don't move in with a guy too soon. If you wait until you know each other better, you will see the warning signs that he may be a Leech. Explain to your guy that while you love spending time together you also covet your alone time, your friend time, and your "without him" time. If you sense you have met a fellow who may not understand the limits that most of us innately understand, it may be best to cut him loose before he can latch on and drive you crazy.

No matter how many Wackos you have dated before, you can arrest your vicious cycle.You simply need to understand all the characteristics to look for in Wackos, and, most importantly, how to protect yourself from them.

Hosts get involved in tumultuous relationships, because they aren't paying attention to what is right in front of them. Once you have this knowledge, your power comes in giving the parasites who thrive on destroying your confidence the boot! If you are single and looking for someone to share your life with, your time is precious, especially if you are over thirty. According to many relationship experts, the older you are, the more difficult it is to find a mate. So, stop wasting your time, and boost your self-confidence by being completely conscious of who you choose to let into your life.