Photo features model Stuart Ridnour, Page Parkes Agency; Photography by David Dobson; Hair and Make-up by Yvonne Coan, Kim Dawson Agency; Stylist: Kathryn Knox.
Dear Toni, I’ve been seeing this guy for six weeks now, and I’ve finally had enough with a certain annoying habit. He’s not texting other girls or canceling dates at the last minute, but he’s always looking at other girls. It’s really playing on my insecurities, and I keep thinking about how we met. He was a regular at my local coffee shop, and occasionally I’d see him with this pretty girl. Even though she was there, we would exchange glances. I thought nothing of flirting with him, and one day she was gone. When I asked him what happened to his friend, he just said that their ‘open relationship’ had ended. Now it seems that I’m her, standing by as his eye wanders. Is there any changing this guy? SJ Dear SJ, In a word, no. There’s no changing the guy who suffers from Shiny Ball Syndrome. Shiny Ball Syndrome (SBS) is a behavioral disorder, much like ADHD, though less well known, and strictly related to the significant difficulties in sustaining attention to one partner. It is more prevalent in men, but women who suffer from insufficient funds may show signs of SBS around age 30. In men, it’s more habitual than methodical, due to their addiction to the intense, fleeting feelings often associated with flirting, hunting, and ultimately, the first few weeks of a new relationship. But more importantly, let’s rethink the term open relationship. Some guys throw it around like some girls throw around, “No worries, I’m on the pill.” In either case, someone always ends up getting hurt - or an STD - in the end. Unless this guy and the pretty girl from the coffee shop were officially in a poly relationship, then they were simply a dysfunctional couple. This seems to be the case with your boyfriend, and not the misdirection he so wanted you to believe. I would wager that she didn’t even know she was in an open relationship, because why would it ever need to end? Guys know that the paradoxical term open relationship causes intrigue and quiet confusion within a woman. She doesn’t want to be the one in class who raises her hand, as the rest of the room sits in silence and pretends to already know the answer. It’s self-explanatory, right? Open implies free and without boundaries, and relationship is a state of being connected. But how…um wait…oh, never mind. To sum up, SBS was an average guy with his sights set on the pretty girl. She probably lowered her standards and gave him a shot. He was on his best behavior for a few weeks, but when the newness started to wear off, his eye began to wander again. All of a sudden, she’s not so shiny, not so pretty, and not so new anymore. If he could get her, he reasons, then he could probably do better. Because every guy thinks he has a shot at Kim Kardashian, and every girl thinks she can marry George Clooney. But that’s another column. SJ, you wanted to believe he was in an open relationship. That’s the reason why players play. They can’t play by themselves. Do yourself a favor since your shine is growing shade. Next. Until next time, Toni