A lovely friend of mine told me about a new man in her life. She was starting to think that he had potential and was thrilled when he suggested a romantic weekend together. Colouring all of the wonderful possibilities in her mind she became eager and started counting down the days before this fantasy trip.

It wasn’t long after that discussion that the new man wrote her an email announcing that it didn’t look like he was going to be able to make the trip happen after all. He signed the email: “Mr. Unreliable”.

She gave me her disappointed summation:

“You know if there’s something I can’t tolerate it’s an unreliable man! If you say you’re going to call me at 4:00 and then call me at 3:30 that’s fine. But when he says 4:00 and I’m left staring at my watch wondering if he’s actually going to call, well, that really gets on my nerves. All I want is a reliable man.”

Try plugging “unreliable man” into google and watch the hundreds of message boards and blogs that come up from women around the world with the same complaint.

As I reflected on why we men often behave so unreliably I realized that generally we are lazy and prone to take the easy route in dating. In fact, many of us don’t take the dating process very seriously and don’t put much thought or effort into it as a result. If we did, the almost cliché date “dinner and a movie” wouldn’t exist. Not that there’s anything especially wrong with “dinner and a movie” but, come on, how much effort does it take!

I believe that generally women aren’t looking for, or are truly impressed by super-sized or elaborate dates. What really impresses a woman is when a man does what he says he’ll do.

What we men seem to overlook is that the women we date are usually scrutinizing and evaluating our every move. We are tested and re-tested for suitability, trustworthiness, and overall leadership. Being unreliable clearly speaks to our unsuitability for a future relationship.  The unreliable man is soon eliminated before he can be late for another date or forget to call.