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The Purple Fig


Do You Have a Don Draper Complex?

Posted: 02/20/2013 7:44 am

Don Draper cheats on his wife, never does any housework, hardly spends time with his kids -- he shouldn't be sexy, but he is. If you're not a Mad Men fan and you don't know who Don Draper is, you know the type. He walks into a meeting or a party and exudes the kind of power that travels across the room and right into your pants. He speaks with authority, gives you just enough attention to make you feel wanted and then turns away, holding your gaze and bewilderment hostage as he carelessly floats through another flirtation.

Of course, Mr. Draper always looks dapper in his tailored suit and skinny tie -- he's a fictional character working at an ad agency in modern mid-century Manhattan (Mad Men Season 6 premiering on April 7!). The asshole of your affection may be in jeans and a white T-shirt, his product-less hair wafting back as he slugs a beer, but there is an undeniable confidence to him. You may be the type of woman who likes to observe this asshole from afar, possibly think about him later in a quiet moment, but you'd never date him or even so much as give him a moment of your time.

On the other hand, you may be that woman who gravitates towards him, believes that he will give you babies and marry you. You look for these men when you're out on the town and you know the moment you see one. You become excited with the prospect of this challenge.

So, he gets your number and takes you for a drink. You sleep together, and it's better than you'd expected. In fact, you're blown away. You think to yourself, I never feel this way about a guy -- this is huge. You say to your friends, "He's a player, I'm just having fun, that's all." Even though you two continue sleeping together, he never indicates that commitment is on the horizon, but you hold hope that one day he'll wake up next to you and realize that you're different from all the other women.

You are the girl he will change for.

But he doesn't commit. And you don't push the issue. You don't want to rock the boat and scare this tiger. Because, he is a tiger, and you can't tame him, so you feed his fleeting attention span by throwing him scraps of your dignity. You work around his schedule, you wait for him to text you back and all the while never demanding the same in return. You analyze this "relationship" with your friends and wonder what it is that prevents him from opening his heart.

It's OK. Haven't we all been there, in some capacity, at some point in time? You're only human, and you're a woman. If only we could think with our vaginas exclusively and have sex without emotion (obviously there are some woman who can and all the power to you!). Unfortunately, most of the time, our hearts end up taking over, making it hard to walk away when we know deep beneath the lust that we should.

"But what if this is just the type of guy I'm attracted to? I don't want to settle," I've heard women say.

OK, so you like them confident, secure and powerful. Fair enough. Nobody can tell you to be attracted to something you're not. And who doesn't like a guy who takes charge?

The thing is though, this is the type of man who takes charge and goes after what he wants. So why then, must you have to even question anything? Shouldn't he be locking this deal down before you have a second to think about it?

There are powerful, confident men everywhere. They are good men too, who actually want to be in a relationship with you. And yes, some of these Don Draper-like men find women who blow them away enough to change their dodgy ways and settle down. Don left his wife to settle down with his mistress.

We are left to wonder, at the end of season 5, if Don will wander once again. In the very last scene, a woman approaches him at a bar and asks him if he's alone. Are we cynical to assume that Don will most definitely say to her, "Yes, I am. Would you like to join me?"

And, isn't it just being realistic to think that a man won't change his cheating/non-committal ways because he's told to? Don't men always do what they want to do?

Nothing is black and white and yes, some great love stories are not uncomplicated. But aren't the uncomplicated real life ones the best kind?

If your Don Draper hasn't committed or changed his nasty ways yet, he probably won't ever. Resisting what is will just prolong what you want. So look at your needs and wants, and then take a gander at him and ask yourself: how is this working out for me?

By: Trish Bentley

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  • Christina Hendricks (Joan Harris) in "Undressed" (1999)

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  • Vincent Kartheiser (Pete Cambell) in "Angel" (2004)

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  • January Jones (Betty Francis) in "Love Actually" (2003)

    Among the many cast of characters in the beloved 2003 holiday movie "Love Actually," was a young January Jones -- clad in fur and tight shiny pants -- as Jeannie, a townie who lives with two friends (one of which is "Happy Endings" star Elisha Cuthbert). At a Milwaukee dive bar, they meet (and later bed) British tourist Colin (Kris Marshall) along with their fourth roommate ("American Pie" star Shannon Elizabeth).

  • Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) in "The Office" (2006)

    Rich Sommer hasn't been acting very long, but before he made it to the offices of Sterling Cooper, he played Anne Hathaway's friend Doug in the 2006 film "The Devil Wears Prada" and, in that same year, he appeared in two episodes of NBC's hit comedy "The Office" -- and had a serious crush on Pam (Jenna Fischer).

  • Elisabeth Moss (Peggy Olson) in Excedrin Commercial (2005)

    Someone who took lessons from Don Draper thought it was a good idea to bring back this 2005 Excedrin commercial of Elisabeth Moss recently. Watch the actress pushing the medicine, just two years before Peggy Olson walked into our lives.

  • Aaron Staton (Ken Cosgrove) In "7th Heaven" (2006)

    On the opposite end of the TV spectrum from "Mad Men," Aaron Staton had a stint on the preachy family drama "7th Heaven" as Daniel, who had feelings for young mother Haylie Duff's character, Sandy and wound up in a love triangle -- and a sweater vest. (Watch around eight minutes in.)

  • Jon Hamm (Don Draper) in "What About Brian" (2006)

    Of his earlier roles, John Hamm's bit -- and bespectacled -- part in his wife's (Jennifer Westfeldt) indie romantic comedy "Kissing Jessica Stein" is arguably his most well known. He was also in an <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtByLUL1nNU" target="_hplink">episode of "Gilmore Girls,"</a> "The Hughleys," "Charmed" and many more '90s and early '00s programs. One of his longest runs, however, was on the Barry Watson-helmed 2006 drama "What About Brian." The "7th Heaven" connections never end.

  • Jessica Pare (Megan Draper) in "Lost & Delirious" (2001)

    Long before she made "Zou Bissou Bissou" relevant again or married Don Draper, Canadian native Jessica Pare starred in an indie lesbian teen drama set at an all-girls boarding school. And who would have thought they'd all be TV stars one day: "Lost & Delirious" also stars "The O.C." alum Mischa Barton, "Covert Affairs" star Piper Perabo and Emily VanCamp, the leading lady of "Revenge."

  • Jay R. Ferguson (Stan Rizzo) in "The Outsiders" (1990)

    In 1989, Texas-born Jay R. Ferguson was still a teenager when he was plucked out of obscurity to play Ponyboy in the TV adaptation of "The Outsiders," which also starred Matt Dillon as Dallas Winston and David Arquette. After following that up with early '90s sitcom "Evening Shade," Ferguson left Hollywood and only had a few guest starring roles before heading to SCDP as art director -- and Peggy's nemesis -- Stan Rizzo.

  • Robert Morse (Bert Cooper) in "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying" (1967)

    Want to know what Bert Cooper was actually doing around the time "Mad Men" is set? Starring on Broadway and in the 1967 film version "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."


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