We’ve all been there before. You meet a really nice guy, but there are just a few things about him that could use a little (or a lot!) of changing. Maybe he doesn’t follow through on projects and he has terrible personal hygiene; maybe he’s never had a relationship that lasted longer than three months and he lives in his mom’s basement. As tempting as it can be to make him your personal DIY project, doing so is always – and I do mean always – a bad idea, and you need to seriously steer clear.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. He said he wants to change and that things will be different this time? He’s showing you his texts in an effort to be transparent and acknowledging his mistakes? Yup, that’s what he told his last girlfriend, and the one before that, and the one before that. If a guy has a bad relationship history, what’s to say that it’ll be any different once he’s with you?
Change comes from within, not from a nagging girlfriend. Here’s the thing about people: they don’t change unless they want to. So you can hope and pray, poke and nag, and encourage and support all you want. It won’t make any difference unless the person genuinely wants to make the change themselves. And if they decide that they want to change, this process is usually better done alone, and they’ll likely want to be single while they’re going through it. It’s kind of a no-win situation for you.
Time is money – invest it wisely. There are plenty of fish in the sea, and nobody’s getting any younger here. You have a limited amount of resources (time) and you need to ensure you’re using it to the best of your abilities. A fixer-upper guy is a risky investment because there’s a good chance things won’t work out – and then you’ll be right back where you started.
It’ll always be more about him than you. If you’re entering the relationship with the sole focus of “fixing” him then the relationship is bound to be about him, and him alone. Relationships should be started on a foundation of mutual respect and love. Every single person in a relationship should be treated like royalty. It’s the one space that you have in your life where you will feel truly loved for, cared for and appreciated. He’ll likely feel all of those things, but you won’t, because this relationship is not about you – it’s about fixing him.
It’s not your job. Most of us need some fixing. Life is frickin’ hard and we all go through crap at some stage, but we don’t need someone else coming in and trying to fix us. If we need to fix something about ourselves, then we are the ones that need to fix it. We need to take our lives into our hands and decide what we want to do with it. It’s simply not your place to do that with someone else’s life.
You’ll resent him in the end. People aren’t easy to control, and he’s not always going to do what you want him to. He’ll rebound, he’ll trip, he’ll fall… and you’ll have to wake up at 3am to a phone call from a police station, or from an ex-girlfriend, or his brother… and you’ll have to get up and go get him. You’ll spend nights in wondering where he is, or you’ll spend hours in silence wishing that he’d talk to you. That’s no way to be in a relationship.
If you need to fix someone, try focusing on yourself first. If you really do have the urge to date someone who needs to be fixed, it’s time to do some self-reflection. You need to work on why you have the need to control, save or fix someone – because that’s more about you than it is about them. Maybe buy a cat to love in the meantime. Training cats is much more do-able than people.
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