“Fixer-Upper” Guys May Seem Tempting, But They’re Not Worth The Trouble

In the dating world, you’re going to meet more guys that are terrible for you than ones that are good matches. Some of them are complete jerk, some are nice but not for you, and some are total “fixer-upper” guys. You know the one — he’s great, but there’s a big downfall that you think you might be able to help him get over if you put in the time and effort. The truth is, these guys aren’t ready for a relationship, so you shouldn’t bother wasting your time.

  1. He just got out of a serious relationship/marriage. We’ve all been there, and we know how much it hurts, which is why we want to feel sorry for this guy and give him a chance. As much as it sucks to feel like a cold hard bitch, you shouldn’t get involved with him because he’ll only use you as a replacement for the ex he still thinks about every day and probably still talks to/drunk texts at night. It won’t be something he does on purpose, but he will because he’s broken and can’t control that reflex. He needs to take some time to get over his ex before dating again, and there’s nothing wrong with using that wisdom to free yourself and prevent future heartbreak.
  2. He’s a mama’s boy who’s never been on his own. He still lives at home even though he could afford his own place because he can’t bear the thought of being away from his mother (plus, she still cooks all his meals and does his laundry). Sure, it’s cute how much he loves his mom, but guys like this are bad news for independent women because they’ve never been as independent as we are and don’t want to be. If you get into a serious relationship with him, you’ll have two options: move into his mom’s house and live under her rules as well, or bug him to move out and end up being his new mommy because he’s incapable of taking care of himself (neither one sounds very appealing).
  3. He has no career goals. It’s fine if he’s working at Wal-Mart or a pizza shop while he’s in school or between gigs, just to pay the bills, but he should have some kind of plan for his professional future. Especially if you’re looking to start a family down the road, it’s important to find someone who’s as professionally driven as you are because kids are expensive. Plus, there’s nothing worse than hearing every day about how much he hates his job but knowing that he refuses to make an effort to find one he enjoys.
  4. He’s completely unrealistic about the kind of woman he wants. Even though this guy might be 5’6”, balding, and slightly heavy, he insists that his future wife must be at least 5’10”, naturally blonde with blue eyes, a diehard fan of his favorite team, and a lifelong devotee of his religion. Even if he’s really funny, has a sweet personality, and wants the same things you do, if you don’t meet his checklist requirements (and even if you do), it’s probably best to peace out.
  5. He’s too young to be serious. When it comes to serious relationships, age isn’t just a number. Age represents maturity, and it almost always impacts when/if a guy is looking to settle down. If you’re in your 30s and he’s only in his early 20s, he may be valuable as a boy toy for a little while, but don’t get too attached if you want a family anytime soon. Anyone below 25 is still a project, and many guys between 25-30 are still fixer-uppers as well, so you’re best to opt out and find someone who’s more stable and established.
  6. He’s in jail/prison or has been there for a serious crime. As women, we naturally want to be empathetic and see a guy’s good qualities rather than his flaws. It’s what makes us sweet and wonderful, and it’s also what makes us silly sometimes. If he’s done something severe enough to be incarcerated longer than overnight, he probably has issues you can’t fix. There may be exceptions to this one, such as laws that shouldn’t exist, but it’s going to be true most of the time.
  7. He’s got an addiction to drugs/alcohol. Addiction is a disease, and it makes itself the top priority of those who are afflicted. Even if he’s sweet, funny, kind, motivated, and wants all of the same things you do in life, his drug of choice will always be prioritized above you and he can’t help that. If he’s addicted and actively using, you should steer clear of him because he’s literally not capable of prioritizing you above drugs.
  8. He’s terrified of commitment. Commitment-phobes are entirely too common these days. He may be great and check off every box on your checklist, but you should listen if he tells you that he’s not into settling down. Commitment-phobic guys don’t lie about that, and they don’t change. Save yourself the heartache and don’t start thinking you’ll be the one who will magically inspire him to settle down, because you’ll just end up hurting.
  9. He’s a narcissist. Narcissists can be irresistible sometimes because their confidence is infectious. However, it’s only a matter of time before you realize that he’d rather go to the gym twice in one day than spend an hour at a coffee shop with you, or that he’d rather admire his own face in the mirror than admire your beautiful face when it’s right in front of him. This guy will always put himself before you, and not in the healthy way, but in the self-centered jerks way that makes you feel like a waste of space. Save yourself some hurt and don’t get involved with narcissists.
  10. He’s a workaholic. Having career goals is awesome, but being a workaholic isn’t. There’s a thing called work/life balance, and it’s vital. Even if he’s a truly great guy, if he’s never available because he works 80+ hours a week by choice, he’s not a good guy to get serious with. You’ll be relegated to having a relationship with his voicemail and pile of dirty clothes.
  11. He has a bad temper. This one is such a red flag. Even if this guy is perfect in every other way, having a bad temper is a really terrible omen for the future. He may be nice and respectful during the honeymoon phase, but that temper will show itself when he’s comfortable and it’ll be scary. Back away slowly and run for the hills, because there’s nothing fun or remotely okay about verbal abuse.
Anna Martin Yonk is a freelance writer and blogger in sunny North Carolina. She loves hanging out with her goofy husband and two rescue dogs and can be found at the beach with a drink in hand whenever possible. You can find her on Instagram @mrsyonkdogmom or on her Facebook page.