I Need A Guy Who Already Has His Act Together, Not One I Have To Train

I’ve spent way too much time trying to change or save the men that I’ve dated in the past. The result? I was the one who got stressed out and screwed over! Here’s why I refuse to try to “fix” anyone and am instead only going for dudes who already have their act together:

  1. I’m nobody’s practice girlfriend. I’ve been the woman men dated and then dumped for their dream girls. It felt like they were treating me like a practice girlfriend. I helped them sort through their issues and grow the hell up, only to be forgotten about in the blink of an eye. Then, the next woman who came along would reap all of my benefits. Hell no! I won’t put in so much effort just to get screwed over like that anymore.
  2. Fixing doesn’t work. What I’ve learned the hard way is that no one can be fixed. People can only fix themselves. I can’t rush into a relationship and try to change the guy. He’s not a DIY project! He’s a man with issues that only HE can sort out. Maybe he’s afraid of commitment or he’s a recovering alcoholic. Whatever the case, he’s got to want to change for himself if it’s going to stick. Until then, he can stay away from me.
  3. It’s too much of a risk. I once dated an addict and he kept singing my praises about how much I was helping him. I helped him get a job, a new cell phone, and sort out his life. It was only a temporary thing. Soon, he slipped back into his bad habit and it hurt like hell. I realized that it had felt so good to help and love him to recovery, but it wasn’t a guarantee that he’d change. It just feels like too much of a risk, emotionally and otherwise, to be with someone who can choose their old ways over me in a second.
  4. I’ve got my own crap to deal with. I’ve got my ac together, but life is full of issues that crop up once in a while. I’ve got to handle those, so I can’t be wasting my time and energy on a guy who’s clearly wrong for me but who I have to try to change. I need to look out for myself and give myself love.
  5. I need support too. If I’m so busy trying to “fix” someone I’m dating, all the focus is on him. Often, this leads to me being neglected because he doesn’t have the resources to be there for me, offering support and assistance. I end up carrying the emotional part of the relationship on my back and it’s draining AF. Sometimes I need to lean on my partner so he’d better be able to stand tall for me.
  6. I don’t want someone who makes our relationship such hard work. All relationships require effort and compromise. If I’m trying to make a guy become the boyfriend I need, I’m the one doing all the work with no rewards. I want to be with someone who wants to be with me and who makes the relationship enjoyable most of the time. I shouldn’t have to make him be that person! What’s the point of being with him?
  7. I don’t want to limit myself. If a guy’s life is all over the place and he’s got loads of drama, it’s going to cause problems because we’re in totally different places. I’ve got my act together and I’m chasing down my dreams. I don’t want to be stuck with some guy who’s bringing me down or not happy about my success.
  8. Having to “fix” a guy feels a little too much like being his mother. Soon, I’ll be nagging him about why he hasn’t called me when he said he would, or checking up on him when he’s gone AWOL for days. It’s like I’m expected to pick up after him, emotionally. I can do much better things with my time than run after a guy.
  9. I don’t want to be used. The problem with being too eager to fix someone is that he might take advantage of it. The guys I’ve tried to change in the past were happy to accept my help, support, kindness, and love, so they ended up using me for as long as it was convenient. Like hell will I go through that again.
  10. I don’t want to be needed. One of the worst things to hear from the guy I’m dating is “I need you.” My initial feeling is that he just needs me for something, like to help him out of his rough patch. It could also be that he’s trying to charm me with romantic words so that I stay with him – until the next time he neglects me and the cycle starts again. I want someone who wants me, who has their life together, and I’m just the cherry on top. I don’t want to be someone’s “reason for living” or someone who “makes them a better man.” That sounds like manipulative BS.
  11. Damaged guys cause damage. If I have to change someone, like the guy who can’t love or is narcissistic, there’s something damaged about him. By staying with him and trying to make him see the light, not only am I wasting my time, but I’m putting myself up for getting hurt. Damaged people cause damage to those around them. It’s sad but true.
  12. The right guy doesn’t need to be fixed. No matter what the guy’s issue is, if it’s serious enough for me to think I should fix him, he’s already emotionally unavailable in one way or another. It’s better for me to leave him and find the right guy who won’t need to be changed. Period. It’s much less drama!
  13. I need a grown man. There are too many guys out there who are really just toddlers in suits. They’re selfish, temperamental and can’t handle emotions. Why would I want to be with someone like that? I need a man who’s an adult, who can show and feel love, and who doesn’t need to be saved because he’s too busy saving himself. The knight in distress is an immediate turnoff.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.