Opinion: Yes, You CAN Change A Guy—And You Should

So many women dream about meeting “The One”—the one man who ticks all their boxes and will make them happy for the rest of their lives. However, I don’t believe a guy like this exists ready-made—you have to mold him yourself.

  1. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no such thing as “The One.” We all know this yet we still hold on to our lists. We all have a mental image of the “perfect guy,” but every dude you meet will be missing at least one of your requirements. Your hunt for the one guy who ticks all the boxes if futile—and if you find one that ticks the boxes, then he’ll have another characteristic that you don’t like. It’s better to turn the guy you’re with into a better fit for you.
  2. Everyone has the potential for change. People always say that you can’t change a guy but I think this is a load of crap. All human beings have great potential for change. That’s just how we’re built. You can start the day not knowing a skill and by the end of the day, your brain will create new pathways to make you more adept at it. We all can change, so why shouldn’t we try to change for the better?
  3. Personal growth is a good thing. The kind of change I’m talking about is all about helping your guy become a better person. I’m currently working on getting my boyfriend to be a better listener. Why on earth should that be seen as a bad thing? A few months ago, he was horrible about answering my texts in a timely manner. I talked to him about it and used various techniques to help him be more aware of how that made me feel. Today, we don’t have that problem. My boyfriend is a better guy because I helped him become one. Unlike his other girlfriends, I didn’t just say, “Oh well, that’s how he is.” I think it’s amazing that human beings can push each other to grow.
  4. There are positive ways to get a guy to change. You shouldn’t nag or shame a guy into changing—I believe in positive methods like communication and positive reinforcement. The moment I realized my boyfriend was horrible at responding to texts, I had a candid conversation with him. I told him how I felt and what I needed. Most of the time, that’s all that’s necessary. That wasn’t the case with my boyfriend, so I started making sure to thank him for responding to my texts on time on the few occasions when he did so. I even made him a meal one time and told him how great his recent behavior made me feel. Guess what? It worked and my boyfriend never once felt like a horrible guy.
  5. A lot of guys praise women for helping them become better men. If you talk to happy couples, you’ll often hear them mention this. A person that loves you wants better for you and wants your relationship to succeed. When someone points out something negative you do and does things that help you to master a new behavior, that all comes out of love. Talk to a man in a happy relationship and somewhere along the way, he’ll mention that his girlfriend or wife helped him become better. Newsflash: he wasn’t blind to what she was doing and he appreciates it!
  6. Helping someone change will help you grow too. Holding up a mirror to another person gives them the confidence to hold a mirror up to yourself. While we’d all like to think we’re perfect, we aren’t. Because I told my boyfriend about a few areas I’d love for him to work on, he did the same for me and we’re both happier now because of it. I don’t know about you but I’d rather hear the truth than a lie. Things are better all around when your relationship is based on facts rather than fiction.
  7. People who grow together bond. Something about collective experiences helps people form more profound connections. My boyfriend and I knew each other at our worst, then we helped each other get better. That kind of bond can’t be broken. Rather than give up on him for not being “The One,” I helped him become the closest thing to it. He did that same for me. This experience will forever bond us. Forty years from now, I’ll be able to say, “Here is the man that helped shape the woman I am for the better,” and he’ll be able to say the same.
  8. You deserve to be with someone who fulfills you. Some people believe in working with what you’ve got. By that, they mean accepting and living with a mediocre or downright bad situation. Don’t listen to them. You deserve better. You deserve to be happy, and the kind of happiness you want doesn’t come from a magical man somewhere—it comes from the man you have. You can and should teach him a little bit every day, more about who you are. How you need to be loved.
  9. Any man that loves you will want to be the one to fulfill you. If your guy loves you, he’ll be willing to change for you. Not as a result of ultimatums but of thoughtful conversation and positive reinforcement. Any guy that loves you will want not only to hold on to you but to be the one to make you happy. If that takes a little change, then he should be willing to make that sacrifice and vice versa.
Hannah is a twenty-something-year-old freelance writer, obsessed with reality TV, and all things sweet.