Dating A Fixer-Upper

I have a friend. She dated a guy for a little over a year and he was “rough around the edges”. Well, he didn’t really have edges. He was pretty round, actually. Nevertheless, his weight didn’t bother her as much as his unhealthy lifestyle and sloppy upkeep. She liked to be active, while her boyfriend liked to stay inside and play videogames. He played video games all day. She wanted to go hiking, cook (instead of ordering pizzas), and get out of the house. She wanted him to wear jeans or slacks … instead of basketball shorts and durags. All of the time. She saw his potential, but he couldn’t.

She voiced her concerns and he made feeble attempts to change. Not only was he physically lazy, he was lazy in the relationship. He did not make an effort to spend time. He was dismissive of the things that were important to her. He consistently broke promises and broke her heart. He did not clearly get the point until she broke up with him. Now, he has adopted a healthy lifestyle, started to get dressed, and sends his new girlfriend flowers…just because.

What happens when you invest in your "fixer upper boyfriend" and he improves … just in time for his next relationship? I know you're probably thinking that she should have stayed with him and “shot with him in the gym” (especially if you’re a man lol).

"But Kanye said it best, “Stick by his side. I know it’s dudes ballin’ and yeah that’s nice. And they gon’ keep callin’ and trying but you stay right girl and when he get on, he leave yo’ ass for a white girl…” Sometimes, you work to improve the fixer-upper boyfriend’s weaknesses and he forgets who held him down (and that actually happens more times than not). Too many men let their women shape them and then they forget to pay their dues. It's interesting to see how many men resent the people who are most invested."

Look, I am a firm believer that people should grow together in life and love. I believe the two will grow stronger when faced with adversity as a team. In fact, I think more couples should look at themselves as a team than two separate entities. However, there is a difference between growing with an imperfect person versus a “fixer-upper boyfriend”.  The fixer-upper boyfriend is usually insecure with himself and you become nothing more than the catalyst for his confidence. You give all of yourself with the hope of that he’ll be an overall “better person” and that’s not a healthy relationship. Your job is to enhance each other’s qualities… not to completely change them.

Find someone who possesses the qualities you already need and want in a partner. Honesty, commitment, values, respect and confidence are not “negotiables” and those traits are not things that you can instill in a person.  As a woman, you cannot treat a man like an arts and crafts project. you have been warned. 

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