Single Men: Your Girlfriend Should Not Want to Change You


This should be common knowledge, but apparently, many single guys (and girls) get involved with people that are not quite all that they would want their future spouse to be.  And so they embark on some strange journey of trying to “help” them, or change them into their fantasy person.

I’ve seen girls accept guys for boyfriends they aren’t truly attracted to, at a very base sexual level.  Women are definitely more attracted to qualities other than simply a man’s physical appearance, that is undeniably true.  A husky man that has confidence and humor can attract a woman perceived as “out of his league” with a sexiness that exudes from his behavior and general confidence with women.  But even most women have a physical standard for men that is more stringent than they ever usually feel comfortable admitting.  It’s why you find so many women who are overweight themselves, pining after hot firefighters, or celebrities… meanwhile their husbands (who aren’t as attractive as these hot men) are lucky if they are having a sex life of once a month!

In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a woman in the real world who would ever have the guts to admit that she is more turned on by a hot, handsome guy, than a nice guy that still looks like the nerds she knew in high school.  It might not be a body builder type, but it’s not exactly the new “Dad Bod” either.

Guys, your physical appearance matters, and if you are interested in being more than Just Friends, you’d be smart to capitalize on your youth, health, and fitness in order to attract the kind of high quality girl you want.

But that would be a whole other topic, this post is explicitly for single men, who somehow find themselves in the very awkward position of dating or being with a girl (or woman) who is just not happy with who they are at that moment in time.  This is the kind of girl who tries to get you to join a gym membership – you know… “for your health,” (snark) not because she’s trying to force you into some kind of role to be her perfect person.  The point is, a woman who is doing this to you, usually does not care (or have any conscious knowledge sometimes) how critical or cruel she is being, she is not worried about your feelings of self-worth or self-confidence because she’s so focused on how you should be.

She often doesn’t realize that criticizing your weight, job, clothes, or any of that IS undermining your self-confidence and feelings of self-worth.  She’d rather you go through the painful process of accepting her criticisms and changing yourself (for her comfort level), than her do the difficult work of finding (or catching) someone that already meets her physical, educational, or financial standards for a good relationship.




These are probably the three biggest areas I’ve seen where women try to provoke through constant bitching change men.  There are other areas as well, like his friendships, but generally, these are the areas where women seem to give men the most grief in a relationship.

Does it come from Low Self Esteem?

Yes.  Yes, I believe it does.  The fact that she would pick someone who was not enough in her estimation to begin with is very telling here.  Why else would any woman settle on a man that is less than she thinks she (at least at some level) deserves?  Here me out single guys!  If a woman is putting you through this kind of unnecessary drama, you will be better off doing one of these three things:

1) Change, but make these improvements only for yourself. There is nothing wrong with getting a better degree, going after a better job or career, losing some weight or getting a gym membership to bulk up a little – all these things are positive, but they are only positive if they are done for the right reasons.

2) Leave her critical spirit in the dust, and then change (follow number 1).  This is hands down your best option here.  As a single, young guy, with more than likely your good health on your side… why put yourself into a relationship (or God-forbid future marriage) with someone who is more than happy to criticize you in any perceived short-coming of yours, to make herself feel better?

3) Don’t change, maybe you are genuinely happy with life as it is – maybe she was pressuring you to go after loftier goals than you desire for yourself, or to work yourself to the bone so that she can have a future of mass credit card bills or a mountain of debt to sate her happiness.  I knew a man that married young to a beautiful sorority girl, his college sweetheart.  He was pre-med at the time, but after their marriage found out that no matter how hard he seemed to try, he just couldn’t make the test scores to actually get in to medical school.  His wife then started to treat him like dirt, criticizing everything about him, his job (where he actually made pretty good), her inability to quit her job to be home with their new baby (she thought he’d be a doctor remember?), made fun of his research achievements (meanwhile he was receiving actual awards for his research), and denying him sexual access.  All because she married someone she didn’t really accept for who he was, but who she imagined he could be in their future together.  She’d rather ruin their marriage, than accept and make the best of the man he has become (a good man who works extremely hard to provide for their family, loves her and his baby, and puts up with her condemning and soul-crushing spirit).  The major drawback of choosing this option is that you will most likely lose the relationship if you don’t change.  For a single man, this is great in my opinion, you have very little to lose as you aren’t invested in her beyond maybe the physical or emotional.  If you do find it hard to move on, perhaps you need to remind yourself that she does not accept you (or possibly even feel sexually attracted to you) at a very very deep level for her.  To stay in that kind of relationship suggests you don’t value yourself enough in the first place, this is something you’d want to explore for yourself… why would you glue yourself to a woman who at her deepest level, isn’t crazy about you?

For a married man, you have my sympathy & a lot more to lose, but keep in mind that bending to her control will only make you even more repulsive in her eyes for your future.  Your best route is to go with number 1, but have the emotional attitude of number 2 in protecting or insulation yourself from her destructive spirit.  You don’t have to divorce her, but keeping a safe emotional distance so that she isn’t constantly cutting you down, while you work on yourself, for yourself, is wise in this kind of situation.

Your Future with a Critical Girlfriend

You have to understand, single guys reading this, the psychological aspect of a woman desiring control over you is bad enough, but to allow her to control you can lead to a future battle of wills when it comes to decisions later on down the road.  A future marriage with this kind of woman is going to be rife with unhappy conflict, why picture having children in this kind of environment?  A critical spirit is very hard for a woman (or a man) to overcome without significant amounts of therapy, and you will be playing into her hand from the beginning by 1) agreeing with her that you aren’t enough as is, and 2) that she is right to control or impose her will of what’s best for you.

Life is already hard guys, why make it harder by picking, or staying with someone who is merely settling on you?


  1. My point was more that a woman should pick a man she can accept as is. No guy should be her project – its demoralizing. And vice versa.

  2. I think you have a very good point in this article (and one that would be good for single women to listen into and think about too, as to whether they are with a man whom they want to change).
    It does make me think about maturity though. When I look back at my husband and I during our dating and early marriage years, we have both matured a lot since then. When we were dating, we were certainly very attracted and happy with each other, but I’m sure we knew that we both had growing to do as Christians. I think it would also be a problem if you’re dating someone and you’re thinking “I hope this person never changes, because they’re perfect” – it probably means you don’t know them very well!

  3. It doesn’t matter if a man ‘changes’ at the direction of his mate, once she starts with the ” … if you would only do this, …or be that …” list making. In fact, compliance will likely make her more unpleasant, more disgusted, more bitchy.

    Any woman behaving this way is communicating two things: a) she is repulsed by her man’s sexual qualities; b) she’s looking for the exit, but wants it to be his fault. (i.e., “we tried to work on things but he just wouldn’t try”). So if the guy actually does start olympic lifting, making twice as much money, doing the dishes every night, and taking care of the children while the wife takes her booty out to sample wares on GNOs, it will just frustrate her and anger her: he’s *supposed* to fail.

    The really miserable men are the ones who put up with this with a wife who can’t muster the courage to walk: there we just have miserable co-dependents, one bitching, one whining.

    Women who behave this way are just contestants on Nicole Kidman’s game show in The Stepford Wives (second version). They’re saying, “I could do BETTER than you! and I deserve BETTER than you!”

    There’s no solution for the single guy hearing this stuff. Some cowboys just have to suck it up and mosey down the trail. To the married guys with children, tell her to get an apartment and have a ball, because you’re staying in your own home with your own children.

  4. The image illustrates negatively Dragonfly’s post: woman as arbiter of male value, the outlook that “if you truly loved me you would be a different person.” Any man hearing that should laugh and hit the bricks. Women are not the arbiters of male value, they are not life coaches for aspiring males panting after a ‘good grade’, and they are not sage, all-knowing creatures who bless men with their insights.

    Women are just consumers of male value. If a woman is not buying what a man is selling, fine. Get a different woman.

    Any woman presuming to ‘coach up’ her man, incidentally, is expressing insecurity: otherwise she would just replace the deficient man with one more to her liking. She should probably be immediately, and unequivocally offered the chance to move out and move up to a romantic strata more in keeping with her no-doubt awesome awesomeness.

  5. How about this then: “A man can’t change a woman because he loves her. A woman changes herself because she loves him.”

    I think you’re getting bogged down by prejudice. It’s quite possible some people aren’t good enough as they are. That none of us are, and that we should be in a perpetual state of evolution towards improvement. If our husbands and wives don’t motivate us to live better lives and be better people, we have not chosen the right partner.

  6. I’ve written about the Muse before – what it looks like in a marriage here, and also here. It is completely different from a woman criticizing things about her boyfriend (or husband), these women were much smarter than to pick a guy to torture. The Muse inspires creation, not necessarily change… and certainly not change from who he is based on negative emotions like shame.

    The critical girlfriend makes the boyfriend (or husband) feel ashamed of what he looks like, how much education he’s achieved, or his financial gain… so it’s a lose lose situation.

  7. Kate, you’re not smart enough to engage me. If you wish to do internet mind-reading and argue by ad hominem (“that’s prejudiced!”), be my guest. But any intelligent person, and even some educated persons, dismiss such activities. Type away.

  8. However, I would never buy a Swiffer. I find they just polish the dirt. I am partial to white vinegar, or straight pine sol after a particularly sordid party. When it’s time to get down on one knees and scrub with a brush, I hire a crew of men. (Do this twice a year.) Sometimes I use Borax.

  9. That’s a deal, unless you kindly refrain from calling people, whom you don’t know, ‘prejudiced’ without tying your remarks to something he/she said. Otherwise, you’re just another professional victim who doesn’t eat her own cooking. My money is on the latter.

  10. I think it would also be a problem if you’re dating someone and you’re thinking “I hope this person never changes, because they’re perfect” – it probably means you don’t know them very well!

    See I tend to think that the things a boyfriend or girlfriend love about the other, the things they wish would never change, really are positive attributes. Maybe it comes from the youth, and these things, if “matured” would be sad to be lost. It reminds me of Rollo’s writing about Jenny Bahn. She is the former model that is in her 30’s now, and still gorgeous and with a rocking body… but had to rationalize that because she’s in her 30’s, she’s more mature than the young 20’s women, and thus a more difficult conquest for men that are in her same age group (that she wishes would still be that infatuated with her). The men in her age group are just now coming into their “prime” and finding themselves able to get women younger than her, not only physically more appealing, but also psychologically sweeter and more feminine than a “matured woman.”

    She’s lost her youthfulness, her spontaneity, and sense of girlishness that is like catnip to men… but because she’s changed and “matured” she no longer values those qualities. Rollo’s article here. Jenny’s own explanation for how men really should want a more mature woman here.

  11. Jenny Bahn is in trouble because she views men as utilities who should provide what she wants when she wants it. She’s also in trouble because she overvalues her looks while at the same time demeans men for valuing … looks. And she doesn’t realize, if you read the piece again, that men have figured her out. She’ll settle for someone she thinks she can ‘work with’, i.e., improve. No intelligent man will go near someone like that.

  12. Because women like Jenny Bahn think they’re just auctioning off sexual access, and men need to line up for a go at her precious preciousness:

    Two unfortunate facts:

    1. For a lot of men, the problem is too many women, not too few. Or, Jenny Bahn has nothing worth paying for, when men will more happily pay for some peace and quiet.

    2. For a lot of men, the Checklist Game is well known, and they recognize that aging narcissistic women who play it will never *stop* playing it. They have no interest in being ‘upgraded’ by a calculating female with a legal interest in his future.

    The foregoing was written by a man who is likely ‘prejudiced,’ because he reveals how 30-something desperado-ettes work the streets of desire. Doing so is a micro-aggression and sexist.

  13. BTW, I bought a stack of white rags at KMart after you recommended it and I’ve used them instead of paper towels for cleaning ever since.
    Awesome idea BV! You’d saved us money. 🙂

  14. Paper towels are a rip-off.

    Try the Borax. It’s cheap and natural, and turns porcelain white. I can only find it at the hardware store out here.

  15. BV really does have amazing ideas all around. We’ve implemented his garden ideas and want to do the sandbox… he is a wealth of knowledge. Thank you for always having amazing, cost efficient ideas, BV… we love them.

  16. I will try the borax, thanks BV. 🙂
    Our entire house is white porcelain, in fact!
    I haven’t used it since we had carpet, years ago. Borax keeps fleas from reproducing, too.

  17. I present to you The Ballad of Clark Kent:

    When Lois Lane met Superman he was fighting crime, could bend steel in his bare hands, stop locomotives, leap over tall buildings in a single bound; shit, Superman could fly! Then one day he met Lois and swept her away, rocked her world in the sack and fell in love with her because thats what Super-Men do. After a year of this whirlwind Lois starts to feel her relationship with Superman was lacking something, “Why does he have to always be out there fighting crime, huh? Why does he always have to prove he’s so Macho? Does it threaten his Ego? He really needs to get in touch with his feminine side. What about MY needs and why can’t he just grow up and get a real job? I’m not getting any younger you know, he’s got some responsibilities to live up to. When am I gonna see a ring?”

    So eventually this wears down on Superman and he submits to Lois’ requests (demands?). After all he ‘should’ really ‘grow up’ anyway, right? It’s the right thing to do. So Superman changes his name to Clark Kent (Super-‘MAN’ was so male self-aggrandizing anyway) and lands a job as a reporter at a great metropolitan newspaper. Clark begins wearing glasses – even though he can see X-Rays, and shoot lasers out his eyes, he wears them because Lois says it makes him look distinguished, intellectual and SHE likes them.

    Time goes on and Lois and Clark marry. 5 years into the marriage Lois gets bored. Same old, same old. Clark is so mundane and unassuming. She longs for the days he would fly and do that funny steel bending trick he used to do when they were dating. He hasn’t done any of that for so long; not because he can’t, but because he’s afraid she’ll get upset with him and not put out that evening if he gets ‘cocky’ with her. In fact she’s not putting out even half as much as she used to these days. Clark just doesn’t arouse her as much as he once did and she just can’t seem to put her finger on the reason for it.

    Then one night Lois ran into a wealthy fellow named Bruce Wayne at a charity mixer. Bruce was dark, mysterious and in great shape! He couldn’t fly, but he made up for that in so many other ways. He fought crime! He wore a mask and spoke in short, purposeful sentences, never mincing words. He didn’t wear glasses (that was so retro!) and he came and went at the time of his pleasing, not hers. He sent tingles down Lois’ spine (and other places that hadn’t felt tingles in a while) when he began seeing her.

    The weeks went by until, after a 60 hour work week at the Daily Planet (swanky apartments don’t rent cheap), Clark made his way home on the subway (since flying had been out of the question for a while now) and picked up a dozen roses to surprise Lois with (he thought she tended to put out when he showed his ‘feminine side’) when he got back to the apartment. However it was poor Clark who got the surprise upon discovering Bruce Wayne bending Lois over the kitchen table when he opened the door. Bruce propmptly toweled off while Clark, slack-jawed with horror, watched speechless.

    “How could you? After all we’ve meant to each other!” Clark began to cry as Bruce excused himself from the now estranged couple. Clark was used to crying a lot now to show his sensitivity.

    “What could you have possibly seen in a guy like that?!” He shrieked like a school girl.

    “Well,..I couldn’t help myself” Lois said indifferently, “Batman is a Superhero.”

  18. Yeah, I know what you mean. I was more taking about Christian maturity, as opposed to staying young at hear, which I don’t think are mutually exclusive. For example, maturing in your level of patience.
    You wouldn’t say of your boyfriend, “I don’t think he needs to grow in patience at all.” but then you probably wouldn’t being out up at all of you were really into him.
    But staying playful is definitely not the same thing as being immature, I think. Sometimes when my husband and I are playing around, the kids look at us in awe, like ‘ what are the grown ups doing now?’.

  19. Yea… I agree for the most part… it’s just that for men, wanting him to “mature” can sometimes mean that the woman wants him to “man up” and do whatever it is she decides he should do, or get rid of his “immature hobbies.” LOL my husband used to do this crazy sport-like thing with his college friends called Grass Boarding. We have hills here, and so they would take off the wheels of skateboards and put vaseline on the bottoms in order to almost surf down the hills. He was one of the crazier guys that would even try to do dangerous tricks on the way down. Some even went further and tried to do it down rocky hills (literally just huge rocks down the side of a hill). That was called Blood Boarding lol. The pictures were hilarious! Watching the guys (and some girls) do it was entertainment.

    When we married, we didn’t have kids for 3 years, so sometimes we would still go out with some of the old college friends and do this together. One time some of our old friends came with some new friends to a grass boarding site, and a new guy (actually an athlete) saw my husband and I at our truck with his tools all out like a professional lol… helping me get the wheels off my skateboard so I could do it with him, and the guy was like “Wow!!! They even have their own tools!” 😀 I miss it….

    Is it immature to ride down hills on boards slicked with vaseline with college students? I think a lot of women would decide it is… maybe even a lot of men. They certainly wouldn’t consider that a valid “date night” or anything… they would probably rather have more “mature” grown-up activities (and sometimes I guess that makes sense). But there’s a part of guys that never really does give up things like that – and when they do, they seem to lose a sense of pleasure or happiness in life. For men, “maturity” seems to mean a loss of this kind of thing, and Rollo has a whole section on the Mature Woman in his new book, page 201-202.

  20. Oh yeah, I am totally with you there. My husband still messes around doing wheelies and stuff on his bike when I’m watching and I just love it!
    Haven’t read Rollo’s book, but I suspect we are thinking of different things when it comes to the word “maturity”.

  21. Equally obvious: Why can’t Lois have her Superhero and her involuntary, immediate convulsive orgasms … and a nice boy who mows the yard on schedule? We’ve known for 30 years that women can, and should, have it all.


    I’m in the country and I spent the week scraping and painting a farm house. The husband can hardly walk, but has meticulously restored a dozen cars, machining the parts he cannot purchase. Discount that at your risk. This guy can make anything and then turn it on. His wife mows the grounds of their various properties, and enjoys shooting the shit at 7 a.m. over coffee, mostly discussing the Cardinals.

    I’m a mature man, but there are few people my age like this.

  22. We’ve actually named our home ‘White Tiles’. Truly. We said it in jest when we first arrived and it sort of stuck.
    Lately, that has been sort of false advertising, but hopefully borax and some elbow grease with the minions will set it right again. Hurray for summer and boypower! 😛

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