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?