Every woman has some idea in her mind, of what her ideal man will be. What he looks like, smells like, acts like, etc. But, at one time or another, every woman has compromised her standards. She dates someone poorer, taller, shorter, hairier, less trustworthy, less stable, less good looking, less intelligent, less sexy, etc. This happens for a few different reasons. No one is perfect, so sometimes a man with other outstanding qualities comes in and sweeps a woman off her feet. He may not meet all of her criteria, but he meets enough of the important ones to be a suitable partner. But sometimes a woman becomes desperate to be in any relationship with any man because she’s afraid to be alone, and other times a woman is just insecure and craves attention from men in order to feel good about herself, so a man who is far from her ideal is able to pursue her and she enjoys the attention so much that she caves in and dates him.
Important criteria to consider when choosing a man for a potential relationship are such things as overall character, honesty, sanity, intelligence, and chemistry. Sometimes women will also place an emphasis on things of less overall importance that may or may not reek of shallowness such as appearance, income, and title.Which brings me to the subject of this week’s column: Women who feel compelled to change the appearance of the man they’re dating.

I wish I had a dime for every time a female friend has told me about a new man she’s dating and that he’s less than ideal for X, Y, and Z reasons, but she thinks that she could tolerate dating him if she took him shopping for new clothes and got him a new haircut. That’s just about as intelligent as buying an old house with woodworm, termites and dry-rot and expecting that a new paintjob and new wallpaper will turn it into a castle.
I’ll never understand why a woman would want to be with a man that they felt they had to ‘fix’ Nor will I understand why a woman would want to be with a man who was so mamby-pamby that they would allow anyone to henpeck them into changing.

Maybe I’m an idealist and a closet romantic, but I’d like to think that when I do fall in love with someone, they will be so wonderful, and kind and intelligent and honest that I won’t care what his clothes or his hair or his car look like. And that I may even find it endearing if he has a quirky sense of dress.

If you truly love a person and care about them, is it necessary to try and change them? Do you really want to change them if you’re truly passionate about who they are and what they’re about? Or are women who feel the need to change a man’s appearance just trying to put a band aid on a bigger problem. Have they settled for someone less than they feel they deserve?
Someone who’s personality or ethics aren’t up to snuff? Someone with whom they really don’t have any chemistry, but they’re desperate for any relationship or any attention from men at all so they think they can create an attraction with some trendy clothes and hair gel? They’re operating under the assumption that a modified appearance will make them feel respect for him. Personally, I wouldn’t be able to respect any man who allowed me to henpeck him and change all sorts of things about him. That screams of self-disapproval, self-deprecation, and insecurity. I want my man to be confident with who he is and with how he looks, even if he is a big geek.
I know of too many stories in which a woman fixed up her new man in order to make him tolerable to her. She taught him how to dress, how to fix his hair, and how to walk and talk. And the plan backfired. Suddenly the man was not only more attractive to her, but he was also suddenly more attractive to other women.

One of my former managers met her current husband at work. He was a divorced ex-military guy and nerd extraordinaire. The dude looked like a nerdier version of a guy out of Wayne’s World. She was not interested in him at all when they first met, but he relentlessly pursued her and since she was feeling desperate to be in any relationship, in spite of his appearance, she caved in and started to date him. Throughout their fairly short courtship, she took it upon herself to spruce him up and bought him a whole new wardrobe, got him a trendy haircut, contacts instead of glasses, and put him on a diet/exercise regime.

Lo and behold about 2 years after they got married he had set things up quite nicely for himself. She was working her arse off supporting their entire family which included her daughter from her first marriage debacle, and his 3 children who were living on the West Coast with his ex-wife. This was due to the fact that he quit his job and embarked on a new career in real estate. He never sold a house, but he did have loads of free-time to have affairs. He had stopped sleeping with her, became obsessed with his appearance and diet and exercise, and spent most of his time with her calling her fat (and she wasn’t).

They’re now separated. Because he was cheating on her. Well, that and because he was also a lying, freeloading, abusive a**hole.
I suspect that in his case he had never had much attention from women, and after being spruced up (he did look quite good after she got finished with him), he was just unable to resist the temptation of all the new and available p*ssy.

Obviously it shows that he was of weak character to begin with. But if she hadn’t been so desperate to have any kind of relationship at all and was therefore accepting of a relationship with a man to whom she wasn’t attracted in the first place, she wouldn’t have ended up in that predicament. I suspect she was so flattered by the attention, and consumed with trying to change him into the image of a more ideal man that she neglected to explore, in depth, those character traits which are most essential to the health and prosperity of any relationship. And she simply overlooked the fact that he was a complete jerk.

That’s only one typical example, but I’ve heard 100 other stories just like that one.

Women need to spend more time finding men who have good characters and with whom they have proper chemistry instead of wasting their time dating men who are clearly wrong and then trying to change them. Not to mention that anyone who’s got experience being relationships knows that it’s impossible to change someone else.

Are women that desperate to be in a relationship?

I’ll be back to discuss that in next weeks column.

About the author: After receiving a nice, wholesome upbringing in a typical Midwestern town of the US, this intelligent, witty, and frequently snarky chick, craving adventure, managed to receive her first real-world instruction on the streets of Paris. After that eye opening and somewhat harrowing experience, on a whim, she moved to The Big Apple where she was permanently corrupted. She’s an armchair psychologist and enjoys analyzing herself and others, while maintaining a deep appreciation for the ironies of life.
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