Single Sisters Speak Out

The Modern Life of the Single Sister

The Fixer-Upper May 28, 2009

Filed under: Single Sisters On... — Holly GoLightly @ 11:52 pm

First of all I would like to thank Ms. Nicki Sunshine for taking over last Friday while I was on my coveted death bed! I really plan on having an original post  soon but this week my emotions just wouldn’t allow to do it! However, I will say I am thoroughly enjoying the eHarmony Newsletters that get sent to me weekly! I don’t think I will ever cancel the subscription, because even though I don’t use there services it still provides an interesting ideology on dating. This week my favorite article was entitled, Are You Dating A Fixer Upper?.

What stuck out at first for me was the title! My initial thought was what in the heck is  a “fix upper?” Then after getting into the article I discovered the meaning. A fix upper is someone you feel would be your ideal match once you upgrade them to your standards and liking.  I realized that a lot of us (especially women) meet men and think they would be extremely perfect for us especially after we tweak this one flaw and rip off this other deplorable characteristic, but what we fail to realize is that everything isn’t worth the time or money and once you are done with the project you usually end up feeling different than you did in the beginning.

Here is the original article take a look and when finished answer these questions: Have you ever been guilty of dating a “fixer upper”? Have you been a “fixer upper”? I would especially love to hear from the guys! I have never heard of a guy dating a woman they thought they could change!!

Are You Dating A Fixer-Upper?

There are limits as to how much you should “refurbish” a potential partner.

by eHarmony

Let’s say you’re dating a guy and he’s perfect. At least, he will be as soon as you’re done with him. All you need to do is make a few upgrades in his wardrobe, communication skills, choice of friends, workout routine, relationship with his mother, and that ugly garage-sale couch he’s so attached to. Once that’s all done and you’ve helped him take his career to the next level, he’ll be marriage material for sure.

Or perhaps you’re seeing a girl and there’s something about her that makes you feel like a knight in shining armor. She’s been hurt before and says she can’t trust men, but somehow that only makes you want to win her all the more. Or she’s always in some sort of dilemma and you’re just the guy to help her out of it. Or your friends think she’s demanding and treats you like dirt, but she’s got this vulnerable side and you’re convinced that—if you just keeping loving her—one day she’ll brim with appreciation, realizing that you’re the man of her dreams.

If any of these scenarios apply to you, it’s likely you’re dating a fixer-upper. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to encourage, inspire, or help the person you’re dating. In fact, movies are made all the time about the transforming nature of love. Consider ‘My Fair Lady’ or ‘As Good as It Gets’, in which an abrasive and exasperating Jack Nicholson tells his would-be lover, Helen Hunt, “You make me want to be a better man.” And, indeed, by movie’s end, we see that evidence of his metamorphosis.

Unfortunately, in real life, such transformations via true love don’t always have Hollywood endings. If you’re dating someone you need to fix or rescue, here are some questions to ask yourself:

“Would our relationship make a good episode of ‘Extreme Makeover?’”
How realistic are the changes you are envisioning for your beloved? Ask yourself if the “end result” you are seeking is anything like the person you’re dating now. When you’re finished, will your partner even be recognizable? If you are lobbying for radical alterations, this probably isn’t the right match for you.

“Am I working harder than the person I’m dating?”
Effective, lasting change always comes from within. If your love interest is letting you take the lead in reinventing his or her life, true transformation is unlikely.

“Does the person I’m dating feel like a ‘project’?”
An imbalanced relationship in which one person does all the giving doesn’t feel good to either person, even the one receiving all the help. This kind of relationship can foster feelings of resentment, dependency, and inadequacy. It can make your partner feel like a child and rob him or her of the joy of feeling like an equal contributor to your relationship.

“How central are the changes I’m seeking?”
If you want to sand the rough edges off your partner—improve his poor manners, expand her artistic horizons—that’s one thing. If you want him to change his basic temperament type or religious beliefs, you’re going overboard. Additional core issues include poor self-esteem, addictions, or character flaws like lying or cheating. People can change behaviors that are deeply rooted, but it requires tremendous self-motivation. Even then, change can take years and require the help of professionals.

“Am I so consumed with rescuing this person that I’m putting my own life or needs on hold?” If so, your relationship is on a crash-and-burn course. This kind of one-sidedness can eventually leave you feeling burned out, taken advantage of, and resentful. A healthy relationship requires two people who are as committed to their own emotional health and well-being as they are to that of their partner.

The point of dating is to get to know each other and determine if you are well suited for a long-term union — not to reinvent each other. Healthy relationships are balanced, equal, and mutually satisfying. If your relationship requires an extreme makeover, frequent rescues, or the neglect of your own needs, find a healthier partner—even if it means getting healthier yourself in order to do it.

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12 Responses to “The Fixer-Upper”

  1. Shawn Smith Says:

    Hmm. Never thought of my last friend as a fixer-upper. I guess subconsciously that’s what I was doing.

  2. Bamer15 Says:

    Nope, I can honeslty say I never went into a relationship trying to change the other person. It’s simply not worth it. They who they are, and at this stage in the game, I don’t think I would want to change someone. I find myself asking why when I could just as easily go out and find someone new??

  3. Rob Says:

    One of the fundamental problems with people in relationships, actually thinking they can “fix” someone up. If life ain’t motivated them to fix their flaws, why do you think you will? And aren’t the flaws relative? Like what may be a flaw to you he/she may be absolutely comfortable with. I’m sure every dude (and perhaps every woman) at one time could have been considered a “fixer upper” (I believe every woman fixes up some dude. . . Unfortunately, she ends up doing so for another woman who comes after her), but rather than being flawed or innerd of repair, they just may have been young, not relationship mature or at a point in their life where they didn’t require of themself to be fixed.

  4. Rob Says:

    innerd = in need

  5. Change comes from within. You can help that person, but ultimately, if it’s not their motivation, then it will be for naught.

    I think the trick is to pick smart in the first place.

  6. @Shawn- Your last friend? Why do you say they were possibly a fixer upper?

    @Bamer 15- Do you think you will ever come across someone who is a fixer upper?

    @Rob- Great view point! I especially agree with: I believe every woman fixes up some dude. . . Unfortunately, she ends up doing so for another woman who comes after her

    @WhySo- Always coming with the knowledge!!

  7. Shawnta` Says:

    I agree with @Bamer, @Rob & @WhySo…change must come from within. Bsides would that work both ways if we were able to successfully change someone? For as much as a woman may try to change a man, he may try to change her and I know she probably won’t be feeling that. And if we were able to successfully change someone, we probably wouldn’t like them anymore because they are no longer themselves or we would only find something else that we want them to change on.

    BTW…This post made me think of Don’t Make Me Over by Sybil (an old time fave of mine).

  8. Shawn Smith Says:

    Holly, I said she was a fixer-upper because she had a lot of good qualities that I was looking for but some of her personal quirks/behavior were not appealing to me and in a sense a turn off.

    I tried to subtly point them out just in case she wasn’t aware of them (some she was, some she wasn’t) but in the end, she remained the same.

  9. Shawnta I love that song! I remember singing it when I was young but not really knowing what it meant. It’s funny how when you listen to old school songs you enjoyed as a child (i.e. Superwoman) and discover what they really meant.

  10. @Shawn- Ahhh ok! I see! Yeah my Dad recently told me what you find as a little annoying while date will become a divorce seeker when you get married!

  11. No way!… I dont think its a good idea to try to fix or change anyone… If you meet someone and they have flaws you have to be willing to accept it and not enter the relationship thinking in the back of your mind that with a little work you could possibility upgrade him or her…. this type of thinking can sometimes lead to regrets….. because if the relationship don’t work out and you have invested time and money… on this fool.. this is where the hatred sets in……

  12. K Even Says:

    fixing up.. cant do it.. i’ve learned to look for signs of things i may not be able to deal with. If you doggin the waiter because they left one stinkin tomato on ur salad.. im done.. its not that deep… no table manners, no ettiquette (phone, conversation, just hood), no ambition, goals (other than getting married, spending my money, and having 5 kids with my face)etc.. etc.. ive run into some good representatives… but the true person always comes out eventually. 🙂


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