Duke It Out: Can He Change?

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[It's pretty obvious that the average CollegeCandy reader has some very strong opinions. Opinions that she likes to share with everyone on the site. We love a strong woman (unless she happens to be charging at us with her fists raised), so we thought we'd give her a real forum to discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I'll be featuring a hot topic (like whether size really matters! ) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the comments section below!]

You know that friend who just can’t resist the “fixer-upper” guy? He’s either a bad boy who she knows could really be prince charming, or a stoner who could be brilliant if he’d just pull himself out of the beanbag chair get his act together, or a stuffed-shirt who could be a lot of fun if he just had the right girl on his arm to show him how.

Basically, she lives her love life like it’s a rom-com and her personal motto is “I can change him.” We’ve all been there. The question is, does it work? Can men really change? And even if they can, should we really make them?

On a basic level, of course men can change! They’re people and we all evolve as we experience new things. Sometimes it takes somebody a while to understand that their behavior isn’t good for them, but lots of people manage to turn their lives around and reform themselves. And if people can do it, then why shouldn’t we help them? You’d tell your gal pal if you thought that, say, the way she dressed was standing in the way of her getting a job, so why shouldn’t you tell your man that the Star Trek tee with holes at the armpits is no longer allowed to be worn in public? If it’s something more serious, like adjusting his attitude to finally take that bio chem he needs for his major, then as a good GF, of course you should give him the kick in the pants he needs to shape up.

The problem is that, while most people can change, a lot of times their behavior isn’t the real problem. Sure, if you worked hard enough, you might could turn a bad boy into a knight in shining armor, but A) it probably wouldn’t last and B) it wouldn’t really be him. People act the way they do for a reason, it’s their choice, so while you might get that slacker up off the couch, he’s not going to magically become a go-getter. It’s just not his personality. Which brings us to part B. Changing a guy is just that – changing him. Sure a little tweak here and there might be OK, but for some reason a lot of us seem to imagine that we can radically transform men with nothing but the power of our love (and maybe some well placed nagging) which, in my experience, can last for about a week tops. If you go into a relationship picturing the kind of guy you want to make him into, then you’re really just ignoring who a guy is to begin with and focusing on who you wish he was. That’s not really fair to either of you.

What do you girls think? Can you really turn a fixer-upper into Mr. Right? Or will he just go back to his old ways? Is it OK to try and change your guy? Or do you just have to accept what you get, flaws and all?

Duke It Out!

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