How to change a man

Jodi recently sent me a terrific article about some traits men need to handle strong women. While I was in agreement with pretty much the author had to say, what tickled my funny bone for the week were the comments. For instance:

I think I shall be handing this to Prince Charming when he arrives…

It reminded me of comments and posts I have seen over and over again.

naggingWell-meaning but frustrated women will see an article, typically written by another women (but not always), and feel like they need to share with every man they know. To somehow teach them that this is how they should be – how they should act.

If only guys would behave like this I’d finally have my Prince Charming.

Because that will work. We guys love having unsolicited advice sent our way, telling us we’re “doing it wrong”. Especially from women. I mean, you don’t just have to look at your own string of successes using this approach, you can look throughout history to see examples far and wide of men taking the unasked-for advice from a woman to do things differently.

In case the tone was lost in the written medium, that was sarcasm.

Fortunately for all of us, most of these “heart-in-the-right-place” ladies won’t actually send these articles to a particular guy she would like to change. She’ll share it on Facebook hoping that guys will:

  1. Read it
  2. See themselves in need of the provided advice
  3. Make the necessary changes to turn them into the perfect mate
  4. Call the poster begging for a date

I was going to create a graph to visually represent the dropoff curve of men working their way through that list, but I kept getting “Divide by Zero” errors. Clippy even made an appearance in Excel to laugh at my data. Let’s just keep this friendly, shall we?

Look ladies, you’re not going to convince someone, man or woman, to change and live their lives the way you think they should. We change when we’re ready. When we’re confused we’ll start doing research. We’ll ask around. Maybe we’ll approach you and give you a chance to point us to some resources that may click for us. More likely, though, we’ll approach our guy friends.

If there’s someone on the edges of your life that you think could benefit from some article – and I’m talking about them benefiting from it, not you – maybe you could enlist another male friend’s help. Someone whose advice he’s more apt to listen to. That might be worth a shot. Really, though, he has to find his own way and he’ll do so in his own time. He may be perfectly happy in his life choices and he doesn’t need you trying to convince him he’s wrong.

Let’s face it. The guys who would find value in the article are probably already working on themselves. Chances are you’ve already dismissed them as dating material. Or they’ve dismissed you. Either way, they aren’t your target audience. The other guys just aren’t going to see themselves in it. And they won’t take kindly to having you shove your opinion into their inbox.

Jodi and I are big proponents of letting people live the lives they want. If your life, and your happiness, are dependent on having a romantic relationship with someone, you’re just going to have to show some patience as you wait for the right guy rather than trying to fashion him out of HuffPo articles and ardent wishes. There are well-adjusted guys out there that know how to handle a healthy and vibrant relationship. Some are actually already in those relationships, of course. The rest may just not be where you’re fishing. And posting a “Hey guys! Do this if you want to date me!” message isn’t the bait you’re looking for.

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