My best friend and I have known each other for years. Throughout our lives, I’ve watched her move from dating one loser to the next. I hate to say it because it sounds mean, but it’s true. The first guy had a drinking problem, the second guy lost three jobs and the new guy smokes weed every day and is living with his parents. It seems she always clings to guys she wants to fix, as if they’re helpless puppies.
I’ve tried to convince her she deserves better. She’s smart, pretty and hard-working, so why does she keep dating this type? It brings her down. Yet every time I try to talk to her about it she says I’m bitter just because I’m single. What should I do?
Dear Watchdog Wendy,
First things first: if you tell a girl to stop seeing someone, she’s just going to want to see him more.
It’s true. Sometimes girls who have their lives together go for bad boys. That isn’t to say that your bestie has bad taste, but it could mean she dates these guys to escape reality.
If she was with someone who’s as motivated as she is, she’d have to focus on real life all the time and keep up with her beau. But with these bums, she can hang out on the couch eating munchies whenever she wants to with no consequences. She’s simply top dog because the people around her are less successful.
This will start to lower her own self-esteem. If she falls head over heels for one of these guys, she might end up marrying someone who’s a slob and doesn’t contribute to the household. Even worse, she might end up heartbroken by a guy who’s lazy in all aspects of his life, including keeping her happy.
Eventually, the guys she dates are going to start affecting her own habits. Attitudes and personalities are contagious, so encourage her to start dating someone who will motivate her to do more than watch reruns of Nickelodeon in his parents’ basement.
Set her up on a few blind dates. Snatch her phone, open up Tinder and swipe right on guys who are out of her norm. Get her mind off the guys who are parasitic and instead surround her with people who will encourage her and build her up.
Hopefully, she’ll find a connection with someone better for her. If not, all you can do is continue to urge her to aim higher. She’ll eventually realize that you know what you’re talking about and you’re not just jelly.
It might just take a few more “fixer-uppers” for her to move forward.