{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Ladies, is it selfish to not want a \"project\" type SO? Like wanting someone who is already somewhat on the same wavelength? \n\nI keep going back and forth and sometimes feel bad I didn't move forward with a relationship if the guy (I felt) had things to work on (e.g. maturity, debt/finances, independent decision-making, etc). I see comments or hear stories about how woman have helped their man become better, and maybe I'm just not trying hard enough? How do you find the right balance?", "post_id": "5f04c20613edd6002eae68de", "reply_count": 20, "vote_count": 5, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

Ladies, is it selfish to not want a "project" type SO? Like wanting someone who is already somewhat on the same wavelength? I keep going back and forth and sometimes feel bad I didn't move forward with a relationship if the guy (I felt) had things to work on (e.g. maturity, debt/finances, independent decision-making, etc). I see comments or hear stories about how woman have helped their man become better, and maybe I'm just not trying hard enough? How do you find the right balance?

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Ladies. You don’t need to make men “better”. Set higher standards, and expect more. They need to learn to be fit, do their laundry, cook, clean, manage finances, manage their careers, manage relationships, manage their feelings, manage their parents etc..all by themselves. Unless you’re in the same boat as them, and you guys want to learn and grow together.

likesmartupliftinghelpful

At my age, I have to add manage their ex. I didn’t think what you described was asking too much, but where I live....these men must hang out with unicorns and leprechauns, or they cloak the,selves with invisibility. Because as far as I can tell, they don’t exist. Thinking about getting a second cat.

Marry a partner, not a project.

likesmart

No, you have done all this for yourself, they can for themselves. Be with someone who challenges you and do more together than you would apart.

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We are all works in progress. However, it’s not selfish to want a relationship that won’t require undue effort from you. Here’s what you can do when you find a man you want who has some issues to work on: tell him he’s wonderful except for this one issue. Put the ball in his court, pause the relationship and let him work on the issue independently. If he can do this, he’s worth your time. If not, you wouldn’t be able to fix him anyway. Men build entire empires just to appeal to women. You want someone who is capable of self-improvement. This will help you find the right man for you WAY quicker and with less personal sacrifice than hand-holding.

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I've dated 'project' type guys my whole life, I'm attracted to people who need 'fixing'. and it can get toxic real fast. I'm in therapy trying to figure out why I'm like this. But it's not selfish at all to want someone on the same wavelength. As long as you don't expect perfection, it's healthy to want someone who has their shit together and is mature and independent etc, it's a relationship, you grow together and you build a life, you're not his parent. You did the work to grow yourself self and be better for you, he can do it for himself too, you don't need to be the one to do it for him . (Note : this rant is me calling myself out, not you OP)

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Stop dating potential.. usually doesnt end well

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I think there’s a difference between “project” guys and the fact that not everyone is immediately compatible and that’s okay. They may know how to cook and take care of themself but not create a five course meal and that isn’t necessarily a project... just different standards. If they don’t have a job or where they want to go in life that’s different. I just think there is a lot of “dump him” on this bowl that overlook nuances of relationships. I’m married four years, with the same guy for 12. There are definitely ways in which he has been a “project” at different stages of our life (like when he was having a crisis about his job / grad school and slipped into depression). But there are things that irritate me about him that are also very much MY idiosyncrasies that not everyone would have (different levels of cleanliness). I don’t think those things are necessarily him being a “project”, just aligning and adjusting to the other person.

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If he does the same for you, it’s fine. Problem is that these emotional support and “fixing” relationships are usually one sided.

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Lots of good thoughts here already. I will add that you and any partner you’re with for a long time will and should help each other grow and develop. Just because someone isn’t in debt or knows how to cook (aka no longer a “project”), doesn’t mean that they will support and love you when things aren’t going well for you (job loss, illness, mental health issues are all things that can happen over the course of a relationship). I have been in a relationship for a long time but if I were starting fresh now I’d look for someone who basically has their life together, exercises good judgment and decision-making, shares my values, and treats me with respect even (and especially) when things aren’t going perfectly.

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I agree with what has already been said about not pursuing a project. You may already do this but before writing someone off for debt/finances, it’s important to get to the root of why. Do they have debt from education that they’re trying to pay off because they were trying to better themselves or is it because of spending over their limit? Do they have lower earning potential and spend within their means but contribute a lot to the relationship? It’s a little unclear on what you mean by debt/finances in your example but I don’t necessarily think this always justifies a project.

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I think it depends at what stage of life you are in. I found my husband when we were younger but we knew we were right for each other. We both had a lot of growing to do and we did it together. I never considered him a project because he probably would've learned to cook/clean/etc all on his own but since we were together i did teach him. He taught me patience/ communication/ and financial discipline. I also feel like if I had met him in our 30s and he didn't have any of the skills he has now, I would probably not be into him. He should've learned those life skills on his own. I think with age comes a certain expectation of maturity, etc.

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I don’t thinks it fundamentally possible for you to fix things like lack of maturity, poor decision making processes that lead to financial messes or lack of independent decision making. Someone has to be really internally motivated to make lasting changes on these fronts and can’t be pestered/coached into them. I would avoid as it will lead to resentment on both fronts. On the other hand, if you are looking at smaller behavioral things that someone can easily change and would be willing to do so (e.g. be a little neater, dress a little nicer, learn to cook more) then that may not be something worth dumping someone over. It will be a mixed bag. My SO and I have made changes for each other in certain ways but some things we’ve both dug into.

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Date people, not projects. In my opinion, if you have to change someone’s personality to make them fit, then you like the idea of them, not the person themself. It’s exhausting for both people to know red flags going in and expect everything to change just because you’re in a relationship now. Honestly not judging, I’ve fallen into this trap too. I’m convinced the best thing you can do is give someone a supportive, healthy relationship. If it’s a catalyst for them to be a better, more mature man then that’s the best thing you can offer. Don’t ignore too many red flags with the intention of fixing someone, it creates an imbalance and tends to breed resentment.

helpful

Lol you are lucky if the guy’s already perfect! Good for you

Project type SO.. wow. Are those people just screaming for life to be harder than it is? Lol

Take the guilt and gender roles out of this for a minute. Would you want a romantic partner that treated you like a project? The things you’re describing (maturity level, decision making approach, etc) are all qualities that help you determine your compatibility with someone. If you aren’t compatible, move on.

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