I’m a fixer. I see broken people and I want to put them back together, prove to them that they aren’t a lost cause, and turn them into the best version of themselves. I’m a people pleaser, a glass half full person and I just want everyone to be happy, too. It’s not a ‘flaw’ but it sure does cause a lot of problems, especially when dating.
Dating hazards personality type exist for all kinds of people but I genuinely believe that nothing is as damning as being a fixer.
1. Set up for Failure
You are setting yourself up for disaster when you only fall for men who need your fixing. The dating hazard I am talking about is that you fall in love with potential instead of the actual person. We’ve talked about falling in love with potential before but to add to that, when you look at a person not for who they are, but who they could be, is never going to end well.
2. It Can Be Exhausting
Oh Lord, do I know how exhausting it is to constantly be working to help somebody else instead of focusing your energy on other things like, oh I don’t know—kicking ass and taking names. A lot of the time, the guy doesn’t want to change, he’s happy as is, and nothing is harder than trying to change somebody who is happy the way they are (as it should be). You’re either fooling him into changing, spending your time building him up so his confidence rises, or holding his hand through life. My goodness… what are we thinking?
3. Resentment Can Build
Nobody likes being told that they aren’t good enough to be with you, and that’s kinda what you are telling him. You’re essentially saying that you like your partner enough to be with them, for now, but that they’ll need to change to keep you long term. Man, that’s crappy of you. Sure you can veil it behind, “But I only want the best for you,” or work in subvert ways but you know what you are doing. If they get a whiff of that, if they realize that you don’t think they’re worthy of you as is, they’re going to be justifiably upset.
4. You’re Not Pavlov
You know the famous study of Pavlov’s dogs… ring the bell and the dogs get fed, ring the bell and the dogs drool… it’s kinda famous. Anyway, essentially you end up using positive reinforcement and training to get your partner to behave or respond the way you want and unless you’re a trained psychologist you probably shouldn’t be f..cking with them that way. You can sit there and tell yourself that it’s going to benefit them in the long run, that you’re helping them… but did they ask for help? Stick to working on yourself, improving yourself, and lead by example but stop trying to tweak them into the person you want them to be if they are happy the way they are.
5. Next Project, Please
Once they are fixed you have an overwhelming desire to find the next fixer-upper. You love them but they’re just not as fulfilling to be around now that they’re not broken. Basically, you are the Mary Poppins of dating—you’re there when they need you but don’t want you, and once they want you but don’t need you—poof!—you’re gone.
6. Long List of Thank You’s
There are handfuls of women out there in the world who thank you. Why? Because now they’re with the man you fixed up, then left, and reaping all the rewards. Have you ever run into an ex and they tell you how well they are doing now, how they’re successful in their careers, engaged to the love of their life, and about to buy a house. You smile, feeling pride that you did that… you helped him get there. You walk around mentally telling the women of the world that they are welcome because you’re improving the dating pool… but to what end?
7. Where’s Your Happy Ever After
You look at the guy next to you, beautifully broken, and sigh. Ugh… how exhausting to give everyone else their happily ever after while you’re on a cycle of being with guys who still have no idea who they are, what they want, how to get it, or with the ability to be the mature partner you need. You cry at night that you can’t find a man to commit or who has their shit together. You fool yourself into thinking that you aren’t a fixer, just a compassionate soul, but honey… you’re sabotaging your own happiness. You are the problem and it’s time to stop.
The solution: Fix Yourself
At the core of a fixer is somebody who wants feels compelled to look outward a lot more than they look inward. It’s easy to look at somebody and list all of the things you think they could be doing differently, easy because it means you aren’t looking too hard at yourself. You can justify your flaws if you can at least tell yourself, and others, that you’re too busy helping everyone else. Honey, you deserve better.
Take a long hard look at what you are avoiding. Are you afraid of what will happen if you are genuinely happy? Are you terrified that the other shoe will drop if you allow yourself to have a healthy and happy relationship? Sucks, huh, realizing that you have been cock blocking your own happiness, but the truth is there are people out there, beautifully unbroken people, who could be a great fit for you. You don’t have to fix the world. It will go on without you, they’ll lead great (or not) lives without your help, and you don’t have to shoulder that responsibility.
Let go of the need to save them all. Save yourself. Worry about yourself first, you owe it to yourself.