I am having an issue I hope you can help with. I have a really good guy friend who is a disaster. He’s almost 30 and still has horrible dating luck (I actually thought he was gay for awhile because he’d always say he’d lost interest in a woman, but I just found out it turned out THEY lost interest in him..), he is a slob, and he can’t seem to get his life in order. He keeps reminiscing about his high school days and about how great everything was, but it seems like he can’t let go of the past and look to the future, and it’s really hurting his chances in finding the right person. Women want a guy that has his sh*t together. We don’t want to be someone’s mom or deal with someone that refuses to grow up and be responsible. How do I make him see this?
I get emails like this regularly and I’ve answered some right here on the blog, but I’ll go over it again. It’s really hard to make this kind of person see the error of their ways, but if you want your friend to be successful, you’ll need to be persistent. I’ve known my fair share of “Peter Pan people” in my day (people that have difficulty accepting the responsibilities and duties associated with adulthood), and it can be frustrating to see them fail at being an adult over and over again. You could spend years fine tuning every aspect of their life (trust me, it’s stressful), but here are the 4 things you’ll want to stress with your friend:
1. Organization is key. Clean house, clean clothes, clean life. Life past college is not lived in a pile of dirty clothing and pop cans.
2. Health is essential. There are a few women out there that will go for a guy and not pay any attention to how he looks. Those types of women are rare past the age of 25. Your friend needs to get healthy and stay that way to make himself more marketable to women that he may be attracted to. Women want to invest time with a guy that will be around for awhile, not one that will knock off at 35 due to heart disease or lung/liver cancer.
3. Responsibility rules. Pay your bills, follow through on things you say you’ll do, and make sure you put your priorities in order. Financial, family, educational, and career responsibilities come before the other fun stuff. It HAS to be that way, so it’s best to learn it now.
4. Plant your roots. Figure out who you are and where you fit in this world and walk that path. If you’re the “project guy” after the age of 30, you’re doing it wrong. You shouldn’t always be coming up with a new money-making plan, you shouldn’t have no idea what you want from life, and you should already know who you are and what you have to offer in a relationship. If your friend isn’t there, get him there.
Encourage your friend to always seek personal improvement in these categories. It may be hard to NOT sound like you’re harping on him, but you need to try to approach it from a positive perspective and reward the positive, while discussing the negative in a way that makes him understand that he still needs work in some areas. Let him know that your friendship is important and you don’t want to see him waste away his potential. If he still doesn’t want to change after a few years, maybe you’re better off backing away and letting him fall down. Maybe he’ll figure things out on his own.