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The girlfriend effect and the narrative of ‘I can fix him’

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

A cute trend on TikTok could be more meaningful than you think. The viral videos showing a guy’s glow up when he starts dating a girl reflect the impact a girlfriend can have and the effort she makes to bring a better version of her boyfriend. But at what point is it healthy?  

The problem isn’t you, it’s him

Forget the novels where the bad boy changes for the protagonist. In real life, this type can’t be “fixed”, they’re just emotionally unavailable. So why do women keep dating guys like these? Our culture needs to stop romanticizing the idea that if you try hard enough he’ll change for you.

Girls are constantly taught to be helpful, attentive and when they don’t behave in this way, they’re considered impolite and rude. It’s not a women’s job to save a douchebag, therapy exists for a reason.

Improving, not changing

It’s also important to emphasize that, although women always want the best for their partners, they must be careful about wanting to change them. Since a woman was created to take care of people, she feels the need to improve her lover, make him grow and become a better version of himself. However, this requires caution because you don’t want to change his identity, but increase the qualities that already exist.

Keep it simple: the right person would naturally want to improve with you. For a relationship to work, it needs effort for both sides.

Love is life

Love is one of the most beautiful things in the world. It can be complex, but it’s never painful or depressing. This applies to all your loved ones and, of course, to yourself. 

There’s no happily ever after. There’s just love that never goes away, even in the most difficult periods of life.


The article above was edited by Duda Kabzas.

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Livia Nomoto

Casper Libero '22

Hii! I’m Livia, a journalism student at Casper Libero. I'm obsessed with books, movies, fashion, beauty, pop culture and a few other things.