Dear Women, Stop Dating Toxic Men Thinking That You Can "Fix" Them

The "men will be men" narrative is peddled constantly to condition women into believing that no man is good enough to not need changes.

Rudrani Gupta
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When a woman signs up for a relationship, what does society expect her to do? Respect and understand her partner and demand that he do the same? Unfortunately no. A woman in a relationship is expected to bear a man's toxic behaviour, babysit him and "make" him a good person. Have women internalised the idea that toxic men can be remoulded into good partners with the help of love and care?

Recently I came across a tweet which stated “ Women will make a man good rather than be with a good man.” And I couldn’t agree more. It is unfortunately true that many women assume it is their responsibility to make a bad guy good. They never expect to fall for a man who is already good. Even Bollywood romance has normalised the idea of women falling for men who are toxic, abusive and emotionally unavailable. And later, women become the change makers in their lives who draw out emotions like empathy and tenderness from their stone-cold hearts. An example of this is a 2014 film called Ek Villain starring Sidharth Malhotra and Shraddha Kapoor, where a happy-go-lucky woman falls in love with a ruthless and gruff hitman, who leaves behind his criminal past to become a "good man" for his lady love.

But why do women feel compelled to change men into a better version of themselves? This is because women are raised to believe that they are responsible for helping men grow from being entitled brats to loving and responsible husbands. Bahus are considered Laxmi not only because they bring home wealth but also because they change the vibe of the marital house. Men, on the other hand, have the privilege to live and behave as they please during their bachelor years as it is assumed that after marriage their wives will change them.

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Before getting married, it is made clear to women that they cannot expect good behaviour from their husbands all the time. They are told that men are programmed to behave and live in a certain way and thus it it women have to adjust with them and try to change them. The "men will be men" narrative is peddled constantly to condition women into believing that no man is good enough to not need changes. Consequently, women normalise the fact that every man is toxic and so instead of walking away from an abusive relationship women try to "fix" their partners or change their own behaviour to appease them.


Dear women, changing men is not your responsibility. Men are not kids who need support to walk on the right path. Nothing can justify toxic and abusive behaviour and if men can’t identify that then the fault is in their perspective. While a woman should call out problematic behaviour of her partner, it is not her job to change him. And yet, women are shamed for walking out of abusive and dysfunctional marriages even today, simply because society doesn't approve of women prioritising their own wellbeing.

It is time women start filtering men and choosing those who respect and understand them. Women need to unlearn the norm that their duty is to change the vibes of the family and encourage husbands to do better.

Mind the fact that I am not holding women responsible for being attracted to bad guys. It is just that women are never taught to expect good behaviour from men, who are seldom encouraged to treat women as their equals. So the problem is in the upbringing. Once both men and women are taught about the side-effects of being toxic behaviour, they will know how it is not something that another person needs to correct.

Views expressed are the author's own.

women and dating