BOB THE BUILDER, CAN WE FIX IT!?
Bob the Builder, no we cannot…
Do you ever look at a guy and think “oooooo-weeeee, I could fix him up real good”. You know that Bad Boy-Good Girl mentality we’ve had drummed into our minds from day dot. We see it time and time again: bad boy meets good girl -> good girl turns into Bob the Builder and attempts to ‘fix’ bad boy -> he leaves his life of badassness, frivolity and flirtatious ways to be with her and only her... Oh swoon!
Generally the ‘bad boy’ will possess one or more of these characteristics:
he’s a bit of a ladies man, can’t commit, tough guy, playahhhh, parties hard. Perhaps he could be a bit of a criminal or outlaw, has a problem with authority figures (teachers, parents, police) and so he frequently exercises his rebellious streak. He could have a tough home life playing this broken or wounded man or maybe he’s that super popular and cool ‘jock’ type.
We see this formula play out in these movies and TV shows just to name a few:
Step Up: Tyler & Nora
Vampire Diaries: Stephen & Elena and Damon & Elena
Friday Night Lights: Tim Riggins & Lyla Garrity
Grease: Danny Zuko & Sandra Dee
Footloose: Ren McCormack & Ariel Moore
Gilmore Girls: Jessie/Logan/Tristan & Rory (Geeze Louise, Rory!)
A Cinderella Story: Austin & Sam
Beastly: Lindy & Kyle
The Breakfast Club: Bender & Claire
Veronica Mars: Veronica & Logan
Arrow: Felicity & Oliver
One Tree Hill: Nathan & Hayley
Pride and Prejudice: Jane & Mr Bingley
There are probably 800 other examples but you get the picture. It's no wonder girls are attracted to guys that possess these characteristics. We're programmed to think that we can help them, that we can be the ones that change them, that we can make them want to be a better person. We see ourselves as the Veronicas, Sandra Dees or Jane Austens of these stories.
Admittedly (and embarrassingly) I have thought like this before. But this is so messed up. For me to think that I have the power to fix this person is to say that I think I am greater than God. I am obviously not. A broken person trying to fix a broken person, doesn't usually work out so well.
The problem with this ‘fix it’ mentality is that a lot of the time, one (if not both) will resent the other and eventually go back to their original behaviour. The only person we have the power to change is ourselves, and even that can feel like Mission Impossible at times!
Although a Bad Boy-Good Girl match makes for some racy scenes on TV, wouldn't it be more realistic (and pretty darn fantastic) to be with someone who was already committed to the task of becoming the best person they can be?
We tried to make a list of couples in TV shows and movies that showed this type of relationship, sadly it is much shorter, but at least there are a few!
How to Train Your Dragon 2: Hiccup & Astrid
Friday Night Lights: Tami & Eric Taylor
Parks & Recreation: Leslie Knope & Ben Wyatt
Both couples in Julie & Julia
Don’t fall for potential. Don’t fall for what could be, as opposed to what is. Focus on bettering yourself, learning about you and enjoying life as it comes. And look for someone who is doing the same. Your life would be changed for the better. Watcha gonna do?
If you love Sarah's sassy style as much as we do, you can read more of her writing here.
Can you add to our lists of classic unrealistic Good Girl-Bad Boy combo? Or have you seen some onscreen couples worth noticing? We’d love to hear!