6 Tips For Getting A Bad Boyfriend To Change His Ways

By Robert Porter|Updated June 21, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Robin Brock , LISW

Feeling like you don’t have a supportive boyfriend makes everything about the relationship much tougher. Not every guy out there will be a perfect partner, but some are worse than others. If you have a bad boyfriend who doesn’t seem to treat you right, then you might be considering leaving him and moving on. Many women would find moving on to be the right choice, but it’s still possible that you might love your boyfriend despite all of his flaws. Can your bad boyfriend ever change, or is he going to be a bit of a jerk for the rest of his life?

People can change, although most are not going to be able to make drastic changes overnight. If you want to work on things to build a better relationship with your boyfriend, you should do some important things. Please take a look at the following six tips for getting a bad boyfriend to change his ways. They should help you make significant changes to your relationship, and hopefully, they’ll lead to you having a happier life. Just remember that these tips aren’t always going to work if your boyfriend is unwilling to try for you. It’s going to be up to him to decide if he wants to change or if he is willing to lose you.

  1. Talk About What’s Going On

Can I Get My Boyfriend to Change?
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Before you’re going to be able to see him change, he’s going to have to understand that there is a problem. You might think that it’s obvious that things need to change and that he should know that what he is doing isn’t right. Regardless, you have to talk about these things, or your boyfriend might continue to behave the same way that he has been. Some men are more oblivious than others, but your guy might understand where you’re coming from if he’s a bit empathetic. Depending on how bad your boyfriend is, there might be a lot to talk about.

During this conversation, it’s going to be best not to be accusatory. If you point fingers at him the entire time, then he’s going to be more likely to either shut down or get defensive about things. If you want to work on your relationship, you need to figure out a way to move forward together. Address the problems in the relationship but frame them in the right way. Let him know that you want to work on things together so that you can have a future. Tell him that you don’t want to lose him and hope that things can get better. Let him know that you’re willing to work on things, too.

Your boyfriend could be a bit immature, and this might make it difficult for you to think of him as a future husband. Behavior like that can certainly change, but really bad behavior might prove to be tougher to get rid of. People can mature over time, but problems such as substance abuse or sex addiction could become a real detriment to your relationship. Even these major problems can be dealt with, but you might need professional help if your boyfriend is in a bad spot.

Just remember that people out there can help him if he is hurting himself due to his reckless actions. Never hesitate to reach out to professionals if you are worried about him. Also, if your bad boyfriend makes you feel like you’re in danger, then you don’t have to stay. You can get help to get yourself out of this situation. There’s a difference between a bad boyfriend and an abusive boyfriend. If you have been experiencing domestic violence, reach out for help immediately. You can reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  1. Try To Be Supportive

Your boyfriend might need support so that he can change over time. If he has been an immature man up to this point, then changing overnight will not happen. If you love him, then you can try to be there for him while he transitions into becoming a better version of himself. After talking about things, he might be willing to try to change a bit for you, so he doesn’t lose you. He might go out partying too much, or he could have trouble focusing on his work due to emotional problems in his life. People who have a hard time with normal life responsibilities often seek other activities to distract themselves from their problems.

Being a supportive girlfriend is going to be about helping him figure out what is wrong. Try to ask him what is bothering him and figure out how you can help. If he is drinking too much, then what is making him want to drink? Ask him what he is getting out of it. Is there something wrong in his life that he wants to forget? Let him know that you’re there for him and that you want to make things better. Your boyfriend might open up to you about some things if you approach this subject with love.

Your support will prove to be invaluable while he is trying to make changes. If he is dealing with depression or anxiety due to problems in his life, he might need more significant help. You could make an appointment with a doctor together to talk about what is going on. Your boyfriend might need to talk to a doctor about making him feel this way, and there are many treatment options available. Not all bad boyfriends are going through mental health struggles, but untreated problems can make it tough for someone to be a good committed boyfriend.

  1. Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries is also going to be crucial when you want things to change. You don’t need to make ultimatums or anything like that. It’s just good to make it clear that certain things aren’t acceptable. For example, you will not let your boyfriend talk down to you or treat you poorly. Perhaps he has an anger problem, and he sometimes takes his bad days out on you by yelling or being nasty. You aren’t going to put up with behavior like this, and you’ll leave if he can’t talk to you with respect as a normal boyfriend should.

There are many boundaries that you’ll need to set if your relationship is going to work out. If your bad boyfriend hasn’t been faithful to you, then you might even need to set boundaries that relate to infidelity. It might take him time to change, but you can’t put yourself at risk due to your love for him. He has to know that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that you can’t put up with him doing as he pleases. This can be tough because setting boundaries can sometimes push a person like this away. Even so, if he isn’t willing to accept basic boundaries and limits on his behavior, then your relationship might not have a good chance of working out.

  1. Work On Strengthening Your Relationship

Working on strengthening your relationship will help to change things for your boyfriend. Love is a fantastic source of motivation, and if he truly has a love for you, then he’s going to be willing to work on changing himself. Have you been spending much time together? If you don’t get the chance to bond as much as you’d like to, perhaps his bad behavior has to do with a desire to fill that void. This doesn’t mean that you’re to blame for his problems but giving your relationship more time to grow might help him.

If he spends more time with you doing positive things for his life, then he will be better for it. The time that you’re together is when he isn’t spending going out to the bar or doing something else reckless. Try to make more time to work on your relationship. Spend your evenings together and see if you can make these important changes as a couple. Simply having more time together will help you grow closer, and this could be the nudge in the right direction that your boyfriend needs.

  1. Make Personal Changes As An Example For Him To Follow

Making personal changes could help to be a good example for your boyfriend to follow. If he isn’t leading a very healthy life, you might initiate change by showing him the way forward. Your career successes or academic successes could help motivate him to do the same. If you get a gym membership and start working on your fitness goals, it might make him want to put effort into your appearance. Your actions can have an impact on your boyfriend, and you lead by example.

If you want him to stop drinking, then you could start abstaining from alcohol yourself. Does your boyfriend need to stop spending his money recklessly? Maybe you should show him the benefits of saving money and put effort into avoiding frivolous spending yourself. These little changes can trigger something in your boyfriend that will show him that he needs to take some steps in his own life. It won’t always work, but many boyfriends will want to follow suit after seeing their girls making many positive life choices.

  1. Replacing Bad Hobbies With Healthy Activities

Replacing bad hobbies with healthy activities can be helpful, too. If your boyfriend spends too much time at bars or doing other things that lead him to make bad choices, then replacing those behaviors with something else might be the right call to make. For some men, getting into religion is helpful. Your guy might need something to help him focus on the good things in life. Living by a stricter code and having a supportive religious community around him might be good. Not everyone is religious, but this has helped some bad boyfriends to change into good husbands over time.

If getting into religion doesn’t appeal to you, then try to think of good things that you can do in life. Even taking up a new hobby that helps to focus the mind in positive ways could be useful. Consider your options, and then try to see what your boyfriend might be interested in doing. Getting him away from drinking and other destructive behaviors is the goal. Even having him go down to the YMCA to play basketball with his friends would be a beneficial alternative to his normal behavior. Eventually, a healthier version of your boyfriend could turn into a much better partner for you, as well.

Try Online Relationship Counseling

Can I Get My Boyfriend to Change?

If you have tried the tips above and still feel like you need some help, you should know that online relationship counseling is a great resource. You can work with a licensed therapist who will help you work on your relationship problems. These counselors can work with your boyfriend individually to help him initiate some personal changes if necessary. They will also work closely with you as a couple to improve your bond together. Take the time to sign up for online counseling if you need help moving forward together.

Counselor Reviews

“Sessions with Natalie are very insightful and give practical advice on implementing new habits and changes. Be prepared to engage and be challenged to think in a different way. I know that my partner and I can already see improvements in our relationship and feel more positive about working through our issues together.”

“Austa has been wonderful thus far. She has helped my partner and I during an unimaginably difficult time... She has also guided us in communicating effectively and setting appropriate boundaries in our relationship. I was hesitant to pursue counseling at the beginning, but I truly believe that it is making a difference for our relationship. Austa is easy to talk to and she is a great listener. I would wholeheartedly recommend her as a counselor.”

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