Don't try to reform a f--- boy - it can take years, and many will never be relationship-ready, therapists say
datingreality show " FBoy Island" challenged self-identified f--- boys to reform themselves and become more accountable and emotionally available.
- Therapists told Insider it's possible for Fboys to reform, but they have to want it for themselves.
- There are exceptions, but it's challenging for people who struggle to be emotionally vulnerable, said one therapist.
Following the finale of "FBoy Island," HBO Max's latest reality dating show, viewers were left wondering if it's possible for a self-proclaimed f--- boy to reform himself into a relationship-ready partner.
The show challenged three single women to sort through 24 men and weed out 12 f---boys to find love. In the end, two of the women chose f---boys as their final suitors. One f---boy, Garrett, ran with the $100,000 prize, while the other, Jared, agreed to stay in a
It's possible for self-identified f---boys like Jared to change their ways, but it has to come from within, Kelly Scott, a therapist at Tribeca Therapy in Manhattan, told Insider.
You can teach a Fboy new tricks, but he has to learn for himself
There isn't a singular definition for a f--- boy, but they tend to lack emotional availability and accountability, according to Scott. Instead, they focus on serving themselves at all costs.
As a result, a f---boy avoids understanding others in emotionally meaningful ways, and instead uses people for attention,
According to Scott, these behaviors often stem from lacking emotional intelligence.
"A lot of people probably aren't able to do those things because they've never learned how to dispense it. I think for those people, it is possible for them to learn," Scott told Insider.
She said she's had therapy patients admit they've noticed unhealthy relationship patterns, and they want help changing their habits. Scott said these moments make her feel hopeful, because they show humans have the power to recognize and change their own bad behavior.
At the same time, she stressed that a love interest, partner, or friend should never take it upon themselves to force a f--- boy to change, or stay with one in the hopes they will.
"I think we play a lot of games to avoid seeing upsetting things we don't want to see. We do a lot of covering for other people's bad behavior so that we don't have to address it," she said.
To change, Fboys must be capable of, and desire, emotional growth
It's possible for a f--- boy to trade in false pretenses for emotional intimacy, but only in their own time, according to therapist Darcy Sterling, host of E! Network's Famously Single and creator of the new online course Jealousy Boot Camp.
"Men are socialized to avoid relationships and lauded for being players, which fuels the appeal of reaching Fboy status," Sterling told Insider.
Sterling said that a f---boy with the capacity to reform must first realize his selfish habits won't serve him long term. Only when they realize that can they begin to change.
"Emotional unavailability often comes from fear or past traumas and insecurities, so they can project those onto their relationships with family, romantic partners, and friends," Sterling said.
Of course, there will always be f--- boys who are "hardwired" to be that way, according to Scott.
She said some people's early life experiences have led them to operate all of their relationships in manipulative ways. In certain situations, a person could be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.
"The nature of their illness, and the nature of the issues they have, prevents them from being able to do the work to resolve those issues," Scott said.
Though it doesn't make their behavior acceptable, it could explain why some f---boys will never change.
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