One thing that is prevalent in relationships today is the thought that we can change our partners, after all:
- there are not enough men in the market,
- this one that you have found a man, you better hold on to him o
- It’s just youthful exuberance, he/she will outgrow it
….and so on and so forth
These are the numerous reasons we believe we can change our potential partners, maybe not change but we can influence this ‘change’ and somehow they would become the men/women we want them to be. My question to you today is
Before you say yes, what if they never change? What if they never become better than they already are? Would you still want to be with them?
The mistake most of us women make is believing we are the Messiah, the ones sent to save humanity from themselves. We, with open arms, hug these red flags believing that with much persuasion, everything would turn out fine.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly natural and healthy to want your partner to grow, to reach their potential, and to be all they can be. Growing and changing together, and working toward mutual (and private) goals is part of a healthy relationship, however insisting on this change, manipulating them into who you want them to be is where there is a problem. Even if it’s for their best interest, it is still a huge problem.
NEWSFLASH: You cannot change people, you must accept them for who they are.
Everyone has a right to choose their career, their friends and how they want to live their lives. What you should be doing is figuring out if that is what you want for yourself and if your choices are truly compatible with theirs (compatibility is a whole different topic).
It is never healthy to believe you can ‘change’ them. And I’m not saying you’re in an unhealthy relationship if you’re trying to change your partner, what I am saying is that he/she is not a project, there is no trophy on the last day for changing your partner. Even if you think you’re doing something for their own good, such as pressuring them into going back to school, being more spiritual, losing weight or becoming financially responsible, you must realize that what you’re really doing is trying to remove their choice. They should choose those things for themselves NOT you.
Here’s how you know you are trying to change your partner:
- You disapprove of almost everything – Nothing they do or say is acceptable. Your partner loves playing video games. You hate video games and think they’re childish. Sadly, you can’t take that away from them. Your partner likes what they like. If you continue criticizing them, making fun of them, or complaining when they do them, what you’re really doing is trying to change them into a person who doesn’t do those things. I should also add you are not allowed to criticize their dreams either, their dreams, just like yours are valid (Hey Lupita!)
- You’re forceful – There’s a razor-thin line between encouraging someone to be their best selves and pressuring someone to be who you think they should be. You should not become forceful or give ultimatums to get them to be who you want time to be. If their current state bothers you so much and you can’t love your partner even if they never change jobs or get more education, then they’re probably not the partner for you.
- You’ve become a monitoring spirit – you police everything they do and they are no longer comfortable being themselves around you. You low-key want to tell them where they should be and what they should be doing.
- You play therapist – Trying to fix someone is a way of trying to change them. If you are with someone with serious problems and you feel like you can fix them, you’re doing yourself and your partner a disservice. People have to want to fix themselves.
- You are always comparing them with others (including your exes) – This is quite simple if they don’t match up then why are you about to say yes?
- You make all the decisions – Constantly making all the decisions is a subtle way of changing someone. Keep the decision-making fair and let your partner make choices sometimes that you don’t like. It’s how relationships work.
- You gave him an ultimatum to propose – Before you have my head, hear me out, Ladies if he isn’t ready then why are you trying to make him ready. Giving ultimatums is never a good idea, it makes you appear pushy and irrational. Your partner will only resent you over a period of time because they were not ready for such a huge commitment.
So before you say yes, ask yourself if you love your partner just the way they are because if you don’t, chances are you still won’t love them when they become who you think they should be, and if they never change, you would live a miserable life of wishes and ‘had I knowns’. On the flip side, ask yourself if your partner is trying to change you and why you should be with someone who doesn’t accept you for who you really are.