There’s a hard lesson that I’ve had to learn over the years about people. The saying is that people never change and I really don’t agree with that. I’m living proof that it isn’t true. What IS true, however, is that people only change…if THEY want to. Changing takes a great deal of effort, intention, and practice. It isn’t something you just decide and it happens. Even if you have decided to make a change, it doesn’t happen overnight. To that end, what this means is that no one can change someone else. No matter how badly you want it, or know that it would be better for them, it will not happen if it doesn’t come from them.
What I’m noticing happening in relationships is that too many people look at others through a lens of potential instead of reality. You fall in love with the person “you know they could be” rather than the person they are. You think of them in terms of “someday, when they are this person” instead of who they are right now and the fact that they will be that person forever unless they choose otherwise. When you are looking at the person in front of you, take off the “somedays” and the “only ifs” or “whens” and decide if the person in front of you is the person you want as they are. If not, move on. If the only way you could say that they are the person for you is if they change, then you need to let them go. You are going to put them and yourself through way too much drama and pain if you don’t, and it is not fair to get into something with the stipulation or expectation that they change. Save everyone the heartache. Women- I’m talking to you. I’ve heard way too many women say: “I can change him.” Sure ya can. Let me know how that works for you.
I’m going to follow that up by saying it also will not work if it requires you to change. Maybe you turn the whole thing around and instead of saying that they need to change so that you can be together, you say that you need to change. Stop right there and really think about why you’re making a change. If the only reason you want to make a change is so that you can be with someone, you are already on the wrong track. Either they like you the way you are, or they are not the right person for you. No exceptions. And it goes without saying that if you don’t really want to make the change because it’s what you want for yourself without any outside interference- it won’t stick. It won’t be authentic, and you will be lying to yourself and to your partner by pretending to be something you’re not. You can’t live that way. Nor should you. Again, it will cause you so much needless heartache and drama. It’s not worth it.
Be your authentic self and the right person will come- someone who loves you 100% just as you are- no change required.
Change needs to come naturally out of a desire for growth. It needs to come from within because you want to be better than you were before. It can’t be forced and it can’t be for the wrong reasons if it’s to last. Loving someone means accepting them just as they are, and that goes for yourself too. If it’s right, it can’t be conditional.