Friday, November 2, 2007

Change for who?

"If one or both of you is determined to change the other person, if you are committed to forcing your partner to be a certain way, you are not in love with your partner. You are in love with an idea about who and how he is supposed to be. You are in love with a fantasy you expect your partner to fulfil."

It's been said a thousand times before, you can't change the person you're with, no matter how hard you try.

But I still don't think that keeps people from trying.

And while I don't think you can alter a person's innate qualities, there are a few things that can be altered with a little "suggestive selling."

Such as:

1. Hair: Whether it's on his face or on his head, gentle suggestions that begin with "You know what would be really sexy..." often seem to bring about subtle little changes that keep things interesting. (Although, you may still find that some men hold onto their long locks just tick you off)<- TGH.
2. Clothing: Again, with gentle suggestions that include the word "sexy" you might get Mr.Baggy-Pants to invest in a nice, tighter pair of jeans that make his _ _ _ look perfect.
3. Eating habits: If your man loves fatty, greasy foods, and you're sick of it making YOU a fatty, it's nothing that a little cooking (and complaining) can't fix.

But there are those other things...

You can NEVER change:

1. Reading habits: You can't make a man who DOESN'T read, read. Buy him all the magazine subscriptions you like, but he's not going to pick up your favorite novel just so you have something to talk about.
2. Dependency "issues:" You can't turn a mama's boy into a manly man no matter how hard you try. So if he's used to mommy making his twin bed, then you're going to have to fold her sheets once he finally moves out (... if he ever moves out;)
3. "Hobbies/Habits" If he collects baseball cards or porno magazines... or you're sick of finding his chewed gum on the night stand, get used to it. Those "little things," that don't seem like a big deal in the "beginning" end up being those things that blow up into arguments toward the "end."

So while yesterday we were discussing the idea of "changing yourself for you," today's topic is changing yourself for HIM (or her).

Can it be done?


Chrissie said...

Oooh! I'll start!

I don't think you can change a person while you're with them but I think you can be changed by your significant other after they've left you.

the "break up" gives you time to reflect, time you don't have while you're still with a person.

you might take their arguments about your actions more seriously once you've seen the impact of you on a relationship.

you might be better the next time around, but not for the person who "changed" you, but because of them.

Anonymous said...

I agree that you can't make a person change but I think you can definitely make them want to change!

A healthy relationship requires compromise, growth, and yes CHANGE.

Both my husband and I take each others complaints, issues and recommandations seriously. We are kind to each other and our expectations are reasonable.

Monitoring ones behavior is not necessarily sacrifice but growth. We do it at work and in society on a everyday basis. Why would we not be willing to do it occasionally in our homes for our partner?

If there is something about my actions that truly bothers my Husband, what kind of wife would I be not to care about his feelings and least try to work on the issue at hand? ( This works both ways!)

We love each other deeply and want to make each other happy and that sometimes means changing or working on ourselves.

Obviously you have to want to change but I think the right person can give you that much needed push.

Sarah said...


jules said...

I don't think anyone can make anyone change. That said, changing is growing, and if you don't change, naturally, as a person, then you're not growing, you're stagnating.

So, the crux is, getting with someone "in the hopes" that they'll change is not entirely unrealistic. Sometimes they do change, they toss their baseball cards, their porn mags, or they pick up a book a little more often. And maybe they do it "for" the other person, or maybe not, who cares. I would personally rather have someone change for themselves, anyway.