Crystal took Paul shopping and told him what to say and what not to say. Three months into dating, Crystal and Paul began to bicker. Crystal would question Paul about his “weird” comments around her friends and she did not like going out with his friends or “the nerdy bunch” as she called them. Paul resented Crystal for trying to make him into someone he was not and saying things like, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about” in front of her friends. He did appreciate the clothing tips, and he changed a few things in his wardrobe, but he still paired
them with his old faithful worn jeans and khaki shorts, which disgusted Crystal. After six (6) months, the
relationship was over.
When we begin to date someone, we start to size them up immediately. We look at their physical features, their mannerisms, how they chew their food, what clothes they wear, all these things in order to see whether this person is worthy of another date.
If we see some characteristics we do not like, we may say to ourselves, “I can change that, or that will change as our relationship grows”. And yes, changes can occur, either through inspiration or desperation. We may be inspired to change because of what we have seen or experienced, like our first child being born or coming out unharmed from a terrible accident. Author and motivational speakers Tony Robbins and Iyanla Vanzant have inspired millions of people to make long-lasting changes in their lives for the better. Desperation change happens when we hit rock bottom or we are given an ultimatum by our partner. Unfortunately in many relationships, the people that change out of desperation eventually revert back to their original selves once the fear is gone, and it’s just a matter of time until we realize that those attributes we thought we could change are just as they were in the beginning.
We have to give people the freedom to be as they are and who they are. When we want to change a person, as in the example of Paul and Crystal, we are in essence, saying to them, “I do not trust and respect your choices or your point of view and my point of view is better, so you need to conform to what I like and who I want you to be”. I don’t know about you, but I would rather be with someone who respects my choices and gives me the support and freedom to be myself. Now if someone is going down a path that is detrimental to their wellbeing, I would encourage you to say something, and then give them the freedom to make their own choice. If your partner’s actions are detrimental to your wellbeing, get out of that relationship. Your safety is more important than the narrow possibility of someone changing their abusive behavior.
So, you meet someone you like, with potential to mold them into who you want them to be. Your relationship will probably be rocky, but you can still hope for them to be inspired or desperation to kick them in the
direction towards change. On the other hand, you meet someone you like and if you can look at them and say, “I hope she never changes” or “I hope he stays just the way he is”, you’ve got a really good chance for a happy and fulfilled relationship.
*names have been changed