How many times have you heard of couples – married or not – breaking up because one person realized the other person would never change? How many times have you blamed it on the person who never changed for ruining the relationship? The truth is, though, that we can’t blame the person who didn’t change. We can only blame the person who wanted them to change.
We all have our positive and negative characteristics about who we are as a person and different people will view our characteristics differently. What one person dislikes about you another could love. Relationships are about finding someone who will take you just the way you are and you’ll take them just the way they are. The older we get, the more stuck in our ways we become with little hope of drastically changing.
So what sense does it make to enter into a relationship with someone who you hope will make a major change? If you won’t take someone exactly how they are today and want them to stay that way forever, then you shouldn’t be entering into a relationship with them. Chances are they won’t change, you’ll resent them for not changing, they’ll resent you for trying to make them change, and you’ll eventually break up.
Why waste your time with the wrong person when you could be free to find the right person? It seems like a very simple concept, but there are definitely ways in which it becomes hard to see and accept that the person you are involved with is the person they will always be. The most common way we have our blinders on to the truth of who the other person is is when the other person tells us over and over again how they’ll change. You threaten to leave them, they promise to change. They don’t change, you threaten to leave them, they promise to change, you believe them, they don’t change. The cycle goes on and on until one of you reaches your breaking point and ends it. Or you stay together and have a miserable life full of arguing and bickering and that sounds way worse than a painful breakup.
I think the trickiest way we are blinded is when we love someone for who they used to be. Yes, I said people don’t change. But sometimes things happen in someone’s life that actually makes them change for the worse and makes them treat others poorly. You could be in a relationship with someone who used to treat you great, but now they are emotionally and/or physically abusive. A lot of times people stay in those relationships because they’re holding on to the idea of who the person they’re in a relationship used to be and hoping that that person will come back. If someone has negatively changed and no longer treats you with the respect and love you deserve, you have to leave the relationship no matter how great that person used to be because that’s not who they are anymore.
The key is to acknowledge who the person is today and accept that they are not right for you. Who knows, maybe they’ll grow on their own and become the type of person you genuinely want to be with. But unless and until that happens, you need to stay out of a relationship with them and focus on finding someone who is right for you today.