Opinion: Dating With The Intention of Changing Someone is Unfair To Both Parties

Stacy Ann

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Many of the men I dated enjoyed the idea of me.

They liked how free-spirited I was, and how goofy I could be even in public… in the beginning.

As the relationship moved forward it would change. I needed to settle down, be a little quieter, and wear a certain type of clothing that was more in line with what they liked. Over and over again I would ask myself the same question.

Why did they start dating me if they just want me to be someone else? Who did they think I would turn out to be?

The reality is that your partner may say they want to be with you for the qualities and traits that make up the person you are when their actions showcase a reality that is completely different.

Here is what I encountered that indicated my previous partner’s wanted to change me once we were in the relationship.

#1. Their advice is skewed by their own insecurities

Years ago I was briefly dating someone who was a bit lost. He was an athlete but was struggling to figure out what he wanted to do long-term.

During that time I had just started my first “career” job and was struggling to adapt to the fast-paced and competitive environment. One night I was saying how stressed I was, just to vent as everyone needs to after some days at work.

Instead of listening he rolled his eyes and said that I should just quit. As time went on and I began thriving at the company, he grew more and more bitter, saying that he didn’t like my coworkers or my boss.

Although this may have not been his intent, he didn’t want me to be driven and successful because he wasn’t in a place where that aligned with him and it seemed to make him feel insecure.

#2. They are unnerved by certain parts of your personality

Through mutual friends, I met Eric when I was in college and we instantly hit it off. A group of us were constantly going out, dancing, and just having an absolute blast. He seemed absolutely captivated by me and after a few weeks confessed that he had feelings for me and wanted us to be together.

I should preface this by disclosing that I am very outgoing and absolutely love being in social settings. When I meet people I tend to automatically ask them questions and try to get to know them. Eric knew this and witnessed it firsthand because it’s how I built a connection with him.

Yet this turned into an issue as soon as we were exclusive. Suddenly the way I acted when we were in groups of friends bothered him. I laughed too loud or was “too friendly” with the guys in the group, the ones that he had met me through because we were friends.

Eric told me later on after we ended things that he had hoped I would “calm down” once he made things official with me. It turns out that he was completely aware of who I was, he just thought it would change once we were together.

#3. They start criticizing your style/how you dress

Taking a step back, I evaluated my New Year’s Eve outfit. Just enough sparkles to celebrate without it being obnoxious? Check. Comfortable enough to allow for some crazy dance moves? Check.

My boyfriend at the time walked in and looked at me.

“I have the perfect accessory to that dress.”

He came back with a feather necklace that looked absolutely insane with the dress. Luckily my friend was there and she kindly gave her opinion that it was an awesome necklace but clashed a bit with the dress.

This happened all the time.

Your style is your own and you never need to match what your significant other dresses.

#4. They try to pull you away from your circle of friends/family

Sara’s phone buzzed again and she winced before slowly reaching across the table and picking it up to read the message.

“Jon wants to know why I’m still out. He said I didn’t give him enough warning.”

Sara and Jon had been dating for several months and I had barely seen her during that time even though we were extremely close friends. We had planned this dinner weeks prior so the content of the text message felt a bit strange.

Suddenly her phone started ringing and she answered it, letting Jon know that she wouldn’t be out for long. In the next thirty minutes over 30 text messages came in and Sara left flustered and assuring me that he was just feeling insecure that she was out without him.

I never met Jon, and Jon never me, but I am certain that he didn’t want Sara hanging out with me because I was someone in her life that wasn’t him, and that his behavior translated across all of her relationships.

Dating someone with the intention of changing them isn’t fair

In a relationship, we can strive to evolve and grow. A healthy partner will encourage those behaviors and offer support.

But there is a fine line between offering support and trying to mold your partner into your “ideal” match.

Dating someone and assuming that certain parts of them will change or evolve in the way that is ideal to you, isn’t the right way to go into a relationship.

If you believe that your partner is trying to change you, or you are trying to change them, take a step back. If you don’t want to be with the person that you are with now, exactly as they are today, it is not fair to them or to you to stay in that relationship.

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I am a writer & relationship consultant that primarily deals with narcissism, overcoming abuse & trauma, and self-love. Contact me @ Blog: carriewynn.com Instagram: carrie_wynnmusings


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