Thought Catalog
June 10, 2017

Why You Need To Stop Thinking That You’ll Be The One To Change Him

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What is the issue?
Daniel Frank

Can people change? Or do we just get older, becoming more and more stuck in our ways with each passing year? If people can change, does that mean that they’re changeable? Can you change someone?

If you’ve ever been in an unhappy relationship, these questions have certainly plagued your thoughts.

The only thing worse than being in a really bad relationship is being in a relationship that’s only half bad. It’s when things are neither horrible nor great that everything starts to fall apart.

You see, when things are really bad, and you know they’re really bad, it’s much easier to call it as it is and walk away. However, if the relationship is bad but you’re still in love with the guy (if you’re with a guy), things become increasingly difficult. You feel that he’s not right for you, but you also feel that he isn’t entirely wrong for you, either. Worse yet, you feel like he could be right for you if he became a better person.

The thing about love is that it gives you insight not only into who someone is but into who he’s capable of being. You don’t only see him for he is in the moment — you see him for all his potential, all the greatness that’s locked up inside. And it’s this potential greatness that you love so very much.

We love it so much that we’re fooled into believing that everything would be OK if this person changed. The relationship would be OK. The love you share would be OK. And your future together would remain intact.

I wish that’s how things worked … I really, truly do. But it simply isn’t the case.

People change with each passing year. Most of the time, we don’t even realize that we’ve changed because it’s difficult to see the change when we aren’t capable of looking at ourselves objectively.

What’s even worse is that the change we feel we’ve undergone isn’t really the change we’ve undergone. We feel that we’ve grown, that we’ve improved, that we’ve become better versions of ourselves, when in fact we’ve deteriorated.

People change when they have no choice but to change. For this reason, it isn’t possible for you to change your boyfriend or partner. In fact, it isn’t possible for people to change other people — not really. The only thing we can do is guide that change.

Change is part of the life force that everything in the universe contains. It isn’t stoppable. It isn’t something that can be created or destroyed. It’s simply a fact of life. Change is a force unlike any other.

But — as with all forces — change can be redirected. It can be guided.

So the real question is, can you help guide the man you love to a better version of himself? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on the person. It depends on his mindset and version of reality. The truth is, the only real way to guide change is to guide the way you see the world — the way you understand and reason with things.

You change when the way you view reality changes. It’s your mindset, the parameters of consciousness that you’ve set up for yourself, that determine the person you are. They determine how you think, how you act, how you live your life. If you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, you’ll notice that your thoughts literally decide the life that you create for yourself — or the life that is created for you.

I understand that you believe you can change him for the better, but the truth is that you can only hope that’s the case. You hope you can change him because you love him. I get that.

But let me ask you this: Do you know a single person (except yourself) who has the ability to change your mindset in the way necessary to facilitate the desired change? Could someone else change the way you think? Or is that only something that you are capable of doing?

It’s nice to think that if you put enough time and effort into changing the one you love, you’d create the perfect partner. It’s this wishful, unrealistic thinking that almost always leads to misery. At the end of the day, the only person you can change is yourself.

I’m not saying that it’s impossible for you to help him, but you can’t help him change — you can only help him help himself to change. In the end, that means that the only real way for him to change is for him to choose to change.

He would need to first find sufficient reason to even want to change. And that is probably the one thing that you could help him do. You can give him a reason to be a better man. You can give him a reason to want to change into a better person. You can give him a reason not to give up on himself because giving up on himself would mean giving up on you.

Other than that, it’s up to him to transform himself into the best version of himself he can possibly be. That’s something that he needs to want to do himself. You can’t convince someone that he needs to change; it’s a conclusion he needs to arrive at on his own. TC mark

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