This is not a guarantee that there is someone out there for you. I do not have the power nor the omniscience to be able to promise you that. But it is a promise that you will always deserve better than to settle for someone who is incapable of loving you as you are. It is a guarantee that someone who asks you to change your very essence will never, ever be the right person for you, no matter what you try to tell yourself. It’s easy to try to convince yourself otherwise, to tell yourself that it’s understandable that you need to change for them – because at the very center of our core is an instinctive craving to love and be loved. It’s in our nature, it’s wired within our drive for emotional survival. When we catch even the slightest whiff of the possibility of love, we latch on tightly. We’ve grown to understand that love is a rare and precious commodity in quite a disconnected world, and the loss of it – even if it is still just a possibility – is not something we want to risk.
But sometimes we are so mystified by it, so scared of losing love or just never finding it at all, that we lose our ability to see things rationally. We accept truths we wouldn’t normally accept, we make excuses for people who treat us badly or shred our hearts consistently, because we think we need to convince ourselves that this is the best it’s ever going to get. So rather than standing our ground, rather than loving ourselves enough to walk away, we water the seed that’s been planted within us by another, by the person who has made us believe that we can never be loved as we are. That we must change if we will ever have any hope of making our so-called ‘true love’ happy. And that right there is the only sign you need in order to know that this is not real love at all.
Real love – brave, pure, genuine love – never involves one person needing another to change. Real love is exactly the opposite; it’s loving every single piece that makes the other person whole.
It’s accepting their flaws and insecurities and annoying habits unquestioningly, because those things are just as much a part of them as the things we so desperately love – their humor, their intelligence, their kindness, their confidence, or whatever else pulls us to them. That is how we are truly, deeply wired to love.
Anything else that tries to disguise itself as love is not love. Someone asking you to change for them, even if they try to camouflage it as being ‘in your best interest,’ is not in love with you, and they never will be. Even if – especially if – you do change. It doesn’t matter. They are not in love with you. They are in love with the idea of you. They are in love with the person they crafted out of pieces of you – the one who has similarities to you but better suits their needs.
If there is a ‘right person’ out there for you, it is someone who will never ask you to change. They may challenge you, they may encourage you to go after something you typically wouldn’t because they believe in you. But they will never ask you to change the very things that make you who you are. They will love you, not their ideal version of you. They will look at your vulnerabilities and only see pathways that will bring you closer together. They will see opportunities to take your closeness to a deeper level than you would go to otherwise. They will love you bravely, purely, genuinely. Because that’s the only way they know how.