“Never change who you are to please someone else.”
I think that is one crappy saying! I find it so crappy because I know you stop living solely for yourself the moment you get into a commitment. The truth is sustaining a relationship is no easy task. Those who have been in long term commitments can attest to this. It takes a lot of self-sacrifice and selflessness. If you really treasure the one you’re with, if you see yourself being with him/her for years to come, then you will feel the need to please your partner, meaning there’s a lot you will have to change about yourself.
A relationship is a work in progress, and for it to blossom, the two parties need to be dynamic. When I talk about being dynamic, I do not mean going against your principles or pandering to your partner’s whims. I do not mean becoming Bonnie/Clyde because your partner is an adrenaline junkie and gets a kick from robbing banks and getting shot at. No, that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about dropping those qualities that make your partner cringe. I am talking about working on your shortcomings and trying to better yourself.
Thing is, in the initial stages of a relationship everything seems all rosy and smooth-sailing but over the years, those things that seemed inconsequential start sticking out like debris in the aftermath of flash floods. All of a sudden the thorns on the roses start pricking. This is because the shroud that once masked those little flaws is worn out and you are now able to see your partner for who he/she really is. It is in this stage when a relationship undergoes the ultimate test.
Those of us who work in corporates are well acquainted with the term restructuring. Companies are always making changes and going back to the drawing board. They do what they can in order to keep their heads above the water. Same should happen for a relationship to flourish. As much as one cannot be perfect, there’s always room for improvement. From time to time, both the man and the woman ought to self-examine themselves so as to establish the areas that need change. I believe that is how a relationship withstands the test of time.
Ladies, for example, if you like dressing like you’re going for exotic dancing auditions (or on the other hand dressing like you work in a home for old people), you might want to change your wardrobe.
It wouldn’t kill you to take up cooking lessons if your cooking tastes like napier grass. If you are not confident about your bedroom skills, it wouldn’t kill you to go to the internet and do a bit of research. Don’t be shy, it’s for your own good. After working hours just go to Google and type ‘making love for dummies’, or ‘sex 101’. I’m sure you will find useful tips and tutorials that will transform you into an expert in no time. Like they say, whatever you do, do it to perfection.
Still on ladies, regardless of whether you were brought up by a wifely mother or you practically raised yourself, eventually every man wants to settle down with a woman that has got a handle on things. While a man is the head of the house, it is the woman that makes a house a home. This is because women (proper ones) are orderly and efficient. They give us (men) direction. If you have a man and you let him ‘rewind’ the same shirt three times a week, or he smells like he only showers on public holidays, then you need to change – not just your man’s shirt, but also your comportment. When a woman settles with a man, she has to act like a wife. No compromises.
When it comes to men, well, we are seriously flawed. I think it takes a special woman to put up with a man. We are selfish, we forget fast, we are lazy, we are insensitive… the list is endless.
But we are not beyond repair. Problem comes in when a woman tries to change a man. When a woman tries to fit her man into her dream prince, she will burn out. That’s the fastest way to end up looking like an 80 year old great grandmother. This post is not about trying to change anyone. It’s about introspection.
If you are a man and you want to keep your woman, you will need to work on some things too. The process is a two way street. You will need to change some default traits. For starters, you can start by swallowing your pride and acknowledging your mistakes. For most of us, saying sorry is like pleading guilty to murder. But apologizing never turned anyone to stone. Your girlfriend won’t make you carry her handbag if you admit you were wrong. Not owning up to your mistakes is a sign of immaturity and insecurity.
As the head of the house, a man should take responsibility. A man should do whatever it takes to keep his significant other (and kids if applicable) safe and well taken care of. These are the most important people in your life and they should come first. You should be willing to sacrifice your money, independence, and time for their sake. If I were the President I would give a directive that any man who abandons his family be arrested, stripped naked and whipped thoroughly. Same would apply to wife beaters and drunks who spend the whole day and night in pubs while their children sleep on empty stomachs. The ultimate archetype of masculinity is taking responsibility – not the number of children you can sire.
My point is, despite that fact that we all come with default flaws and deficiencies, when you’ve found that one person that you truly adore, when you’ve finally bagged that person whose smile fills your heart with warmth, then you will want to be at your best. You will want to be their number one and you will do what you whatever you can to keep them smiling because when he/she is happy, you too will be happy. There’s no room for complacency and settling in relationships. The moment you get complacent is the moment your relationship starts going south.
By Joeytales – Guest Writer
Visit Joey’s blog at http://joeytales.wordpress.com/