I recently came to the conclusion that I date people for their potential as opposed to seeing them for who they really are. I think I have a long history of that.
As I’m in the process of trying to help them be better, and smothering them with my love, I wonder why they are getting frustrated and pushing back. I don’t think either one of us realized what was happening. But I was asking them to be a completely different person and someone they weren’t. Someone I wanted them to be.
I think it is only natural to want to push back when someone is trying to change you even if you don’t realize they are doing it. We want to be loved and accepted for who we are – good, bad, beautiful, ugly. When someone subconsciously makes you feel unaccepted the way you are, your instincts are going to kick in and you are going to fight back.
Sometimes we have habits that require an “intervention” or a good kick in the ass from your best friend. But we don’t want people to change us, especially if that thing they want to change is a problem for them, but not necessarily a problem to us.
I spent so much time trying to change someone, “cure” him from a habit that was damaging to our relationship. And he subconsciously fought back without really knowing why. It made him angry with me and made him want to participate in that habit even more.
So what is the answer? I should have accepted him for who he was, and if that didn’t match my lifestyle/wants/desires, I should have opted out. I could have remained his friend and left the relationship early on before it got complicated and we got angry with each other. I should have accepted that his ideal lifestyle didn’t match my own and then we could be free to move on to either be single or find someone who was a better match.
I wish I had understood all of this before now, before so many tears were spilled over something I had no control over anyway. But it took it happening to me, someone wanting to love me for my potential as opposed to who I really am, for me to realize what I had done wrong myself.