People don’t change. Period.
We can only alter and change ourselves….alter our expectations. Adjust. Make space, give space and fit ourselves in the space we are given.
Yeah yeah….we have heard that a thousand times already.
Yet, humans will be humans. And what makes us human is that even the brightest of us have these convenient strains of naivety and stupidity when it comes to wishful thinking. Specially when it comes to intimate relationships.
“He will ‘change’ when we get married”. “She will no longer be manipulative when I give her enough love and security”. “She will adjust in my surroundings, with my family”. “His temper will cool down once we have children, specially if it’s a daughter”. “We will develop a mind-boggling soul-matish understanding”. “Chemistry will come…”. “Fidelity will be his new mantra”. “He will develop a love for books”. “He will leave smoking”. “We will laugh on each other’s jokes”. “She will be more emotionally available”. “He will be more communicative”. “She will become this awesome juggler….she will be pretty and thin and bright and work and manage home and learn to cook like my mom and be fun and adjust with my friends…..her passive aggressive streaks will go away…She will develop class….I will be a family man…..”.
The fairytale dreams go beyond the Karan Johar movie wedding…..married or not.
I am not implying that we don’t evolve….we don’t improve. We even may change.
But it is a mistake to assume, with happy idealism, that anyone’s inherent nature or qualities or the inherent combination of two people and what they bring out in each other will change. We may learn to adjust and “handle” situations better. But basics are basics. If you can live with those basics, also bearing in mind your own basics and how they will interact with her/his basics, go ahead. Then it’s worth it. If not, what one will be left with is resentment as the mouldy residue that eventually takes the spark out of relationships.
Disappointment. Disillusionment. Sadness.
And that horrid “C” word: Compromise.
You see, with the word “compromise” comes a sense of something being coerced….forced.
But if it is an informed decision you make of working on a relationship, and take ownership of this choice, you are not angry at that person for not meeting up to unrealistic standards.
It is important, then, to not say “I am living with a compromise”. Instead, say to yourself “It is my choice to work on this because this is worth it”.
Do people really ever change? I doubt.
They may improve….adjust….modify….morph. Two people may just learn to synergize beautifully, despite inherent differences.
But making a choice to be with someone long-term should be realistic – based on “What if this person doesn’t change at all? Can I live with the irritating habits or whatever puts me off?’ If not, best to be honest to one’s self and your significant other. But if the overall package is worth it, one must go for it.
Even if imperfect, some people and relationships are worth hanging onto and fighting for.
Why should we settles for less than perfect? Simply because perfection is for God alone.
The careful choice, then, is to know whether you can and want to live with the imperfections of this person or not.
Know the deal-breakers, all you bright people. And if they are not there, then make it work.
It’s very worth it in the end to have someone who validates you and believes in you, especially if this person knows your short-comings, and still loves you.
Only fools let that go.