Certainly, whoever said those words, knew human behavior a little too well. I find that it’s extremely appropriate when it comes to that boon of behavior…relationships. Better put, I find that that’s the case where relationships are most concerned.
Because I tend to be extremely blunt, and because I tend to weigh both sides of the equation, people come to me all the time with relationship problems. Lately, though, I have point blank refused to deal with them because 1. not one of them is willing to accept the obvious truths, and 2. it’s truly not worth it for me to expend my energy on someone who’s so blithely looking at the illusion they concocted to ignore the point-blank-in-your-face obvious.
This applies to both men and women. However, women are more visibly (note my choice of words) guilty of this, so forgive me if I take that outlook into the remainder of the post.
As an aside, I definitely do not buy that “all women need to stick together” – absolutely not. I stick with people based on the measure of their behavior, not whether they’re male, female, gay, straight, whatever.
But I digress.
I’ll place this behind the cut for length, because I’ll tell a story of what I had to observe a couple years ago. No names are mentioned, ever. But this scenario has repeated in multiple iterations since, sometimes where I only knew one party, sometimes with both, and led me to point-blank refusing to play Dr. Love to my friends.
I had to deal with a lady who was in an on/off ongoing relationship with someone I knew. It became very clear to me very soon that this was a trainwreck waiting to happen. She was under the impression that they were going to get married when the guy has demonstrated absolutely no desire whatsoever to do so. I even told her as much: it’ll never happen.
I knew that this was a disaster in the making for two reasons:
1. The guy was never going to change.
2. The lady just point-blank refused to accept was was in front of her and instead continued to try and shoehorn the guy into something that he very, very clearly, was not and was never going to be.
And, of course, predictably, I got to watch the entire thing disintegrate before my eyes, and for the very same reasons that I have stated to the lady (see above). It, of course, fell on deaf ears. She point-blank said to me, “But I thought I could make him change for me” – this is after an ongoing history where this exact mentality had gone up in flames.
This led me to tell the lady not to speak to me again, because I could not watch the same thing repeat time and again for the same simple reason that she could not accept what was in front of her from the get-go. . I’m not excusing the guy – by no means did he act like a prize – but at no point was she obligated to keep coming back. Instead, she tried to make him what he wasn’t, got disappointed repeatedly, and blamed him for everything. She would always ask me why he was acting the way he was and how could he do this to her, and so on. At no point has she actually stopped and said to herself, “why the hell do I keep coming back for the 4th, 5th, umpteenth time if this is never going to change?”
Ladies, please don’t say, “But she loved him”. Women get killed because they cling onto this mentality. No matter how much you love a guy, you have to love you more.
To me personally, it’s the absolute height of immaturity when a grown woman expects a man to change for her just because he’s in a relationship with her. Likewise for men who expect women to fit a certain “standard” that they concoct and then get all amazed and hurt because the woman whom they are supposedly in love with won’t fit to their illusion. Teenagers have that mentality: “But he’s with me!“ “But I can make him love me!” “But I’m special enough that she’ll change for me!” “But all women want X and Y” –no. This. Never. Works. Believe me, I speak from experience as much as from observation. It didn’t work then, it sure as hell doesn’t work in adulthood. You cannot expect people to change who they’ve been their entire lives just because they’re in a relationship – or in bed – with you. They won’t.
Not to be a bitch, but you aren’t so special to someone that they’ll change who they are to suit your whims. You’re not, and if you expect them to change just because you’re with them, you never will be. If you change for someone just because you’re in a relationship with them, I question your self-esteem and self-respect. Some of the most successful relationships I’ve seen are when both people are being themselves and accept each other as exactly what they are without any expectation of change.
And really, what sort of a relationship do you have if 1. you expect someone to change for you, and 2. you expect to change for someone just because you’re with them? It’s dishonest. It’s dishonest to them, and to you as well, and you’re sending a message, loud and clear, that in your eyes, that person as they are is not enough for you.
That’s not a relationship, folks, that’s a farce. Worse so, you’re being quite cruel to the other person’s self-esteem. How would you like to know that to the person you supposedly love, you’re not enough? Think about that for a second. Don’t like it? Well, that’s how you’re making them feel every. single. time. you want them to change.
Right now, I’ve also said to another friend: I will not be Dr. Love to the girl you’re seeing if the only problem I see is her not accepting who you are. The result will be predictable, and if she’s continuously not accepting who he is, what he’s like and what he told her – he’s as blunt as I am – then it’s pretty much inevitable.
This is the other reason why I don’t date (apart from what I quoted in this post): because I utterly refuse to date anyone who will not accept me for who I am. Apart from simply not having the time for a relationship – I work three jobs and the last time I got a good night’s sleep was in June - I just plain don’t want to waste any time and effort only to get it sprung on me 2-3 months - or 2-3 years – down the line that the guy thought that I’d “change my mind” about something or that I’d “be different”. Bucko, I’m more different than you can imagine, but if you’re not accepting me the way I am, there’s the fucking door and don’t let it hit you in the ass on the way out.
I don’t believe in second chances either. Hurt me once, shame on you, and you don’t get another opportunity to do so again. Harsh, but know what – saves a lot of BS down the line.
Men are actually very simple creatures overall, I find: what they say and what they do is exactly how it is. Just like that meme where the woman’s diary entry is long and filled with emotional fallout from the man not paying attention to her and the man is simply preoccupied with some broken code or a car problem. This goes right up into being honest: the man’s perplexed by a problem. This doesn’t mean that he’s ignoring you, blah blah blah. Just means a simple thing: he has a problem. If he wants your help? He’ll ask. If he wants to share? He will. Taking it personally creates a problem where the wasn’t one to begin with. No one is absolutely required to tell you everything that’s on their mind; no one stops being an individual if they’re in a relationship. They do keep their identity, you know.
The big lesson here is this: you have to not just face the truth, but also know how to face the truth. It’s harsh, it’s painful, it shatters hopes, dreams, and illusions, but it’s a very teaching moment. It teaches you about yourself and what you are and aren’t willing to tolerate. The lady in the story above was willing to tolerate a trainwreck because it meant clinging to an outdated illusion that had nothing to do with the here, the now, and the real. I can’t imagine that it made her happy, but her complete inability to face the truth – both about her relationship and her own horrendous level of codependence if she was willing to go through that repeatedly – had gotten her into this to begin with.
And as I said before: women are more visibly guilty of this than men. To which I say: ladies, why are you so desperate? Yes, I said desperate. The best things – and relationships – in the world take time. If you’re that anxious to get into a relationship/marriage that you’re ignoring the very obvious fact that the dude you’re with is not willing to move as fast as you, then you’re setting yourself up for “marry in haste, repent at leisure”. Been there and done that. Not worth it.
And also, ladies and gentlemen? Stop blaming the other person. Look at yourselves first. If you aren’t accepting your significant other for who they are, I don’t see how it is that you have any grounds to blame them for not meeting your illusion of who they are. Put on your big-boy and big-girl underwear and deal with the fact that the person you’re with is the person they are, and not the person you want them to change ito. You not accepting who the other person is is not the other person’s fault but squarely, irrevocably, without a doubt, your own.