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You Can’t Change Someone Unless They Want To, Not Even By Loving Them

You Can’t Change Someone Unless They Want To, Not Even By Loving Them

It begins with fireworks. With bright, blue skies, incredibly orange sunsets, endless kisses, warm hugs, and complete and utter infatuation. It begins with rainbows, pink skies, promises, passion, fire, intensity. In those moments, we know nothing about the other person except the fact that they make us feel things that we’ve never felt before in our lives. Their presence lights our fire. Their touch takes us to 7th heaven. Their scent is familiar to us. Their eyes are like the universe we’ve searched for a very long time. They are simply perfect. They are everything we’ve always wanted and more.

And that’s it. We are convinced that we’ve finally found the one.

Until eventually, that infatuation, or in other words, the honeymoon phase wears off and the “masks” finally fall off. In those moments we see their real colors and we realize that they might not be the person we thought they are.

We start to notice certain red flags. Their rough edges start poking us. And for the first time in life, we realize that they too have flaws and a lot of them…

We know that we wouldn’t give up without a fight. We could never leave them and carry on with our lives as nothing ever happened. So, we decide to try and make it work. Still, we don’t try to accept them as they are. Instead, we tell ourselves that as long as they love us for real, they would absolutely do anything to keep us around. And so we set our expectations high above the sky thinking that we can actually change our loved ones. That our love can make them a better person. Fix what’s wrong with them. Help them be better, do better.

And we start to believe that. We start to believe that we have the power to transform this person into the one they were when we met them. But the more time passes, we realize that’s just who they are. That’s who they’ve always been. Only our eyes see that now. And so we start to blame ourselves. We start to wonder if there’s something wrong with us. We start to worry that we aren’t enough for them. That we are not the perfect partner, perfect lover, perfect life companion, and perfect soul mate. We blame it all on ourselves without even realizing that it is all in vain.

The truth is we cannot ever change another person unless they are ready to change, not even if we loved them more than anyone else in the world. Our love has no strength when it comes to changing someone unless they’ve decided that they are going to do it themselves.

Understand. It is not you. It’s never been you. It’s them. It’s what they go through, what they experience, what stuck with them, what made them who they are today. It is not you that is doing something wrong. It is not that you aren’t beautiful, smart, affectionate, or interesting enough. It is them. Still, this doesn’t mean that the fault for your issues is theirs. They are not the reason your relationship needs saving. They are just not ready to change for you. But then again, you are also not ready to accept them as they are. So, I guess that makes more sense. You are even.

As difficult as this may sound, I want you to know that you cannot make someone love you by loving them harder. You can give them every piece of your soul, hand your heart on a silver platter, and be there for them 24/7. But you cannot mold them into the person you wish they’d become.

Instead of trying to change them, take a look at your life, and make the changes for yourself. Let go of the idea that you can make someone something they are not and understand that everyone transforms in their own time at their own time. You can bend over backward trying to “help” them become a “better” person, but if they are not ready yet, it will all be for nothing. So, stop. Stop expecting. Stop forcing. Stop pitying yourself.

You cannot force someone to become who you want them to be, but you can become that person that you desperately need in your life. So, make the changes.

Be the person you need in your life. Give yourself the love that no one else could give you.

Stephanie Reeds