You found the perfect man until you found out he drinks too much…or smokes too much…or cheated.
Or he says the two of you would be perfect together, if only you would…change.
When should you compromise? And when is it a deal breaker? Can your dreams come true?
Here’s Doing It Digitally…Best Dating Practices with D’Andra.
“Change Is Not Always Good
Going into a relationship expecting a man to change is absolutely the WRONG way to go about dating. Thinking you can change a man to conform to your standards and way of life is absurd. Many times I have heard women say, “If I can get him, I can change him.”
It goes something like this. Woman falls for a man because of chemistry, what she perceives him to be, status, power, bank account (yes this happens too so let’s just be honest and put it all out on the table). Or, what she “thinks” she can make him become once he falls madly in love with her, and realizes how absolutely spectacular she is. This man would NEVER pass up an opportunity to be with this woman, because she is obviously going to be the love of his life! This makes perfect sense to many women living their lives in delusionville. Doesn’t it to you??
Meanwhile back at the apartment …. A major CHANGE is going on in the delusional woman’s life. She loses 10+ pounds knowing he likes his women on the skinny side, finds out where his local haunts are and starts to “show up” frequently by “coincidence”. She researches his favorite hobbies and pastimes, and voilá suddenly those are her interests too –no matter if that means attending Comic Con dressed as Frozen’s Elsa or catfish noodling…she’s all in! She may have piqued his interest and the “oh so sought after” first date is accomplished. One would think, mission accomplished, right? Now all she has to do is continue mirroring his interests and she should have a ring on her finger in no time. Not so fast!!
If you change yourself to peak a man’s interest, but ultimately you are not being authentically yourself, you WILL get caught. You can’t keep up the ruse forever, and your true interests and habits will rear their ugly head. The same goes for a man. When you meet a person, that person male or female already has their habits set in stone, just like you do. The idea that you can change someone and make a relationship or person work within your parameters of the ideal relationship just doesn’t work. Your personalities are your personalities.
Now that doesn’t mean that one can’t compromise in a relationship, and agreements on things that are not a “deal breaker” can be achieved. It’s akin to building a home. When you build a home you have a foundation or a structure. That foundation is solid once it is finished unless you want to take the home down and start over. You can do some remodeling inside and out, but the basic structure still stands firm. It is the same with any individual. That person may stop duck taping his shoes instead of buying new ones because you don’t like that, but he is still going to most likely be a little slovenly when it comes to his appearance because it is not an important issue for him as is writing the next textbook on how to solve fractal equations.
Another major point to keep in mind is that the beginning of a relationship is the first honeymoon phase of the relationship. What you see in a person when you are dating is their BEST behavior. This is the time to impress someone whom you like. If a relationship begins uncourteously then you can know for certain it is NOT going to get better if you marry that person. Once you are married then all bets are off and the good behavior phase is over. Now this doesn’t mean that a man or woman who is caring and consistently puts you first won’t continue doing so when you are married. Most likely he or she will. However, if a man or woman shows consistent inconsiderate behavior like cheating on you when you are dating, putting you down in front of others, making you feel bad about yourself, canceling important dates at the last minute or even tells you little white lies, I can guarantee that they will continue the same behavior after you marry them. And…those 10+ pounds you starved yourself to death to land this person and tried to keep off while you were dating, will become a HUGE issue if you marry that person and suddenly gain those pounds and all your insecurities associated with them back.
We all know that even though we are striving and searching for the perfect mate there is no such thing. We should all be realistic about the expectations we place upon another human being and knowing if our expectations are fair. I firmly believe that there is someone out there for everyone, and I finally found my someone at the age of 44. However, we were both realistic about what we expected of each other, and what we expected in a mate, and we still are. We have great days in our marriage and not so great days, but we are in it for the long haul because in our innermost cores we truly love each other, and that is a constant that doesn’t change from day to day.”
So, what about you? What’s a deal breaker? Have you asked someone to change and it worked out? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.
D’Andra Simmons is a businesswoman and philanthropist. She is the founder of Hard Night Good Morning Skincare and an active volunteer for the Dallas community serving on the Advisory Board of Booker T. Washington School for the Performing Arts, volunteering with the Junior League of Dallas, AIDS Services of Dallas or Cattle Baron’s Ball for the American Cancer Society.