Becoming The Change They Want To Love More
At first, you wonder how the hell a person who has so many problems with you ended up choosing you. You wonder if they did their research during the courting phase. Didn’t they see you were this way and not another?
The answer is they did but they didn’t care. They were focused on you, saw everything that was wrong, from the little things like the way you eat, to the bigger things like how horrible you are with money. The little things, at first, were adorable. The bigger things, well, they could help you with that. They told you not to worry, that there was still plenty about you they loved. Your flaws didn’t scare them.
But you knew better because you heard it all before. At some point, the other foot was going to drop. Not only does Newton’s law say so, but it’s also something experience has taught you. The other foot always drops. Your problems are not a problem now but a problem they will be. You remember the last time it happened, years ago, with your college love.
One day you two were in a heated argument about something trivial. You don’t remember. But you do remember the way you tuned her out, walked away from the dinner table to put your plate in the sink and how, as you were rinsing off your dish, you belched, loudly.
Now, you were polite enough to say excuse me, but it wasn’t enough to prevent her from looking at you with utter disgust. It wasn’t the belch that set her off, it was everything she thought the belch represented, how it was so rude to do it in front of her, but you really didn’t care about being rude in front of her. She knew you knew she was going to accept it, and the look of disgust was not about you but about how much she let herself accept such behavior. Those flaws she tolerated in the beginning were now beginning to set in, and soon after, she was gone.
Another love came later. She too accepted the flaws up front. You two were friends at first, so she knew you in ways most women did not. She knew your demons, knew your ways, and in spite of how transparent you were during your time as friends, she fell for you anyway. Knowing that she knew everything about you and what you were capable of made you put forth your best effort to put her mind at ease.
But very quickly you were up to your old ways again and just as quickly she called you out for it. She demanded you change and unlike the last love, this love was not going to let the little things go. She knew minor offenses were a gateway to bigger offenses, so she called you out for everything.
You hated every minute of it, but you loved that woman so much, you did everything you could to make her believe in you. Change was a constant word in your relationship. It’s what she wanted from you, it’s what you wanted to give, but it was an abstract concept neither of you were able to fully grasp. Every time you told her you were trying, she told you you didn’t know what you were doing. Every time she told you you didn’t know what you were doing, you told her she didn’t know what she wanted. The cycle was sick and eventually it had to be broken. She was tired of your effort, you were tired of trying. The problem was not that you two stopped loving each other, the problem was you two loved each other so much every little thing that was wrong felt like the worst thing in the world. You two had no choice but to love each other away from each other.
Change is a bad word in relationships. We reject it too quickly, despise the idea of it, or flat out don’t believe we deserve it. The old folks tell you don’t expect to change for you. Yet, everyone wants the person they love to change, it’s just, no one wants to have to say it because it goes against one of our core beliefs in a relationship: That you shouldn’t have to change who you are to be with someone. This is why we’re cynical about people changing for us.
But here’s the funny thing about change: It takes place in all of us, whether we want it to or not. I didn’t understand why that back in college, which says a whole lot about how underdeveloped my thoughts were on love. But I grew up and with the second, I realized the error of my ways — how choosing not to change can cause things to crumble — so she got my best effort towards change.
Seeing as it didn’t work out, it’s tough to qualify why we should even try to change for someone else and it’s tough to believe we can. But I don’t think the outcome represents what was important. What was important was for her I tried to change and long after her and I ended, I continued to work on the things she asked of me. It wasn’t to get her back, it was to make amends for myself. I wasn’t going to ever be perfect, but I wanted to be better, and if there’s anything I learned about loving someone else, it’s that getting better is how they know.
Some people say you will lose someone the exact way you found them but that’s only if both parties refuse to change, that’s when you choose to love round and round instead of forward. Love should never be a circle, it should always be a line.
If you really love someone, and they say they love you too, why not be open to making the necessary changes in order to keep that love alive? The people who loved me most demanded the most out of me, and it was the people I loved the most for whom I wanted to make whatever changes necessary.
Never accept the first “I love you.” The first “I love you” is fantasy, idyllic, and flimsy. Purify that shit. Someone will always love you for who you are, but change, grow, evolve, use whatever word you want here, just apply it so they have a reason to love you more.