I read a post recently that got under my skin a little. Okay, a little more than a little. If you read my blog, you know I am a huge proponent of women being their best selves and attracting the right circumstances and people into their lives. This post, in particular, directed at women and dating, suggested that women who are unhappy in their current relationships or who find themselves in bad relationships are the root cause because they allow that type of dysfunction. Women need to change to find the right man. Again with the changin’. Why does it always fall on the woman?
So let me get this straight. We, women, need to change who we are but we should not expect a man to change his behavior in any way and just take it or leave it. Does that seem to be a double standard to you? I think when a woman first meets a man she is interested in, she may have some preconceived notions about him. She may see more potential in him than what is there, and she might even unknowingly open herself up to disappointment. Does that mean women should settle for men who may not meet their ideal? By the by, we gals do not have a cookie cutter standard. One woman’s ideal may not be another’s cup of tea and vice versa. Thank goodness.
I do agree with that post, that women should not expect anyone to change especially men. If a woman finds herself repeating the same vicious cycle of dating unavailable men then that may require some good ole soul searching and assessing the “why” for the repetitive, unhealthy patterns. Yes, maybe some women could choose better. There are times in life where we could all make better decisions and demand more for ourselves. Isn’t that all part of life? I call that growth and learning from past mistakes. Women can’t take the brunt of all the responsibility. It is a duet at best or maybe a confusing tango. My point is it takes two.
The post went on stating women need to do the changing. You could interchange the word change for compromise. So, women should lessen their expectations but do more while men can sit back and wait for everything to fall into their lap? Literally. I think my lady brain is confused. I disagree. If we are suggesting that we change, making improvements to ourselves should be a two-way street. No? I feel change is not the correct verb for women. Being less accepting of bullshit makes more sense to me. Speaking as a woman, I understand giving men a chance, but if it starts to turn into a negative and your feelings are hurt consistently, it’s time for a big change – for you to move on NOT change who you are as a woman. Oh sure you may get a little bolder and a hell of a lot wiser, but that is something you gain by standing up and wanting more for yourself.
I think to get to the root of why men and women find themselves in bad relationships; you must go a bit deeper than one person having to change who they are or lowering their expectations. I think more times than not some women conform to their partner’s needs and push their own needs aside instead of maintaining equal footing in their partnership. I am not saying; you should not compromise because that is a given in any relationship. What I am saying is, do not conform to the point you lose yourself and you throw all your values out the window. I almost find it amusing when a man repeatedly hurts his partner and then is shocked when the woman finally walks out. As if the man assumed everything was okay because they had one or two conversations and she seemed fine with everything. Then nothing changed, but at least they talked about it. “She agreed to it. She knew the deal. If she continued to adapt, we could have made it work.” Really? Gee, well I guess the clearly, marked signs were not marked clear enough. Deep down you know when you have hurt someone irretrievably, and there is no going back. When you break someone’s trust, it is difficult to damn near impossible to build it up again. No excuse can “change” that.
Do not get me started on the unrealistic expectations some men place on women. Some men expect women to fit nicely into an arbitrary societal archetype they concoct in their brain. Hate to break it to you boyz; the perfect woman does not exist. There may be a few unicorns out there and good luck finding one. If you thought you had one and you let her go, maybe you need to change. I am not immune to being pulled in or drawn to someone I found interesting and possibly a little rebellious. Hey now! Even the mighty have fallen. I have made my share of mistakes and then some. A piece of advice: Maybe men need to take a hard look in that mirror and try to be better.
I do not know of any woman who purposely sought out a bad relationship, or chose a man who would wind up hurting her. People cross our path for a reason to either shape our experiences or teach us lessons on our journey. I have to give credit where credit is due. My female friends are resilient. All of us continue to sail those rough waters. I think I deserve to wear the captain’s hat. Good and bad relationships happen. The reasons vary from woman to woman as to why they find themselves in bad relationships: They trusted the wrong man, provided too many second chances for his indiscretions, or changed their belief system to mirror his. Some women compromise who they are, make excuses for his bad behavior, believe or want to believe the smooth talker, mistake manipulation for sincerety, or invest too much too soon. I am sure many women have said never again to all that. Some women feel stuck in the current situation. Change, smange… be true to yourself and do not compromise for anyone.
Here are ten reminders for growth as change, not changing yourself:
- Be true to yourself and love yourself. Do not allow anyone to determine your worth.
- Protect yourself but do not close yourself off. A good guy could be right around the corner.
- Do not change who you are for a man or anyone else. Grow, yes. Make better choices, yes. Be positive, yes. Learn how to improve yourself for you, yes. Do not sweat the small stuff, yes. Change who you are for a man so you fit his mold? HELL NO. Someone out there will love you warts and all.
- Do not compromise who you are to accommodate a man’s needs.
- Do not expect a man to change for you. It goes both ways. Accept him for who he is and all that comes with that. If he ends up not being the one, send him back into the wild.
- Let Go. If he walks away, let him go. It is not the right situation, and deep down you know it. Do not chase him. It is not worth your time.
- Do not assume all relationships are doomed to fail because the last guy was a miserable representation of the male (human) species.
- Pay attention to red flags. You may want to ignore them. If you have to defend someone to your friends and family, there may be something to that. You can overlook teensy, tiny red flags but when it comes to big stuff, pay attention. Those are your warning signs.
- We do not always attract like-minded folks. I have heard we attract who we are and we look for someone who mirrors us. That means I am waiting for a male equivalent of a princess with long wavy hair, who loves to wear heels, has a phobia of clowns and loves to bargain shop. Oh, is that too much like me? Seriously, I would like to meet someone with similar values and qualities. I also feel life would be so dull if we were all the same.
- Do not give up. Learn from your experiences. I hope for all of our sake we grow in this life, become wiser, and hopefully learn from our past mistakes and indiscretions and “try” not to repeat them. We decide, of our own free will to make better life decisions for our present and future. That does not change the fundamentals of who we are as people.
We cannot change where we come from, what we have accomplished and we should not change what we value and whom we value. Oh sure, you can change a belief, or you can strengthen a belief. That is a choice. Men and Women may evolve if they choose to evolve. Changing who we are inherently to attract another human being is not the answer. Eventually, everyone’s true colors emerge and those pesky insecurities surface (and they will surface). Why should anyone feel compelled to change who he or she is for the sake of someone else? That is not living an authentic life. That is living a lie to please someone else. Ladies, you do not need a man to feel complete. You should want a man in your life because you want him in your life not because you need him in it.