If You Love Me, You’ll Change
When I coach women, I hear this more often than I’d like… and men are no stranger to saying it.
“If you love me, you’ll change.”
Have you ever said or thought that? I sure have.
I’d like to suggest that those words never enter your head again, because they are destructive to your relationships and harmful to you.
Do you really want a partner who has to change to please you?
Would you want to have to change to please your guy?
I hope not. You are amazing just as you are, and the right guy will love and appreciate you FOR you. The wrong guy won’t and will want you to change.
(That’s a good-guy test, by the way. If he wants you to change something you don’t want to change, he’s not the one. Now if he wants to help you change something you’ve told him you want to improve, he IS a good guy.)
What’s really going on here is that one partner tries hard to fill an emotional void left by the other partner. And the emotionally available partner (usually the woman) just keeps trying and trying, which makes the emotionally unavailable partner (typically the man) pull back even more because being too close and vulnerable isn’t safe for him. So the deeper in the cave he’ll go.
You know how it goes from there… frustration, anxiety, anger, and eventually one of you demands that the other changes.
We want our partners to be like us, which is why we push for emotional openness and availability. But if your partner has to change to please you, he’s not the right match for you. No matter how hard you try, he’s not your One if you need him to change.
But let me ask you this… why not celebrate your partner exactly as he is and stop pushing for him to be like you? Why not love his quirks because they’re HIS and let things be?
Here’s the deal, it’s not your job to pull your partner out of the cave, which is why it’s best to give him space when he’s being emotionally distant. If he really wants to heal, he will do the emotional heavy lifting on his own. If he doesn’t, that’s your clue that he’s not the man for you.
So how can you deal with an emotionally unavailable guy and either accept him as he is or let him go gracefully? Here is some advice from my Facebook readers.
- Be a better decision maker in the beginning of relationships…is this person for you? Be clear on what you want.
- Sometimes youth and inexperience lead you to believe you can overcome everything with enough love… you may not be able to, and that’s OK.
- Let your man go into his cave to work things out. He’ll come back when he is ready.
- Like attracts like. If we attract emotionally unavailable partners, it’s because we are somewhat emotionally distant ourselves. We need to break the pattern and figure out why we choose unavailable partners in the first place. When you do your inner work, you will be able to be more intimate with others.
- You can’t change people, so why stay in the relationship if the guy wants to play the field and the girl wants the commitment she cannot have? The relationship cannot work if they both want two different things.
- If sincere affection (both emotional & physical) isn’t reciprocated, you can’t beat yourself up trying to figure out what’s missing.
- We create our own reality, so it is never the other person, it is us. Our partners mirror back to us the lessons we need to learn. That is why we picked them in the first place. We can’t control another person’s behavior, but we can set boundaries on what we will or won’t accept.
Have you ever been told, “If you love me you’ll change”?
How did you handle it? I’d love to read your comment below!