How many times have you gotten comfortable with a guy and told yourself, I really like him, but this ONE THING drives me nuts. Still, I can change him? It’s a common mistake we’ve all made. In fact, it’s a very human thing to do. We count on those we love changing to make us happy because they care about us, too.

Unfortunately, basing an entire relationship on the hope that your man will change is a recipe for disaster. Think about your own habits and how hard it can be to change something about yourself. Sure, smokers can quit smoking, and people with high levels of anxiety can take meds to help with the issue. But there are things to everyone’s nature that are inherent, and you cannot count on being able to exorcise those things from another person.

Part of Your Personality

Does your boyfriend talk with his hands? Does he have a bad habit like biting his nails or drinking from the milk jug? Sometimes, the little things are what drive us nuts about someone else. Maybe leaving lipstick on the rim of your glass is something your boyfriend can’t stand, and he’s secretly telling himself he can change that about you, talk you into not wearing lipstick. Would you want him obsessing over that, especially if you have no intention of changing it?

So many little aspects of a personality can come into play in these instances, and if you’re promising yourself that you can change those parts of a person so that you can make a life together, you’re setting yourself up for failure. A relationship based on either partner promising themselves that they can change anything about the other will fail or lead to misery.

Larger Problems

Think about the bigger picture. You broke up with your boyfriend because he cheated on you, but he comes back and apologizes. He does it again, and you go through the same cycle. Are you really going to convince yourself a third time that he’ll change, take him back, and subject yourself to the pain again? The same is true of so many things, and it goes both ways. If there’s something about you that your partner insists he can change, you’ll never be happy because he doesn’t accept you as you are.

Can You Make Peace With It?

What you have to decide is not how hard it’s going to be to change your lover, but if the quirky things or the painful things about him are acceptable. Can you cope with the things that you wish you could change? If it’s a small thing, maybe you can, if there’s something real and deep between you that’s worth the compromise. If it’s something that causes you true emotional stress, though, you can’t bank on it ever ending or ever finding it in yourself to overlook.

Think long and hard about how important that aspect of your lover is to you. If you think you love him enough, work on making peace with it rather than changing it. That’s the key to a happy relationship.

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