Wisdom is accepting things for the way they are; it’s understanding those ingrained traits in another person that you cannot change. These traits are so hardwired that many may not be upgradable. It’s like an old computer system–it is often cheaper just to buy a new computer than to upgrade it.
Whether for good or bad, nobody is capable of changing us but ourselves. Until we realize this in our hearts and minds, the change, whether in ourselves or someone else, will never happen. The wisdom is in accepting this.
When you seek changes in a man, the kicker is that they usually don’t occur until his next relationship. You will ask yourself, “Why didn’t he do that with me?” We often learn from our former partner, and the partner that comes after is the one that benefits. How many times have we seen this phenomenon? You’ll think, “She is benefiting from all my hard work and time. Why couldn’t he have been that way when we were together?”
What often happens is that his fear of losing or failing in the next relationship wills him to correct his errors from his previous one. The things you say now get ingrained in the present but take effect in the future–and almost always with another woman. Why is it so hard so for men to change while they are in the relationship? Is it because they are just flat-out stubborn? Or is it because they believe their relationship will not fail? Oh, well. Another blog topic and discussion for later.
When you are at a crossroads in your relationship and you don’t know whether you should leave this man or stay and keep trying harder, the best answer we have found is to make a list of pros and cons. When you write it down on paper, it will surely tell the story and the outcome. We recommend using the same seven out of 10 checklist that we described in ”When to have Sex with the Man you’re Dating” (When to have sex with the man you’re dating?) as a guide. Seven out of 10 is little bit above average, or 70 percent. Use this scale to grade the results.
Factor in the negative traits that you cannot change. Are they deal-breakers or not? Then honestly ask yourself this question: Can you work with this deal-breaker without eventually going crazy? The answer is either “yes” or “no.” If you go forward with the relationship, you have to truly be able to accept all of these negatives, because the only thing you can count on is that they won’t change. This man has developed his behavior over his entire life, and it would have to take a miracle for him to change who he is and become who you want him to be.
In your list of pros and cons, duly note that some character traits come naturally to the man of your dreams (MOYD) and cannot be learned, e.g., either someone is affectionate or he is not. Affection is not something you can learn. Likewise, either you are a clean person or you are not. Either you’re lazy or you are not. You are either selfish or unselfish. We call all of these traits “fixed characteristics.” They are ingrained in the MOYD mainframe. They are hardwired, and we believe that they are almost impossible to change. If you pay close attention to the man you are dating and say, for instance, he is sloppy and you’re always on his back about cleaning up after himself, he may temporarily improve as a result of your constant nagging, but as soon as you are out of sight on that week-long business trip, all bets are off and he will soon go back to being the sloppy man he always was. And of course, you will be super-frustrated.
What you didn’t realize is that he changed only temporarily to satisfy you, but he, personally, never really wanted to change. It was just a mask he put on to please you. In the end, he went back to the man he really is.
The only chance for real change is when you hear the words coming from his mouth and from within his heart. When a man speaks of change from his heart, it’s not just for you, but for himself. This is the only time a permanent characteristic might have the chance to change.
Some characteristics have the flexibility to change. On your list of pros and cons, these might include being educated or not. You can decide if you want to learn more. You can also learn to be a team player. But if you have gone 40 years of your life and never learned to be a team player, the likeliness of you learning that skill in the ninth inning is the equivalent of running a 100-meter dash in one direction and then turning around and running a 200-meter dash in the other direction. You can only do it if you truly do some soul-searching and honest self-evaluation.
The Biggest Obstacle to Change
The biggest obstacle to change in your new-found relationship is you. In this modern world, it’s important to understand your role and his role in the relationship, what he expects from you, what you expect from him and how your new-found independence affects this.
You may find that being Miss Independent does not fit into a traditional family structure. The biggest obstacle is you and your mindset. Are you seeing things clearly, or are your past failed relationships affecting your list of pros and cons? You want to be as unbiased as possible when making this list of pros and cons and consider all factors, good and bad, especially about yourself. Always remember, when making your list of pros and cons, to start with yourself first and then the man you are dating. You have to know and love yourself first before you can truly know and love someone else.
Are you expecting a man to make you happy? How many times have we heard this: “YOU don’t make me happy?” Ladies, wake up! It is not our job to make you happy. Either you are a happy person or you are not. We join with you in hopes of complementing what is already within you. We are not your savior or your knight in shining armor; we are not here to pay all of your bills while you sit around the house watching soap operas. If you are Miss Independent, be consistently independent. This means you work and you contribute to the household, sharing in the bills and expenses. If he makes more money, then of course he is going to pay a little bit more. This is common sense and good teamwork. If you are a depressed woman (con) do not expect any man to pull you out of your depression (who does not specialize in this field). This is a con that neither men nor women can fix. You have to figure out what the root of your depression is and solve it yourself. Hopefully, the MOYD can help you, but he is not the solution. You are!
If your man is working his ass off and you can account for his whereabouts 95 percent of the time, then give him a break for the other 5 percent of the time you cannot account for him. No one is going to be able to answer his phone, read his text messages or return calls every hour on the hour, every day of the week. You have to be realistic and reasonable. Neither does any man in his right mind want to be up under you every hour of the day. Give yourself and him a chance to miss each other, without it having to be a “forced” miss resulting from a breakup, or when he is hinting, “Don’t you have something to do?” or “Don’t you want to go visit your friends?” When a man starts saying this, he is getting tired of your presence and needs a little break and his own space. Being insecure (con) will suffocate your relationship with the MOYD (Dating the Insecure Woman vs. the Secure Woman? Part 1,Dating the Insecure Woman vs. the Secure Woman? Part 2 ). So please, once again, be honest and unbiased in your list of pros and cons. Consider all factors. Are you insecure? Is he insecure?
In your list of pros and cons, you should also list your strengths and weaknesses as well as your man’s strengths and weaknesses, to see if you are being fair in your own assessment of yourself, as well as of him. Ask yourself, do you complement his weaknesses and fortify his strengths, and does he complement your weaknesses and fortify your strengths? Being realistic is so important. Understand that most men are going to want to watch football, basketball or baseball because they grew up watching and playing these sports, which are dear to their hearts. So unless you like these types of activities, it’s going to be a rough ride and a con. If you like sports, this is a pro. No matter how much you whimper and whine, this is not going to change. Is this your deal-breaker or just another con?
In making this list of pros and cons, the most important thing is to be honest and evaluate yourself first, then him. This is only fair because you are the one initiating the list. Compare and analyze the two lists. I would recommend going over the list of pros and cons with him, have him make his own list, then crisscross his list with yours.
So, quite simply, here is what you are going to do. Take out a piece of paper and list all of the pros and cons about yourself, then the potential MOYD. Then ask the potential MOYD to list all of his pros and cons about you and about himself. After this task is completed, sit down at the table together and go over the lists of pros and cons, comparing notes. Consider character traits that are hardwired in and will never change, as well as characteristics that could realistically improve. Grade yourselves. Is it seven out of 10? If both of you are getting 70 percent, then you are a pretty decent match, because no one is going to be perfect. The real question is, can you honestly accept the cons? If you can, then you are in great relationship shape and should continue moving forward. If your score is five out of 10, then you may want to consider whether you should continue investing more time in your relationship. Unfortunately, as time goes on, many relationships get weaker and the love fades, so you want to start off as strong as possible.