I am guilty of thinking that a man would change for me. I did not enter into the relationship thinking that I needed to change him; I entered the relationship thinking he was “The One.” He was able to get passed the surface in a conversation; he loved to read and could actually discuss books; he really listened; he did sweet things just because; silences were comfortable and not awkward; he looked me in the eye when we talked; he made me pancakes; he cared about my happiness. I thought I had been blessed to find such a man.
Yet, as it is with all stories, there was conflict, and somewhere along the way our relationship started to fall apart. I did not end the relationship, though. I was convinced that things would work themselves out because I loved him and, I believed, he loved me. I thought things would go back to the way they were; I thought he would go back to the way he used to be.
During this time I learned a very important lesson: a man will never change for you. It does not matter how much you love him. It does not matter how much time you give him. It does not matter if you give him everything you have. It does not matter if you give up everything you have. It does not matter how successful you are. It does not matter how supportive or forgiving you are. It does not matter if he loves you. It does not matter what you do, who you are, where you go, or what you look like. A man will never change for you.
I am not saying this to be harsh. I want you to understand that change can never happen genuinely when the motive does not come from within. For example, imagine you have been asked to be a bridesmaid in a wedding. You have been thinking for the past several months (or years) that you would like to lose ten pounds, but you have not really done much about it. The upcoming wedding and bridesmaid dress fitting become a catalyst for your weight loss. You tackle losing ten pounds with an energy you did not know you had in you. You start working out regularly and become disciplined about which foods and how much of those foods you eat. Over the next couple of months, you lose the desired weight. Then, after the wedding, you start to slip. You skip out on your regular workouts with more and more frequency. You begin eating all the foods you cut out from your diet, and all of your discipline seems to go out the window. Why does this happen? Because the motive for your weight loss came from outside—your participation in the wedding party; it did not come from within as a conscious decision to change your lifestyle. When you make a decision for yourself, with no ulterior motive, you are more likely to stick to it.
So it is with a man. If the motive to change does not come from within him, it will never last. He may meet a woman who is amazing. He may love her and want to be with her. He may want to change for her. He might even try. But, you see, this motive is an outside source. And so, even though he may be able to change for awhile, just as that bridesmaid was able to lose her ten pounds, he will eventually revert to his old ways. A conscious decision to change for himself must be made in order for true change to take place. He must choose to change, not just want to change.
I know a lot of women who argue that men have indeed changed for them. To this I would say that if he has truly changed, it was not because of you. Rather, it was because he chose to change. And, if you were no longer in the picture, he would still continue to be his changed self because he did it for himself, not for you. The same holds true for women as well.
It is hard to admit that you don’t have control. It’s difficult to lose something you have been fighting for so long. It’s harder still to confront the painful truth that you are not enough. But that is the truth ladies. No woman will ever be enough because a man will not change unless he chooses to change. And that want has to come from inside himself, not from outside. All other change will be surface and temporary, even if he loves you.