If someone loves you, they should accept you for exactly who you are, right? But there are times when we should learn how to change for your partner.
Listen, I’m the first person to tell you not to change who you are for someone else. And you shouldn’t change your fundamental values and personality just for the chance the other person will finally accept you. But, there are some moments where accepting how to change for your partner should be welcomed.
Change doesn’t always need to be a negative thing for yourself. And as we all know, relationships are all about compromise. There’s no such thing as a perfect match, we all know that.
I’ll use myself as an example of change. I told myself I would never change for someone else. And then, I met my partner. Throughout the relationship, I noticed certain parts of my behavior that were harmful towards my relationship and my partner. My short temper and selfishness got in the way of my ability to be vulnerable and be the partner I wanted to be.
So, I went to a therapist and worked on myself. I didn’t change my personality and become someone I wasn’t. Instead, with a professional’s help, I dug through my past and cleaned up my mind and soul from thoughts and scars that were holding me back.
How to change for your partner
Here’s a little secret: you can’t actually learn how to change for your partner. No, for true, life altering change, you must do it for yourself.
#1 You can’t change for someone. If you’re wanting to change parts of yourself because your partner told you to, it’s not going to work. The only way someone can change is if they’re going it for themself. I wanted to change because I value myself and the relationship I have. I wanted to become a better person.
#2 What do you really need to change? Before you do anything, think about why and what you need to change. Do you feel that you need to make a change? If so, then that’s fine. But if you genuinely don’t see any problems, then change will not happen.
Now, look at what you need to change. Is it the way you argue with your partner? Your bad habits? Your health habits?
#3 Instead, focus on changing your relationship. You may be thinking you need to change yourself, and there are probably things you could change. But you shouldn’t think of changing for your partner.
The change in you needs to come from yourself, for yourself. If you want to change to improve your life and relationships, that’s also fine. But it comes from you, not from someone else.
#4 Communicate with your partner. You may think you need to change for your partner because your relationship isn’t where it used to be. But, that’s not what needs to happen right now. First things first. You need to sit with yourself and reflect on your feelings. Then, go to your partner and talk about how you’re feeling. At the end of the day, everything comes down to communication.
#5 Take responsibility for your actions. This is a huge one. If you want to improve your relationship and make a positive change in yourself, for yourself, then you should start owning up for your actions. If you said something offensive to your partner during a fight, apologize. These are small steps to make but will create a huge difference in your life.
#6 Focus on the real issues. Why would you want to change for your partner? What’s going on in your relationship? It’s time to look at the real issues. Sit down with your partner and discuss what’s going on between you two. What are the areas you need to work on, and how can you both improve.
#7 Don’t try to change your partner. There are probably some things you don’t like about your partner. It’s normal. But you should never force or make ultimatums for your partner to change. It’s not going to work, just like it won’t work if you try to change for your partner. Any change needs to come from them. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t lead by example.
#8 Never make assumptions. You’re not a mind reader, and neither is your partner. You should never make assumptions about what your partner is feeling and vice versa.
To improve your relationship, focus on communication, and if you sense there’s something wrong, make an effort to find out the problem and come up with a solution.
#9 Discover the small things about your partner. Changing yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you need to get a completely new personality. It can be very small acts. For example, telling your partner you love them or showing more physical affection *not sex*. These are small changes and add-ons that can really affect your relationship.
#10 Focus on changing negative behaviors. If your partner doesn’t like the way you laugh or how you cry during romantic comedies, whatever. This may be annoying for them, but you shouldn’t change that caring and empathetic part of you.
But what about negative behaviors? Do you point blame at people to avoid responsibility? Do you give your partner the silent treatment after an argument? Now, these are things that you can and should work on.
#11 Practice daily gratitude. If you want to change yourself, for yourself, you should start from a place of gratitude and appreciation. Think about the good things you have in your life and the loving people you have around yourself. It’s easy to think about what we lack in our lives, so let’s flip things over. You’ll enjoy the experience much more, and by practicing gratitude, it’ll change you.
#12 By focusing on your relationship, you will change. By working on your relationship and focusing on the issues within it, you will change as a person. I focused on harmful behavior I would use in the relationship, and by working on changing those behaviors, I changed myself.
#13 Change takes time. This won’t happen overnight. It took me months to see a difference in myself, and I’m still working on those changes. When you change a part of yourself, you’re rewiring your brain, and this takes time. So, be patient and easy on yourself.
If you want a better relationship, and more importantly, become a better version of yourself, there’s nothing wrong with learning how to change for your partner. Just make sure you change for the right reason.