Most of us would be incensed hearing this. I wasn’t. A dear male pal, someone I’d dated briefly 18 months ago, told me this recently. We were having a heart to heart, honest talk about the ups and downs of dating and why I hadn’t found Mr. Right yet.
About a month after our first date, we decided we weren’t a good match, but still enjoyed each others’ company. We’ve kept in touch regularly, seeing each other monthly and talking weekly. While he thinks I’m pretty and sexy, my body type is not the kind that turns him on. And as much as I adore him as a pal, he has some quirks that would drive me crazy if he was my man.
What if someone who really interested you said this? Would you be crushed, incensed, or step up your efforts to lose some lingering extra pounds? Both genders long for someone who will love us exactly the way we are. Yet it is commonly acknowledged that women often see a man as a project, wanting to change his wardrobe, job, car, friends, furnishings, hair cut, etc. How is this different than a man wanting us to sculpt our body closer to what he desires?
Today I heard Ruben Studdard singing “Change Me.” In it, he asks his woman how would she feel if he complained about her hair, nail polish color, clothes, friends, job, cooking, housekeeping, etc. His point is that she wouldn’t like it, so why does she think he will put up with her constant complaints about him? The chorus, “Why do you want to change me?” echos what men and women have felt for ages.
You have to decide what the deal breakers are for you. And if there are things you’d like him to change, consider how easy they are to change. And how important are they to him? What if he really likes his job, but you think he doesn’t make enough money. Can you live with it, or are you willing to figure out how you both could create more income for both of you without his changing jobs? Or is it a deal breaker?
Better identify your deal breakers while early in the dating cycle. Lest you try to change a deal breaker that he is unwilling to modify — after you’ve invested months in the relationship. And what would you be willing to change for someone you cared about?