Don’t Change Yourself to Suit a Man

Posted by in single women over 40 | 2 comments

Change men to suit yourself. Huh? Allow me to explain. I was just watching an Oprah episode recorded on my DVR, starringĀ Carson Kressley (of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame). He was promoting his new show on the OWN network, and said something that resonated with me: “Don’t change yourself to suit your job, change your job to suit you.” A bell went off in my head. This is great advice for doing work that you love and not staying in a dead-end job, and it’s also great advice for relationships.

So what do I mean by ‘Don’t change yourself to suit a man, change men to suit yourself?’ The bottom line is to be true to yourself in all areas of your life. The more you know yourself, the more you can find the things in life that work well for you.

When it comes to love, many women try to mold themselves into someone who is not authentic in order to please a man. This is not a good idea, but so many of us do it anyway. I will confess that to some extent, I have been guilty of straying from my truth in order to try and make a relationship work.

Why? For a number of reasons. First, because I am an optimist, and I hold out hope that people are capable of change and of rising up to a higher place in life. It’s one of the things that I believe makes me a good life coach. I think the same principal holds true for my relationships. But it’s important to balance hope and reality.

There are some elements of a relationship that can be worked on and some that can’t. It’s important to understand what is incompatibility and what is tweaking the relationship that has potential to grow so that both of you are happy. I have not always been honest with myself about what was hope and what was reality. It has always come back to bite me!

Second, there have been times when I have said and done things out of an inner pressure that I felt to rise up and meet the feelings and needs of the man I was dating, without paying close enough attention to my own feelings and needs. For example, I may not have been in love (yet), but if he declared his love to me early in the relationship, I would feel compelled to say, “I love you”. As soon as the words would leave my lips, I would feel disconnected from myself. And that is a bad feeling.

The bottom line is to stay true to yourself, stay as authentic as you can be, and you will meet a man for whom you do not have to give up any of your core needs. When you compromise on the things that are most important to you, when you stray from your truth, you chip away at the essence of who you are. No man or relationship is worth that level of compromise.

So, don’t change yourself to suit a man. Change men, meaning keep searching for the right man, and you will eventually suit yourself.

I’d love to hear your own stories of compromise, change, and hope in regards to your relationships.

Comments

2 Comments

  1. Speaking from experience…..this is so true. During too many relationships I have allowed myself to be “persuaded” to do something I wasn’t comfortable with. Nowadays, (and maybe it’s keeping me single) if a guy wants me to engage in anything that I don’t feel comfortable doing at all, I tell him no and fight that part of me that wants to please him.

  2. Being a people pleaser at the expense of giving up your own needs is too high a price to pay. It’s so important to stay true to yourself in a relationship. If doing so is keeping you single, it’s for a good reason: to keep you available for a man who respects you.

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