Don't try to change your partner

He pushed his girlfriend away, but realised his folly in time to make amends…

Vikash Fernandes | Posted on 09 Aug 2016
Relationship Advice That Lasts - Don't Try To Change Your Partner | Bonobology

We all want our partners to be like ourselves. Too many mismatches and dislikes always raises a question in our mind, ‘if we both are so different, how do we love each other so much?

When I was studying in college in 2012, I used to stay at Vidyanagar, Gujarat. I was 22 years old, while my fiancée was 20. It had been three years since we had proposed to each other when we were studying together.

I come from a job oriented, South-Indian, middle class family and my only goal was to get a good job after graduation. I was worried about my future and this made me studious and serious. I would not stay back in the college to gossip nor would I waste time having dinner with friends. I would prefer to go alone and complete my dinner quickly. In fact, I was so obsessed with time that I go to the same restaurant, where I would order the same food to avoid wasting time in selecting a dish!

Unfortunately, this attitude began affecting my relationship with my fiancée. Whenever she would surprise me by visiting or giving me gifts, I would ignore it. In fact I started telling her to stop and to let me concentrate on my studies and that she should concentrate on hers. Whenever she would crack some joke or try to make me laugh, I used to ask her to grow-up or become mature. This went on for some time, until she was misled by a belief that I will be happy only if she behaves like a matured individual.

And so became a different person altogether. Once we were out for dinner and I asked her what she would like to have, and she just said ‘anything would do’. I knew that she loved ice cream; so I ordered her an ice cream, and she said ‘no’ to that. This behaviour really surprised me. I realised that she was not fine from inside because she had changed herself to suit my needs.

I felt guilty and decided to work on our relationship. I then started taking her out regularly, surprising her, bought gifts for her, arranged a meeting with my parents, often sent her jokes her on her phone, made her smile by doing mimicry of actors like Rajesh Khanna & Dev Anand.

It took her almost two years to become the way I knew and loved. Now she is happy, laughs at my silliest joke; we have a blast when we share time together, and she also shares her feelings honestly with me.  But I will always regret wasting that precious time, when we were in college, staying so near that it would take us all of five minutes to the other’s place, while today it takes me four hours by train to go and meet her.

When we fall in love with the person, we accept him/her as he/she is, then why do we try to change them? We should enjoy the relationship with a blend of expectedness and unexpectedness, known and unknown, yes and no, happiness and sadness.

 

Vikash Fernandes

Vikash is a Chemical Engineer by profession. He likes to write on familiar topics.

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Comments : 3

Sanjay: Vikash, your little write-up shows you as a very sweet and honest friend to your fiancee. If you don't mine, I'd just make one observation: you were actually never out to deliberately change your fiancee's habits or nature. Her change was the result of a reaction to your naturally (unintended) demanding behaviour. But it's good you realised in time to save yourselves much anguish and heartache. Hence the comment that you are an honest and sincere person. But everybody isn't like you. There are people who can't live without having others fall into their own line. And then there are also situations where a well intending friend tries to get someone to give up dangerously bad habits like addictions, anger, etc, and such changes result in good. So it's a subjective matter. For you and your fiancee, wish you all the best.

Sawmya: Excellent writeup a perfect example of how two lovely partners should be

Vikash Fernandes: Dear Viewers, my sincere thanks to all of you for reading my story. Your support shall always boost confidence in me. Thank you once again.

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