Does Love change People?

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portrait of happy african american couple outdoors

I was just on Facebook and saw a very curious post where someone said that if a person wants to date and or marry someone else they should never do it and desire to make any changes in the person, as love does not desire to change anyone but gives support and care. I have an issue with that. In fact, I have a massive issue with it. That is a very wrong idea and I sincerely hope I can explain my point well enough so it is understood.

I do not believe in missionary dating. By that I mean I neither believe nor support the idea that a person should go ahead and date someone who they do not agree with on lifestyle and many other issues that would cause major disagreements and rifts, and possibly lead to the end of that relationship. That is like setting oneself up for frustration, pain and failure. No one in their right mind should be planning to do such a thing to them.

If for any reason someone is not the kind of person you want on the whole or mostly so then you should not be trying to be with them nor trying to do so, just so that you will change them. That is a fool’s errand. For one thing, there is no guarantee that they will change and second, even if they do, a change that is wrought for you, just to make you happy/satisfied and get off someone’s back is not a change that will last. In time they will go back to what they used to do. Change must be seen as necessary and a willing effort made to make it happen. It can be linked to you directly or indirectly of course but they need to see the need for it and want it just as badly if not more.

Does Love change People?

All this is based on the idea that the person is living a life or engaging in things that are really bad or not profitable to them and not simply because the for instance like blue socks and you prefer brown. Do not mistake your own personal preferences and possible biases for what should be the acceptable pattern and choice for someone else. You are no one’s god.

An example of this would be how there is a difference between the man who sees a woman he likes and wants to be with but has decided that he does not want her to wear trousers, because that is not what he wants/likes and someone who wants the woman to stop smoking, for example. Either way neither should even be dating with the idea that they will change this person. They are both wrong. The reverse would also apply if it were about women wanting to date men. Such expeditions into the dating and reformation kingdom rarely ever work out well in the end, and as such they are best avoided altogether.

While it is virtually impossible to meet someone who agrees with you on every single thing, never argues nor fights with you, is a complete package of everything you want with no issues and flaws, it is possible to meet someone who matches you to a large extent and then things can be worked on in tie, and compromise reached. Remember I said that not all things are bad, sometimes some people have confused their own personal ideals and preferences as what is good for others and that does not work. What is meat to one is poison to another. This is where love, open and honest communication as well as compromise, comes in. When two people love each other, they want not only the best for themselves, but also for the person they are with and the relationship they have. This means they will be willing to sit, talk, listen and plan out things that are in the end beneficial for both their good.

Does Love change People?

What is that, if not change? Has such an action not meant that one or both of them has indeed changed in some way that thing or those issues beings discussed or at the very least had their attitude and way of doing it changed? If we say that to love a person means that we never desire change in them, we have become people in serious trouble. As my naija people will say; “that one na one chance!” People change for the better or worse and it only makes sense that we want the change to be netter, and when it is not selfish and cruel, we push for it.

We spend the time talking about it and telling this person in our life what we feel it is important and how we would really love for them to do it or at least consider doing it. There is a big difference between nagging someone and having a respectful, normal conversation even if it is a serious one. The latter is what mature people do. That is something a lot of people need to learn.

So you see anyone in any kind of meaningful relationship even if platonic or filial will be looking to have the other person make changes at some points in time. It is normal, advisable and expected. Anything short of that is to live in denial that all is well and all that does is breed negativity in the end which in turn can lead to the breakdown of the relationship. That is so not worth it in the end. Love does not mean we support someone and never point out stuff that they need to change neither does love mean that bully them. It is about balance and yes, say no to missionary dating.

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