Do we need to change to be in a relationship?

14:56 Lissa Reed 0 Comments

  After numerous posts I decided it’s about time I tell you a little bit about myself: I can be a little bit selfish, I’m impatient and I need to always be right, I push people to bring out the best in them, I push myself and I’m a perfectionist: if I’m going to do something I’ll do it right or not at all. So having said all that about me, I wouldn't change myself to be with anyone, even if I only pointed the negative aspects of my character (I do have good qualities as well, but if I wrote them down now it would seem like I’m bragging!). But what about the times that we actually change to make someone love us or stay with us without even realizing it? What happens when we lose ourselves just to keep someone with us?

  For the sake of this article, the most suited relationship example I have to give is my ‘relationship’ with Nick. I talked about Nick in another post as well (you can read about it on "Can you fall in love with two people at the same time?") , but I think it’s about time to give you some more details on it… As you know my relationship with Nick was kind of an ‘on-and-off affair’ and the only reason I didn't put an end to it sooner is because I was madly in love with him. But I never realized how much I was caught up in the relationship until the very end. I always felt like Nick had some kind of power over me (I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s the only way I can describe it). I am usually talkative and sarcastic and make jokes about everything, I laugh a lot and if you know me you’ll know I’ll never run out of things to say. But when it came to Nick, I felt powerless. Every time I found myself with him, I would be acting like a good student under a strict teacher… which is ridiculous! Yes we talked, but I was never quite myself… and that’s the least of it. Every time Nick called, I would make myself available to him, no matter where I was or what I was doing. I would just give up everything to meet up with him. When he was mad, he would shout at me and we would have a fight… usually I would end up in tears and nodding in agreement to what he was saying. Again, if you know me you should know that I almost never cry, let alone in front of others. I would never contradict him, whatever he said, I would think it was right.

  One day I recall him telling me that what we had wouldn't last and he wanted to end it. For the first time in my life, I actually begged him to stay with me, but he didn't  Two months later he came back to me, and I welcomed him back in my life as if nothing ever happened. Having said all that, for me to be so compromising and willing to do anything for him, you would think that I must have been having a hell of a time when I was with him… wrong again. I remember myself mostly miserable during my relationship with Nick and not happy. I would either feel guilty that I was with him, or neglected by him most of the time. He did care about me, but he had a weird way of showing it. He loved me, but he would never say it. Of course you would think that if someone loves you, they don’t have to say it all the time… and you are right. But sometimes, a girl actually needs to hear these 3 little words, out loud! Nick was distant… and yet so close. I must sound completely out of my mind right now, and truth is, I was! It’s so hard putting it down in words, but if you have lived through something similar you should know how hard it is to actually explain it. Every time Nick did something bad and I would just accept it and patiently wait for him I felt my mind screaming at me “Come on! What are you doing?” But apparently my heart had a different opinion…

  After almost two and a half years of torture with Nick, I still hadn't learnt my lesson. So finally, when he pulled one of his “This isn't going anywhere, we have to end it” situations and I still waited for months for him to come back, when he didn't I thought it was finally all over. I was broken hearted, but I wanted to respect him. He had chosen this and if he was happy, I wouldn't try to get back into his life again. One night though, more than five months later, Nick called me and said he missed me and straight away, without even thinking, I said I missed him too and I wanted to see him. Just when I was starting to move on, Nick had dragged me back into that mess again, and I found myself crying in my bathroom, but still not having the courage (or the will for that matter) to tell him that I couldn't see him. When I couldn't do it, it was time for an intervention… My best friend, Kate, even though opposing my whole affair with Nick from the very beginning, after she found me crying in my bathroom like a helpless dog calmly told me: “I’m not going to tell you not to go back to him again, that never worked in the past and it won’t work now either. But take a step back and look at yourself and what he did to you”. And that was it. I suddenly realized it; I had lost myself in my desperate effort to keep Nick next to me. I had lost control over my feelings, and apparently over my actions as well. Having lost control, I did the only thing I could to get it back… I let Nick go. It took me three years, countless desperate efforts from my best friend, and a hard slap from reality after seeing my bloodshot eyes in the mirror to realize that I wasn't me anymore… I remember thinking to myself “If I had met me know I wouldn't recognize me”. That wasn't me, that wasn't who I was and who I was supposed to be. I turned into a pathetic little person… and for what? To make someone love me, someone that I couldn't be with to begin with.  Maybe I needed to lose myself to finally realize who I am and at the end to find out just how much am I really prepared to give up to be with someone. Maybe we all need to lose ourselves, to hit rock bottom in order to find our way back to the top and be ourselves again.

   After a few months I started feeling like myself again, but from time to time, I still wonder: does our mind automatically change our behavior in order to accommodate that huge influx of feelings that come with falling madly in love? Is it all a manifestation of our body to shelter us from the pain that is about to come once we show the true side of our character? Maybe if I had shown my true character to Nick he wouldn't have stayed with me that long. He knew I would be there and so he kept coming back… I was a safe bet. But is that really what I want to be? Every girl deserves someone that will love her for who she is; that is not to say we shouldn't compromise. Because just like we expect someone to accept us with all our flaws, we should be prepared to accept someone else’s flaws as well. But compromising means meeting somewhere in the middle and feeling comfortable.  After thinking it over, I realized that it’s ok to change when you are with someone… but it’s not ok to change for someone. Some people bring out the best in ourselves and make us see our flaws clearly, flaws which we could potentially correct, and that would be great. But we should change as long as we are comfortable with it; as long as we feel that we are becoming the better person that we can become… Because if you think about it, relationships are great, glamorous and fun, but the most important relationship you will ever have, the most amazing and challenging one is the one you have with yourself… and if you can find someone that will meet you somewhere in between, well that’s just beautiful!

Have you ever had a similar experience? Maybe you would be able to put it down in words better than I could. Comment and let me know how you lost yourself and what did you do to get back control? 
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