Everyone is capable of change, especially when the incentive is good. A new relationship should be enough incentive for a person to mend his or her ways and start thinking about settling down. Even if a guy or a girl is “great” as is, there are always things that he or she can change, hopefully for the better.
Change is Not a Priority, Initially
We don’t usually enter relationships thinking of change. After all, the first few months or years are still a part of the honeymoon phase, where you show your best side and vice versa. But a long term relationship will expose you to the bad side of your partner. Soon enough, you find yourself whining about this or that habit, and bickering starts. No matter how compatible you are, there are small things that will irk you, and even make you question your feelings for your partner. Whether or not you accept that side doesn’t stop you from expecting an upgrade, whether in the other person’s perspective in your new life or personality traits.
Is Love Strong Enough to Change a Person?
Wanting to please you may be enough motivation for a person to want to change. A person’s traits and viewpoints are products of experiences, habits and environment. To expect a person to change as soon as possible is asking too much. The most you can expect is for your partner to humor you this one time, do what you want, and then gradually revert back to his or her old habits when you’re not looking. Change is only permanent when the person decides that changing is the best thing he or she can do for himself or herself. He or she must want to change for the better. The motivation to change should come from the person not from you.
Is Your Partner Self-Aware Enough?
Although nothing can stop you from voicing your opinions, expecting drastic change is impossible. A person usually knows his or her limitations, the depth of which depends on how self-aware the person is. But you can bet that the person has received feedback in the past from other people, and from you, and he or she knows which points he or she is weak at. Self-awareness is key to change. Unless the person understands what “change” means, and what it would entail, expect the upgrade in perspective or attitude to come after a long time.
Maybe You’re Not Compatible?
A relationship starts to fall apart when incompatibilities crop up. The initial compatibility wasn’t simply a delusion on your part, but true compatibility means compromising and adjusting to your partner’s quirks.
It is difficult to admit that whether your partner changes or not is not up to you. It’s one of the things you can’t control at all.
Most people think searching for the most compatible partner is the key to having a successful relationship. I had this mindset for a long time, which probably contributed a lot to my “player” attitude. I would base what you would call compatibility on a lot of factors like common interests, status, level of maturity etc.
While embracing this frame of mind isn’t bad at all (everyone has to have a baseline, a standard that they refer to when searching for “the one”)… I realize now that REAL, long-term compatibility needs more than a few similarities and great rapport initially. In fact, if we’re going to be technical about it, we can say that real, long-term compatibility might not even exit. At all.
The reason I think so is this… people grow.
We evolve and we develop, whether we’re inside the relationship or not. And the couples who can’t deal with these CHANGES in each other end up thinking they’re “incompatible”, or that they made the wrong choice. How many times have you thought “this isn’t the guy I fell in love with” or “you’re like a stranger to me” when thinking of your partner (during a fight, or while you’re feeling emotional)?
It’s easy to say that your partner might have kept his true self hidden all the while, which will result to your feeling betrayed whenever you see traits or characteristics that he hasn’t shown in the past. But, it could also be that those traits were developed, or may have even resulted from the kind of environment he has been exposed to during the time you were together and elsewhere (in his workplace etc.). Regardless of where these “strange” behavior came from, you have to adjust to whatever changes… and embrace your OWN changes.
So who’s going to compromise more? Should it ALWAYS be you? Nope. It should be a joint effort. As long as you both understand that real compatibility is all about dealing with changes in personality and lifestyle, you should be ok.
Think of it as “tandem swimming” (or swimming with your hands linked together)… you either keep each other afloat or moving forward by working together to be really COMPATIBLE, or you pull each other down with your REFUSAL to be compatible. That is, your refusal to accept that your partner (and you) can “change” at any point in your relationship.
Before we discuss what a fade out is and why this ‘tactic’ is more common than we realize, let’s discuss what an ‘almost-relationship’ is. We all know that a love relationship can only begin when both parties are on the same page. Both the guy and the girl understand that there’s something between them that’s worth pursuing.
If only one partner thinks the connection is real and could last longer, it’s an ‘almost-relationship’. If both parties are in it for the ride, while knowing that it would end soon enough, the couple is in an ‘almost-relationship’. In simple terms, it’s a fling.
Now, on to the fade out….
Here are some situations that can be called a fade out…
- He goes on vacation (to a place where there is no way to contact him or he’d be too busy to contact anyone), but says he will call as soon as he gets back. He never calls back even when his facebook wall is filled with chatter about his return to the city.
- She tells the guy she enjoyed the date, but after a week of no communication, she’s suddenly up to her neck in paperwork or school work, and is too busy to even return a text message.
A person would sooner fade into the background and hope the other person does not notice, than own up to his or her actions. People who take the coward’s way out of a relationship are normally iffy about hurting others, not that they care about the other person’s feelings. They just are not ready for all the emotional outburts and the feeling of guilt.
Why is a fade out the easiest way to break up a relationship that never really started?
Simply put, there’s less drama. She doesn’t need to tell the guy that she was bored with him, or that she isn’t interested. He does not need to explain why he cannot have a serious girlfriend at the moment, or why he is still flirting with other women even after they had a “connection”.
The worst thing about a fade out is…
A rejection, especially one that is not explained in any way, can mess with someone’s head. Why was he so warm that night but so cold afterward? Why did she say she likes me but never picks up the phone when I call? Was he lying when he said the sex was good for him too? The questions are endless.
If you have never attempted a fade out in the past, good for you. You’re obviously a straightforward person, regardless of the consequences.
Growing up inside a relationship with a partner could mean a lot of things. But if you hear this phrase again, and you decide to take it constructively this time, what would you do to really “grow up” as a person and as a lover?
I’ve been told “grow up” more than a few times in the past, and if you’ve heard these words before, you probably felt what I felt. First, you feel humiliated at being treated like a kid (just because you have been acting like one). Then, you think it was said out of spite. Whatever made the other person irritated enough to say that phrase, here are some tips on how to “grow up” inside a relationship…
Avoid Excessive Jealousy
Your partner’s time, attention and affection are not yours alone. If you really think about it, you liked your partner because of the things he or she does to make a difference in the world. At least, if you entered a committed relationship for the right reasons. Growing up together means being willing to share your partner’s time with others and revel in the fact that your partner will always make time for you, no matter how busy his or her day is.
Take Responsibility for Your Actions
Saying “it was the booze talking” is truly juvenile. Trust me, there are still some forty-something people who dare say ‘I only talk like this when I’m drunk’. Even losing your head and getting too angry to control your actions should never be used as excuses. You did what you did because you wanted it. It wasn’t anyone else’s fault. And, it’s certainly not the fault of some bubbly liquid that gives you buzz.
Your Perspective, Not the World, is What’s Wrong
You’re not a psychologically powerless animal that thrives on instinct alone. Have you ever dreamed of changing the world? You can do that easily right now by changing your perspective. If things are not going well, your convictions and your ability to adapt your perspective to the situation will be your strength. The same goes in relationships. You may not be able to change your partner’s mind or control your partner’s actions, but you can do a lot to manipulate how YOU react to the situation.
If being too mature or too “old” inside your relationship is too tedious, there are more than a dozen of ways to let loose and be a kid again without embarrassing yourself with your immaturity. No one will truly be mature because we’re all learning something new each day, especially inside a relationship, but making the right decisions when the situation calls for it is a good way to mature bit by bit.
Most couples bicker all the time. Sometimes, not a day goes by that bickering does not happen. Does this mean bickering is healthy? Or could frequently engaging in this activity lead to a fight, which in turn could lead to a break up?
Is Bickering Healthy?
Whether bickering is healthy or not is up for debate, but from experience, I can say that bickering is normal.
Let’s face it, if you have been with a person for a long time and you’ve started to find romantic moments cheesy and scarcer than a blue moon, the rhythm of your conversations change.
Change in the way you talk to each other isn’t exactly a bad thing, though. It indicates that you’ve gone past the mushy, lovey-dovey stage and settled down to a “real relationship”. Now, you can talk about anything and everything, and snoring in your sleep isn’t supposed to turn the other person off anymore.
Bickering is good when it takes on a fun form… BANTER.
The dictionary meaning of banter is “lighthearted teasing or amusing remarks that are exchanged between people”. When you exchange banter with your partner, you’re confident that he or she won’t take offense because you really don’t mean any. It also demonstrates that you know your partner’s strong and weak points, and that you’re not touching any of the seriously sore spots.
But banter could turn bad (and evolve into a full-fledged BICKER) if…
… stress has been building all day for one or both partners (meaning, neither is in the mood for playful swordplay).
… your remarks are “loaded” (you try, unsuccessfully, to coat your serious complaints and verbal attacks in jokes thinking you can soften the blow).
The thing is, no exchange of playful banter will sound right if there’s something deeply wrong with the way you communicate with your partner. In this case, every exchange becomes a fight, and every remark is taken seriously. That’s when bickering turns bad, and becomes the wick to the bomb that could blow up your relationship.