Why you can’t change a manThursday, January 17, 2013
By MS BETTY LOU
‘YOU can’t make a man change’ or ‘You can’t change a man.’ We have all heard these things, but how many of us actually believe it? How many of us have secretly thought we could change a man? How many of you have really loved a man and believed “if I show him how strong my love is, if I just give him enough love, he will see it’s perfect. If I can just keep his eyes on the bright future we could have, he will stop being afraid, he will give up his single lifestyle, he will change.” Unfortunately, this is the equivalent of trying to keep the attention of a child with undiagnosed, untreated ADHD. For a while he will be focused on what you have, he will want it, but then he gets distracted, and once he loses that focus, you’re in for another heartache.
Even the most pure and godly love cannot change a man, unless he wants and is ready and willing to change. If he’s not ready and willing, then knowing when to walk away is important. Loving is easy. To let go of someone you love is difficult.
Common sings, Truth is, I can’t hide from you. The pimp in me may have to die with you. But is this true? Will a guy meet a girl and just fall so madly in love with her that he does a 180 and changes his ways? I mean it’s possible, but the majority of the time, that’s probably not the way it goes.
With men it has a lot more to do with timing and proximity, rather than a woman making them change. Ever had an ex-boyfriend you really cared for who couldn’t settle down with you and some years later he’s settled down with the next girl? Then you wonder what the hell you did wrong? Chances are, he probably just was not ready at that time. Not to say true love and all the jazz doesn’t exist, it does, but maybe if you had caught him at a later time he may have been more committed and faithful even if it didn’t work out in the long run.
Men become ready for commitment at different stages of their lives, some before others, and some never. In Steve Harvey’s book Act like a Lady, Think like a Man, he relays that men typically aren’t ready until they have reached a somewhat stable place in their career goals. I agree with this. Men are traditionally the providers, so financial stability makes men feel capable. Not to say this is true for all, but it is something to consider.
Knowing when to call it quits with that man who just won’t give you 100 per cent is important. It’s crucial to your self-worth. Too often we give people we love power over us in relationships. How many have been on a Vivian Green Emotional Roller Coaster? Or dealt with Wesley Snipes’ Disappearing Acts? There’s that one guy who just won’t give you his all, yet every time he comes back, every time he calls, you give in. Every time you try to walk away you end up taking four rights, and you’re back where you started and the script is exactly the same. Why do we do this? Why do we become powerless for love? Sometimes we justify it with “life is short,” “love conquers all,” etc, etc. Sure these things are true; nonetheless there comes a point where you have to weigh the pros and the cons. Exhausting your energy loving someone and them not loving you back in the way you want them to is detrimental. It’s detrimental to your happiness, your self-esteem, and your ability to move on and find someone who will give that 100 per cent.
Never give up power in a relationship. Love yourself enough to walk away. You should never feel like you have to accept only 60 per cent just because this is the person you love.
Some will sit around waiting for that someone to change, but they might find it’s not worth it in the end. What good is a steak if it’s served on top of a trash can lid? You got the steak you ordered but at what cost?
It takes two people for love to be created, each giving 50 per cent. So when you have to end a relationship or walk away, it’s almost like giving love up for adoption. Letting go is hard, but if you feel like you are losing yourself in relationship, losing your self-worth, settling for less than you deserve, putting in all of the effort, etc, then it’s probably time to let go. Don’t sacrifice having your needs met because you love someone. Love is a two-way street.
Ms Betty Lou, aka Elizabeth A Hylton, is a Jamaican-American writer, actress, and clinical nurse specialist hailing from Massachusetts. She has a passion for advocating women’s rights and fostering a Jamaican community that values strong women. She specialises in child and adolescent mental health and relationship advice. You can find her on Twitter: @MsBettyLou and Facebook: Facebook.com/MsBettyLou1000. Send your thoughts to Msbettylou100@gmail.com.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login