People often accuse each other of “changing” in a lot of relationships. I’ve been thinking… do people really change? Or is it that we never actually knew the person to start with?
I think both of these are plausible explanations, but they are extreme explanations. Radical personality changes mostly happen in case of traumatic/life-altering experiences. It is the exception rather than the rule. Similarly, most of us do have a good idea of how the other person is when we kick off a new relationship (assuming there are no lies and deceptions of course).
It seems to me that two things happen when we begin a relationship… first of all, we project our ideal onto that person, we sort of “embellish” him/her and tend to focus mostly on his/her qualities and everything s/he’s doing right (and excuse whatever he/she does wrong. Maybe we even think it’s “cute”!). At the same time, that other person is trying to be at his/her best, and employing time and effort to please us and make the relationship work. In other words, both are acting selflessly and giving attention to what’s best in the other.
Then time passes by, and we begin to think more about ourselves. We start picking up on all those occasions when the other fails to meet our expectations. We start to feel like we’re the ones making all the efforts, and we begin to feel frustrated…
Has the other person changed? I don’t think he/she has. There has been no personality change. He/she has simply reverted back to what he/she was before the relationship. And we, on the other hand, have shifted our focus from his/her qualities to his/her flaws. That is what creates the impression of change.
So what do we do then? Well, I’ll leave that one to you as I’m not in a relationship lol
By Dario Li