I refuse to love you exactly the way you are

“Why can’t you love me for who I am?”

You’ve heard some variation of this question, whether from someone you actually know or while watching some dramatic interaction on the telly. It’s usually a question that doesn’t really want a real answer. It’s typically asked to shame the other person more than anything else. The implicit assumption is that real love wouldn’t want or ask for someone to change anything about themselves.

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I’m not sure if that’s true. Here is why.

  • You will change, guaranteed
    • As the renowned Timothy Keller points out in the Meaning of Marriage, you should never be so enamored by the person your partner is right now that you would be devastated if they ever change. Why? Because they definitely will. Experience changes us. Time changes us. Relationships change us! It’s inevitable.
  • You should want to change
    • Everyone has varying degrees of ickiness in themselves. Let’s take for example, me. I like myself. I think I’m pretty legit. Yet, I know I have flaws. My acknowledgment of my flaws doesn’t lead me to severe self-hatred, but I do want to tame or obliterate them depending on their severity.
  • People who love you should want you to change
    • My friends and family who support me in moving forward and becoming a better version of myself are good for me. I am thankful for them. Who wants a friend spitting out their tobacco and snarling “You think you’re better than us?” and resenting your growth? Not I, said the fly.  
  • You cannot change everything about yourself
    • An important distinction in this entire Chat du Change is to strive for – and hope for, in others – changes that are actually possible and/or likely. I may not like that I can be overly emotional sometimes, but barring a drastic personality change I’m not likely to become a stoic anytime soon. BUT, I can still hope to change how much I am controlled by my wavepool of feels.  
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All that being said, I also know it’s foolish to enter into a relationship (romantic or otherwise) wanting and expecting someone to change in the exact way that I want — especially if that person shows no signs of wanting that change themselves. Or, even if they appreciate the idealized version of themselves, they are making little to no progress getting there.

[IMPORTANT ADDENDUM 04/12/19: I have had a few fellas that became very smitten with a version of Cgallo that wasn’t real. It’s a little delicate, but maybe the best scenario is to have clear double vision — the ability to see and love who someone is now, but also the ability to see, love, and support a future version of themselves that they see and want to become too. I think?! I ain’t no relationship therapist! ]

Altogether, I think what might be important is surrounding yourself with people who are excited for and encourage you to be the person you could and will probably turn into. Anddddd can put up with your flaws in the meantime. God bless ‘em!

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7 things you should never say to a friend getting over a break-up

People go through break-ups. Some break-ups are dramatic, others are just kind of awkward, but they all suck. Sometimes the suckiness is assuaged by the bright company and uplifting words of a friend. Sometimes the suckiness is exacerbated by the oppressive company and joy-sucking words of a … friend?

Yes! Many times well-meaning friends are the ones that make the getting-over-them process all the more torturous.

Here are seven things you may find yourself saying to friends after a break-up that are guaranteed to pick at their heart sores and help the bad feels fester.

1. “Just saw [exes name] at Applebee’s.”

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No one needs their riveting documentary on organic kumquat farming* interrupted by a text from you telling them about an ex sighting. Did the ex look good? That will make your friend feel foolish for still having residual sadness. Did the ex look bad? That will make your friend feel guilty and consider reaching out, which we all know would be disastrous. There’s just no purpose in it. Put down your phone and stop creepin!

2. “I’m surprised you stayed with them for as long as you did.”

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This sort of statement just tells your friend you think they were a desperate loser. Your friend is already mourning the time lost on romanticals with their ex, and you’re just rubbing salt on the wound.

3. Have you thought about taking a break from dating?”

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If your friend is one of those people who plunged into their first long term relationship in 3rd grade and still hasn’t come up for air, maybe this would be a legit question. Keep in mind that for many people,  being in a relationship is the exception to the single-as-a-dollar-bill  rule. So suggesting they take an official break from something they just timidly forayed into is silly and unwarranted.

4. “I never thought they were good for you.”

This is like telling your friend “I knew you would be hurt all along. I know better than you. Told ya so!” Too little too late!

5.  “You are probably sad because you guys were a great fit.”

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Thanks, Captain Obvs! Does your friend need to remember all the reasons they are missing the ex boo? They are now going to sob themselves to sleep thinking about how they’ll never find someone else with so much life-mate potential.

6. “Have you considered online dating?”

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If your friend was born after 1958, chances are they have considered online dating. But that’s not really the point anyway. A grieving friend does not need your pedanticism or problem solving, they need someone to listen for a while, give them a hug and say “that sucks, I’m sorry,” and then hand them a puppy.

7. “If you think this is bad, just wait until you experience a break up after 30!”

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What’s worse than complain-bragging?  Grief bragging! Which is in actuality grief dismissal. As I told someone once, “Knowing there’s a broken leg out there doesn’t make my stubbed toe hurt less.”

 

Which friend are you – an uplifting bright sunbeam or oppressive joy-sucking drizzle ? Study these seven, examine yourself, repent, and walk toward the light! 

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*everyone grieves differently!

 

4 Clichés Singles Are Tired of Hearing

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This is literally what you do to us when you say this kind of shoot. (Free image from pixabay)

[Warning: This is mainly written by my perspective as a singleton sischacha. But I think some of it may apply equally to my singleton brochachos.]

1) “Guys are intimidated by you” 

Ummmm this is a sweet thought. But given the fact that Beyoncé, Hillary Clinton, Serena Williams, and Sydney Bristow have all managed to find someone, this charming platitude falls flat. Even if it were true, what exactly are we supposed to do with this info? Try giggling vapidly the next time we go on a date? Pretend we’re baristas* instead of pharmacists, post-docs, shooting instructors, etc.? Wear yoga pants and minimal make-up AMAP? I already do the last one, so I can say with 100% certainty that’s not the key.

2) “You’re over-thinking it” 

 Fabulous. Now we will start thinking about how to not over-think. Or just run away with the first Jo-Jo who comes into our path. Because THAT won’t put us at risk for getting date-raped, recruited to be a trapeze artist in a traveling circus, or in a long-term relationship with a bearded man ( 😉 )! Great idea. We’ll just pop a few Xanax and let what happens, happens. Y’all, check yourselves.

3) “You’re too picky” 

This is probably one of the worst things you could ever say to us. You might as well say, “Lower your standards,” or “Stop wanting what you want,” or “You’re pretty much a 6 looking for a 10.” Now, if we have unrealistic expectations, then that may be something to discuss. But “you’re too picky” is just annoying and makes us feel like crap. Plus, aren’t we also intimidating? So how will being less picky (and presumably being open to a lower caste** of men) help with the intimidation factor? The poor fellers might die of a stroke when they find out how wildly hilarious AND smart AND beautiful we are. It wouldn’t be fair to them, really.

4) “He is insane/stupid/gay because he’s not interested in you”

(or my all time favorite “Maybe he has the gift of celibacy…?” Lolz!***) I know y’all are just trying to be kind and helpful. Truly, the sentiment – that no normally functioning straight male could EVER turn down this dynamo package of delectability – is appreciated. BUT, although I’m sure some of us have (unfortunately) dated some who fall into some of these categories, most of the time none of the above are true. Personally, I have awesome man-friends who I don’t want to date, and I hope no one questions my mental health or doubts my sexual orientation because of that. Sometimes, we just don’t got that loving feeling. This is a good thing. Otherwise, we’d all be hopelessly in love with at least 73 people at a given time. *Anyway* One of the best responses to one of my romanticangsts was just a sincere, “That really sucks. I’m sorry,” followed by a huge hug. That’s all we need. Don’t fill our noggins with grandiose and contemptuous ideers. Just pat us on the head and buy us a taco or something.

Conclusion: I REPEAT, PLEASE JUST PAT US ON THE HEAD AND BUY US A TACO

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*This wasn’t a jab at baristas. I just doubt most men are toppled over with fear and insecurity when they meet someone who is a barista. Please call me out if I’m misguided on this.

**I kid, I kid.

***I truly love the person who suggested this. But it did make me laugh hysterically.

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