Unpopular opinion: you should absolutely change for a guy. Just because you love each other despite your flaws doesn’t mean you should stay stagnant. Here are some things I’m willing to change about myself for the sake of my relationship.
I work to be a better listener.
I’m the master of tuning out things I don’t want to hear: annoying radio commercials, my gossipy coworkers, my mother—you get the picture. But that’s not doing my relationship any favors: when I tune out, my boyfriend feels like I’m ignoring him. Making an effort to be a better listener makes him feel like his concerns are valid, and I get more insight into him as a person.
I wouldn’t say I’m stubborn, but isn’t that exactly what a stubborn person would say? I usually think I’m always right, and since my boyfriend also has a strong personality, we butt heads often. I’ve found that opening myself up to compromise not only keeps the peace but also lets me try things I wouldn’t normally try, from different genres of movies to trendy vegan restaurants.
I try to be less judgmental.
I’m kind of a snob and I have a long list of things I think are lame including video games, instant mac and cheese, and sci-fi movies. Ironically, my boyfriend loves all three of those things! But it’s not like I don’t indulge in some lame hobbies either—hello, reality TV! So I try not to judge my boyfriend for his terrible taste in carbs and even let him teach me how to play Mario Kart—as long as he’ll watch The Bachelorette with me!
I make time for him.
I’m a busy girl and my career and passion projects take up most of my time. I’m also notorious for needing my alone time, and my friends and family have graciously accepted that I might ignore them for several weeks at a time. Unfortunately, that doesn’t fly with the BF! At first, I was annoyed that I had to rearrange my schedule for him, but I’ve realized that I work super hard at my job, so why wouldn’t I put the same effort into my relationship? Now, I make sure to make him a priority in my schedule and our relationship has gotten stronger because of it.
I try to be a kinder communicator.
I’m the queen of clapbacks and my communicating style is sometimes direct to the point of harshness. I’ve realized that my boyfriend is a little more sensitive than me, and sometimes he interprets my honesty as dissatisfaction—I promise I’m not mad, dude, I just want you to load the dishwasher correctly! Being a little gentler means fewer hurt feelings and it also helps me learn to be a little more diplomatic at work and other settings.
I ask for help.
I’m used to handling my business by myself, but I’ve realized that I’m not alone in this relationship. I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend who’s incredibly giving, caring, and wants to help me in any way he can, from editing a work assignment to washing my car. Asking for help when I need it not only eases my stress but also makes me more sensitive to his needs as well, so it’s a win-win!
I’ve become more organized.
Like I said, I’m a hot mess and my life is so busy it feels like I’m juggling flaming chainsaws 24/7. My tendency towards procrastination means that I’m constantly getting things done in the nick of time and running around putting out trash fires. My boyfriend is way more organized and he’s shown me that a little planning goes a long way. Now, I obsessively use my planner, I don’t forget my appointments, and I’m a lot less stressed out, which makes me a better girlfriend!
I let him be chivalrous.
Growing up single and fiercely independent for most of my life, I’ve never needed anyone to pull out my chair or open doors for me. But my boyfriend loves being a gentleman, and for a long time, it was difficult for me to accept that gracefully. I’ve realized that it’s just a little way he expresses love, and I’ve started to love how safe and cared for I feel when he offers me his jacket or picks up the tab for dinner.
I let myself be vulnerable.
I work in a male-dominated field and I’ve learned to check my emotions to make sure people take me seriously. It was really hard to open up to my boyfriend because part of me was terrified he’d dismiss me as a crazy dramatic woman. Slowly but surely, though, he showed me that he could be trusted with my heart and I started to let him in. Not being afraid to be vulnerable was the best decision I could have made: it’s strengthened my relationship and made me realize that my emotions and fears are nothing to be ashamed of.
I trust him enough to let go of the wheel.
I grew up in a household where the women took charge, so I never thought that men had the inherent capability to shoulder responsibility. But my boyfriend has shown me time and time again that he’s strong and dependable, and I’ve started to let him shoulder the burden sometimes, from planning vacations to taking care of our dog when he gets sick. It’s honestly amazing to be able to take my eyes off the road for a while and let someone else take charge because I know that we’re in this together.
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