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You Can't Change Your Partner

Whether you're single, in a new relationship, or in an ongoing
relationship, there is something for most everyone to glean from
today's article. You will find it particularly beneficial if you
consider yourself in one of the following places:

· You are single and want a long-term relationship, yet all
your relationships end in disappointment and none last.

· You are in a new relationship and are deciding whether or not
you want to invest time and energy into the relationship and
whether or not it might work out.

· You are in a mature/ongoing relationship and the two of you
are going through a rough patch.

· You are in a relationship that's mostly good, yet the two of
you come up against resentments and anger that don't seem to
get resolved or go away.

· You simply want to learn as much about relationships as

--You can't change your partner--

This means you will wind up with the same person you initially
got together with, minus the extra behaviors of courting.

Why? Because many people simply do not change but remain static
in their behavior for a lifetime. While others do change, it's
almost never when their partners demand it or dictate it, but
rather at their own chosen time and in their own chosen way.
Simply put, you cannot control another human being to the extent
necessary to make them change.

--You cannot make your partner your "project" and have a
relationship that survives intact--

This means when you find yourself badly wanting your partner to
change, and changing him or her seems plausible, you need to
find another, alternative action.

Why? People who are made into change projects do not take
kindly to the idea. Often much resentment arises on both sides
as a result of the push for change and the relationship simply
breaks apart. If change is made, it is never freely given; a
high price is often exacted for it. In other words, most people
do not take kindly to being told they need to change.

--You can't pick and choose which parts of your partner you
will keep and which you will discard and change--

This means when you choose to be with someone, you must choose
the whole package or none of the package.

Why? What happens when you fall in love with a person for
certain traits, while at the same time disliking and strongly
wishing for the other traits go away? You may find yourself
forever split -- wanting to stay no matter what yet wanting to
cause change or leave. Having one foot out the door like this is
not a good recipe for a happy, long-term relationship.

What you can do
If you are single and you keep ending up in relationships that
don't work out, look at whom you are choosing. Ideally you want
to choose people who you would not want to change, or people
whose issues, quirks, and behaviors you can accept fairly easily.

Don't just look at what you can accept in the moment -- try to
project a lifetime together. What would the person's
forgetfulness, or messiness, or anger, or addiction, or
flirtatiousness with others do to you if you were married or
living together?

Don't fool yourself into thinking you can live with something
down the road if your gut says you cannot.

If you are in a new relationship, the above is also applicable
to you. Choose a partner not simply because you feel good with
him or her right now. Look at the prospect of a long-term
relationship, with this same person unchanged. Can you live with
the quirks, feelings, behaviors, and issues you see and sense?
Can you genuinely learn to accept them and not personalize them
when they spring up in your relationship?

If you answer no or I don't know to the above questions, don't
move the relationship further until you can be sure this
person is the package you want to and can be with.

If you are in a long-term relationship, the issue is not who to
choose to be with, but how to be with who you have chosen. There
is no easy answer to this, as you know. Your solution will lie
in a number of steps, which can happen simultaneously and in any

1. Choosing your relationship/partner wholly
2. Working on acceptance and compassion for your partner and
his traits, qualities, feelings, and experiences
3. Knowing what absolutely must change in order for you to
choose the relationship, and getting outside professional
help (a coach or a therapist) to facilitate the change

If you want to live happily ever after, this issue of changing
your partner cannot be avoided. At some point in your
relationship, you are going to want your partner to change
something about him or herself. At some point you will want
change badly. The only question is, will you take the necessary
steps at the start of the relationship to make this process
easier on yourself, or will you end up having to cope with your
choices when the relationship matures.

Ultimately, you can't change your partner, but you can
certainly change yourself.

Your Relationship Coach,
Rinatta Paries

(c) Rinatta Paries. Do you know how to attract your ideal mate? Do you know how to build a fulfilling relationship, or how to reinvent yours to meet your needs? Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries can teach you the skills and techniques to attract and sustain long-term, healthy partnerships. Visit where you'll find quizzes, classes, advice and a free weekly ezine. Become a "true love magnet(tm)!"

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