How much should you be ready to change in the relationship?

I have been lately thinking about relationships in a more philosophical level. The main question that bothers me is – how much should you be willing to change yourself for the sake of the relationship. I am going to use my own example in order to illustrate why this question bothers me.

I am someone who wishes to feel secure. I am used to looking for security outside of myself. Now, I am aware that this might not be the wisest thing to do. I am even aware that subsuming to this desire might be the basic problem in my life. Yet, I find it hard to accept that I can never rely on my partner the way I would like to rely on a man.

My therapy based self approaches the matter from the perspective of growth, telling me that, this might just as well be something I need to learn myself. My boyfriend is there in order for me to get rid of this complex. However, to what degree can you really get rid of such an existential fear? Will I ever feel convenient with someone who is quite unpredictable? Should I not just find someone who helps me to manage this fear, by acting responsible and reliable? Would that be just indulging in my complex? Creating a co-dependent relationship?

Psychological literature likes to talk about independence and self-sufficiency. I am a little bit doubtful about all this. My way of thinking goes – if you are aware of your weak spots, why not to find a partner who can compensate for those? I guess, unlike many other people, I have never thought that my partner needs to be very similar to me. Contrary, I like when my partner is different, I like when they add something, when they have different perspective. I like it. Therefore it is very difficult for me to understand my partner, who constantly complains over our differences.

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2 thoughts on “How much should you be ready to change in the relationship?

  1. I regular consider this dilemma.

    What I’ve found helpful is to take the specific “trait” and question what that trait says about my character and whether I can achieve the same goal (security/less anxiety) without relying on my partner(s) to fulfill that need.

    There are some things about myself that really aren’t compatible with a lot of people, those things could be framed as “flaws” or “weaknesses” but they alleviate my anxiety and/or make me happy. So whatever it says about me, I “need” that in those around me, and I’m getting better at accepting that.

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  2. Thank you for your comment! I been wondering as well if I can achieve inner safety. However, the more I work with myself, I am finding it extremely difficult. I guess acceptance is the key! I am not very good at accepting that I might have weaknessess and limitations, so this post is one of the first ones where I consider the fact that I might in fact not conquer everything and be a ‘perfect human being in the end’.

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