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How to Change for Your Partner Without Compromising or Losing YOU

If someone loves you, they should accept you for exactly who you are, right? But there are times when we should learn how to change for your partner.

how to change for your partner

Listen, I’m the first person to tell you not to change who you are for someone else. And you shouldn’t change your fundamental values and personality just for the chance the other person will finally accept you. But, there are some moments where accepting how to change for your partner should be welcomed.

Change doesn’t always need to be a negative thing for yourself. And as we all know, relationships are all about compromise. There’s no such thing as a perfect match, we all know that.

I’ll use myself as an example of change. I told myself I would never change for someone else. And then, I met my partner.

Throughout the relationship, I noticed certain parts of my behavior that were harmful towards my relationship and my partner. My short temper and selfishness got in the way of my ability to be vulnerable and be the partner I wanted to be.

[Read: These 15 signs of a lack of respect in a relationship shouldn’t be ignored]

So, I went to a therapist and worked on myself. I didn’t change my personality and become someone I wasn’t. Instead, with a professional’s help, I dug through my past and cleaned up my mind and soul from thoughts and scars that were holding me back.

How to change for your partner

Here’s a little secret: you can’t actually learn how to change for your partner. No, for true, life altering change, you must do it for yourself.

1. You can’t change for someone

If you’re wanting to change parts of yourself because your partner told you to, it’s not going to work. The only way someone can change is if they’re going it for themself. I wanted to change because I value myself and the relationship I have. I wanted to become a better person. [Read: How to be a happier person by instilling these joy-filled steps into your life]

2. What do you really need to change?

Before you do anything, think about why and what you need to change. Do you feel that you need to make a change? If so, then that’s fine. But if you genuinely don’t see any problems, then change will not happen.

Now, look at what you need to change. Is it the way you argue with your partner? Your bad habits? Your health habits? 

3. Instead, focus on changing your relationship

You may be thinking you need to change yourself, and there are probably things you could change. But you shouldn’t think of changing for your partner.

The change in you needs to come from yourself, for yourself. If you want to change to improve your life and relationships, that’s also fine. But it comes from you, not from someone else. [Read: How to show respect in a relationship and love each other better]

4. Communicate with your partner

You may think you need to change for your partner because your relationship isn’t where it used to be. But, that’s not what needs to happen right now.

First things first. You need to sit with yourself and reflect on your feelings. Then, go to your partner and talk about how you’re feeling. At the end of the day, everything comes down to communication. 

5. Take responsibility for your actions

This is a huge one. If you want to improve your relationship and make a positive change in yourself, for yourself, then you should start owning up for your actions.

If you said something offensive to your partner during a fight, apologize. These are small steps to make but will create a huge difference in your life. [Read: Relationship arguments and 23 dos and don’ts you can’t ignore]

6. Focus on the real issues

Why would you want to change for your partner? What’s going on in your relationship?

It’s time to look at the real issues. Sit down with your partner and discuss what’s going on between you two. What are the areas you need to work on, and how can you both improve.

7. Don’t try to change your partner

There are probably some things you don’t like about your partner. It’s normal. But you should never force or make ultimatums for your partner to change.

It’s not going to work, just like it won’t work if you try to change for your partner. Any change needs to come from them. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t lead by example. [Read: How to make your partner better: Is it something that should be done?]

8. Never make assumptions

You’re not a mind reader, and neither is your partner. You should never make assumptions about what your partner is feeling and vice versa.

To improve your relationship, focus on communication, and if you sense there’s something wrong, make an effort to find out the problem and come up with a solution.

9. Discover the small things about your partner

Changing yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you need to get a completely new personality. It can be very small acts.

For example, telling your partner you love them or showing more physical affection *not sex*. These are small changes and add-ons that can really affect your relationship. [Read: 35 fun questions for couples – How well do you know me?]

10. Focus on changing negative behaviors

If your partner doesn’t like the way you laugh or how you cry during romantic comedies, whatever. This may be annoying for them, but you shouldn’t change that caring and empathetic part of you.

But what about negative behaviors? Do you point blame at people to avoid responsibility? Do you give your partner the silent treatment after an argument? Now, these are things that you can and should work on.

11. Practice daily gratitude

If you want to change yourself, for yourself, you should start from a place of gratitude and appreciation. Think about the good things you have in your life and the loving people you have around yourself.

It’s easy to think about what we lack in our lives, so let’s flip things over. You’ll enjoy the experience much more, and by practicing gratitude, it’ll change you. [Read: Authentic ways to appreciate and express gratitude]

12. By focusing on your relationship, you will change

By working on your relationship and focusing on the issues within it, you will change as a person. I focused on harmful behavior I would use in the relationship, and by working on changing those behaviors, I changed myself. [Read: How to stop being rude to your partner and treat them properly]

13. Change takes time

This won’t happen overnight. It took me months to see a difference in myself, and I’m still working on those changes. When you change a part of yourself, you’re rewiring your brain, and this takes time. So, be patient and easy on yourself.

[Read: How to be a better person with 10 small changes]

If you want a better relationship, and more importantly, become a better version of yourself, there’s nothing wrong with learning how to change for your partner. Just make sure you change for the right reason.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer, and the creator and author of her short stories on TheLonelySerb. She completed her first degr...
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