Can Your Girlfriend Change You For The Better?
It is a question that you may have never considered asking. Indeed, you may recoil instinctively at the suggestion that your girlfriend could change who you are in a way that will make you a better man—a better person. You have every right to be suspicious of any attempt to alter your habits, tastes, and preferences. But entertaining new ideas is not the same as embracing and acting on them. You should reflect on any thought uttered by someone you trust, including your girlfriend.
She will, of course, not have the same kind of disinterested attitude that a colleague or a lifelong friend may have. She may want to change you so as to make life more pleasant and interesting for her. But you should consider: would such change be so bad for you?
Here are some of the ways your girlfriend can change you for the better:
It may be well past time that you got a new wardrobe. Your girlfriend may be just the inspiration you need to do so. You may have bought the obligatory business suits to satisfy the dress requirements of your new job and profession. However, your casual wear may be atrocious. You may need a bit of push to give up your faded jeans, cheesy t-shirts, and worn down Tevas. Take a shopping trip with your girl. Don’t be afraid. Do it and see what happens. Your girl, if she is chic and classy, will have a good eye for what looks good on you. And it is not inconceivable that you will come to like the same clothes she does.
Having a girlfriend puts you in the circumstance of having to share your time with and devote a significant portion of your energies to another person. It will inevitably make you a more generous person. You may, of course, already be quite free with your time and money. But being in a relationship helps you learn how to take a more balanced and orderly approach to such matters. Every relationship, if it is in any way serious, contains some elements of marriage. You will find yourself planning for vacations, hosting dinners and other events together, and coordinating your schedules to attend the various functions that both of you are called to. Without even realizing it, you will have learned how to budget your time and resources—which is certainly a change for the better.
Sharing your life with someone compels you to listen to them carefully when they speak. Although regular miscommunication between men and women seems like an irrevocable fact of nature, if you are to have any happiness at all in your relationship you will have to hear what your girlfriend has to say and understand what she’s trying to get at. Doing so will sharpen your listening skills in general. You will become better at reading between the lines when someone—male or female—speaks to you.
Finally, your girlfriend will teach you how to be patient. Two human beings, two separate wills, two sets of values, desires, and purposes—this is the essential nature of all relationships. You will not always get your way, nor can you allow her to always have hers. This constant negotiation of boundaries and power is an inherent part of your being together. If you make a success of it, then you will be a better man because of it.
Yes, your girl can change you for the better. The change happens, however, not through dictate but through the more subtle process of considering her opinions, listening to her, making plans with her, and having the patience to make the relationship work for the both of you.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.