"I can change him."
That phrase has been said in many languages in many countries by women around the world.
For whatever reason, some women have it in their minds that they can "change" the men they're with, given some time spent together, some guidance and some influence from the "better half."
I've heard it from my own friends, and I've always said the same thing: "People don't generally change, you'll just be disappointed."
Of course I'm not talking about women trying to change a serial killer into a saint; generally the things they want to change in a man are his bad-boy ways, his laziness or even (heaven forbid) his obsession with sports or video games. Things like that.
Now, I've always been bothered by women's crusade to change men. I'm a firm believer that when you meet the right person, he or she will truly love you for who you are, faults and otherwise.
Of course it's not that black and white. When you're in a relationship, the courteous thing to do with a partner is compromise on things – many, many things. You communicate openly about things that bother you, and so on, until the other understands and makes an effort on their own to stop for your sake, and vice versa. It can be tiresome, but it's the only way to make things work for the long run.
Trying to change a man means the woman is trying to take charge without, perhaps, thinking of things maybe he would like her to change. Maybe he has an issue with her obsession with reality TV shows, or how much money she spends on frivolous things like handbags and makeup.
Why is it men don't tell their guy friends, "I can change her"? And why does trying to change someone tend to be a female thing? (I say "tend" because I know not all women are like that).
Trying to change a man can be dangerous. It can backfire, disappoint or even put your relationship on the rocks. When a woman sets out to change her man, this can often lead to nagging, and from what I understand, there's almost nothing in the world that men hate more than nagging (and I don't blame them).
My solution? Don't try to change him at all, don't force it.
The fact is, he's watched sports or played video games long before you came along, so what makes you think that he should have to give up something he loves for you? Where is the compromise? Would you completely give up something you've been doing since you were five for him? Unlikely.
So stop nagging.
There are ways that men will change on their own time.
1): If you haven't done so already, sit down with him and explain that this or that bothers you. That way he knows you don't like this or that. Some guys are really clueless, no matter how many angry glares or sighs you send his way. They're not mind readers. It might take him a while to let go of things or old habits little by little, but if you see an effort, you know he's trying. And that's important.
2): If you already talked to him about it and he's still pissing you off, then it's likely an age thing. Men will mature and change on their own; they'll grow up and sometimes it can take them until the age of 50 to do so. So you need patience. Any relationship worth having requires a lot of it and a lot of work. Yes, you have a right to be angry with them if you've already voiced your opinion, but don't do it all the time or he'll start to resent you.
3): If it's not a habit you want changed and it's a character thing, then you're screwed. You can't change a man's core, his heart or his personality, and if you want to, then you shouldn't be with him anyway. It would be much easier on both of you to accept him for who he is, good and bad. After all, he's accepted who you are. If you can't accept him for him, walk away, because he'll find someone who will.
Seasons change, but some people can't and shouldn't have to.
One thing the seasons can't do is compromise, so try that hat on and take a long look in the mirror.