When Is It Ok to Change for Your Partner?

Couple Holding Hands - The Word Change Spelled with Dice

When you become half of a couple, you grow together. After some time, it’s common to want to change up your style a bit. Certain things you liked about yourself before don’t apply today. For instance, you were a brunette and now want to be a sultry redhead. Or, on the more extreme end, you decide to go under the knife to get your nose fixed because you’re doing what you think will make you happy. It’s OK if you are the one wanting to make the change. However, wanting to change requires self-awareness in areas you believe you can improve.

Is it ever OK for your significant other to suggest altering your appearance? What if they want you to change your thinking or your behavior? It’s not acceptable if the change is unwanted or feels forced.

7 Signs They're Trying to Change You

If you’re unsure of whether your partner is attempting to change you, watch for these 7 signs:

According to The Herald-Times, “It’s not easy to recognize these signs because they are easily disguised as signs of affection or concern.”

Healthy Change in the Relationship

Healthy changes involve helping each other grow to become better versions of ourselves. It consists of compromising and altering behaviors to protect your significant other’s boundaries while simultaneously creating your own limits and putting in your fair share of the work.

Unhealthy Changes in a Relationship

Unhealthy changes involve altering your appearance to fix a bad relationship. Studies indicate making a superficial change is a temporary band-aid on a broken relationship. An unhealthy change feels pressured or forced to get (or keep) your partner’s affection. For example, you dye your hair because they tell you they prefer brunettes. However, you only considered it after your partner suggested what they liked.

When it's OK to Change for Your Partner

Your Partner Wants to Change

If your partner wants to alter something in their life and asks you for input, it’s OK to jump on board to make that change together. Your goals and expectations may not align perfectly, but you’re headed in the right direction, and more importantly, you’re headed there together.

You Don’t Feel Good about Yourself

As with any other change in your relationship, your self-esteem can drop due to many reasons, like job loss, weight gain, or mental instability. If you notice that you aren’t feeling as good about yourself as you’d like, consider alternatives to help boost your self-esteem. For example, if weight is an issue, try doing activities together like walking or tennis. Doing so will not only help you get fit, but it will also bring the both of you together.

Couple Silhouette Helping Each Other while Hiking

When Establishing a Boundary

The boundaries you had early in your relationship may have changed down the line. An example of a healthy relationship change is to set new boundaries and respect them. Establish ones that are essential to health and well-being. Otherwise, it can tear a relationship apart. For instance, a healthy goal is no longer engaging in heated arguments. Instead, you’ve decided to be calm when you have serious discussions.

Lack of Drive and Motivation

Once, you were a go-getter, but now you’ve become more sedentary and lack motivation. Communicate with your partner how you feel. Tell them you feel stressed or overwhelmed and can’t find the drive to do anything. This helps them understand that you’re not lazy. Instead, you lack motivation, but you want to change.

Tell them something like, "I'm sorry you're doing everything around the house, but I find it hard to motivate myself."

Then, offer help by taking on some of the chores. Sometimes all it takes is to get moving. However, if it’s a prolonged lack of motivation, you should consider seeking outside help.

Unhealthy Communication Skills

You easily get angry, and you know it. The last time you had a heated argument, you went for the jugular with some of the mean things you said. In this case, it’s OK to decide that you will alter your communication skills to learn to discuss issues without flying off the handle.

Additionally, communication skills include notifying your partner of daily happenings in life. For instance, if you’re going to be late, let them know.

Be more direct regarding your feelings. Let them know what bothers you. By the same token, let them know what you appreciate. Without healthy communication, there is no healthy relationship.

5 Pitfalls to Effective Communication in Relationships

You're Expanding Your Horizons

As a single person, you were different than you are as half of a couple. Your partner has introduced you to new things that push the boundaries of your comfort zone by trying new things or visiting different places. This type of change can be incredibly enriching for you personally and as a couple.

These types of positive changes can be a good thing. However, be sure you’re not falling in line because you fell in love. You can still have the same views and do the activities you enjoy, but at the same time, try new things.

You’re Becoming a Healthier Person

We often wait until another person comes into our lives before we realize that we need to start taking better care of ourselves. This is primarily because we realize there’s another person to think about besides ourselves.

When we fall in love, we want to put our best foot forward, and that includes being in good health. We want to enjoy physical activities with our partners, so if they encourage quitting smoking and exercising more, it’s a good thing. 

Even if you’re hesitant at first, it is something that benefits you down the line.

They’re Smaller, Insignificant Changes

When making changes in relationships, there’s a broad spectrum of options to choose from. For example, a small change is trimming your hair because your partner wants to see you with a shorter cut. A more significant change is permanently altering your appearance by going under the knife. Either change is OK if it’s something you agree with. However, never make an unwanted change, big or small, because your partner prefers it.

You’re a Happier Person

In the beginning, sometimes we may not want to change, but if, with time, you find yourself in a better state of mind, the slight lifestyle alteration benefits your well-being. If your life is beginning to look better, then you’ve made the correct changes.

6 Signs You’re in a Positive Relationship

Being in a relationship doesn’t make it positive. A good relationship is a healthy one, and that means having things like excellent communication and respect. How happy a person is in their relationship has a direct, powerful influence on their well-being.

This not only includes fidelity. Trust consists of parenting, finances, and other factors. The type of partner you look for is faithful, reliable, and predictable.

You don’t have to like everything your partner does, but you should respect them enough to accept it. No two people are the same. We all have individual interests. Even so, you should understand and accept all their differences just as they should yours.

Being committed to each other means that you believe your partner is in it for the long haul, and your partner thinks the same for you. You understand that the rough times and disagreements come with the territory, and you’re ready to tackle every obstacle together.

Unfortunately, many couples stay together for everything but love. They stick together for reasons like children, finances, and comfort. However, they don’t enjoy being in each other’s company. They have separate interests and separate friends. They are essentially roommates who live independent lives.

Happy couples enjoy spending time with each other. Don’t mistake this for spending all their time together because they still have separate interests. This means they enjoy it when they do come together for an activity, like watching a TV series, date night, or working out once a week.

No matter how big or small, you both make decisions together. In healthy relationships, you collaborate on your next moves, and it’s never a one-sided thing. Both parties have an equal say in the decision-making process.

You listen to each other’s suggestions, and if you disagree, you can take a step back and negotiate a solution. Sometimes it’s simple, and other times it’s more complex, but you still make an effort because that’s what healthy couples do.

7 Ways to Make Healthy Decisions Together

• Be honest about your feelings
• Examine all pros and cons
• Hear each other out
• Search for ways to compromise
• Consider long-term effects
• Take your time and sleep on it if you have to
• Seek a genuine agreement that you both are happy with

Are you happy when your significant other reach their goals? Do you want to write a
book, and your partner buys you the supplies and encourages you every step of the
way? Happy couples support each other no matter what, regardless of the goal. You don’t need to share the same vision for the future. Just encourage each other to continue pursuing their passion.

You know you’re in a healthy relationship if, for example, you change your diet and start eating healthier. Now you look and feel better. You’re more active, have a positive mindset, and do all-around better in life; Congratulations, it’s a win!

Essentially, it’s not OK if your partner asks you to change for them. For instance, they want you to lose weight because they think you’re too fat, or they want you to grow out your hair because they like it longer. Your partner can have preferences, and that’s OK. You do, too. However, it becomes an issue when they force you to change into how they want you to be.

Suppose you decide to change, whether physically or emotionally, do it because you want to. Don’t do it because your partner prefers you to or because you’re afraid they’ll leave you if you don’t. If your partner is truly “the one,” they will love you for who you are.

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