Accept your partner the way she or he is.
Do you accept your partner just the way he or she is, the person whom they simply are? Do you have any expectation from him or her to become your ideal partner? Or do you intend to develop them into the partner you want them to be? Are you secretly hoping an ice cream mini-van transforming into a two door convertibles and yet still serving ice cream?
Everything is possible, but there is always a price to pay. What’s the worst is after so much effort and prices paid, you may still not get what you wish for. So make sure you know what you are looking for in a partner (the ‘must have’ qualities) and at least start the relationship with someone who has the ‘must have’ qualities. For instance: you want a non-smoker healthy partner, then find and start a relationship with a non-smoker who has regular exercise habits and is health conscious. It would be a plus for the relationship if at the same time, you also possess the same ‘must have’ qualities you are looking for in a partner or share the same habits or interests. It may happen that you fall in love with a smoker who does not exercise; and you hope he or she will change for you, believe you could influence your partner to change in due course. It’s possible, but do be aware and prepared for the amount of efforts and compromises required from both sides, as well as few potential unpleasant disagreements due to conflict of interest between you and your partner. If it is an absolute “must have” quality for you, do not compromise or blind yourself at the beginning of the relationship. It is not beneficial for you in the long run and it’s also unfair to your partner that you have hidden intention to change him or her.
One point to be made clear is that the potential for development within a partner is not the mere possibility for the intended changes in character or habits; but rather the potential for personal growth and growing as a couple, the potential for an open willing heart to compromise in order to achieve mutual goals, hence the changes in characters or habits take place as a natural consequence, rather than requested or forced changes.
We all have our own ‘must have’ qualities and they vary accordingly to our own backgrounds, life experiences, moral beliefs and expectations in love relationship. There are other qualities like: faithfulness, kind and caring, positive outlook in life, honesty, ability to provide financially for the entire family, high social status, intelligence, good looks, know how to cook and so on. At different stages of life and in different relationships, it’s normal that our ‘must have’ qualities may change slightly, matching our latest wants and needs.
In a healthy relationship, everything is mutual. A couple compromises each other, grows together and shapes each other with positive willing attitudes and loving atmosphere, as well as in an emotional secure and supportive environment. It’s entirely in your and your partner’s hands to create own healthy relationship.
Simply accepting the way my partner is, no hidden intention to change him or her.
For your actions:
(1) Find out the 5 ‘must have’ qualities that you are looking for in a partner; and introspect if you have or could have these qualities yourself.
(2) List out the top 5 changes that you wish your partner to have; and consider just accept them the way they are. If they match to any of your ‘must have’ qualities, consider an open discussion with your partner. You partner may disagree or choose not to do anything about it, but he or she needs to know and acknowledge what you have in mind.
(3) Ask your partner his or her 5 ‘must have’ qualities for a partner.