I am not writing out of anger or resentment or any thing than curiosity. It is the same curiosity one might have about any occurrence in nature or society that you become newly aware of.
Why have the men I dated, almost always tried to change me? To alter something about me or my habits? and I say “almost always” because not all of them did it, but without a doubt most of them have.
Who do I consider men I have “dated?”Any man that I spent time with for the intent of getting to know each other and connect on a romantic level.
Now don’t misunderstand. I am well aware that we are all capable of change and in fact there are always things we can improve in ourselves. Most people can say they want to improve certain traits or skills, such as punctuality public speaking, financial things, health things, etc.
So I am definitely not saying I am or was ever “perfect” or “without the need for improvement.” In fact, I routinely review myself with a practice I call “Reflection and Preparation.” In this exercise, I review what I have done, what I have not done, where I am now, and make preparations for getting to the next improvements I wish.
SO WHY AM I WRITING ABOUT THIS TOPIC?
Because of a few things: 1. how quickly they tried to change me 2. how often some of them were critical and 3. how often they were unaware or unconcerned about what they should work on for themselves.
- how quickly
Many of those who were critical of me started this within a month or two. One even started it within a week. These criticisms ranged from how I do my dishes to how often I post on social media. From what business opportunities I wanted to pursue to what kind of shoes I wore and the state of my NAIL POLISH.
2. how often some of them were critical
Of the men I’ve dated, I’d say about 75% of them were critical which shows a trend. But I’m not sure if this is a trend in who I am choosing to date or if they are the norm for men in general.
3. how often they were unaware of their own need for change
This was a smaller group than the total number who were critical. I’d say half of the men who were critical of me were not as focused on their own lives as they were on mine. The other half were just as hard on themselves as they were on me.
HERE’S MY COMPLAINT
The stuff they chose to complain about, more than anything this is where my frustration was centered.
I use paper plates and mostly plastic cups and utensils. and why? Because my schedule and health: THAT’S WHY.
But those that complained about this and said I needed “regular dishes” and to use them were not willing to wash them. The few guys who complained about this said they wanted regular dishes in their house if we were to move in together. To which I said “Fine, I love to cook so you’ll never have to cook. I’ll even agree to wash the pots just like I do now, but NO I will not wash the dishes. You want them, we can use them but YOU have to clean them.”
I work full time, have a small business, and have to raise a child among other things. I had a heart to heart with myself years ago and decided that some things I had to let go of and truly NOT GAF about.
Dishes and finger nail polish were among those things I decided to no longer worry about.
Another 2 of them complained I posted to social media too often. When I explained I have 2 reasons for using social media: personal journal of thoughts AND BUSINESS. They didn’t accept that as viable reasons. One even accused me of “attention seeking.”
He also didn’t know me very long but surely spoke like an expert on all things related to me.
WHAT I LEARNED from guys like this was: Most of the critical people we meet are criticizing SOMEONE FROM THEIR PAST and not really you.
If you do anything that reminds the of that past person, they lash out at you with confidence because surely you must be a repeat of that Ex of theirs.
I’VE BEEN CRITICIZED IN POSITIVE WAYS BEFORE
and these I accept.
These are the ones that truly want your success. I’ve had a few who MADE SUGGESTIONS that made sense considering my goals and lifestyle. They suggested certain books or articles to read.
Or they suggested a STRATEGY or a RESOURCE that could be applied to my personal or business goals.
THE POINT IS THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRITICISM AND GUIDANCE.
Criticism is given without regard for usefulness, applicability, or even necessity.
Guidance is given with focused intent on the person’s life and goals.
BUT I’M STILL ASKING WHY?
Is this a man thing? or is it a human thing? Do some women do this when dating as well?
If you’re going to be critical of something STOP. Ask yourself if this change would improve the person’s life? Is it a necessary change or is this a cosmetic change? Does this person even care about this thing you think they should change?
AND HERE’S THE BIGGEST QUESTION TO ASK
What do YOU need to improve in YOUR life? Are you making WISE actions to improve this? or are you flailing about giving the appearance of an attempt to improve?
Start at the core. Self.
Are you able to provide for yourself?
Then the near to self: home
Are you able to provide for your children or business or work responsibilities?
Then a little further outward: Relationships beyond home
Are you able to focus and complete a project of your interest?
Maintain a love relationship?
Maintain a friendship?
Next step outward: Society
Can you collaborate on community improvement.
BUT YOU HAVE TO START AT THE CENTER.
IF THE CORE is weak, the entire structure will crumble.
The HOME provision connects the SELF to RELATIONSHIPS
and the relationSHIPS allow you to travel from HOME to SOCIETY
When all are well developed the Earth of YOU is healthy and in balance. BUT the CORE of your home expenses and health must be solid, otherwise there is no planet for the seas of relationships and the earth of society to be grounded so they can thrive.
So if you want to give criticism or suggestions (which are better anyway) you have to ask how it applies to this in the person’s life. But start with YOU before you suggest to any other.