Don't Go Changing Yourself for Someone Else... Even If You're Lonely

She's a beautiful woman undergoing the protracted grief of a relationship fail.

"I'm working on myself right now," she says. "I want to be the kind of person someone would want to be with, you know, for the long term."

It sounds good. Working on oneself. Become a better person in general. Too much of the I Give No Fucks, Take Me as I Am attitude to go around the block several thousand times at this point.  Plenty of finger pointing at the Other, not enough self-reflection. 

Except... 

My experience when it comes to becoming "the kind of person" someone else would want to be with is a labyrinth of self- incrimination and loathing. The further into the maze one goes, the more changes and compromises one seems to make. Each dead-end forces more transformation so that by the time one finally emerges, there have been so many compromises one no longer even resembles the person who entered.

"Hmmm. I think you're kind of awesome," I replied. "It took me three marriages to find someone who I didn't have to be perfect for but who loves me anyway."

As Billy Joel sang:

Don't go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore

I would not leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are.

It's perfectly fine to be alone. It's better to be alone than with someone who demands that you change your essential self to meet their standards. You will make all sorts of changes in your life—it's called evolving and growing. But to force those changes to appease a crowd, a place of business or a lover is to box yourself in and play a role that simply isn't you is stagnation.

Change to please yourself. When you meet someone who accepts and loves you exactly for who you are—at the moment and in future incarnations of you—that person is the one to whom you commit.