Normally the big conversation in romance is about fidelity or, as we say in America, cheatin': being faithful, remaining true as in true blue, being someone the other person can count on. And it’s with good reason that we focus on this! Well over 50 percent of men and women are unfaithful at some time in their committed relationships.
But the more common problem by far is our disturbing tendency to be untrue to ourselves. Virtually 100 percent of people — at some time in their attempts to make love work — will compromise their best thinking and their most core values to avoid getting dumped, to try to make their marriage work, or, at least with men, to keep the good stuff available.
This sounds like a good plan, right? But I’m here to tell you this actually doesn't work, at least not in the sense of making sure love has a chance to endure. Yes, you may stay married or involved longer if you stop doing something your mate abhors, and that might be a good idea for them and you if it’s something like laying down the meth pipe. That's NOT a matter of staying true to yourself. No, we're talking here about giving up your preferred career, giving up friends, or giving up some essential part of what makes you who you are.
If you give up an essential part of who you are to save the relationship, you have essentially destroyed what you were trying to save. This is true because the relationship is only real — only authentic — when the two adults in it are really and authentically themselves. Imagine, if she is pretending to be someone she is really not: How is that supposed to work out over a lifetime? This is simply an unsustainable Band-Aid to a problem in the relationship that indicates you two are not really compatible, or that the person you're with is simply not capable of loving someone like you.
So don't be a big dumb-dumb anymore in a foolish attempt to please someone into liking you. There is no way I can make someone like me, because there is no way I can control the feelings of another.
"Maybe, but you can at least influence them, can't you?" NO, you can't, and I can prove it to you right now. Remember the last time you hated someone? Could you have made yourself stop hating them? Could you make yourself love them? No, of course not, that's not how feelings work.
Now for the big leap...ready? If you can't control your own feelings, how could you ever hope to control the feelings of another? That's right, you can't; so stop trying.
Instead, think of your true love out there in the future, and pretend for just a moment that they're like a bus — and you, you're waiting for a bus at the bus stop. But there are a lot of buses that go by that bus stop that are not your bus. Instead of the #1 bus you're waiting for, you keep seeing #2 or #5 or some other bus.
The problem with all those other buses is that they are, of course, headed for a destination other than the one you want. Wait for #1, because it (rather, he or she) will be worth the wait.
After all, you are.