Today, while doing my standard morning perusal of Facebook, I came across this quote attributed to matchmaker, author and TV host Paul Carrick Brunson:
“All too often I see good intentioned people focus on trying to ‘rescue’ or ‘upgrade’ their partner.
They give unreciprocated time, money and love.
The harsh truth is they’re not actually in a relationship, they’re working on a science project.”
Now, when I tell you I reread this quote a few times and heard the angels of clarity sing as past relationships flashed before my eyes.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who has tried to “fix” my significant other. “Oh, you’re planning on wearing that out of the house? Let me get you a new wardrobe on my dime.” “You could be making so much more money; let me push you until I wear you down…and I’ll even pay for the extra schooling that will get you that extra ‘0’ on your paycheck.”
Beyoncé even has a song about it. Ciara mentioned it, too, and we’ve all seen the movies (ahem: Two Can Play That Game): Upgrading your partner to your standards or trying to change him so that you look better as a unit—both physically and on paper. Maybe he doesn’t have a college degree like you do, so you push him into forgoing that steady paycheck and going back to school while you hold down the two of you. Or maybe he’s never put much thought into how he dresses (or he couldn’t afford it) so you reach into your wallet filled with hard-earned paper to up the ante on his wardrobe. Good-bye, oversized white tees and fitted caps; hello, Cole Hahn and Ralph Lauren.
There’s a thin line between supporting your love and aiding & abetting, folks.
We’ve all heard how you should support ‘bae’ through everything life may throw his way, but you have to make sure that the support is mutual. And not just that, make sure that the support you give isn’t you trying to change the person you’re with. Then that person becomes your pet project rather than the person you love. “Potential” is a concept, not usually a reality.
In other words, love the person you’re with, not the person you want him to be. Because if he doesn’t become that person, you’ll be disappointed and end up resenting him, especially if all of the “time, money and love” you put in along the way went unnoticed, unappreciated and unreturned.
Ladies, how many how you have tried to fix, change or “improve” your man? And how did it end up?