Choose A Partner, Don’t Choose A Project
Be careful not to choose a lover based on things you want to change about them. You should choose a partner who you love as is. Sure, there’s always room for growth, but neither one of you should be trying to own the other person. Choose a partner, not a project.
Too many people are looking for someone to fix. It’s all too common for someone to look for a project when they’re dating. They want a fix-me-up, someone they can mold into their own creation. They want to play creator of the universe and think that they’re benefitting the other person. They aren’t looking for an actual partner, an equal, who doesn’t need anyone to fix themselves except themselves.
Sometimes they’re looking to be fixed themselves. Someone may not be out to fix someone else, but instead, they’re out to be fixed. They know there have some missing parts and they’re hoping that a partner will be able to install new ones. They’re not self-dependant when it comes to growth.
It’s a trap; you can’t fix anyone else. There’s no real way to fix another human. Growth mostly has to come from within. It seems like a really enticing and romantic idea, though, right? You swoop in and help your lover with all of their problems. While it may seem alluring, there’s no way attempting to fix a partner ends well.
Fixing is toxic. In case you haven’t gathered already, turning a partner into a project is a sure-fire way to burn the relationship to the ground. It’s not healthy. In becoming a larger than life figure to them, the attempt throws off the balance of power. You become like a mother to your partner or like a god. This is obviously not helpful and not what you should be looking for when you get into a relationship.
A lot of it is about expectations. You meet someone and you think that they should be different. You think you know exactly what those differences should be and you think that you can help incite them. These are expectations, unreasonable ones at that. Going into any situation with too many expectations is a disaster, never mind a relationship. It’s a hot mess.
Many people have this pattern from childhood. Maybe you want to be taken care of because you weren’t taken care of when you were a kid. You want someone to swoop in and save you because you feel as though you’re broken. You carry these deep wounds within you. On the other hand, you may feel like you’re not enough and you want to prove yourself by saving another person. If you can be that important to them, then maybe, just maybe, you’ll be good enough in your own mind.
You can have the best of intentions. Look, I’m not saying anyone that makes someone a project or becomes a project is a bad person. Hell, I’ve been there myself on both ends. Instead, I think you’re a human being who truly means well. Having the best of intentions doesn’t always mean that what you’re doing is effective, though.
Boundaries are good. There’s a place where your stuff ends and another place where your partner’s stuff stops. Boundaries are so important in relationships, yet tons of people don’t know how to set them. If you have proper boundaries, no one will be trying to own or control the other person. You’ll each have your hula hoops and you’ll stay within your circles.
It’s okay to support one another. Being in a relationship is definitely about being huge supports to each other, cheering each other on and sharing advice when appropriate. It’s great to be this for one another, it just veers off into unhelpful when you’re becoming the sole supporter or you’re dictating what the other person does. Just offering yourself up as a friend, though, is more than okay.
It’s possible to reset your path. If you’ve found that you’re guilty of making your lover into a project, it’s not too late for you. You can make a change to have a relationship where you’re both on equal playing ground. Unfortunately, often the relationship that you’re in needs to end because of how unhealthy it is. If that’s the case, you can try again next time.
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