How much should I change myself for him?

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Kim 11 months ago.

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  • #769481 Reply


    I’m dating this guy I met at work. I was recently promoted and he was hired to fill the position I left open. It was actually our boss that put us on to each other, and only two weeks into him working here, he walked into my office and asked me out for drinks. I had some reservations about him off the bat, he didn’t meet my usual height standards and overall he seemed a bit too confident (not cocky, just ambitious), but we went out and I learned that our parents have actually been friends for over 10 years, and we have a lot in common. There are also things we don’t at all have in common. He grew up never wanting for anything. An only child, his parents gave him everything, and it shows. I find it hard to relate to him sometimes because of that, but I try not to allow it to affect my opinion of him because he IS a really nice guy. Lately though, I’ve been finding myself getting really insecure when I’m with him. I recently gained 15 pounds because I’ve been struggling with depressive thoughts, and his body is a 10. He’s made comments here and there about me working out again, and usually I would take offense to that but he’s just a really fit and healthy guy. I really like that about him and I know he wants a partner who can keep up. He definitely makes me want to be better, especially because I have lots of unhealthy habits like smoking my vape (nicotine) and drinking all the time. He doesn’t share these bad habits and because of that, I’ve been thinking I either need to quit them to be with him or things just won’t work out. But these bad habits I have are hardcore addictions, and I don’t think I’m ready to just go cold turkey on these things. I have been wanting to change my life for a while, but hanging out with him now is kind of torture, because I’m always thinking about how out of my league he is.

    #769483 Reply


    oh dear,don’t date people from work, that’s my advice

    #769484 Reply


    Do. Not. Date. Guys. You. Work. With.

    I’ll say it again…
    Do. Not. Date. Guys. You. Work. With.

    That said, a healthier lifestyle is always a good idea!

    #769485 Reply


    Are you perhaps incompatible?

    I am a very fit and active person. I want someone with at least a healthy lifestyle. Personally, I don’t enjoy doing unhealthy things (bars, eating out) so it never gets very far with unhealthy people. And a lot of people REALLY enjoy drinking.

    I have met people who wanted to change, but I just can’t, especially on drinking.

    It seems like he makes you really insecure, but you aren’t motivated enough to make health changes. Maybe you aren’t that into the guy?

    On his end, he already likes you. Maybe ask him to help you change. Find stuff you can enjoy that doesn’t involve alcohol.

    #769488 Reply


    Ewa and Raven: I understand the importance of keeping work and romance separate. It was hard in this case because our boss and parents are all friends, and he kind of surprised me with his interest. I didn’t have much time to think about it. Also, he has told me several times that if anything were to happen, he would leave the company before my job was affected.

    Anon: He likes to drink and have fun too. But he does it when it’s the right time. I’m an every day drinker. His lifestyle is one that I strive to imitate, but yes because I am nowhere near that person yet, it’s kind of hard to be myself around him.

    #769489 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    Changing for the better (gaining healthy habits) is always a good thing, whether it’s a friend, relative, or romantic partner who encourages it.

    An ex of mine encouraged me to start exercising several years ago, when he & I were together. I was excited to do it. I lost 20 lbs and felt & looked so much better. He and I split up (amicably) but I maintained the habit, and to this day I’m still in good shape. I encourage my current boyfriend in that area and we exercise together. My current guy has also cut down on his drinking (he drank more when he was single) and has lost weight & eats healthier due to my influence.

    I think we all know when a change in habits is a good thing. No one can argue with exercise, or stopping smoking/vaping, or cutting down on drinking. Those are all excellent goals. If someone you’re dating encourages them, that’s great. No need to question it.

    You seem insecure about this guy. You said “hanging out with him now is kind of torture, because I’m always thinking about how out of my league he is.” It seems like you’re dwelling on insecurities rather than looking at the relationship as an opportunity for growth or change. Or perhaps you two are incompatible and that is affecting your confidence? You should feel happy and worthy in all your relationships. I would suggest looking a bit deeper in yourself to see what’s going on.

    #769490 Reply


    So, despite what is “popular”, drinking every day plus depression is not a good combo. Single, in a relationship, anything really. If you are drinking every day and want to not do it, but can’t, you have an issue. And I get it, drinking is entrenched in our culture as being an “OK” thing. Even funny or amusing.
    If you need alcohol every day, something is off about your life.

    I suggest some counseling, sit down, talk to a neutral party about why you need to drink and what has you depressed.

    #769493 Reply


    Thank you, Liz, that was really helpful.

    #769494 Reply


    I’m worried that since I have a substance abuse issue, it’s not the right time for me to be in a relationship, but I don’t think ending things with him so I can work on myself would really, well, work. I think being alone is really hard for me. I get my motivation extrinsically. So having him in my life to push me is only gonna make things better for me. But I have to find a way to accept who I am now and remind myself that he’s choosing to date me the way I am. It just gets weird. I get into my own head about it. I think I do need to see a counselor. My self sabotaging behavior is a little out of hand.

    #769500 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    Your last post was very insightful. It’s great that you’re so self aware. Maybe some counseling would help?

    I understand your dilemma. Not being sure it’s the right time to be in a relationship, versus knowing that the relationship will motivate you to develop healthier habits.

    Addressing the substance abuse issue is really important. A lot of people would say, you should work on yourself before you date. That’s totally true, to a point. But none of us are totally perfect. We all have stuff to work on. If we all waited to date until we had worked out all our issues, none of us would ever date! :-)

    You should consider whether you can be a good partner to this man (or anyone), and be present in the relationship, and be open to growth, WHILE you work on your habits. “I have to find a way to accept who I am now and remind myself that he’s choosing to date me the way I am.” You summed it up perfectly.

    #769501 Reply


    I think you have outside issues that indicates its not a good time to date.

    Never change for a man, always make changes for yourself.

    Perhaps its time to start working out these issues with a counselor.

    #769503 Reply


    Never change for someone else, make changes because you want to. That being said it doesn’t sound like the changes are bad for you, it’s not like he’s pressuring you to snort coke. If it takes being with someone to motivate you then that’s not too bad. The only concern I would have is what happens if you two break up, do you go back to the bad habits because he’s not around? That’s not a good way to live your life.

    I hope your substance abuse issue is limited to nicotine.

    #769509 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I think it really depends on the headspace you’re at. Like I said, I started an exercise routine years ago specifically because of an ex’s influence. He motivated me, I wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for him. But I was coming from a positive place about it. I wanted to do it for myself and he was an inspiration. Even though the relationship ended I have continued the routine (which has benefited me greatly), because I was motivated to do so.

    If you’re making a healthy change because you want to, and the relationship/person is an additional inspiration, that’s great. But you can’t depend on another person to be your entire motivation to do anything. Like has already been said, ultimately you need to do things for yourself, because you feel that YOU are worthy of the effort. Not to please him. If you are doing because you’re insecure you’ll lose him otherwise, that’s not a good mental framework for change. For one thing it will be too easy to slip back into old damaging habits if the relationship ends, rather than staying on a healthy path for yourself.

    #769532 Reply

    Better off single

    If YOU set your mind to it you can do it.

    #769533 Reply


    Thanks everyone. I’ve always dated guys who shared my habits. To meet someone who is so genuinely themselves is foreign to me. I’ve been groomed to overthink everything guys do. I’m finding myself questioning his attraction to me and he’s starting to pick up on it. Maybe I’m not ready for him yet because I haven’t learned how to let things go and live in the moment. I think working out and cutting back/quitting alcohol will help with that. It’s still a very new “relationship”. 3 weeks. He’s told me he likes to date for 6 months and then decide to move forward to putting labels on things. I just hope he can be patient with me while I work on myself.

    #769791 Reply


    You’ve only been dating this guy for a few weeks so don’t turn your life upside down for him. At the same time though he is encouraging you to be more healthy which isn’t a bad thing. Part of being in a relationship is about growing together as a couple if that means going to the gym together or going for walks together to be more active make some time to do it.

    There’s a huge difference between making positive changes in your life for yourself and doing things because he’s making you insecure about yourself. Never think you’re not good enough for him. You absolutely are good enough. Don’t sell yourself

    What does he mean he dates for 6 months then puts labels on things? What happens after 6 months if he decides you’re incompatible? Is he just going to end things with you? Why does he get to call the shots? It sounds to me like until the 6 month mark he’ll still be deciding on whether or not he actually wants to be with you and after that point he’ll either call it quits or take things more seriously.

    If I was in your position I wouldn’t want to wait around for 6 months for some spoiled brat to decide I’m worth his time. Go out with him a few more times if you must to find out if you are actually compatible. If not you be the one to end it. Don’t let him string you along honey.

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