Forever is a really long time.
To really make forever with anyone work, there is a lot of give and take. Parents, siblings, lovers, children, friends… It’s a lot of people with whom you are both consciously and subconsciously compromising.
There are incredibly silly things that are just resolved in the course of feeling each other out. What should the default radio station be in the car. Who cares whether it’s NPR or the local top-twenty station. Just figure it out, and move on.
Then there’s the next tier, which is where one starts to change because the compromise isn’t something one would naturally choose, but the specific relationship is worth it. As an example, I hate talking on the phone, absolutely hate it, but I have a lot of friends who don’t use technology like I do, and so to stay in their lives I call them. More likely they call me, but I take the call, which I just… I hate the telephone. Actually, note to self… I should find my iPhone ear buds because that was the one saving grace.
Back to the topic at hand. The change oneself tier is penultimate to the remain true to oneself tier. At some point, one has to be oneself, and any relationship which changes that core is actually a destructive one. If you find that you need to change something which is at someone’s core, then just don’t have a relationship with that person.
I know the missionaries out there disagree, but I feel as if re-writing an individual’s core is like programming them to be a different person just so that it suits you better.
The ironic bit of it is that the line between the change oneself tier and the true to oneself tier is undefined, and undefinable. It’s also ever changing, and difficult to nail down. Very Heizenberg in nature in that sense. And just like the partially understood electrons in Heizenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, the opposite party in the relationship can try to nail down an understanding or meaning or logic to why your core is the way it is, but at some degree that’s one’s secret sauce to cultivate, develop and share as one sees fit.
Why people are this way isn’t supposed to make sense, and that’s the leap of faith we take when we commit ourselves to true lifelong relationships.
Making sense of “it” is a mistake.
Discovering “it” is the purpose of the journey.