Dear Miranda

“I’ve been in a long-term relationship, and I’ve recently noticed that I’ve been changing myself to make my partner happy. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Do you have any advice for me?”

When we find ourselves changing for a relationship, most of the time it’s because we have insecurities about where the relationship is going. This is a common problem that many people find themselves in, because it’s natural to think about that next step when you have been in a relationship for a long time. Ask yourself why you are changing. Are you changing because your partner is making you change. Or are you changing because you feel like they will want you, need you, or appreciate you more if you do?

If they are making you change, for whatever reason, talk to them about it. Be open to what they have to say. They may see something in you that you have yet to see yourself.

Look at the situation in a new light, from an outsider’s perspective, and decide for yourself whether or not their concerns are valid. If they are making you change for a reason that you don’t see fit, it is time to reconsider the relationship. If you can’t be yourself in the relationship, then is it really worth it?

On the other hand, if you feel like you are changing yourself because you are afraid of losing them, then you need to have more security in yourself and in who you are. Do something that you love to do, and feel that you were made to do, regardless of what anyone thinks. When you are doing what you love, two things happen: a) you begin to think more positively about yourself, and b) you look more appealing and interesting to the people around you. If the person that you’ve been with for a while doesn’t see that, then you need to reconsider the relationship and ask yourself: is it worth it?

It is important to be open to change if it’s for the better, but also to guard your heart and who you are as a person. You owe it to yourself to find out who you were meant to be, and to pursue that. Don’t settle for being something that someone else wants you to be. People will come to love you for you. If not, then who wants to be with them anyway?