While I usually try to keep my posts gender neutral, this one is written a little one sided. Mostly because I am a woman that has only ever dated men and it’s fairly difficult to write about something you know nothing about (aka, dating women). That being said, fellas, feel free to apply this to your own situation.
Listen, I get it. He’s special. You don’t know why he is, he just is. You’re supernaturally drawn to him, despite his flaws, and would do anything to be with him. You know his potential because you’ve seen glimpses of it. You know he can be a good man. The kind of man you deserve. But for whatever reason he is struggling to be that man. You have taken on the responsibility of being everything he could possibly need on his journey to becoming the man you know he can be. But here’s the thing… you may be setting out on a journey for change, but he’s not.
I know you spend most days daydreaming of the time he was so good with that kid, even though he doesn’t want kids. You think you can convince him. You think about the time he met your parents and they absolutely loved him. But you can’t seem to accept it was all just an act. You remember when he stopped drinking for a while and you know he could do it again if he really wanted to. But he doesn’t. You think of the time he made you dinner or surprised you with your favorite latte. But you forget that was all in the beginning when things were exciting and he only lives for the chase. Things just got too comfortable and he set out for a new challenge, but you won’t accept that because you just know you can make him see what he’s missing. You hold on to false hope for dear life and shutter at the thought of life without him. The thought of giving up on him.
You can’t fix him. You can’t change his mind or make him realize his potential. I know you want to more than anything in the world because you chose him. You want to be there for him. To be his person, but he doesn’t deserve all the time and energy you’re giving him. Maybe at one time, when he was properly investing in you, he did. But now, after the dust has settled and the true colors have shown through, you have to accept that the potential you fell in love with is simply that. Potential.
I’m not saying what you feel isn’t real. It is very real. Painfully real. But the person you think he could be, he doesn’t exist. He’s an idea of a person, not the man standing in front of you. All the promises he’s made are just that. Promises. Words without action. He can say he’s going to quit his crappy job, change his attitude, stop being friends with that person, stop drinking, stop hitting you, stop cheating… but until there is action there is nothing. Just empty words. Just potential.
You deserve more than a relationship based on what could be. More than a one-sided, desperate attempt to hold on to someone not worth holding onto. I know you think he is. I know you just want to love him, for him to love you too, but he is not worthy of your love. He doesn’t want to be fixed. If he did, he would fix himself. He would not rely on you to do it. Why? Because you can’t. People don’t change people. People change themselves. Can we impact each other’s lives? Absolutely. But to change, one must make a decision in their own heart and move mountains with their own hands with fierce determination. Maybe we can move mountains for people, but, what then, do they learn from it? Especially when they have not even asked for the mountain to be moved.
He likes his drinking habit. He will continue to blame the abuse on the father figure in his life. He is comfortable in his self-pity. He isn’t going to change his mind. He’s right, he isn’t good enough for you and you do deserve better. It really isn’t you. It’s him.
You did the absolute best you could to love him. You gave him the tools he needed to fix what’s broken, but it is ultimately up to him as to whether he uses those tools. If by some God-given miracle he gets it together one day, great. But if he doesn’t, you will have found someone that doesn’t require you to be their savior. Someone that loves you for you. Someone that has already realized their potential because THEY wanted to. What’s meant to be will be. But it is not, and never was, your responsibility to fix him or wait around for him to fix himself. You are not to sacrifice your mental health, your whole life, for the sake of his. Your responsibility is to look after yourself the way you tried to look after him.
Where there is wasted potential, there is an intense grief that every heartbroken human knows all too well. So it’s ok to hurt. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to take your time, be kind to yourself, and learn to accept your loss. It will take tremendous effort, but you owe it to yourself, above all else, to recognize when your needs are not being met. He is not meeting your needs. He may be able to meet them in a year, two, maybe more… maybe never. But right now, he can’t. More accurately, he won’t. It is a choice. That is the most important thing for you to understand.
There is no supernatural force keeping him from growing. He isn’t locked in a glass box of emotion. He isn’t so damaged that he can’t love. He is simply choosing himself over you. I know that’s hard to hear. You want to believe him when he says all those comforting things to you. But the bottom line is, you would move heaven and earth to be with him, to make him happy. He wouldn’t do the same for you. He didn’t. He hasn’t. He won’t.
So, no, you can’t fix him. But that doesn’t make you weak. You are not powerless. You are a passionate person, full of love. A valuable soul meant for greatness. And yes, right now, you love him. But someday, even though you can’t see it now, you will love someone else. The right person. The person worthy of your love. And this… all of this… it will all be a distant memory.