I Won't Change For You, I'll Grow With You

Love doesn't mean changing for your partner, it means growing together.
I Won't Change For You, I'll Grow With You
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

“I won’t change for you, I’ll grow with you”. You might find this phrase surprising. That’s because it’s quite common to believe that building and maintaining a relationship with your partner requires one of you or both to change or give up certain things in your lives. Furthermore, you might think that ‘to adapt’ to the character of your partner, you have to change certain of your personal aspects.

We’re not going to deny that being a couple and maintaining a stable and lasting relationship sometimes requires giving up certain things. However, there’s a limit. Indeed, from the moment you’re forced to change, you’re losing something of your own self and a void opens up.

If you change your values, your hobbies, or your character for your partner, you’ll no longer be yourself. In fact, you’ll become a false and formless mirage of yourself.

When it comes to maintaining a relationship, you must never allow your rights and values to be violated. They’re what define you. Nor should you require your partner to ‘change’ for you, to adjust to your needs. Because this amounts to emotional blackmail. Let’s take a closer look.

Individual growth and couple growth

Embraced couple who do not need to change their relationship

Your relationship isn’t a fixed and immutable entity. You’re not oblivious to everything that surrounds you, to your parallel social relationships, your work, family, and personal needs, etc.

As a couple, you’re enrolled in a process of continuous change. Therefore, it’s necessary to update your relationship in accordance with new situations and the passing years. Otherwise, you may find youself facing conflict.

One of the problems you have to face is the need to harmonize your own personal growth with the growth of you both, as a couple. In a healthy and happy relationship, both spheres are united and interconnected. You respect, understand, and appreciate the fact that the person you love has their own personal space to develop, grow, and be themselves.

This process is, in fact, a curious paradox. That’s because, while you work every day to be a unit in harmony, commitment, and intimacy, in reality, you allow yourselves to continue being two independent entities capable of enriching yourselves in your individuality.  In turn, you bring that wisdom and inner happiness to you both, as a couple.

It means growing up, not changing

Happy couple at sunset

It’s important to promote the individual growth of each of you, knowing that you’re fostering internal balance, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.

Therefore, it’s useless to force the person you love to change. For example, if you asked them to be less extroverted, to not go out so much, and to try and spend more time at home, what you’d actually be doing is feeding their frustration and violating their interests.

There’s no use in making them unhappy just because of your own selfishness. You can’t force a change in them to fill in your own gaps or heal your wounds. A relationship is about building, growing, and moving forward. It’s never about stopping someone from being themselves. 

Moving forward and finding yourself

Mature love is the foundation of all healthy relationships. It’s a conscious love capable of respecting and loving the other for the way they are, without ever wanting to force them to change. With mature love, you learn that it’s personal fears and insecurities that generate the need to control another.

embracing couple

Do you find yourself saying things like “I hope they change. Then I’ll make sure that they stay with me as they’ll suit me perfectly.”? If so, you need to understand that people aren’t jigsaws, they’re not loose pieces with the obligation to fit perfectly with each other. Your partner’s corners don’t have to slot into yours, and your emptiness doesn’t have to be filled with their virtues.

You must understand that we’re all imperfect seeking other imperfect beings to go forward with and grow with day by day. This wonderful process will last a lifetime but, in the meantime, you’ll also grow individually. You’ll become wiser, while also growing as a couple.

Love is caring. It’s an ongoing process in which you grow and develop. At the same time, you care about the growth of those you love. This is also projected onto you.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.