If you loved me, you wouldn’t want to change me | Philosophers' Mail
The impulse to alter our lovers appears to run counter to the spirit of
love. If we loved and were loved, surely there wouldn’t be any talk of
change? Isn’t love about the acceptance of an entire being, in their
high and low points?
But, being told we simply have to love someone for all that they are, or else
think of ourselves as bad people, is asking too much.
How could someone
never want to change any part of us if they know us properly? Do they
lack all ambition for our true potential? Do we not ourselves aspire to
change and improvement? Then why blame them for wanting from us what we
at heart want from ourselves?
For the Greeks, given that we are all very imperfect, part of what it
means to deepen love is to want to teach – and to be taught. Two people
should see a relationship as a constant opportunity to improve and be
improved. When lovers teach each other uncomfortable truths, they are
not giving up on love. They are trying to do something very true to
love: which is to make their partners more loveable.