Hush hush, it’s not something you want to say out loud. Certainly not to your girlfriends. You know the answer already, right? Don’t change. If he really likes/loves you, he’ll accept you just the way you are. And of course that doesn’t mean you can’t change him a little. After all, nothing wrong with a guy who is a little work in progress, right?


Dr. Marie Land | Psychologist Washington DC | Therapist Dupont Circle

Let’s be real, if you’re in a relationship you’ve already changed some. Perhaps your version of changing is stomping your feet on the ground in such a way that you make sure you’re not really changing….which basically means you’re changing. One of the biggest markers to me of whether someone has changed too much for their partner is if they act significantly different when they are with their friends compared to alone with their partner. There should be a pretty strong degree of congruence between your friend self and your hanging with your man self. Not 100% Sure topics of conversation and dress code may vary. But the core of your personality, your humor, your degree of extroversion/introversion…it should remain fairly constant.


There are certain “what’s” that make a lot of sense. Like starting to go out and party less because you’re married with children. Fine, change makes sense and it’s an evolving compromise within your relationship. The things that you truly enjoy and have carried you through singlehood may become a little less appealing when you’re in the depths of love in la la land. However, if they are a true part of your identity, then I suggest you make time for them even if they are a distant runner up to your guy. Appropriate “what’s” of change: managing your time a little differently, balancing shared hobbies (he joins in some of yours, you join in some of his), going to some stuffy work functions with him as a favor. Enjoying them. It’s all fine. Not fine: not doing the same activities you used to, laughing less, returning calls less, only eating out at paleo or vegan (*not that there’s anything wrong with that!) hipster restaurants, hanging out with his friends over yours 90% of the time, choosing holidays at his family’s house instead (I don’t care it’s more convenient than your sister’s place). Basically, if you didn’t want your best friend (assuming she’s the one who knows you best) to be a fly on the wall at these activities because she would puke at the thought of your level of inauthenticity. Outside of some obvious personal romantic exceptions, you should be able to act with your boyfriend as you would if your close friends were watching.