Nine years ago, I was on my first job. Everyone was older than I was, so they consider me their ‘baby’. All my office mates were surprised to find out that I never had a boyfriend back then. They were all trying to set me up on blind dates and introducing me to their single guy friends, until someone gave me this advice: once you have a boyfriend, that’s when you try to change him – change how he dresses up, how he talks, how he walks, etc.

Now that got me thinking, really hard. I’m not choosing someone to change him, I’m choosing someone because I like him the way he is. For sure he will have some faults that will irritate me, but that’s part of the deal, right? That’s what I told myself. That was one advice that I trashed.

Fast forward to 2005. I had a serious boyfriend and for the first few months the relationship was going great, until the real him showed up. He started asking me to change the way I dress up. Well, this is the way I dress up at the office – a t-shirt, jeans and rubber shoes, with a small back pack. Why do I dress like that? I have a long commute from home to the office, at least an hour, if there’s no traffic. I work night shifts, the people I talk to at work has no way of seeing what I look like because I talk to them over the phone (I was a debt collector, remember?) So what’s the use of dressing formally, wearing heeled shoes (that’s only going to kill my feet) and using a purse? I don’t like people staring at me, I don’t like to stand out, I’m not the type that dresses to impress. My ex-boyfriend told me it was for my own good, that’s why he wanted me to change – I don’t see his point.

What you see is what you get. This is me, this is how I am when you met me, why are you trying to change the way I am now?

I started to see who he really was after that incident and it didn’t take long before I dumped him. It was no use staying in a relationship when being miserable is all I can feel. All I’m trying to say is, it’s all wrong to try and change someone like what my ex did. What’s the point of doing that, anyway?

‘You’ve got to love me for what I am

For simply being me

Don’t love me for what you intend

Or hope that I would be…’

Yes, that was a line from the Carpenter’s song Love Me For What I Am. Do I need to explain further?