‘I’ve Changed; I’m A Changed Person’: When People Pretend to Change and When They’ve Really Changed

Black couple first date
Black couple

He/she said she/he’s changed but he/she’s still hurting me/treating me badly/is still the person with the bad habit/attitude. I thought things will be different this time.

…And that’s how people are sucked back into bad relationships, bad business…bad everything. Just like how people can overestimate their interest in/for a relationship, the desire or faking to change can also be overestimated. Sometimes they’ve been pretending the possibility of changing over and over again down the years to family, colleagues, friends, and exes – you just don’t know it.

You’re just someone else believing in them and buying into their deceit and waiting tirelessly for the ‘never coming change’. When you ask some people why they give up their relationships and marry someone else, the first answer they give is ‘I thought he/she will change or I thought with time he/she will change’. That’s when you see people staying in boyfriend/girlfriend relationships for 5+ years with the lady (usually) mounting pressure on the man.

Not to say people don’t change (the real change), they do and they really change not necessarily because they want people to accept them but they do so to help themselves and they motivate  themselves to change. In short, they change regardless. In some cases, they have little or no interest to pursue someone they’d once been with, except maybe to apologize and move on and start afresh with someone else. Everyone else stumbles around blindly, repeating the same mistakes but when it becomes a cycle, that’s a problem.

When you believe and accept someone who claims he/she has changed, you have to bear the consequences of ‘that change’. You can’t hold them responsible for deceiving you because you chose to believe them. Majority of people when confronted with ‘I’ve changed’ claims, don’t take enough time or bother to find out if the person has genuinely changed or has ‘pretence’ changed.

If you’re thinking things will be different this time and ‘this time’ is the third time (most people love giving out second chances) and beyond, it’s a sign that you’re still holding the melting candle on a ‘should be buried by now’ relationship while wearing rose tinted glasses and living in denial.

The problem with some people is because you’ve always put up with all sorts of inappropriate or intolerable behaviour from them, they always know you’ll accept them their ‘crap’ back when they say they’ve changed without convincing you in actions because they believe (erroneously or as a matter of fact) that ‘you can’t do without them’ or you’re going nowhere without them’.

When they religiously hold on to that belief and static mind set, they’re not going to change at all. That’s why you see some people breaking up and making up and breaking up (and using love as cover up) as if it’s their secret to long life!

You’ll be in a better position not to quickly buy into ‘I’ve changed’. Don’t use loneliness/fear of single life to draw yourself back into unhappiness and unhealthy/toxic relationships. The ‘return’ should really be worth it. Will you allow a crook who has previously sold a fake item to you to come back and sell you another one (believing they’ve learnt their lessons)? I don’t think so! Sometimes, out of curiosity, just to check if they mean what they’re saying, you get badly burnt. If it’s loneliness, you can always meet new people.

For people who pretend to change, they just hold on until you get into the groove and then the same old attitude resurfaces; that’s where you realise you’ve been scammed in broad day light. It takes a lot of hard work to change our behaviours, habits we’ve accumulated over the years and thought processes – so someone turning over a new leaf in weeks – I doubt that! If they claim to be working on ‘them’, it sounds a bit believable and quite reasonable.

Real change lasts, and if the change is only orchestrated to get you back into business, relationships, better be prepared when the movie ends – because it will surely end. You just can’t allow people to walk in and out anyhow they want because they only need to tell you they’ve changed. That’s allowing them to get away with bad behaviour (or whatever it is).

You don’t wield the power to change anyone as well; they can pretend for so long and give up the pretence sooner or later. There are some things we really can’t tolerate in others and forcing ourselves to accept or trying very hard to turn a blind eye to them only creates resentment.


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