The most important lesson I've learned about love is you shouldn't force yourself to change to be more compatible with someone. I guess there's a caveat because sometimes relationships change us for the better. Maybe I should say instead: You shouldn't force yourself to change for someone unless it's a change you're willing and capable of making. The bad changes are the ambiguous ones we don't see coming. The changes that slowly suffocate you, as you're forced to deny your feelings, compromise your values, spend less time doing things that make you happy, or otherwise give up the beautiful things that make you you. We've all done stupid things for love, but losing your sense of self is the worst one.
The other side to this coin is you can't expect anyone else to change for you either. Does it mean we need to lower our expectations? Or learn to settle? Should we give up on relationships sooner if we're feeling unsatisfied, and wait for someone better? Is what you see really all you get? Why do I sound like Carrie Bradshaw all of a sudden?
I know there's a difference between 'relationship wants' and 'relationship needs' and you can't assume anyone will be a perfect fit. I'm still working on this.
Lately, I worry that being single for so long has made me completely autonomous and undateable. I also worry that constantly judging men by the quality of their online dating profiles is making me really, really shallow. What if I've already rejected the love of my life because he gained weight in his late 20s and his eyes are too close together?