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Relationship Makeovers – Don’t Do It!


***admin note****
Today’s post is by a long time friend of the Blog and well known-author … Sheila M Goss


"Let me ... Let me ... Upgrade you!"

Before committing to a relationship, please accept the person the way that they are, not the way that you want them to be. So many people go into a relationship thinking they can change someone. For example, if the person was a hoe before you got with them; don’t think you’re the one to tame them. It’s true. You can’t turn a hoe into a housewife nor a husband; so stop trying.

You get what you get. Don’t go expecting to get more. That’s why it’s important to date for an extended period of time before making a commitment. A lot of disagreements start because one or the other is guilty of trying to change their mate.

If you’re guilty of trying to make someone over, it’s time out for blaming the other person when things don’t go the way that you want. Don’t get mad at John or Jill because you expected them to change after you’ve invested your heart and time into them. John and Jill didn’t make any promises or maybe they did. If they did, don’t believe them. Some people will change just to get what they want and before long, they’ve reverted back to how they truly are.

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Me and some friends have what we call the Six-Week-Rule. It usually takes six (6) weeks to make or break a habit and the average person will reveal their true colors within six weeks. If you’re observant and don’t get blinded by lust; you’ll be able to recognize whether or not, the person is someone you want to get involved with. The problem is, we don’t immediately recognize things or we make excuses, thinking we can change them.

If you neglect to accept the person at face value, you’ll find yourself taking on one or more of the following roles:

The Rescuer – Do you find yourself trying to rescue a man or woman from issue after issue but most of the time from themselves? Enough already. Some people live for drama. They want to get you involved in their drama and will do whatever they can to keep the drama going. Life is too short so unless you don’t mind playing Captain Save a (you fill in the blank), then keep playing this role.

The Nurturer – Are you his mama? Are you her daddy? No, so why play the dual role of lover/mama/daddy…sounds perverted doesn’t it…so stop. Grant it, Usher has the song, “Daddy’s Home” and Ciara sings about “You can be my daddy,” but outside of the songs, taking on the role of mama or daddy to a grown person has some sick twists to it.

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The Warden – Okay, now women, don’t get mad, but having your man on a strict schedule sounds like there are trust issues. If you have to monitor his every move, then maybe he’s not the man for you. Men, you can be just as guilty. Why does she have to check in every five minutes when you know she’s at the beauty salon getting her hair done? Unless you’re a warden at a prison and dating Sheneqa that’s on lockdown; there’s no need to play the warden role.

The Dog Catcher – Bow wow…need I say more…you know he’s a dog, he was dating three other women when you met him, but you still allow him into your heart. On the flip side, men, you knew she liked to serve everyone in the neighborhood, so why are you surprised that she’s flirting with one of your boys behind your back.

The Landlord – Time is precious. Have fun, but be wise. Why let someone rent space in your heart when you know they are not the one. You can’t change the person, but you can evict them. Stop allowing the wrong people into your space.   Don’t find yourself taking on any of the roles mentioned; because if you do, you’ll end up with a headache and heartache and both of those are painful. Either accept the person at face value or keep it moving. Don’t go into a relationship thinking you can change the person.

See Also:  How Do You Balance Love and Ambition?

Questions for the day: Have you played any of these roles? Why do you think people feel the need to change the person they are with instead of accepting them just the way they are?

Today’s guest blogger is Shelia M Goss. She’s the national best-selling author of six women’s fiction novels. For more information, visit her website: www.sheliagoss.com or www.thelipglosschronicles.com.


  1. I've been the Dog Catcher and sometimes it takes a bite in the a$$ before you realize that you're making a fool of yourself.

    I've also been "Shanequa on lockdown" while dating a warden this sounds like some role play I wanna try and the sh*t wasn't cute. I grew up in a house without very strict rules but just the general consensus that everyone would be mindful of letting people know where they were. I'll be gotdamned if I'm going to live under stricter rules in a house with you than I did in one with my mama.

    1. "sometimes it takes a bite in the a$$ before you realize that you’re making a fool of yourself."

      Word of mouth–you said a mouth full.

      When it comes to "the warden," there's no reason a grown man should be trying to control his woman. If he wants to control someone, he needs to be trying to raise his kids.

      1. How about we just make a blanket rule that before you try to RoboCop MY whole life, get YOUR situation together. I've had too many negros try to come around and dictate my tempo when all their sh*t is out of rhythm (no job, tenuous housing situation, all kinds of personal drama and chaos)… do you before you try to help me do me.

  2. Right on time this morn'ting!

    As far as trying to change people, I think alot of people SAY they are accepting someone but when it comes right down to it…they are clearly not. They keep getting upset over the same things over and over….that's not acceptance. I am guilty of that right now in my current relationship…ugh. Why? Ionno. Love? Stupidity? Relentlessness?….you tell me. lol.

    I do tend to play more of the Landlord role, though because none of those other ones really fit….I am the occasional nurturer but not all the time….

    Good post..and welcome back!

  3. The only person we can change is self, thank God I knew that when I got married over 31 years ago…however, I did make sure I chose carefully and knew a who he was…


  4. So my first reaction was to say… 'Yay me! I've played none of these roles,' but then I had to take a look at some of the 'failed' relationships that I've partaken in and re-adjust my thinking. Relationships end b/c of issues… so I don't know that I have an affinity play any of these roles consistently w/ my s/o I just know that I respond accordingly (if that makes any sense). So while you won't find me playing warden, landlord, etc. personally… I could see bits and pieces of these descriptions coming alive in each relationship due to w/e issues may come about. It isn't so much about me trying to change the person I was with… but accepting their actions w/o losing my mind.

    – Good post 🙂

    1. "accepting their actions w/o losing my mind"

      Why did I think of a DMX song when I read that? LOL

      "I could see bits and pieces of these descriptions coming alive"

      The main thing is when it starts getting out of hand, that's when you have to stop and re-evaluate things.

  5. Very good post and good description of the personality types to run away from.

    And I am a big believer that I am the only one who can make me happy – someone else can only enhance it so only

    1. "I am the only one who can make me happy – someone else can only enhance it so only"

      That's why some relationships are dysfunctional. You can't expect the other person to fix what's wrong with you or your life.

      Although I'm sure we've all met someone who will try to destroy that happiness because they're miserable.

  6. I could tweak the landlord and say I'm more of a slumlord. I allow people to move in but then I have no desire to fix or change anything to the tenants liking (I'm a commitment phobe). Wait…that sounds awful…scratch that…runaway bride sounds better. LMAO

    I think people have a tendency to want to "change" people for several reasons…some not so good. One might be that they see the potential in the person and want to encourage that development.

    However, what I know is that snakes shed their skin several times a year…but they're STILL a snake. 🙂

    1. "One might be that they see the potential in the person and want to encourage that development."

      Seven, looking at it like that, then that's a good thing. We should try to encourage each other. But I still don't think that's really trying to change them; you're just trying to be supportive and encourage them as "they" try to better themselves.

      "However, what I know is that snakes shed their skin several times a year…but they’re STILL a snake."

      I couldn't have said it better myself.

  7. In the examples you gave above, there seems to be a "changer" and a "changee" in relationships. This is not how a relationship should work. If two individuals of sound mind and body, have gotten to know at each other's core values and decided that they are in-line enough to start a committed relationship, then they both should be seeking change some of the 'other' every day traits and habits of the person they're with, while allowing themselves to be also be changed.

    I think the whole "don't try to change people" theology that is often preached with people who seek to give relationship advice is often overstated. Certain core values – issues of character and integrity are often times unchangeable, but, everything else is pretty much fair game. In any healthy, long term relationship, there will be a lot of change that occurs on both sides, you only run into problems when one person is actively trying to change the other without being open to changing themselves.

    There's another word for the kind of healthy change that should occur on both sides of a productive, long term relationship… it's called growth. I met my wife when I was 19, I am now 26, I'm not anything close to the same person I was when we met, nor is she anything close to who she was when I met her, but we have grown and changed together, and in that way we're a perfect fit. Has she changed me, very much so, have I changed her, very much so – have those changes been deliberate "I need you to not be this way, and instead be this way" – absolutely; that is what is supposed to happen when you love someone. Part of the reason one enters a LTR is for the growth it provides. There key to the whole thing is that both… let me say that again… BOTH… sides of the equation have to be willing to change for it to work.

    1. Most interesting,

      you made the most interesting point…people change with living and growth, I think though the operative point was to not try to change OTHERS~ in 31 years my man and I have both changed in many ways, but our goal was to work on our own growth and accept the uniquness of the others…and more importantly knowing what we were getting when we got it, flaws and all…


    2. TheMostInteresting,

      "Certain core values – issues of character and integrity are often times unchangeable"

      I agree; but unfortunately those are some of the things people are guilty of trying to change or ignore thinking the other person will change on their own.

      Of course, people change (hopefully for the better) and couples grow (hopefully together and not apart), but going into a relationship thinking you can change the person is unhealthy.

      1. @Angelia – I think it depends on what you mean by "flaws and all". There's a difference between accepting the fact that your mate is "flawed" and accepting their flaws. We're all human so we all are flawed, but I don't want any of my flaws to be accepted. I want to work on them and get better in them. And I want you to work on yours and get better in them.

        @Shelia – I guess my point is, we always tell people not to try to change the person they're with, to just accept them for who they are or leave them. Instead of doing that, why don't we spend more time giving advice on how to find, attract and build a relationship with someone who's values and core characteristics are compatable with yours, that way, you never get to the point of needing to try to change those unchangable aspects of a person.

        1. I meant exactly what I said flaws and all..if we wait to get with someone when we are flawless…we will live lonely alone lives to be sure…I am 54 and have overcome a whole bunch of stuff as has my man…but we have reveled in our flaws as well it is what makes us who we are…Good luck with that~


    3. I agree with Most. Everyone goes into a situation with usually around 5 absolute requirements/needs in a relationship. Save for a miracle, these 5 things are not going to be negotiated, point-blank, period. They are the foundation to this individual and it is necessary that they are met or fulfilled in order for that person to feel satisfied in a relationship.

      Everything else can usually be negotiated, but to the people who want to play makeover show with their SO, think of it like this: when Ty Pennington goes in to refurbish a house, he never has a demo team come in and destroy the muhfucca, he just gets down the bare bones and builds up on it. The 5 Needs are the bare bones. Everything else is up for remodeling.

      1. "..when Ty Pennington goes in to refurbish a house, he never has a demo team come in and destroy the muhfucca"

        you always make me laugh…lol thanks for that!

  8. thankfully i haven't been any of these. i agree with you that people will not change who they just because they got with a certain person. change has to come from within and takes time.

    i'm weary of people who try to change me or anyone else. to me that shows sign of selfishness. you really want a person to change the person that THEY are in order to fit some idea of the ideal mate that you have in your mind?

    also i disagree with the timeline of 6 weeks. it might take longer than that with some people or it could take less time. *shrug*

    1. Mad Scientiest, sometimes it does take longer than 6 weeks; although still pay close attention to stuff at the beginning because signs are there at the beginning (we just tend to ignore them for whatever reason).

  9. When a person is secure and happy with themself, they dont need to bend anyone to their will or become a doormat or a jailer 🙂

  10. Love the post, Shelia and the ensuing discussion as well. I agree that one shouldn't go into a relationship thinking the person will change, and I also agree that change is good!

    I've often heard people say "I haven't changed a bit, I'm the same person I was blah, blah, blah…" That comment always astounds me, because I revel in the fact that I've continued to change, grow, evolve, into a more caring, compassionate, wise and spiritual being. Who wants to be the same person at 40 that they were at 19? And speaking of, if a man who is 40 is acting 19 when you meet him…don't think he's going to mature just because you've been given keys to the house.

    Like others have said, change only comes when a person WANTS to change, to grow, to become a better person. But if you're not looking at a package that is mostly acceptable in the beginning, then I suggest you not open the box. There's too many "presents" under the tree. Keep it moving, until you find God's gift for you!

    1. "If you’re not looking at a package that is mostly acceptable in the beginning, then I suggest you not open the box. There’s too many “presents” under the tree. Keep it moving, until you find God’s gift for you!"


  11. I don't necessarily think that having been in one of these categories means that you have gone into a relationship with the intention to change a person. I've definitely been a dog catcher (letting a dog into my heart) and I never expected him to change. We never actually started a real relationship for that very reason. Even though I managed to catch feelings for him, didn't mean I was stupid enough to think he was going to change.

    I've also been the Rescuer (and to a lesser degree, nurterer). The fact is that I am a rescuer by nature; for friends, for men, for my family. It's who I am. I can't see someone having issues/needing help and not do everything that I can to make their situation better (this is especially true if there are kids involved). Even now as the aforementioned dog keeps coming around with issue after issue, I still help his stupid ass out. Same with my siblings and the woman who was my best friend for most of my life. I just can't walk away from someone asking for help with a clear conscience unless I know that there was nothing I could do to help or if helping them would be enabling larger issues. It's never about changing someone, not for me at least. *shrugs*

    Although I didn't go INTO the relationship trying to change him, there was definitely things I tried to change about my husband. Issues that were pretty well hidden until after we were married, for instance all of a sudden he decided that he was going to smoke all day, every day when he would smoke a handful of times a month before that. I had no intention of being married to a man that was constantly high, who actually showed up to a dinner that my work was throwing me high as he**. At that point, these were things that were revealed to me that I just could not accept as part of my life. Eventually, smoking every day turned into doing harder drugs and that was it.

    I didn't like who I had became then. I didn't like being a person who was trying to change their SO and I never want to be that person. It's one thing to grow together, it's another to believe that you can (or actively try to) change the person you're with.

    1. I agree. I'm always the nurturer in my relationships, but I've never tried to change anyone. Instead I have a bad habit of recognizing the person's….let's say idiosyncrasies (but I really mean faults) and working around them; therefore perpetuating them.

      1. That's exactly it, I'm definitely guilty of enabling and have had to make a huge effort over the last 3-4 years to knock that sh*t off.

        Thanks for making it through the essay to comment. LOL

    2. Sorry you had to go through all of that.

      "It’s one thing to grow together, it’s another to believe that you can (or actively try to) change the person you’re with."


    3. SaneN85..Im guessing your ex-husband was probably a chronic smoker before you got married but just kept it well hidden until after you were married. Do you agree? If it were the case then that is "Fraud"..in which case you definitely did the right thing moving on…drugs are always a deal breaker…..don't know any case where its not UNLESS both people are users……either way its slow downward spiral to bad places….

      What about fraudulent people? That is why you have to really get to know someone…dig deep, investigate, google…we investigate jobs, schools, but we won't investigate potential mates…I am all for investigation. lol.

      1. He really wasn't. We also had lived together a while before getting married and I can honestly say he wasn't a chronic smoker before. Unfortunately, he started a job where it was commonplace to smoke almost all day long (along with doing other drugs) and it just became more and more frequent. It didn't help that he had some issues going on with his family at the time. In the end, he just wasn't strong enough to handle things without having that crutch and the more I expressed my dislike of it, the more he did because he was being "nagged". It was really a Catch 22, but I just couldn't be okay with it. It was obvious the way he was relying on it, and I was losing all respect for him (this was before I knew about the harder stuff). I don't think he ever intentionally misrepresented himself though, until he had already begun lying about bigger things towards the end.

        He's clean now and has been sniffing around for a little while, but I'll never be looking back that way. Either way, I'm a stronger person for it. The truth is I kind of feel like my marriage is a vague memory of another life now.

        As for investigation, Iono. I choose to get to know people the old fashioned way (I've never googled anyone and don't plan to). I don't believe everything I hear/read and it really can make me pre-judge a person unfairly. I'd rather look back and feel like I was mislead than to look back and feel like I might have missed out on knowing a great person because of something I read/heard. That's just me, though.

        1. The karma police owe me for a lot of things (trust me on that one), but I don't think my marriage was one of them. I played a part (albeit a much smaller part) in the deterioration of our marriage and I am more than aware of that. Also, I long ago learned to just learn from the crap that life has thrown my way. Besides, I know that a lot of people have dealt with a lot worse in relationships. I'm just happy that he and I can be on civil terms and even have decent conversations once in a while, despite all the stuff that went down between us.

          Although, someone somewhere does owe me a decent relationship. They are welcome to get started on that anytime now. 🙂

        2. It sounds like you gave it all you had…I to feel you on marriage being a distant memory…my husband moved me to another city with two small children and then cheated and abandoned me in said city (divorced me etc)..but, like a phoenix I rose…lol….better and stronger than ever….I learned so much too….we are both better off without 'em! 🙂

        3. Damn, just abandoned you in a new city? With two kids? You are most definitely better off without him. My husband cheated as well, and that part has never really bothered me much *shrugs*. I knew (and now have heard the words from his lip) that he'd up regretting that, so I just didn't let it hurt the way it could have I guess. No kids, luckily (although he immediately had one with her and regrets it (not the child itself)). Maybe that's part of why it's seems almost surreal.

          In the end, karma comes back around to them and it's just not worth it to hold any anger. So, like a Phoenix that rose… (I've always loved that saying).

  12. The Rescuer, The Nurturer, The Warden, The Dog Catcher, The Landlord … I think you pretty much encompassed everyone in these roles. What would be the other type of chick? A down ass b*tch?

    I think for me, and this is me being honest, you better watch me, or at least remind me you are with me, every now and then, or I might get lost at recess. A woman should nurture her man, or at least cater to him, sometimes. My woman should rescue me… from these crazy h*es out here. As it pertains to the landlord, that's just stupid.

    So I think what I walked away from was, there are two types of women. Smart and Stupid.

    There are several types of stupid women, but only two types of smart women; single and not single.

    If you aren't single, you are probably maintaining on your man. She can be any of the 5 types of women you listed, but they took a situation and made it work. That's what I call a hustler. I'm not mad about it.

  13. I lowkey think I played rescuer a few times, but caught myself before it was too late. mroe than likely it was a swindle. smh

    Chuuch on the point about changing people forcibly. It should happen voluntarily!

    Funny, on Twitter I posted Friday how "Oh Sheila" came on during baggage claim in JFK. Life is funny

    Welcome to the fam <del>Oh</del> Sheila 🙂 Good post!

    1. Hi Streetztalk. When RFTW came out with Oh Shelia I was in high school and it might as well had been my theme song because everybody would always sing that part when they said my name. LOL


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