Sarah, while normally I’d agree that many of us try to change things about others and that’s the reason we don’t have romantic feelings, this certainly wasn’t the case I can assure you. At first I didn’t have anything I wanted to change. So I tried to get her involved in hobbies I liked, like CrossFit even though she already worked out. Really they were just lame half-hearted excuses because I just really didn’t have a romantic spark in my bones for her, and so I spent less and less time with her which was a total dick move. When we broke up, I sat her down and told her honestly that I didn’t have feelings for her that way and wanted to be single as opposed to trying to fake it. That really hurt her and caused a lot of damage. So in some ways my attempts to “change her” weren’t even that. It was just me.
However, with any person you marry or date long term, there will be things you’d like to change, but in dating and marriage you compromise with what you can live with. Is this area a non-negotiable? Or is there wiggle room? With the girl I dated there were no flags. However, with my wife, there are things I’d love for her to change. I love exercise, she loathes it. I’m OCD clean, she’s pretty messy. The girl I dated, was like me and enjoyed exercise and cleanliness, yet I married a woman who doesn’t like either of those things and I’m okay with that. The clean vs messy thing can drive me nuts sometimes, but prior to getting married I came to the conclusion, “if this never changes, I’m okay with that. I love her.”
To be fair, I think there has to be some level of attraction in any relationship. It should never be what defines the relationship, but eight years in with my wife, I’m still wildly attracted to her. Yet after several months dating the girl in this story, there was nothing there. We should have just stayed friends—and of so—maybe our spouses and us would be friends too. Sadly, that’s not the case.