If We Were Different, Would You Love Me?


I am fascinated by human beings. I love looking at them, talking to them, learning them, loving them. I will never understand them though. I will never understand why sometimes, certain human beings won’t love me back.

Have you ever looked at someone and thought, “You would be perfect if I could just change that one thing about you.” Don’t lie. Unless your life is a J. Crew catalog, you’ve probably had this thought more than once or twice.

When it comes to matters of the heart, my most common thought is, “If this one thing were different about you, we would be together.” Whatever that one flaw is must be the reason that person isn’t as drawn to me as I am to them. Everything else seems great. We both love 90s cartoons and we didn’t get bored walking through a park at 1am together and we’re both obsessed with goat cheese and tire swings and organic lollipops. Whatever ridiculous markers we use to gauge how much someone seems like our soul mate, we’ve got them. This person has to be destined to want me.

If the person in question was more emotional, didn’t just want sex, wasn’t in love with my best friend, then we would be together. If I wasn’t so emotional, weighed 10 pounds less, weighed 25 pounds less, was generally more interesting than everyone else around me, then we would be together. There are so many different lives where this person and I are together. In those lives though, it’s not really us.

If you could change one thing about someone, even just the thing that’s making them not be with you, they wouldn’t be them anymore. Even if it’s seemingly the tiniest thing, they wouldn’t be the same person you fell for. They just wouldn’t. We are who we are, every part of us, even the parts that make us not want to fall in love with people. Rose may have been annoying sometimes, but Jack wouldn’t have loved her if she hadn’t been just who she was at that time in her life. We’re not with that guitar player from the subway station who we swore we could love for a reason. Maybe we can be someday, when our lives have moved and shaped into what they need to be for us to work. To be with them now though, that guitar payer or that childhood best friend or that graphic designer or the ever popular baby-faced Leonardo DiCaprio, we would have to not be us.

We can’t hate them for not changing either, and we can’t hate ourselves for not having the power to change them. Sure, maybe they’re a dick. Or maybe we just think they are, want them to be, because they’re not what they need to be to be with us. They’re probably not a bad person — they’re just not our kind of person.

If you could change that one thing about someone, you might not even want them anymore.

We can’t change people. They are what they are for a reason, and so are we. We have to stop trying to wish people into something that they’re not. If you were this way, you would love me, but I wouldn’t love you.

Don’t try to change the humans that fascinate you. Become fascinated with as many of them as you can, just the way they are. One day, by accident, you’ll find one that clicks.

featured image – Spencer Finnley