I talked to a friend recently and told him about a woman I'd dated with a short fuse.
She was in all other respects perfect.
Physically very beautiful. Very smart and highly educated.
Good career. A happy, positive, can-do person, with a charming personality.
More self-improvement-orientated than almost any woman I've met.
However, she had a very short fuse, and various things would set her off.
Once you set her off, she'd fly off into a (self-)righteous rage.
Her rage would last anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, then she would calm back down. A little while later she'd be happy again.
This short fuse of hers was inherited. Her father had it. Her elder sister and younger sisters had it. Others in her family did not have it, but those four did. At a family gathering I attended with them, all four set each other off and flew into rages against one another.
3. Limits of Behavior Modification
4. Deciding She Wants to Change
The sisters often tried to avoid talking with each other and their parents, solely because of their tendencies to set each other off like that. Everything else about their relationships were fine, but the anger they all boiled over into did not well mix.
I did everything I could, within reason, over the time I dated this girl to cure her of this fuse.
I thought for a while that with proper operant conditioning, I'd break her of her temper.
I was wrong, and nothing I did was a permanent fix.
The friend I mentioned this to is an optimistic guy who is good at approaching new women, but has trouble bedding them and hanging onto them. His relationships never work out. He's one of the 'hard case' guys I know and have talked about before on Girls Chase. It's hard to put your finger on it with him, but there are many little things it often seems like he does not really 'get'.
When I talked about some of the details of this relationship with him, he told me "Well, it sounds like you set up a pattern early on where this type of behavior was acceptable."
He added that it "sounds like you were encouraging this" or "maybe you subtlely like this."
He then admitted he'd dated a few dramatic women before, but "I quickly showed them I wouldn't tolerate that and they stopped doing it."
It was a little pop armchair psychology that on the surface sounds really good. Somebody does something you don't like? Just make it clear it's unacceptable, and she'll stop for good! Don't be weak or invite it back in, and you'll never have to deal with it again!
But, as I told him, people are a lot richer and more complex than this... and you simply wanting a behavior to change, and putting a few behavior modification procedures in place to try to change it, does not ensure you'll get the change you want.
Especially not long-term.
Far from it.
Rather, while you should do what you can to get your woman to change any undesirable behavior she has, you should never count on a woman to change... and you should never think you'll change her.
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