News is spreading that Miley Cyrus has given up her "hard partying" ways in an effort to appease her former fiancé and current boyfriend, Liam Hemsworth. A source told People that at first it seemed as if she was doing it just to please him, but now she seems happier and healthier than ever.
But if she's really changed for him, and not for herself, I'm going to have to call bullshit.
Miley can be totally enjoying her low-key life for now, but unless she really wants to have that life independent of Liam's influence, it isn't going to last.
Changing an aspect of yourself to save your relationship, even if it's giving up partying, is going to either make you resent your partner or miss getting drunk and twerking more.
Unfortunately, I know from experience. I have changed major things about myself to make a significant other happy, and just like Miley, I gave up partying.
"Don't change yourself for someone you're dating" is something most people learn in their formative dating years. Who doesn't remember watching their friend go through a punk phase when she started dating that kid in the local screamo band? Your bathroom still has black hair dye stains.
But that was a hard lesson for me to grasp.
I came out as a lesbian when I was almost 20, after dumping my first, and only, college boyfriend through a text message. He was cordial and agreed because, surprise, "there was no spark."
It wasn't until I started dating women that I found myself actually caring if they liked me. Couple that with crippling low self-esteem and anxiety, and I quickly became the perfect doormat who will change whatever you want, please just love me.
Now, my dating history repeats itself. I meet a girl who tells me I'm perfect, they quickly tell me they love me and then they tell me what I should change.
One girl, Jess*, came at a time when I desperately needed someone.
I had just moved across the country after my then-girlfriend asked me to so she could move back to LA. After five years together, she broke up with me (an hour before I was flying home for my uncle's funeral. LOL). I stopped talking to our friends, I worked and drank a lot and, naturally, I signed up for Tinder.
My bio read "A weird combination of an 80-year-old senator's wife and a vodka-drinking party girl." It's fitting; I hate to go out, but I love to drink.
I was surprised someone like Jess started talking to me. She was gorgeous, funny and seemed to have her life together.
We met, and I quickly fell for her. I loved how outgoing she was, how politely she treated others, how well traveled and worldly she was.
I've dated women who told me how to dress and how they wished I acted. Jess seemed to accept me the way I was. She actually liked my inability to wear anything but jeans and T-shirts. She didn't find it annoying when I would get nervous in social situations.
But, after about a week of seeing each other, she told me she loved me as she was breaking up with me. The night before, I had had too much to drink, and she was convinced I was an alcoholic. Due to her family's issues with alcohol, she said she couldn't be with me.
I was crushed. I called in sick at work, read sad poetry and sent her flowers. She called me that night and told me to come to her place. She said, again, she couldn't be with me if I drank... so I quit.
When you quit drinking, after you've been drinking a lot, your body starts producing natural chemicals that make you feel happy. I felt healthier than I had in years, I had a great girlfriend and I actually felt happy. Similar to our girl Miley (I always knew we had a lot in common), I was in a state of euphoria.
This lasted for a couple of weeks.
Then, red flags began popping up with Jess. She was confrontational and never wrong. I found her more and more controlling.
Eventually, she broke up with me. I was both heartbroken and relieved. However, she lived with me for several months after. We acted like we were together, slept together, but weren't technically "together."
I stayed sober just because I didn't want to fight with her. I hate any confrontation, especially with Jess, who has a terrifying ability to tear a person down. I didn't want her to blow up at me and talk about how disappointed she was in me.
But Jess didn't make sobriety easy. She would have people over for wine, or we would go out, or it was my birthday and she'd buy champagne. Who brings champagne to a birthday party of someone they consider to be an alcoholic?!
Also, have you ever been the only sober one at a party? Drunk people are so annoying when you're sober. Imagine that for six months.
I was miserable. I couldn't really hang out with my friends, because who wants to go to a bar to not drink? My family was confused as to why I quit drinking, because I never showed signs of having an issue with it.
I realized the fear of confrontation from Jess was what kept me sober, not my actual want to be sober. I started to see Jess' decision on my drinking as a way for her to have control over me. She diagnosed me with a problem and she credited herself with its solution. I became something she "fixed."
Drinking again was, in a weird sense, a way for me to reclaim myself and my control.
The only way someone is going to stay sober is if they make the decision to do it for themselves. Of course, you should always encourage your loved ones to take care of themselves, especially if they have destructive habits, but ultimatums never work.
Giving up anything in the name of "love" or to save your relationship is just going to end in resentment.
* Name has been changed.