Anyone that has ever been in a crappy relationship has at some point wondered, "can people change?" And while change is an accepted fact of life, change in people is slow and often hard to see.

We do change though. We grow and evolve constantly based on different experiences, realizations, and outside influences. Sometimes these changes are small barely noticeable; other times changes are more dramatic. A death in the family or the birth of a child will often bring about faster and more noticeable change in a person than failing a test or winning a contest, however all of these experiences will influence who we are. Unfortunately, this level of change is not normally what we think about when discussing change in a person. Usually we look for specific changes in behavior. Will they stop smoking/lying/cheating, etc.

This brings us back to relationships. Can you get a cheater to stop cheating? Can you get a player to stop playing? The sad answer is that while you can influence change in a person, a true change in behavior is left up completely to the individual in question, and change is not an easy process.

For a person to truly change a pattern of behavior, they must first accept that they need to change. This sounds easy, but this first step can be very difficult. While a person may accept that a pattern of behavior is having some negative consequences, getting them to own up and truly accept that they need to change can be a problem. Next, the person must be honest and self aware, and be open to self reflection. They have to be self motivated and truly want it. In the best case scenarios, this type of intense self reflection can bring about the desired healthy behavioral changes.

Before we get to carried away with the possibility of change, let me be clear; change at this level is highly unlikely. Most will say they desire change, but never put in the necessary work to ever actually go through with it. Placing your hopes in the possibility of another person deciding to change is unwise. Though change is possible, it is not very likely.

If there is something that exist in your relationship that must change in order for it to continue, chances are it will not and your best course of action is to simply move on before you get hurt anymore. Maybe losing you will be the motivating factor the other person needs to correct the negative behaviors in their life, maybe it won't, but sticking around and allowing someone's negative behavior to bring you down will not help either of you.

Did you enjoy the Deep Thought of the Week? What are your thoughts on change in people? Tell us about it in the comment section at the bottom, and make sure to click the “Like” button to share this deep thought with your friends. To check out last weeks Deep Thought, “Are You Living in Reality?” Click Here. And as always, the kiddie pool is nice, but the real fun goes down at the deep end.