Doesn't the cartoon above describe it all? Don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting it is only the woman who wants to change 'her' man - acceptance (or lack of it) works both ways. I believe that acceptance is the biggest gift we could get (and give), yet it is the most under-valued.
I have been in a relationship for 21 years now - in these years there have been many instances when I have been asked (and have asked myself) that "why my life-partner is so important for me...why do I love her so much?". The more I think of answers to these questions, the more I push myself to drill down to multiple levels of "whys" - to reach the core of my reasons - the more I have come to realise that my reason is simple: because she accepts me for who I am. Period!
Think about it - how relieving and easy it is to be with someone who allows you to be you, with whom you don't (ever...at all) need to / want to pretend and whose life's purpose is not to change you (on the pretext of improving you)?
Once again, don't get me wrong - I am not suggesting that I haven't changed because of my life-partner in the 21 years that we have been together - obviously I have changed over the years. As the cliché goes - change is the only constant. My point is - I have always felt loved, wanted and most importantly accepted - with all my shortcomings and faults.
Since acceptance works both ways - I have also come to understand my part in the equation. It is my responsibility to accept my life-partner as she is. When I looked at accepting my life-partner in toto, I came face-to-face with some changes that I needed to make in my way of life so that our life together could improve. Interestingly, this made me realise how much my life-partner must have changed her way of life in order to accept me. We both changed in our own ways - all the while adjusting our personal lives to accept the other person and improving our life together. If that's not love - then I don't know what is!
I would like to extend this concept to include accepting our own-self for who we are why we are who we are, and finding peace with it. Actually, acceptance starts with this - if one doesn't know self, understand the why of self and accept it - one cannot be accept another person in her / his life. It is silly to not accept our-own-self but still expect another person to. If the other person doesn't, then blame them of trying to change you.
Accept your-own-self, start with this...put in the effort by introspection, observation and reflection - then provide the best gift you can - accepting your life-partner (or who-so-ever you would like to give this gift to). If you are lucky, you will get this gift in return and you would have found your "perfect-match". It is as simple, and just as difficult, as this!
Finally - as another cliché goes: you two can live-happily-ever-after.