You cannot love what you want to change

We can improve the way we love when we stop looking at love like a kind of work, the way we may look at careers: how to mold the perfect child, how to have the perfect partner.

Modern lovers search for their perfect romance and *the one*. Young girls try to live up to the media’s unrealistic standards of beauty. Men are filled with anxiety about whether they’re good enough and have difficulty talking about it. Modern parents have a long to-do list on how to turn their child into a successful adult.

We are carpenters rather than gardeners — working on a fixed blueprint of ’the ideal’ rather than having a garden, a safe area, in which things can naturally grow.

When we look forward to the adult which a child may grow into, or the better boyfriend we want to have, we close our eyes for what is there. We think we encourage but sometimes that it’s criticizing.

One finds hope, the other fault. Say yes to stretch marks, declining hairlines. People don’t need molding, they need the freedom to discover, learn and play. To be accepted. And when you choose to love, you’ll notice you don’t need the change.