Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.


A friend recently asked me to weigh in on an issue related to her husband. My reply was, “he’s exactly the man you married”. Now, I wasn’t trying to be evasive. My point was this – he hadn’t changed a bit. The things that are driving her crazy now were clearly elements of his personality when they met way back in the stone ages. She just chose to overlook them, or hoped he would change, or pretended they weren’t such a big deal.

And then I reminded her of the story of the scorpion and the frog. You know the one where the scorpion asks the frog to ferry him across the river, and the frog initially says no because he knows the scorpion will sting him? Well, the scorpion convinces him to do it anyway, convinces the frog that he will go against his nature and not sting him so that they can both get across the river safely. Of course, the scorpion can’t go against his nature, he stings the frog, and they both die.

A lot of my relationships have been like that.

The thing is, when they fail, I really can’t blame the , can I? I mean, scorpions sting. It’s what they do. If I know that a has some fatal trait, something that’s going to make it impossible for us to work together, and I throw myself into the relationship anyway, then I can’t very well blame him when we both wind up on the bottom of the river.

I’m pretty sure my friend didn’t like that analogy. I wasn’t suggesting her marriage was doomed. Just that she knew exactly what she was in for when she said “I do”. People can’t (or don’t) change who they are. The most you can hope for is a scorpion with non-poisonous venom.

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5 to “Scorpions”

  1. lisaq says:

    I’m sure you’re friend didn’t like it, but you’re dead on. I think so many people go into a relationship looking at their mate as a ‘fixer upper.’ Dude, he’s not real estate!

    Now, that being said, people can, and do, change but only if the desire to do so comes from within them. They have to really recognize the need and do it for themselves. They may try to do it for their partner or their kids or whoever, but it fails unless it comes from deep inside.

  2. CJ says:

    I think you and lisaq are both right, but don’t you think it’s very unfair to expect a person to change, or to try to change them? It’s just not right. I think it probably comes from the idea that there’s a perfect partner out there for everyone. There undoubtedly is – somewhere – for most people at least, but our chances of meeting them, amongst the relatively small number of friends and aquaintances we know and come across, is pretty darned small! So, we settle for someone who’s got some of what does it for us and then (perhaps unconsciously) set about changing them into what we really wanted in the first place. Bad move, both for us and for the poor unsuspecting significant others we’re trying to turn into something they’re not and don’t want to be.

  3. jenmata says:

    Nice, I liked this one. So true.

  4. dazediva says:

    Great analogy on it … hopefully the next scorpion I meet is non-venomous !

  5. Simone Grant says:

    Thanks everyone. I’ve always been fond of this post. Glad others enjoyed it.