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Why does he mind when I try to refine him?

Dear Panel,

...He thinks that I want to change him since I've tried to give him some assistance in how to dress better, socialize, have better manners – in general – be more refined...

-- Confused

Female, age 31, Oakland CA

[read the entire question below]

Dear Panel,

I am 31 and have been a 'serial monogamist' for most of my life. I'm pretty outgoing and have had a relatively successful career in technology.

He's 40 years old and a high school English teacher. He's had 6 - 7 relationships, but has spent the majority of his adult life single.

We've been dating for two years and enjoy many similar interests, values and culture.

He's a wonderfully kind and deep person, but our last year has been pretty rocky. He thinks that I want to change him since I've tried to give him some assistance in how to dress better, socialize, have better manners – in general – be more refined.

As a result, he says that he doesn't feel good about himself around me and I end up holding back on my opinions.

Can this relationship work out for the long term, or are we too different?

-- Confused

Female, age 31, Oakland CA

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