He Was Great As A Friend But Such A Lousy Boyfriend That I Hardly Recognized Him

Going from BFFs to romantic partners might sound like a good thing, but for my guy friend and me, it was horrible. Here’s why I wish we never took our relationship to the next level.

  1. Relationships change people. As my best friend, this guy was amazing. He was funny, sweet, and the life of the party. Everyone loved him, including me. As a boyfriend, he wasn’t so great. He was moody and picky. It blew my mind. Was this the same guy? Why did he change so drastically?
  2. I saw a whole new side of him and I didn’t really like it. Everyone raved about how great this guy was, and the way he treated me when we were just friends made me want to become more. Unfortunately, when I dated him, I got to see behind the curtain. I got to see his secret self—the part of him that he didn’t show the world—and it just didn’t match who he was in public. Clearly, he hadn’t changed. He was always like this, I just never saw it as his friend. I felt like being his girlfriend meant that I was getting less of him than I wanted instead of more. WTF?
  3. He stopped treating me like his friend. When we were friends, I loved how we always had each other’s back. We were also each other’s confidantes, but when he became my boyfriend, that started to change. He didn’t confide in me and it often felt like we weren’t friends anymore. We had to wear couple masks and try to have some mystery. It was so weird.
  4. I couldn’t be comfortable. I was always so relaxed around him when we were friends, but once there were relationship boundaries in place, I felt totally on edge. We couldn’t treat each other as friends all the time because we had to be romantic partners who had sex, but that made me feel like I couldn’t just chill around him and make jokes or do something weird. I had to be girlfriend material and it sucked.
  5. I started to wonder if I was the problem. Was I expecting too much of him? Was I just trying to have a fairytale relationship with a guy I’d been friends with for years? Was that unrealistic? It was hard to face the truth that perhaps I fell for the idea of who he was rather than his true self.
  6. Dating is when we really got to know each other. Anyone can share a laugh together and be good pals, but dating brings a whole other level of intimacy to the party. We really got to know each other and that’s when we really determined our compatibility. It’s sad that he wasn’t the same friend that I’d loved for so long but someone else entirely. I felt like I was getting to know him from scratch.
  7. I missed my friend! It was sad but true. Even though he was my boyfriend and a huge part of my life, it just wasn’t the same. I missed the easy, fun interactions we used to have that didn’t involve dating rules and expectations. I also missed the flirting we used to do when we were friends. Once we started dating, all that anticipation and fun was gone.
  8. I wanted to give us a real chance. I tried to pretend that I was just getting to know my boyfriend, as though we were never friends and were just meeting now in a dating sense. I wanted to give us a real chance without all of our history.
  9. We weren’t on the same page. We just didn’t gel as a couple in the same way that we got along so well as friends. We didn’t make each other happy. Funny enough, we did have one thing in common: he missed the way we were before too.
  10. I hoped we could save the friendship. I always used to laugh when people said they didn’t want to date their friend because they feared ruining the friendship. I used to think it was a copout, but I suddenly understood that it was a legit fear. I didn’t want to ruin the friendship I had with this guy. It was so much more special than any relationship we ever could have had. The trick was to try to go back to friendship and hope that no lasting had been done. Could we make it happen?
  11. We successfully moved back to friendship. We were lucky to salvage our friendship, but I must admit that I felt sad that we couldn’t make something romantic happen. It was bittersweet. However, I also knew that for a relationship to happen, we would’ve had to be completely different people so it wasn’t worth it. At least we tried dating so we wouldn’t always wonder what could have been, and now we could enjoy the friendship we’ve always had. I was glad that some other woman he dated could deal with his darker, secret self and I could enjoy the best of him as a friend. Bliss.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.