How Can A Great Guy Turn Into A Jerk Overnight? Simple: He Secretly Always Was One

“He’s completely changed!” If you’ve thought this about your boyfriend, you know how terrible it is to feel so confused and worried about why he seems like a totally different guy to the one you used to date. But here’s the thing: he hasn’t changed at all. He’s been playing you with his “nice guy” act all along.

  1. He knew how to hide his true self. He was charming, sweet, kind and totally into you. What went wrong? He was hiding his crappy personality so that you would like him, but he couldn’t keep playing the role of the perfect guy for much longer.
  2. People don’t change easily. It takes a lot for someone to change. They have to decide to change and then put in lots of work to make it happen. Basically, it’s not something that happens overnight. And when they do change, it’s going to be gradual, not something so drastic. If your boyfriend’s changed, it’s been happening slowly — you only noticed it now.
  3. There were signs, you just didn’t notice them. Sadly, there were probably signs that something wasn’t right, but maybe you missed them because they were so subtle. Or maybe they seemed like the type of things a man in love would do. For example, if he came on strong when he met you, you might have thought it was a sign that he really loved you. Actually, it was more likely a sign that he had a hidden agenda and you should’ve run in the other direction!
  4. You can’t change anyoneWhen it feels like you’re suddenly faced with a guy who’s not what you thought he was, you might wonder, “What did I do to make him change towards me?” Don’t blame yourself. You can’t change anyone! He’s changing because of something that’s happening within him.
  5. He’s a manipulator. When he met you and started dating you, he knew he had to be Mr. Perfect in order to get what he wanted out of you, such as a committed girlfriend, lots of sex, or resources like money or a roof over his head. He had something to gain out of this.
  6. Lies don’t last forever. What he didn’t realize, though, is that lies come out sooner or later. Now you’re faced with the truth of who the guy is and it feels like you don’t know who you’ve been dating. It’s a horrible experience, but it might be a bit of comfort to know that he was the problem — not you.
  7. He might want to end things. A common reason men seem to change is because they want to end the relationship, so they drop the Good Guy act and become irritable or bored around you. But, again, this isn’t a “change” — he’s always been this type of guy. It’s just that you didn’t see it because he was so in love with you. As the saying goes: “You never really know someone until you divorce them.” It’s often the same with relationships.
  8. Or, he’s trying to get you to end things. On the other hand, he might be pretending to change, being horrible or wanting to fight because he’s a coward and wants you to get fed up and break up with him. It’s such a jerk move and anyone who resorts to doing such things clearly has been a jerk from the beginning.
  9. He had issues brewing under the surface for a long time. Maybe he’s got his own issues, such as trust or commitment problems, but he was so into you that he decided to try to cover them up and deal with them. Only, they continued brewing, so now when he’s “suddenly” treating you badly or flirting with other women, you might think he’s changing. He’s not — this is just the side of him that he wasn’t man enough to deal with so that it wouldn’t harm your relationship.
  10. He moved really fast and couldn’t maintain it. Sometimes when guys really want to be with you, they’ll move really quickly to make you fall in love with them so that they can get whatever they want out of the relationship. Then, they’ll show you who they truly are when they have you where they want you: in love and tied to them. These toxic men know exactly what they’re doing and they’ll change towards you when it’s convenient for them to move on.
  11. His interest has worn off. You might be thinking that he’s changed, but he’s still the same — it’s just that his feelings towards you or the relationship have changed. This is difficult to deal with, so it might make you prefer to think of him as becoming a jerk. But don’t take the rejection to heart. He’s doing you a favor because you won’t have to waste another minute of your time with someone who’s not committed to the relationship.
  12. Maybe you’re the one who changed. It could be that you’re the one who’s changed, not him. Maybe the qualities he possesses that you loved, such as his offbeat nature and charm, have become annoying – they’ve become things you view as weirdness or a desperate need for attention – and they’ve put you off him. You might’ve allowed love to blind you from the truth of who he really is, so now that you’re seeing him clearly all you can think of is, “WTF am I doing with this guy? He’s not the guy I wanted!” Reality check! Time to move on.
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.