I knew my boyfriend and I were a bit different when we got together but I also knew that didn’t mean we couldn’t be happy. Then I saw him around his friends and everything changed. Here’s what happened.
He became a different person. When we started dating, one of the few things we had in common was that we were both introverts. He was always a shy guy and I loved that about him. Then I saw him around his friends and he was completely different! Suddenly, he was the life of the party. I could tell he wasn’t faking it just to be accepted or impress his friends either. He was vibrant and outgoing. He loved being around them and he forgot about me for most of the night. What the hell?
It wasn’t a one-off. When we went out with his friends again the following weekend, he was that same guy again. This was weird. The minute we left the party, he went back to being quiet and a bit bored or distant really. I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t want to feel jealous of his social circle, but clearly they brought out the best in this guy. Around me, he never seemed to have so much fun. I really didn’t like how that made me feel.
He started making our dates group dates. Things were steadily getting worse. Instead of having our usual date nights, he started inviting me out on “dates” when he was hanging with his friends. These really didn’t feel like dates at all. It was just us hanging out as a couple with his friends.
I started to feel it was personal. I tried not to think that he wasn’t having as great a time around me as he was around other people, but his group dates idea really confirmed that for me. It’s like he didn’t want to be alone in a room with me!
Was Inot making him happy? Did he not really love me? Soon, my thoughts started to spiral. I felt like there was something wrong with me. Maybe I wasn’t good enough to make him feel excited to be around me. Maybe his friends were more interesting or mentally challenging. Ugh, I felt terrible. Date nights started to become date nightmares for me to get through.
I started to feel bad around him. That was the worst. I used to enjoy his company, but thinking that he wasn’t having a good time with me really hurt me. I started to clam up inside my shell and feel really lousy around him. This was making our relationship so unhealthy!
He said I was changing. In an interesting turn of events, after one of those miserable group dates, my BF told me that he was worried because I wasn’t myself. He said I was changing. Seriously, dude? Now was the time to talk to him about this. I told him that he’d been showing me a completely different side to himself and I didn’t know how to deal with it. I didn’t like not knowing who he was.
He brushed off my concerns. He said of course I knew who he was and he did have good times with me in his life, but then why the group dates? He was a social being and honestly, it felt like he was trying to live life like a single guy with his buddies instead of being a guy who was committed to his GF.
Things didn’t get better. I really tried to feel better when he reassured me that he wanted me in his life, but I always felt like the best parts of him weren’t going to me, they were going to other people. Worse still, it wasn’t just his closest friends. Sometimes a stranger would talk to us at a party and he’d get this light in his eyes. I grew tired of never being in his spotlight.
I’m not saying other people can’t make my boyfriend happy. Of course we’re supposed to feel good around lots of different people, and everyone will bring out slightly different parts of our personalities. The way I am around my childhood friends is a little different from how I am with other friends. That’s normal. But the changes in this guy’s personality were just too extreme.
They pointed to bigger problems. They made me question if I made him happy. They made me feel like I wasn’t really getting the behind-the-curtain view of who my boyfriend was. It was like he had a completely different life outside of our relationship. I wanted to be one of his priorities, one of the people who made him smile and brought the light to his eyes, but I just felt like I’d never be enough for him. That was really the most heartbreaking part of this whole story.
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