Is He Trying To Change You? 11 Signs He’s Stifling Your Awesomeness

We’re all looking for a partner who loves us exactly the way we are, but unfortunately, many of us end up finding the exact opposite. Being with a guy who tries to change you can be emotionally draining and really damage your self-esteem. If you’re not sure if your boyfriend is trying to make a few tweaks to who you are, be on the lookout for these signs:

  1. He chips away at your happinessHe might jokingly bring you down when you’re in a good mood or mock the things that bring you joy, whether it’s a band or a new hobby. Although it might feel light and harmless on his part, it can be damaging over time by making you want to do less of what makes you happy.
  2. He wants you to do what he likes. It starts innocently enough: he wants you to go bungee jumping with him or go check out a sports game he loves, but soon, it’s like that’s all he wants to do. Your days are basically his, and he doesn’t meet you halfway to do what you want. Before you know it, you’ve become an unwilling clone of him, lacking your own hobbies and completely occupied with his.
  3. He mocks your friends. He knows how much you value spending time with your friends, but he brings them down a lot. When he spends time with them (which isn’t often), he ridicules them. When you talk about them, he tells you what’s wrong with them or why they’re not good enough for you. Sometimes it feels like he’s after your best interests, but this is actually a form of control.
  4. He tries to change your personal appearance. You wear dresses, but he likes you in skinny jeans. You paint your nails red, he likes them pink. You get a haircut and you never hear the end of why you looked so much better when your hair was longer. Yup, this guy seems to be a walking opinion poll of your looks.
  5. He makes decisions for you. Maybe ordering food on your behalf is done in a way that shows you how much he knows you, but if he’s always making decisions for you, then that’s a problem. It’s basically saying that his opinions matter more or he knows better.
  6. He doesn’t change, but you’re always improving yourself. In this relationship, you find yourself trying to change or improve yourself a lot. It could be that you feel you need to brush up on your football knowledge so you don’t feel like an idiot around your BF and his friends, or you try to get along with his female friends even though they’re really rude to you. Whatever the case, you’re the one making all the effort. Who said you needed to change? Why have you allowed this guy to make you feel inadequate?
  7. He’s the king of criticism. Part of being in a healthy, happy relationship is having the chance to express your dreams to your partner. But if your boyfriend is quick to unleash criticism, that’s a sure way to make you not want to share your thoughts anymore. No one should make you feel bad about wanting to pursue your goals.
  8. He pisses on your parade. When you’re happy and you tell your BF about it, do you find that your good mood tends to disappear? It’s almost like whenever something has happened to make you happy, he’ll have a problem of his own that needs to be sorted out. He’s constantly finding a way to bring you down as though he’s jealous of your happiness.
  9. Your friends have noticed the change. Your friends have commented how you’re not really yourself lately, or they wonder where the real you is hiding. It’s comments like these that should really make you aware of your relationship. Have you diluted yourself and all that makes you vibrant to fit into your relationship? It’s a hard question to ask yourself, but an important one.
  10. He makes you feel bad for being emotionalYou’re a passionate person, but your BF doesn’t seem to get that. The minute you show your raw side, it becomes too much, and he’s quick to call you “crazy” or “dramatic”. But aren’t you sick and tired of having to censor your feelings just so he can deal with them? That crap’s got to stop, because your feelings are important. If he can’t respect and cherish them, then he doesn’t deserve a spot in your life.
  11. He changes the energy levels in the room. You don’t really find it easy to be energetic and hopeful around him. It’s weird, because you used to be so bubbly and optimistic, but maybe the problem is your BF and not you. You need to get your mojo back, because how can you do incredible things if you’re not feeling amped and positive? The first step to reclaiming your power is to lose him. Fast.
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.