What To Do If Your Boyfriend Starts Acting Different And You Hate It

Hey Heather,

I’ve been with my boyfriend for about a year and a half. When we first started dating, he was into wearing Vans and ripped jeans. Lately, he’s been copying his best friend in every way. They both now wear three layers of long shirts, ripped zipper jeans, and large, bulky shirts. I can’t stand that he’s becoming his best friend and I hate the clothes he’s wearing now. I want to date my boyfriend, not his best friend. I don’t know what to do, I hate being shallow because I want him to do what makes him happy, but I hate how he’s not his own person anymore and he’s been acting so different. I don’t know what to do, he knows I don’t care for the clothes but doesn’t know I hate them. Please help me. I’m so stressed. I love him, but it’s getting ridiculous how much he’s acting like his friend.

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Watching someone go through different phases of their life is a big part of being in a long-term relationship, especially if you’re both under 21-years-old and still ~finding yourselves.~ As annoying as it might be, this kind of thing is totally normal. When I was in high school, I was in almost the same exact position as you! My boyfriend of two years stopped wearing the pop-punk clothes I loved seeing on him, and suddenly started dressing like a mini Eminem in velour sweatsuits and du-rags. He was mimicking the style at the time, but was also influence by his friends.

It drove me NUTS. Like you, I felt bad about how much I hated what he was wearing. I felt superficial and silly, and logically, I knew I couldn’t tell him what he could and couldn’t wear. But I absolutely hated his new wardrobe, and it definitely had an impact on how I felt about our relationship. In the end, I couldn’t hold my feelings in, and I was honest with him about how I felt. It caused a few fights, but mainly, he did what he wanted until he got bored, and moved onto his next style phase (Abercrombie and Fitch. Please do not ask him how he went from one extreme to the other).

Here’s the truth: hating what your bae is wearing or how they look feels really sucky. It makes you feel guilty because you know it shouldn’t matter, but at the same time, it also makes you feel embarrassed, especially if what they’re wearing isn’t super popular. It’s awkward, and can leave you feeling really confused.

The fact is, your boyfriend is allowed to wear whatever he wants, and I think you realize that. Just like I would tell a girl to get rid of a dude who tried to dictate what she could and couldn’t wear, I would tell you not to tell your BF what he can’t wear. This is why it’s such a tricky situation – you don’t want to be too controlling, but also you want him to do what you want him to do. Ugh!

I think it’s okay to be honest with your boyfriend about how you feel. Say you don’t like how he’s changed and that you miss the old him. You shouldn’t ask him to change back for you, but you can be honest. You can also focus more on the fact that he’s been copying his best friend. This, too, is normal behavior, by the way. Feel free to bring it up, as it can be a sign of low self-esteem, but prepare for him to be defensive and maybe angry – no one likes to be called out on copying someone else.

Maybe your BF is happier this way, and if that’s the case, you need to support him and not let it affect your relationship. Like I said, people go through different phases such as this all the time, and sometimes they’re just that – temporary phases. Other times, the person is becoming someone different as they grow and mature. If you really love and want to be with this guy, then try to wait it out and stop focusing on what he likes look. If you feel like you can’t do that, maybe it’s a sign that things aren’t really working out between you two. You need to figure that one out!

What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at heather@gurl.com You can also reach our buddies at HelloFlo with questions about your body or health. Just ask Dr. Flo at HelloFlo!


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Posted in: Dating
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  • Anonymous

    A couple days ago this guy I have been friends with for about a month asked me out. I said yes because I really thought I liked him. He is really funny and I love that about him, but now that we are together I feel extremely awkward around him. I can’t talk to him without a friend or someone talking to him with me. I’m starting to realize every single flaw about him and am realizing that I don’t even find him attractive. I’m starting to feel that we are better off as friends. I don’t know what to do. It’s only been two days and the big problem is he likes me A LOT. I would feel terrible if I broke up with him. What do I do?