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Thread: I can't be myself around my boyfriend and it's really bothering me.

  1. #1

    I can't be myself around my boyfriend and it's really bothering me.

    Hi there! I'm so sorry if this is long but I just want to give as much details as possible.

    So, this really upsets me and I really want to be able to fix it because of how long I've been in this relationship. My boyfriend and I have been together for three years. We met in community college and then transferred to different colleges an hour apart and have been doing long distance except when it comes to breaks when I go back home. Well, during these breaks I am under strict household rules from my parents where I can't go out much at night and when I can, it's usually with friends because my boyfriend is either at work or my friends aren't willing to pick him up since it's a twenty minute drive. My boyfriend and I both don't have cars so we have to rely on the buses to see each other so we can't do any nightlife stuff anyway with public transportation.

    Well, anyways, when we met I was very naive and insecure. Over the past few years in college, I have grown to become a confident person and have found the "charm" in my personality. However, this goes away when I'm with my boyfriend. Sometimes I'm myself, sometimes I'm not. I feel like when I got with him, I put a huge weight on myself being his "girlfriend" that I tried so hard not to make a bad impression. His ex was really bad to him and I wanted to treat him the way he deserved to be treated but in doing so, I didn't let myself have my own individuality or personality in us. At the same time, I was always insecure and couldn't believe that he could fall for someone like me - someone who's never had a relationship before, who lets her parents control everything, who suffers through minor depression, who has daddy issues and doesn't have the best luck with guys and isn't good enough for him. How could he fall in love with ME when there are other girls out there? Because I thought that, I felt like I had to rely on myself. I let that thought carry through my head for a long time when we first started dating. I don't think that way now but I did back then and I feel like it messed with me.

    Looking back, I've hid a part of myself around him. When we're alone, I act silly or say jokes but I say it in a baby voice. Around his friends or family, I close off. I get scared and tense up and shut down. I don't really talk or joke around. With my own friends or new people I meet, I am so outgoing and friendly but with the people in his life, I completely lose my personality. I think a part of this is because of the long distance. We'd spend time with other people until we could finally see each other. He'd go out with his friends and I'd go out with mine. When I come home from breaks, he'd go out with friends and it would hurt me because I'd constantly think how he has fun with friends but not with me, even though I can't go out to have that sort of fun when I'm back home because of my parents anyway.. I also love dancing and going to clubs but the idea of going with him scares me. I've tried going with him when we visit each other but he didn't want to because he doesn't like hip hop music and thinks it's stupid so that messed with me too. I can't dance around him or enjoy playing that type of music around him. Lately though, I've been getting into raves and EDM and he likes that stuff and says we should go together but I'm scared to go with him because I'm scared I'll shut down and won't have fun. I've started to become a boring person around him. He took me to a bar one time and all I did was sit there instead of enjoy the environment or the music like he did. I don't talk much and when I do, I find myself talking about other people in my life or things I do with my friends. Even in bed, I can't say things because I'm shy too. We have really good sex, I just can't say things when we have it.

    We took a break and saw other people a few months ago because we had communication problems and the distance was getting hard due to school and work commitments. I met a few guys and was completely myself in every way. I was confident in bed, I was confident with my personality, I was completely myself. But it didn't feel right because those guys weren't who I wanted to be with. I think maybe because my boyfriend knew me when I didn't know myself and took my virginity and pretty much showed me what a relationship is like, that I can't be myself since he pretty much made me so that when I meet someone new, they don't know anything about me dating wise so I feel more relieved, secure and confident with it. Anyways, a while after that, my boyfriend and I got back together. He begged for me back and said he couldn't live without me and I felt the same but now that we're back together, I feel like the problems in this relationship are because of me and I'm starting to resent it. He's such a great boyfriend. He treats me like I deserve, he is always willing to fix our issues and do whatever to make me happy but I feel HORRIBLE because he loves me so much yet I have such a big problem trying to give him all of me. HOW do I fix this??? Please, please help because I am so scared of losing the best person that has happened in my life and it's not fair to him at all.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Capricorn3's Avatar
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    When you start resenting being in the relationship because you can't be who you are, then you know it's time to call it quits (imo). When you have to suppress your personality in order to fit in with another person, then your relationship is pretty much doomed. You will NEVER be happy. Ever. So, you have to ask yourself "what's the point? Is this how I want to live for the rest of my life? Not being able to be who I am?"

    I say it's time to call it quits and move on. Find someone who you can feel comfortable with and not have to hide who you really are.

  3. #3
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    That is not cool. You should not need to modify your personality in any way. It sounds like you are doing great, developing as a human, and loving yourself. It also sounds like once you get around him, your body physically LOCKS UP, which is a surefire indication that something is going on. Your body knows before you know. Somatically speaking, the body is a powerful force. When you lose words, when you lose composure, when you lose self-assurance, all of those are signs that your physical being is uncomfortable with being around this man, and for good reason. He has intuitively stifled you, and so long as you are with him, you are stifling yourself. It sounded like you were better off without him. Don't be one of those people who wakes up one day depressed and angry, wondering how the frenetic trajectory of her life went by, as she stares listlessly into space. Take charge. Being happy is hard work. Go for it!

  4. #4
    What if we went to couples therapy? We actually went a few days ago for an hour and the therapist really helped and helped me make it feel like we can work it out. I didn't bring up not being able to be myself to her but I plan to now that I've fully thought about what it is in the relationship that bothers me. He's very determined to keep us going and I want to too because we both don't believe in giving up.

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  6. #5
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    Well, go for it then. It sounds like you both want to be together. Just make sure that you "togetherness" is not to the extent that you are feeling physically uncomfortable in your body all the time, as in, more often than not. If it persists, then I would still say drop him. However, you HAVE to bring up this issue in therapy, obviously, if you want to deal with the issue. Try to frequently check in with yourself. If you feel yourself drawing frequent blanks, feeling emotional paralysis, etc., then it may be time to call it quits. If those feelings become more manageable, then I guess it's doable. Still, it sounds like if you gave yourself a chance you might be better without him...those bodily feelings are generally a warning sign.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member t1lersm0m1's Avatar
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    What if he doesn't like the real you? If you've been hiding her then there's a good chance he won't like her once he meets her.

    Is there more to this story?

  8. #7
    Platinum Member journeynow's Avatar
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    It doesn't sound like he's to blame, it sounds more like you brought self-doubt into this relationship, and can't shed that insecurity in the relationship. It's not really fair to either of you if you hide your true self. Everyone changes, and relationships change. If you don't share your changed self it doesn't give him the opportunity to change with you, and the relationship is bound to eventually fall apart. You could do couples therapy, or individual therapy, or give yourself permission to be yourself and take that risk with him.

  9. #8
    Originally Posted by journeynow
    It doesn't sound like he's to blame, it sounds more like you brought self-doubt into this relationship, and can't shed that insecurity in the relationship. It's not really fair to either of you if you hide your true self. Everyone changes, and relationships change. If you don't share your changed self it doesn't give him the opportunity to change with you, and the relationship is bound to eventually fall apart. You could do couples therapy, or individual therapy, or give yourself permission to be yourself and take that risk with him.
    I completely agree with you! I think you've said it perfectly. I brought self-doubt and insecurities into the relationship that still bothers me to this day but for some reason, I can't stop feeling that way. He is honestly everything that a girl wants in a boyfriend and he is A LOT to lose. We have a lot in common and he's such a fun guy with a great personality. I'm sure that if we never got into a relationship and were just friends, we would be great friends and would complement each other well but the relationship part messed me up in the beginning and I was so scared to tell him about my insecurities in the beginning which makes me scared to bring them all up now so I stay that girl I always was so I don't have to communicate my insecurities or appear weak. I know if this ends for good, I will put so much blame on myself for letting this happen and I want to fix it, I just don't know how to start since I've been in this routine of acting this way. People do change and I have definitely changed over the past few years, I just can't get that changed person to always come out in front of him and I just want to figure out how.

    Thank you everyone for all of your replies!
    Last edited by hummingbirdee; 05-31-2014 at 01:08 AM.

  10. #9
    Gold Member hodgeheg's Avatar
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    It just sounds like you've grown up and grown apart, it happens with young relationships. It's sad but you'll both be fine once you've broken up.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member SpottiOtti's Avatar
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    Take the plunge and do something you think is outrageous around him. I bet he doesn't think it's as big of a deal as you do, and it doesn't turn out to be as scary as you think it will be.

    Out of curiosity - anyone from early in your life who you had to put up a front around?

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