Boyfriend is basically taking my identity

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 20, 2014 12:25 AM GMT
    So I've been with my boyfriend for 1.5 years now. I'm the first and only guy he's ever been with. Things started out great, as it seemed like we had lots in common and got along well. I started to notice that I was the one who was always making the plans and we were always hanging out with my group of friends or family, etc. He started to get a little too involved with my friends - always telling me things that were going on in their lives. He's always up in their facebooks, instagrams, etc. Whenever we would go out on weekends, it would be expected that we are going with my friends. I took him shopping with me to some stores that I shop at and he had never been to. All of a sudden, hes a regular at that store. I took him to his first gay bar/club. After that, he would act like the authority on all things gay. I started to hit the gym a lot more, and all of a sudden hes obsessed with the gym and tries to school me on how to work out. My favorite restaurants are now his favorite. He tells me he hates eggplant. I tell him I love it. He is now a fan. He says he doesnt like a car, and ill tell him I like it. All of a sudden, he wants a G-wagon more than I did. He started to talk like me, dress like me, make his hair like me, and take over so many interests of mine. (I fully understand how petty these examples are, but they are just a few of SO many). He was basically taking over my identity. All the while, hes taking credit for everything ive taught him or introduced him to (when in reality, he wasn't as well-rounded and cultured as he his now). It was really starting to creep/annoy the fuck out of me.

    So 6-7 months into our relationship, when it was getting to be too much - I basically told him how I was feeling a little frustrated and how I wanted him to have his OWN identity, interests, friends, etc. I feel like he's made very little progress so far. I just want him to man up and make decisions. Have his own friends, his own style, his own aspirations, his own preferences, his own life. I want HIM to include me in things in HIS life, rather than me doing all the work and him just copying and coming along for the ride. I want him to teach ME things and I want to learn about the REAL him. Am I wrong for feeling this way? Is there any other way for me to approach this? Bc he doesnt seem to fully get the picture, and I really do love the guy (even though this post makes it seem otherwise). Any relevant advice, comment and (respectful) criticism is appreciated. Thanks for reading this far!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 20, 2014 12:29 AM GMT
    Does he have his own friends? Did he have his own social group before you met?
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    Mar 20, 2014 12:34 AM GMT
    He has a few friends, but no one he is super close to. He had friends before me, and a lot of them mutual (our straight ones, anyways). He just says he's too busy to hang out with them, or theyre flakes, etc (excuses). I still encourage him to go and make new friends but he just doesnt.
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    Mar 20, 2014 12:45 AM GMT
    If he has made genuine connections with your friends now though it will be hard for him to give you space with your friends because he'll feel he's missing out. I think there's not a lot you can do now without hurting his feelings.
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    Mar 20, 2014 3:03 AM GMT
    I dont have any real advice on how to change him; there is no magical spell to cast to change his behavior. I'd say communication is key - but you've done that already. Only thing you can do is try articulating how you feel again.

    It sounds like he has really taken a liking to you. It seems like you're a big influence on his (gay) identity. Once guys come out of the closet and expose themselves to the gay world, they begin to develop a much newer sense of identity; their eyes begin to open. It sounds like this guy just needs a lot of understanding as far as that goes.

    Do you feel like it's wrong to feel the way you feel? I don't think so, but what matters is how you feel. You're obviously a major influence on your boyfriend and it sounds like he looks up to you a lot. If it were me, I would keep nudging him in a different direction and encourage him as you have been. I would also try to encourage a little bit more alone time - time for you to hang with your friends separately every so often. Maybe that would encourage him a little bit more to be slightly more of an independent thinker.
  • Amira

    Posts: 329

    Mar 20, 2014 3:15 AM GMT
    Well to me it sounds like he may have self-esteem issues in the sense that he has no identity for himself but will latch onto someone else's that is closes to him.

    I don't think giving more alone time will exactly fix the issue since this is more so having to do with him wanting to copy everything you like/do regardless of how much time you two spend together I'm sure.

    The best thing you could do is just lay it all out there, once again for him. When you have a relationship with someone that doesn't have their own life they look to you to provide that missing life that they themselves should seek out. You should express the importance it is for him to have his own way in life. You could explain to him that of course it's great to have someone to relate to, but what makes a relationship exciting is being able to share different experiences/interests with one another.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11526

    Mar 20, 2014 3:17 AM GMT
    Is there really a huge problem here?
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    Mar 20, 2014 4:02 AM GMT
    So did you find anything special or unique about him when you first met? Is there anything that you could nudge him into?

    We all need a healthy sense of identity, and some people like yourself may want to keep some things private or personal.

    Can you live a happy healthy life with this guy? If you can look past this and prosper then go for it. If you feel suffocated then take time off and figure out what you need to do.
  • mybud

    Posts: 11838

    Mar 20, 2014 4:11 AM GMT
    I think you're seeing a potential problem arising early in your relationship.Better to get this identified now. Stick to your guns. He does need his own circle of friends. He should make more connections with his family.The things he's doing would ride me fuckin insane so I feel ya...
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    Mar 20, 2014 2:08 PM GMT
    ignore it, none issue
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 20, 2014 2:21 PM GMT
    rnch saidIs there really a huge problem here?


    No, there isn't!
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    Mar 20, 2014 2:33 PM GMT
    Erik101 said
    rnch saidIs there really a huge problem here?


    No, there isn't!


    Thanks. You guys have been useful icon_rolleyes.gif I don't think either of you can understand my frustration unless you've been in my situation. It's really not normal and is incredibly obnoxious. If I plan to spend the rest of my life with this person, I can't be dating my clone (or someone who is constantly, though not deliberately, trying to become one).

    To everyone else that has responded, thank you so much - you've given me lots to think about.
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    Mar 21, 2014 9:50 AM GMT
    atx88 said

    Thanks. You guys have been useful icon_rolleyes.gif I don't think either of you can understand my frustration unless you've been in my situation. It's really not normal and is incredibly obnoxious. If I plan to spend the rest of my life with this person, I can't be dating my clone (or someone who is constantly, though not deliberately, trying to become one).

    To everyone else that has responded, thank you so much - you've given me lots to think about.


    I totally understand and you're not crazy for feeling the way you feel. I usually find myself chasing after guys that are much different than I; I like having the ability to learn and grow from each other, I really like having open-ended discussion with someone who thinks differently than I etc. It gets boring when you are the one who makes all of the decisions and dictates the relationship; it's a lot more interesting to have a healthy balance.

    I hope you work something out with your guy - it might just be a phase that needs to run it's course.
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    Mar 21, 2014 10:32 AM GMT
    Why would anyone stay with a guy like the OP? That is the question I would ask your psychotic BF.
  • helloandgoodb...

    Posts: 620

    Mar 21, 2014 10:53 AM GMT
    It comes from insecurities and the fear of rejection. Instead of criticizing him assure him you love him the way he is and you won't dump him because he hates eggplant!

    Don't be too harsh. Most would love to have a mate willing to try new things and take an interest in your interests.

    Telling line is: "I'm the first and only guy he's ever been with." He's scared to lose you. Hug him and tell him to relax and be himself and you will still love him
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    Mar 21, 2014 11:27 AM GMT
    atx88 said
    Erik101 said
    rnch saidIs there really a huge problem here?


    No, there isn't!


    Thanks. You guys have been useful icon_rolleyes.gif I don't think either of you can understand my frustration unless you've been in my situation. It's really not normal and is incredibly obnoxious. If I plan to spend the rest of my life with this person, I can't be dating my clone (or someone who is constantly, though not deliberately, trying to become one).

    To everyone else that has responded, thank you so much - you've given me lots to think about.


    You want useful? Here's some useful info for you....break up with your boyfriend! Because it's quite obvious from your original post that you lack the patience as he discovers his own identity. Finding your own identity has a subjective timeframe and for some, it takes years before they find it. However and in your case, 1.5 years of little progression is not enough for you!

    Therefore, you need to breakup with him and why is that? Because the separation will force him to find his identify without you! And please, don't give us this bullcrap that you love him because if you did, you wouldn't have created this thread bitching about how you're not interested in dating your clone! icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Mar 21, 2014 10:13 PM GMT
    It sounds like your bf didn't have any life before he met you. Either he didn't have much general interests or the guts to take action.
    Now that you've come into his life and you seem the more outgoing and confident guy, he lives the new life through yours because that's the life he knows (or thinks) is the right one because you're living it.

    I think he has a very low self esteem to experience/discover on his own, avoiding the possibility to make some mistake.
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    Mar 24, 2014 7:23 AM GMT
    Erik101 said
    atx88 said
    Erik101 said
    rnch saidIs there really a huge problem here?


    No, there isn't!


    Thanks. You guys have been useful icon_rolleyes.gif I don't think either of you can understand my frustration unless you've been in my situation. It's really not normal and is incredibly obnoxious. If I plan to spend the rest of my life with this person, I can't be dating my clone (or someone who is constantly, though not deliberately, trying to become one).

    To everyone else that has responded, thank you so much - you've given me lots to think about.


    You want useful? Here's some useful info for you....break up with your boyfriend! Because it's quite obvious from your original post that you lack the patience as he discovers his own identity. Finding your own identity has a subjective timeframe and for some, it takes years before they find it. However and in your case, 1.5 years of little progression is not enough for you!

    Therefore, you need to breakup with him and why is that? Because the separation will force him to find his identify without you! And please, don't give us this bullcrap that you love him because if you did, you wouldn't have created this thread bitching about how you're not interested in dating your clone! icon_rolleyes.gif


    At least this time you managed to provide a response with some substance. For that - thanks.

    If this problem bothered me enough and I wanted to break up with my bf, I would have done so. This thread wasn't created for the sole purpose of bitching (admittedly, it did feel good to vent). But, obviously I see an issue here that can (hopefully) be overcome - which is my motive for seeking advice on this forum. I'd like to approach it with some tact and sensitivity - rather than just bombarding him. And if the real problem IS with me, I'll reflect on that criticism as well. I very well MIGHT be impatient as you say, and I hadn't considered that before.
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    Mar 24, 2014 7:59 AM GMT
    I totally understand you, exact same thing has been happening to me with one of my best friends for over 10 years! It pisses me off but since he's a friend and I dont see him all the time I let it pass, I couldn't imagine living with someone like that, I would snap. Anyways, I think you should have a serious talk with him again but to be honest I dont think hes gonna change. Some people were born to copy others, who knows the reasons behind but I don't think he's going to dramatically change his ways because Im pretty sure he doesn't even notice he's doing that.
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    Mar 24, 2014 8:01 AM GMT
    As for the other responses:


    I definitely do think self-esteem might be an issue and I'm trying my best to be encouraging. I tell him to be himself and embrace his own interests and points of view, bc that's the guy I was drawn to when we first met (we were friends for a year before we started dating). I think this past Friday we might have had somewhat of a breakthrough. I brought up the issues and we had a nice lengthy discussion over happy hour dranks (needed SOMETHING to calm my nerves). He shared a lot of new things with me which helped explain why acts this way. I think both of our eyes have been opened a bit since our convo, and I've noticed some changes this weekend already (for the better).

    I've basically put him in charge of initiating and planning our time together for the foreseeable future and he's done a good job so far of following through with some innovative suggestions. I think this will allow him to think more independently/outside the box and come into his own interests and turn the tables a bit - where, I'll get to learn from him and share his talents and interests. In the mean time - I'll work on being more patient and understanding.
  • helloandgoodb...

    Posts: 620

    Mar 24, 2014 11:34 AM GMT
    atx88 saidAs for the other responses:


    I definitely do think self-esteem might be an issue and I'm trying my best to be encouraging. I tell him to be himself and embrace his own interests and points of view, bc that's the guy I was drawn to when we first met (we were friends for a year before we started dating). I think this past Friday we might have had somewhat of a breakthrough. I brought up the issues and we had a nice lengthy discussion over happy hour dranks (needed SOMETHING to calm my nerves). He shared a lot of new things with me which helped explain why acts this way. I think both of our eyes have been opened a bit since our convo, and I've noticed some changes this weekend already (for the better).

    I've basically put him in charge of initiating and planning our time together for the foreseeable future and he's done a good job so far of following through with some innovative suggestions. I think this will allow him to think more independently/outside the box and come into his own interests and turn the tables a bit - where, I'll get to learn from him and share his talents and interests. In the mean time - I'll work on being more patient and understanding.


    well, you asked for advice, we gave it, you acted and how you have a plan and a hope of a resolution...that's what friends are all about. good luck
  • Nayro

    Posts: 1825

    Mar 24, 2014 2:13 PM GMT
    smartmoney saidWhy would anyone stay with a guy like the OP? That is the question I would ask your psychotic BF.


    woaw, why so mean?
  • Import

    Posts: 7193

    Mar 24, 2014 6:07 PM GMT
    I totally feel u, OP.
    Like, it's sooo annoying when that happens.

    it happened ONE time to me with someone I was seeing for a while a few years back. My then BF was new to the country...he was from south America and had lived in the US for like 1.5 years before I met him, so he was still a bit new, but not like brand new. Apparently once he arrived in the US he got a full-time job and basically worked like cray cray all the time, so he didnt have many friends or a network of people he hung out with, cuz u know....he was new and busy with work...
    Or so I thought that anyway icon_rolleyes.gif *puffs cigarette

    so, long story short. He would be all up in my shit and it got really annoying.

    We only hung with my friends, only went to my families affairs for xmas and thanksgiving, holidays, etc. He would criticise where I would eat too, then end up liking those exact places I ate. IE. he used to be like "youre such a bitch...u have to go to whole foods for food" whatever I knew he was half way joking, but some truth to his jest. I think it annoyed him I ate better than he did. He ate these weird fish (heads still attached and fried rice ALL THE TIME) I never liked the types of food he ate. I like my whole foods, my Chipotle, whatever. He liked his garbage.

    All of a sudden his ass be goin to mothafuckin whole foods like a whole bitch that he was. All of a sudden Chipotle was like his new fave place. like, all of a sudden this bitch liked everything I liked from the beach, to the bars I went to, to running, to the clothes i wore, the music I listened to. I mean he basically wanted to be me and I can't fucking blame him. I mean, Look at me.

    anyway, I think u should dump his needy ass. He sounds annoying. Is he even cute? Does he give good head? whats good about him?



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    Mar 25, 2014 5:17 AM GMT
    Import said
    anyway, I think u should dump his needy ass. He sounds annoying.


    Here we go right here. He's trying to do everything but skin you alive. Who wants to be with an inferior, slightly outdated but very annoying version of themselves?! People like this are broken in my experience, send back to manufacturer for repair.
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    Mar 25, 2014 7:41 AM GMT
    He clearly idolises you and has very little to compare with in terms of life. Feel flattered that you're such an influence on this guy, and that you're showing him a new and exciting world. He'll find himself eventually.

    For now, you really do need to sit down and have a talk with him about this issue. It needn't be outright, but you can be sensitive and reassure him that he doesn't need to copy you in order to please.