Dear Love Doctor

Can I Get My Friends Back After Break-Up?

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My long-term relationship ended five months ago, but my close friends remain a bit distant towards me. They all tell me that I’ve changed and some even said that they don’t recognise me!

I threw myself into the romance, which lasted a couple of years, and I admit that sometimes I ignored my friends. She reshaped my thinking and changed the way that I look. She insisted that I buy new clothes and have a different haircut.

I’m over the break-up, and I’m happy being single for a while. I really want to return to the fold of my friends and go out as a group. How do I convince them that I’m still the same man?



Mario, Mandeville


Love Doctor’s Answer:

It’s extremely common for people to go full throttle into a meaningful relationship and neglect their friends. If the romance goes pear-shaped, the reality is that those who have been rejected may be wary of renewing their friendship as they can feel used.

You were obviously embroiled by being in a loving partnership, and gave it a whirl by allowing this lady to change your appearance. Although this new look may have given you a boost of confidence, you failed to engage with your closest friends and instead concentrated solely on her.

Maybe your friends are referring to the way you look rather than your character when they claim they don’t recognise you. This new version of you may look different. Your latest attire may not fit in with your crowd of friends, so I suggest you take a look at any variance between your appearance and your group of friends.

The majority of ladies will always wish to change a man, however subtle this may be. Most men are happy to go with the flow and allow their special someone to think that they are altering them, because they just want an easy life and to appease their partner.

A romantic relationship dramatically changes our outlook on life. Often this is in a good way, as we need to become more caring and compassionate in order to constantly please that special someone.

We all learn from relationships about the importance of maintaining the momentum to make it work, with both parties being on the same wavelength to let the romance blossom favourably.


During your two years together there would have been devotion, empathy, emotional support, good communication, loyalty, mutual respect, passion, trust and unwavering commitment. These are positive traits, and you are armed with these for when you feel ready to find an upgrade to this last woman.


To enjoy a successful romance we always have to make some adjustments to the way we act and appear. The more time you spent with this lady, the more your perspectives changed and your romantic feelings developed.

You will have both learned things from each other, hopefully with more positives than negatives, as you enjoyed your loving partnership. You will each have altered, but probably for the better as you both will have brought some good qualities and a different outlook on life.

In reality we all change dramatically following a romance, and cannot possibly be the same person that entered what ultimately turned out to be a failed relationship.

Embrace any changes that you encountered to be a more rounded human being, but don’t let it ruin your friendships.

You may have outgrown your friends, and if that’s the case it will be frustrating for you and them. I suggest that you get the thoughts from family members about whether it is time to upgrade your friends, or whether you should roll back the past couple of years and return to the person you were before this lady that won your heart appeared.

Life is truly one big learning curve. Although you state that you are over this break-up, it may take a little longer to come to terms that it has finished. This is because the end of any romance halts shared dreams and aspirations, which can deeply hurt.

Don’t kid yourself that you want to be single for a while if you are missing intimacy and companionship. If you are not emotionally available then stay single, but try to get back with your friends and seek their support to get the balance right in your life.

Your next step is to visit your wardrobe in order to find some clothes that are similar to your friends, which you can wear next time you meet them. Recall the fun times you used to have with them, and set up a group chat on your cell phone so that you can start socialising with them once again.


Try to fit in with their plans, and get back out there. It’s a great distraction if you are still hurt by your long-term relationship ending.

I believe that you should apologise to some of these friends for forgetting them while you were so in love. They will respect your honesty.

Tell them that super Mario has returned, older and wiser. Ask them to nudge you if you ever disappear like you did last time because of a love interest. They should appreciate that you recognise your shortcomings, and if they are true friends will welcome you back into their crowd.

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