If your identity changes depending on the person you’re dating, there’s a good chance you’re a relationship chameleon. Is this you? Here are some signs you’re in danger of alienating yourself and those you love through your compulsive need to please your partner.
You’ve adopted all your partner’s interests. The influence one partner can have on another can be startlingly strong. The most telling sign of a chameleon relationship is the compulsion to like what your partner likes. This can often be a drastic change from the interests you’ve identified with so far in life, all in order to become an almost identical version of your partner. This is not a good thing.
Your mannerisms have subconsciously changed. Mimicking can be conscious or subconscious, but it’s definitely a thing we do when we want to be closer to someone. We’ve all done it, so there’s no shame. Still, sometimes mimicking can go too far. It’s natural that you’ll end up using a lot of their expressions and gestures as your relationship with your partner progresses, which is fine as long as you don’t forget who you are as an individual. Don’t let their personality traits overshadow who you really are.
You spend every spare second of the day with your partner. There’s so much excitement that comes with being in a new relationship, and it’s only natural to want to hang out with your partner on the regs. However, spending every waking moment with them can actually be a bad thing. Everybody needs space to unwind and be themselves and time to be with friends and family members. Being attached at the hip with your S.O. can often mean that you’re not getting the time you need to be you.
You keep your true opinions to yourself. Whether it’s politics, religion, music, or fashion, if your honest opinions don’t match up with your partner’s, you really shouldn’t hide what you think. Often people in chameleon relationships are so concerned about keeping their partner happy that they’ll agree with anything they say just to keep them sweet. Bad move, and one that will ultimately backfire.
Getting your partner’s approval is all you think about. If you’ve noticed that everything you do, from what you choose to wear to what music you choose to listen to, is based on what you think your partner would like, then there’s a definite problem! While it’s nice to do things that will please your S.O., the most important thing to keep in mind when you’re making decisions is what will make you happy. Don’t make your partner the center of your universe. Keep that special position for yourself.
Your friends haven’t seen you in months. It’s awesome when you find out you actually like your partner’s friends, but it’s also important for your S.O. to make an effort to get to know your crew too. Extra brownie points if you somehow manage to get both your friendship groups together at once so you get to see your partner while also getting some quality BFF time. The important thing is to not let your partner’s life eclipse yours, including valuable buddy time with your own people. Don’t be that person who forgets their friends just because there’s a new dude in the picture.
You get defensive about your relationship and who you’ve become since starting it. If your friends have made comments about how you’ve changed recently and you’ve felt defensive, there’s a chance you’re being blinded by the newness of your relationship. Sometimes it takes a good friend or two to shed light on the realities that you’re unable to see. However, if you’re unable to take any criticism or teasing about your new partner and hobbies and you get defensive over even the slightest of digs, you’ve definitely stepped into problematic territory. It’s awesome to be loyal to your partner, but don’t let a little teasing and gentle fun get you in a grump.
You’ve become the type of person you hate. Remember how you used to make fun of those girls who completely gave up their identities and became a shadow of their former selves once they got into a relationship? Well, that’s you now. It’s one thing to develop new interests and hobbies but it’s another thing completely to change your way of life and personality just to suit your partner.
Your friends and family tell you you’ve changed but you refuse to see your transformation. If your friends and family have noticed a change in you and brought it up, it may be wise to listen to them. After all, who knows you better than those nearest and dearest to you? Sometimes it takes someone stepping in and calling you out to make you realize there’s something wrong. If those who know you best sense that you’re not being true to yourself, it would be wise to listen to them. There’s no use trying to hide your chameleon colors in front of those who know you best.
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