Have you ever met someone and everything just clicked right away? But then a few months down the road you ask yourself, “Who is this person”?
In the beginning of a relationship most people put their best foot forward. They make sacrifices they wouldn’t normally make because they are so excited to be in this new relationship. This is normal. At first you may watch that basketball game even though you don’t like it. Or you may go to church with that person even though you haven’t been to church in years. Most people want to make that other person happy and it is easy in the beginning because you are happy.
As time goes by people usually settle into the relationship and you may share that you don’t prefer to eat seafood or like to go backpacking in the wilderness. Those changes aren’t so dramatic. The longer you are in a relationship the more you find out about each other and realize both of you will have to make sacrifices at some point. No two people are exactly alike.
But there are people out there, about 30% of the population, that pretend to be just like you in the beginning of the relationship. If you are reading this and feel like this describes you, I’m sorry for calling you out. For the other half reading this, you will discover you have dated someone like this.
The person I am describing is capable of mimicking anyone they approach. They often convince others that they are just like them. They are very persuasive and can read people really easily. They are adept at sizing people up by watching nonverbal cues and reading people’s faces. They use that information to get close to you and you may feel like this is the first person who really “gets” you. They will be so engaging with you that they might seem to have an unusual amount of empathy, when in fact this is not the case. They are just very good actors and have a shot out in Hollywood. They seem to understand you so well that you feel like they have been able to see inside your heart and soul. That is how they get close to you and get you to open up to them even more. Before you know it, you’ve fallen in love.
The blissful part of the relationship may last a couple of months. By this time you have become very attached and may even feel ready to be with this person forever. Then all of a sudden they seem to change. They may become mean at times, impatient, and refuse to do things they used to do. They may stop calling you back, be late for a date, or not even show up. This is when the roller coaster begins. You feel mad, betrayed, upset, hurt. You finally text them to let them know how mad you are. The next thing you know, they call you back, profusely apologize and promise to make it up to you. They are so attentive that you forgive them immediately. Those feelings of love coming pouring back into your heart and you forget about your hurt feelings. A week later, it may happen again that they don’t text you for a day and then tell you they left their phone at their friend’s house. You believe them and all is well again.
Over time this happens more often. Instead of being nice for a week, its only for a day. When they are not with you, you wonder what they are doing because they ignore you. When you finally see them again, they are so loving and kind you feel like an idiot for ever doubting them. The fighting may increase, but the intermittent reinforcement of their attentiveness and promises of love keep you hooked. After awhile you may finally break it off and wonder to yourself if they ever really loved you.
I will tell you my perspective. They may have loved you in their own way. They may have also been sincere in that moment when they apologized, but when that moment passes, that sincerity is gone. It is hard to trust someone like this. They have a hard time following through with anything, not just relationships. They usually pick the loyal, kind, giving types of people to hook up with. You are not stupid for being a loyal, kind, giving person. Just be aware that not everyone is as genuine and as unselfish as you are. I don’t believe con artists are always trying to con people either. They may truly fall in love, but not know how to get past some of their faults to have a healthy relationship. Everyone has something they can work on to better themselves, but not everyone is willing to work to make those changes. No matter what they SAY.
Future blogs will continue to address this topic and what to do if you are dating someone who seems like a con artist.