If You Consistently Do These 5 Things, You're A 'Dating Chameleon'

The right person will never find you if you're always hiding who you really are.

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Do you have a tendency to act like a chameleon?

And no, I don’t mean you're a lizard!

A "dating chameleon" is someone who fears standing out. They blend in to find approval and love.

In short, you may share parts of yourself, but you have a deep fear that if you allow yourself to be yourself, they won't accept and love you.

So, you pretend to be something you're not. You take the shape of the kind of person you think someone will like. You're a chameleon.


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How a 'dating chameleon' might act 

If you're a dating chameleon, you might pretend to like golf when you think it’s boring. You pretend to agree with his conservative political beliefs when you’re really a tree-hugging liberal. You might act interested despite a feeling of boredom.


You pretend it’s OK for him not to text you for three days because you don’t want to appear "needy" but, inside, you feel like a wreck.

Women are often connectors and pleasers. We are really good at walking on eggshells to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. We're also really good at denying our own needs and desires.

The strongest women can struggle with deep feelings of inadequacy and feeling unlovable, even while they're in a relationship.

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Why do some people become 'dating chameleons?'

You become a dating chameleon for many reasons.

Maybe you’re tired of the dating scene and you’re trying to convince yourself that he’s "the one," even though your gut says otherwise.


Maybe you’re tired of being alone on Friday nights and feel like a mediocre date is better than no date at all. Maybe you believe that you’re not good enough to find the love that you really desire.

Maybe that clock is ticking and you’re the last of your friends to get married. Or maybe you’ve seen generations of "settling" and believe that’s just how relationships work.

But, this isn't the best dating advice to follow. In fact, it can be the worse thing you can do for yourself and the other person.

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What are the risks of 'chameleon dating?'

When you’re not showing up in authentic ways with a partner or a date, they can’t get to know the real you. They only see the part of you that you're showing, whether or not that's your true self at all.


Eventually, though, they will see your truth. No one can hide forever.

Authenticity is key to a successful relationship. So, it's better to learn how to be yourself now rather than later.

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Here are five signs that you're hiding your authentic self when you're dating someone new

1. You agree with everything your date likes, says, or does, even when you really don’t

It doesn’t mean you have to act like a disagreeable, miserable date.

But if you find yourself acting like you like something in order to get your date to approve of you, you may end up with a lifetime of golf games when you'd rather hit the powder on a ski slope.


2. You pretend you're disinterested and aloof after you don’t hear from your date for a while

Truth be told, you’re really chomping at the bit for a text message.

If you pretend you're someone who's OK with occasional, distant contact, you may end up with someone who prefers the same. This could spell heartbreak if you’re looking for commitment.

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3. Your self-esteem suffers after a date or after looking through online profiles

You start telling yourself that you’re not good enough, pretty enough, or smart enough.

You compare yourself — your lifestyle, your money, and your looks — and tell yourself there’s no way this person would spend their life with you.


4. You stretch the truth

You speak ambiguously about things you’re embarrassed for your date to know or tell white lies about your life, all in the interest of someone accepting and loving you.

5. You date 'beneath' you

You date partners who really aren’t a good match for your lifestyle, your intellectual or emotional levels, or your religious or political beliefs.

These are "safe" partners who, on some level, may seem like they’ll stick around because you’re the better half of the partnership and they’d never want to leave you.

But, then, you end up feeling resentful, bored, and unfulfilled.


Plenty of dating tips emphasize being yourself so the best way to know if you're becoming a chameleon dater is to get really honest with yourself.

Do you feel something uneasy in your gut when you’re on a date with someone?

Something's screaming a loud "No!" inside of you, or you feel a nagging sense that something isn’t right. It won’t feel right if you're disconnected from your truth — the real, raw, authentic beauty inside of you.

Instead of being a chameleon, choose your real self.

Trust that every single human being has something beautiful inside and out. You have something beautiful to offer to your beloved when the right one arrives. It makes it impossible for your beloved to find you when you’re hiding.


Stand out. Be brave. Be you. Be loved.

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Chelli Pumphrey, LPC, is a dating coach and therapist who wants to help you become more confident and empowered in your relationships.